MLA Compact steers clear of the lion’s den at Taronga Zoo
AUSTRALIA: Sydney’s Taronga Zoo was treated to a sound reinforcement system from Martin Audio for its recent Twilight at Taronga programme of summer concerts. Based an hour north of the city centre, the production and installation team at Entertainment Installation had to setup the system right in the middle of the busy zoo with restricted site access. A long-time Martin Audio user, Neale Mace, managing director of Gosford, NSW-based Entertainment Installations, credits the manufacturer’s MLA Compact line array as being both direct and controllable enough to cater for the concert without disturbing the peace.
‘Being a Sydney Harbourside location there is a lot of “old money”,’ observed Mr Mace. ‘These are well-to-do residents who you don’t want complaining about noise. There is also the issue of the animals themselves, the elephants in particular are sensitive to noise. However, that was before we started using Martin Audio’s MLA Compact.
‘The ability of MLA to fit the audio to a designated area, with very little sound beyond that space, is a revelation for this event – coupled with the fact that it’s a recognised brand and sounds amazing,’ he added. ‘The authorities ask for an 85dB limit at the perimeter — but with MLA Compact we can achieve this and still reach 100dB at the FOH desk.’
The concerts took place over 17 weekends, with performances from Rufus Wainwright, Belle and Sebastian, Conor Oberst and local Australian artists. The team at Entertainment Installations rigged eight MLA Compact enclosures per side, on one-tonne chin blocks inside the PA towers. Three DSX subs were stage-stacked each side under the PA hangs. ‘The PA towers aren’t totally weatherproof and this is another reason that the MLA Compact works here – as it is weatherised,’ Mr Neale added.
The end result was a sound system that provided the best of both worlds for the audience, neighbours and animals combined. ‘This event has been running for over 10 years and I’m told by the zoo and the promoter that the first year we were involved was the best result they’d had in terms of audio quality, with no noise complaints,’ Mr Neale recalled. ‘We’ve built on that experience over time and tried to make it better every year. The MLA system is instrumental in that success as I don’t believe there’s another PA on the market that can deliver the audio quality, coverage and level that’s required without causing off-site noise issues.’
Mr Neale is also confident that an event such as this vindicates his continued investment in the brand. ‘This, along with the large complement of W8C, WSX, W8LC and WS218X means we have the biggest Martin Audio inventory in Australia — and I know this has given us a competitive edge over the years,’ he enthused. ‘Having the MLA system puts us in a better position in the Australian touring market.’