Veteran American sound engineer Ken Newman carried on where he left off in the States when Barry Manilow’s One Last Time tour arrived in the UK on its trip around the globe – with Martin Audio’s premier MLA providing the arena sound.
Making his MLA debut with Delicate Productions’ system on the North American leg, the sound engineer was adamant that he wanted the same production rider in the UK – and his first port of call was Martin Audio rental partner, Capital Sound.
Capital supplied the rig, but unlike the previous dates, the 10 UK shows had the advantage of being run digitally. With MLA tech Russ Cunningham and PA/stage tech Nick Cook in support, the main PA comprised 11 x MLA and an MLD Downfill each side, while the side-fill component started with hangs of 12 x MLA Compact per side but increased to 16 for the larger 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London.
Flown in the rig, between the main and side PA, were three MLX subs – mostly set at 45° to the main rig – while a further 14 W8LM Mini Line Arrays acted as front-fills/out-fills with four further MLX on the ground. This was pretty much an identical rig to the system Delicate had put out.
After eulogizing the system performance in the States Ken Newman was equally elated with the slightly supercharged production tools made available to him in the UK, including an uprated DiGiCo console which brought the best out of MLA.
Speaking of his adoption of MLA, he said, “I didn’t hesitate to use a new speaker system, even though it’s the end of an era for Barry Manilow. Although Barry did his first ‘final tour’ in 2004, and subsequently landed in Las Vegas where he stayed until 2011, it sounds like it’s for real this time.”
Summing up, the sound engineer said, “Being able to run the system digitally was advantageous in terms of overall sound quality while the noise floor was simply non-existent. I feel Capital really spoiled me.”