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Capital Sound and Martin Audio return for an even louder BST Hyde Park

By reducing the low and low-mid frequency band, Martin Audio achieved an increase of 2–3dB in max FOH levels on BST 2013.

After demonstrating at last year’s British Summer Time festival that Hyde Park in London could be protected from noise leakage into surrounding areas using Martin Audio MLA loudspeakers, festival promoter AEG Live adopted an updated version of the 2013 solution for this year’s concerts.

According to Martin Audio’s R&D director, Jason Baird, the company was “determined that new optimisations would enable [us] to eke out as much as an additional 3dB at front of house without increasing offsite pollution”.

As a result, 102dBa was achieved for McBusted (pictured onstage), with 73dBa recorded offsite – comfortably within the maximum allowable 75dBa – while both Tom Jones and Black Sabbath nudged 103dBa.

Baird (pictured, left, with Martin Audio’s Chris Pyne [centre] and Ian Colville of Capital Sound) explains that Martin Audio’s research had begun begun three months earlier, and the concept “tested and proven” on the Glastonbury Festival delay rig the week before (25–29 June). “We conducted the propagation tests based on what we learnt last time around,” he says. “One of the key offsite measurement points identified […] at Hyde Park was on top of flats in the nearby Upper Brook Street in Mayfair.

“When I visited the property last year, I was able to look at the complete spectrum of the signal. You could hear there was only LF and low-mid that was contributing to the A-weight measurements, and we realised that if we could reduce that frequency band we could have a better differential.”

He describes these early tests – and the additional increase of 2–3dB in max FOH levels over the previous year by– as “encouraging and significant”.

For the main PA, Capital Sound deployed two hangs of 16 MLA and one MLD Downfill per side, with 12 MLA and one MLD Downfill for the sidefills. The sub array consisted of 21 MLX in a broadside cardioid array, and a further 11 enclosures back facing.

“Headliners at Hyde Park are now performing at levels well in excess of 100dB, which was unthinkable only two years ago,” concludes AEG Live event director Jim King. “Capital and Martin have done an excellent job, and the system data and know-how about the site is there for visiting FOH engineers to get the very best levels and sound coverage for their artists.”

PSNEuropereported on Capital and Martin Audio at British Summer Time Hyde Park 2013 last year.