Capital Sound has once again deployed Martin Audio speakers for comedian Michael McIntyre’s world tour.
Having provided an MLA loudspeaker array solution for McIntyre's Happy & Glorious Tour in 2015, the company has repeated the formula for the current Big World Tour.
This time around the comic had a different team shaping and powering his sound in the form of FOH engineer Steve Carr and system tech Toby Donovan.
Rigged at the 15,800-capacity Birmingham Arena was the larger of two scalable Martin Audio PA rigs from the MLA series. This comprised 14 MLA and two MLD Downfill elements per side, with 12 MLA Compact providing outfills from each stage wing.
Providing LF extension were six of Martin Audio’s new SX218 subwoofers, in two groundstacked blocks of three, while eight of Martin Audio’s stand-mounted DD6 were able to set an even coverage pattern across the first four rows. According to Donovan, this is largely due to their use of differential dispersion technology.
In large arenas such as Birmingham three blocks of six W8LM Mini Line Array handle delayed sound at the rear. Down at the stage, a pair of DD12 are tilted on Martin Audio yokes to deliver the sound at face height — providing a constant point-to-point reference to McIntyre’s many excursions back and forth across the stage.
Along with the newly-purchased SX218, of which this was one of their first deployments, the use of DD12’s as monitors — suggested by both Carr and Donovan — has been a masterstroke.
Carr explained: “When I first met Michael he said how important foldback was; he likes to hear himself loud and clear, so he doesn't need to push his voice and we decided that DD12 as low-level side fills would be ideal.”
Donovan added: “Previously we had flown speakers for monitors but there was a desire to lose these because they looked untidy, and if you fly them too high they are not really functional. The DD12s sound so good and the dispersion is perfect. There is no problem with gain before feedback wherever he is, including lying on his back leaning over the edge of the stage. The speakers are always in the same place with every show so he gets consistency.”
As for the new subs, Donavan added, “They are new out of the box, and because this is a brand new design they look smart and not too obtrusive.” Carr only requires a 16-channel DiGiCo SD11 for his house mix, and also provides the monitor mix from FOH. In summary he said, “My approach was to make sure audiences hear Michael the way they would on telly. The room plays a big part in this — but I didn't want to start hacking out frequencies because of the room.
“MLA delivers a linear response and is perfect, while the DISPLAY software ensures we avoid any reflective surfaces. As for the DD12 monitors, Michael said these have made a massive difference.”
Assisting Carr and Donovan in Capital’s sound crew were Finbarr Neenan (PA tech) and David Preston (delay tech).