London-based Capital Sound Hire has become the first UK rental house to take delivery of a Nexo STM Series system, following two years of working alongside the Paris-based company in its creation.
Chosen in 2010 as one of three international Development Team Members, Capital – whose clients include Take That and Kylie Minogue – has had influential input into the system’s design, and will be instrumental in the next phase of its evolution as STM is put to work in the high-level touring circuit.
“Originally, it was an opportunity to influence the design of a loudspeaker system so that the final product was more in line with our ideals,” explains Capital’s technical manager Ian Colville. “As the STM concept emerged, this was replaced with a desire to be involved in the development of a genuinely groundbreaking and unique product. Nothing was used as starting point, nor was it based on an existing product. All of the STM components, materials and manufacturing techniques have been optimised for one product and one purpose.”
Designed to boost profitability by combining flexibility and modularity with premium sound quality, throw and ease of rigging, STM draws on Nexo’s successful Alpha Series of point source cabinets, sharing the basic principles of “Scale Through Modularity”. The initial touring range incorporates three elements; the M46 Main cabinet, B112 Bass cabinet and S118 Sub-bass cabinet, which, claims Nexo, enables users to build systems for audiences from 200 to 100,000. STM was first showcased at Prolight + Sound last spring.
“With profit margins being squeezed, it’s crucial for the success of rental companies to get the maximum flexibility from their inventories,” continues Capital’s general manager, Paul Timmins. “As digital consoles become inflexible due to personal choice, it’s more important that the loudspeaker system, which is the element that generally ‘gets you the show’, is working constantly. Prep costs money and this system just requires configuration between projects, with no rebuilds necessary.”
The scalability of STM also held great appeal for Capital, whose projects range from 10 people at small corporate events to stadium and outdoor shows for 60,000 plus. “What has become evident is that most current loudspeaker systems require you to stock up to four sizes of line array boxes to cover the variation in room sizes,” says Timmins. “Often, during the winter months, an entire inventory of large format loudspeakers can sit idle while there is a shortage of small and mid-sized cabinets. The concept of STM is amazing, with true multi-use options for all components including the amplifier racks. System designs can take into consideration not only room limitations but also musical content. It’s a fantastic addition to the tool box.”
Capital will ultimately own a 48-box system inventory of 48 M46 Mains, 48 B112 Bass and 48 S118 Subs. Components of the system will be introduced initially on small-scale events, ramping up during summer 2013 to larger projects that will enable engineers to get to grips with its full capabilities.
STM is the first Nexo acquisition for Capital, and follows the company’s substantial investment in a Martin Audio MLA rig last summer. “We hope new clients that have experienced Nexo in the past will want to work with us as we make the system available,” says Timmins. “This in turn will give us a greater market share of clients wanting to embrace true second generation system technology.”