Bochum’s Stadionring in Germany has updated its production of Starlight Express with a Martin Audio MLA Compact system. The rock musical is celebrating 25 years since its first performance at the specially constructed ‘Starlight Express Theatre’ in June 1988. Sound supervisor Riccardo van Krugten and system engineer/installation manager, Georg Hentschel oversaw the audio upgrade. Hentschel was already familiar with Martin Audio’s pioneering system, since his company (LiveAudio) has owned an MLA rig since May 2011. He later attended the world launch of the second-generation MLA Compact in London – and it is the smaller system that his company has now installed for this production. “In two shoot out sessions, we heard nine different (mono) arrays rigged side by side,” said van Krugten. “The MLA Compact never left any doubt it would handle reliably whatever kind of audio we threw at it.” As a result, 27 MLA Compacts have been divided into three flown L/C/R arrays of nine elements each – along with three DSX subs ground stacked left and right of the stage. This is designed to cover the entire auditorium including the balcony and the middle sub on each side is reversed to produce a cardioid pattern. The subs are set unconventionally just outside the left and right array – stacked on the middle track level a few metres above the ground – and are sunk into the proscenium wall, via a specially-designed setup. A pair of Martin Audio W8VDQ hybrid boxes provide outfill coverage extension of the centre array, while production rigged a so-called ‘crossfire’ system, so that those sitting at the sides of the auditorium would also receive a stereo orchestra image. “I challenged the system with various optimisations to achieve the best solution, and it has really delivered; we were able to solve many problems with MLA's advanced technology, and it was absolutely the right system for the job,” said Hentschel.
Photo Credit: Jens Hauer www.martin-audio.com