Derby-based PA hire company Sound of Music Ltd has become the first UK customer for Nexo’s new M28 module, the more recent addition to the French loudspeaker manufacturer’s multi-purpose STM sound reinforcement system launched in 2012.
Sound of Music’s acquisition was revealed at a special ‘double launch day’ at a polo club in the UK Midlands last month, where Nexo presented both the M28 and the GEO M6 line-source cabinets to an invited audience of press and industry professionals. With a series of presentations and music demos – both in the club’s main hall and out in the open air – Nexo’s Stuart Kerrison, Gareth Collyer and Mathieu Pobeda established how the two new speakers bring added flexibility, compact power, ergonomic design and durability to Nexo’s catalogue.
“We’re the first UK owner of the M28,” Sash Pochibko, Sound of Music’s founder (pictured), told PSNEurope during a break in the demo day’s proceedings. “The whole modular, scaleable thing was very attractive to us.”
Pochibko had not subscribed to STM thinking – 'Scale Through Modularity' – until recently, he noted. "We hadn’t listened to M28 before placing the order: our experience of owning GEO S12 and Alpha-e, along with the reputation of the brand, sold it for us. It’s always been a system that sounds great straight out of the crate. You set it up and turn it on and it sounds excellent, which very few systems do. Nexo doesn’t sound like a PA system, it's more like a big hi-fi.”
Now in its 13th year, Sound of Music’s calendar highlights include a ‘Orchestral Spectacular’ show in Derby for 30,000, and the 'BBC Introducing' stages at the Leeds/Reading Festivals (which the outfit has supplied for nine years). A wily Pochibko bagged the URL www.pahire.com for his operation before anyone else woke up to the importance of a memorable website.
“Our main brand has always been Nexo – though we have some smaller KV2 boxes too,” he says. “A Nexo house: that’s what the customers know us as, and they know they're renting quality.” Sound of Music has carried 34 boxes of S12 since 2006.
Pochibko’s recent purchase comprises four STM ‘ground-stacks’, each comprising one S118 sub module, one B112 bass, and three M28 tops (20 cabs in total).
"At the Derby gig, for instance, we put six M28s and two B112 Bass modules per side for the main hangs which were covering an area 250m wide by 120m deep. It wasn’t rock’n’roll volume, but for classical and vocal intelligibility it’s a ridiculously small amount of PA for a ridiculously large number of people. Its capability astounded us! The client was concerned whilst we were setting up and asked where the rest of the PA was… Until he heard it!”
Pochibko adds that the M28 makes business sense for his company: “In terms of logistics – planning it, prepping it, transporting it then implementing it – the integration of STM as a package system along with NUAR Amp Racks, rather than using bits of this and bits of that… it just works.”
For the UK launch event, some of Sound of Music’s kit was integrated into a demo system designed to exhibit the capability of M28 in a real-world environment. SOM’s team hung 24 M28 modules (12 per side) on portable towers, complemented by 12 S118 subs arranged in pairs located in one of the venue’s polo fields. A variety of playback material – notably Rage Against the Machine’s bruising Fistful of Steel – captured the power, consistent fidelity and the throw of the new M28. Who said a PA can’t throw 100m on a windy day…?
+ The morning of the September demo day focused on the GEO M6 line-source speaker. Mathieu Pobeda, electroacoustic engineer at Nexo SA (pictured right), said this of the cabinet: "The design brief said that it should be elegant and powerful, with all the Nexo science 'squeezed' into a small package. And it should integrate nicely with all environments.
"I took onboard a lot of the comments from people that will specify the room and the staging, rather than the sound guys – the staging people didn't want the M6 to be too intrusive in their environment. That's what we had to achieve and yet still give good performance soundwise."
“M6 is an important move for Nexo in the installation sector. We want to come to that market with a narrow but powerful unit that will integrate well."
+ Pochibko talks about the M28 purchase here