Posted in projects on March 23, 2016 1:01 pm EDT

Classic Proscenium Stage Gets Sightline-Saving Audio Overhaul

A Martin Audio MLA Mini solution at the University of North Carolina's Memorial Hall performance space helps ensure consistent audio coverage with minimal impact on sightlines.

The 1,434-seat Memorial Hall hosts high-profile artists, in a space requiring superb coverage, control and noise cancellation.


 

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TAGS: architectural design, audio upgrade, avl design, performance space,

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By Church Designer Staff

"Ultimately, Memorial Hall management has requested that the MLA Mini be provided for all applicable future events and shows.”

—Cooper Cannady, Owner, RMB Audio, Selma, NC

RMB Audio recently deployed a Martin Audio MLA Mini solution at the University of North Carolina’s Memorial Hall performance space in Chapel Hill, N.C., to ensure consistent audio coverage with minimal impact on sightlines.

Built in 1885, the venerable Memorial Hall has undergone several renovations––most recently from 2002-2005––and has served as a premier venue for artists such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Tony Bennett, Itzhak Perlman, Joffrey Ballet, the Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, and many others.

RMB Audio, who has provided audio for Memorial Hall for more than a decade, reports that it first recommended Martin Audio MLA technology in 2014. For larger, more robust shows such as Buddy Guy, an MLA Compact system with DSX subs on the stage wings has been used to provide absolutely consistent coverage, front to back and side to side, with the understanding that audience sightlines are necessarily somewhat impacted.

RMB Audio recommended a Martin Audio MLA Mini solution with two flown hangs consisting of three MSX power module subs and 12 Mini cabinets per side that doesn’t impact sightlines.

For smaller, more intimate shows with lower SPL requirements, RMB Audio Owner Cooper Cannady recently recommended a Martin Audio MLA Mini solution with two flown hangs consisting of three MSX power module subs and 12 Mini cabinets per side that doesn’t impact sightlines.

Sound considerations

When asked about the MLA Mini system, Cannady explains, “We needed the same coverage, control and noise cancellation that we got from the MLA Compact system without the subs on the proscenium walls that cost us about 40 seats in terms of impacted sightlines. The coverage has to be perfect for everyone in the room because it involves high profile artists in a critical and intimate setting with only 1,434 seats.

“With the MLA Mini," he continues, "we have the MSX subs up in the air that work incredibly well and we also use 4 Martin Audio DD6’s for lip fills which sound great. We basically have a PA flying upstage with the performers, which is a challenge because of the possible noise issues. Only MLA technology could make it all work.”

RMB Audio’s Roger Dennis adds, “I was extremely pleased with mixing on the MLA Mini system. It didn’t feel any different than MLA Compact with the same high level of responsiveness to nuanced level and EQ changes.”

Discussing the overall impact of MLA Mini in the hall, Cannady notes: “We’ve already used the system successfully with distinguished artists such as the jazz pianist Fred Hersch and guitarist Julian Lage, Jason Moran, the Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices, and vocalist Diane Schuur. MLA is the only technology on the market that allows multiple sonic goals to be prioritized and optimized -- [MLA] provides consistent coverage of the orchestra level and balcony seating while avoiding reflections from the balcony fascia."

Cannady concludes, “Ultimately, Memorial Hall management has requested that the MLA Mini be provided for all applicable future events and shows.”

 

 

 

Learn more about the companies in this story:

Martin Audio

 

RMB Audio

 

 

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