MLA Compact joins the Circus at TWSTD Festival

Martin Audio partner Stage Audio Services (SAS) fielded the MLA Compact PA at the UK’s biggest indoor winter music festival, TWSTD Festival in Skegness.

The company has regularly serviced the event, which this year had a Circus theme and was held on two consecutive weekends in November.

SAS was contracted by event production company Zero Degrees Events and flew 10 MLA Compact elements per side and 10 MLX subs in a broadside array.

SAS’ Nat Hopking says: “MLA was proposed by Zero Degrees as a solution to getting the most from the event without having to compromise on noise levels, and the restrictions imposed due to local residents in the area. But thanks to the way this system works the acoustician monitoring the off-site noise had no issues.”

With artists such as DJ EZ, Lethal Bizzie, Hannah Wants, Sigma and Tom Zanetti appearing, SAS had originally hoped to fly hangs of 12 enclosures but this proved unnecessary. “In the end 10 was perfectly sufficient as the MLA Compact is incredibly loud for such a small box. We had four [Martin Audio] DD12’s available for fills but the way the stage was built, and the position of the barrier, they just weren’t needed.”

Hopking acted as system tech and FOH engineer, mapping out the room in the DISPLAY software to ensure the measurements were correct, and ‘hard avoiding’ the stage.

Consequently, he had no trouble reaching the required levels. “This box is truly witchcraft,” he says. “At 45m distance I was able to maintain a constant 112dBA at front of house without a hint of struggle from the PA. It’s incredible. Then you walk 5m behind front of house and you can have a conversation about how loud it is.”

The whole production staff had been hugely impressed by this, he said. “Also, the monitor engineer [Henry Cook] loved that my MLX subs moved his wedges around the stage for him.”

Hopking concludes: “The clarity of the system is fantastic and the amount of volume it generates is truly impressive. The MLX is for me one of the best subs in the world — it’s so musical as well as incredibly powerful.”


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