Martin Audio’s Gorilla Tactics

Sound system specialists Masons have fitted out many bars and club venues in their native Manchester over the years, using Martin Audio solutions.

One local leisure group that has regularly relied on the company’s services to equip its multi-purpose venues has been Trof, which has developed its estate towards city centre operations — such as Gorilla.

This has been the most recent hybrid bar/restaurant/live venue to be installed by Masons. Their system designer Jack Jennings created an all-purpose environment that would satisfy live music aficionados and serious clubbers in the 600-capacity main space, and at the same time those who just want to enjoy the background ambience in the intimacy of the bar or function room areas.


Situated on a ground floor area between two railway arches, respectively assigned to function room and live venue, with a small mezzanine area providing an additional space, Jennings set about zoning the venue into three separate areas. His first task was to source a sound system for the main PA that would define midrange speech intelligibility. He settled on four of Martin Audio’s WT3 arrayable three-way compact theatre enclosures, flown two a side over the stage, with four WS218X subs floor mounted in pairs either side of the stage, and concealed under the apron.

He rationalised, “We had installed the WT3 at another Trof venue, the Deaf Institute, a few years back and it sounded really nice. I knew the 6.5” midrange driver was perfect for vocal reproduction and in an arched area it provides very good, tight pattern control.”


To this he has added a Blackline F12+ centre fill, a pair of delayed F15+ and a pair of delayed F10+ to cover another mezzanine bar to the rear of this space. “We will also be adding three further Blackline F12+ imminently to provide additional side and centre fills,” he confirms. “This will ensure even coverage throughout.”

To optimise the sound dedicated Martin Audio DX1.5 controllers have been specified while the main PA has been assigned to Martin Audio amplifiers — an MA18K driving the subs and MA5.2K and MA2.0 to the top boxes, which are run biamped.


In the function room, under the adjacent arch, Masons have installed a further pair of Blackline F12+, wall mounted at one end. Four AQ6’s and two Blackline F10+ reproduce music in the bar/dining area at the front of the venue while up on the mezzanine level music is pumped out through a pair of AQ8’s and an AQ112 sub.

Summarising the installation, Jennings said, “We needed a high specification main PA system as the DJ’s are using industry standard playback and the venue is also on the UK live touring circuit. The system we designed at the Deaf Institute provided the blueprint for this; the operators are extremely happy as the venue is proving really popular, and the regular club nights, in particular, are full to capacity.”


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