MLA Mini adds to ZCB’s spaces
HONG KONG: The founding of Hong Kong’s International Airport on Lantau Island in the late 1990s marked a new chapter for the largely reclaimed lands of Kowloon Bay. With Kai Tak International Airport falling into dereliction and industrial manufacture suffering from inertia, its fortunes were reversed in the new Millennium. Soaring property prices reflected by sleek, modern, high-rise architecture and upmarket car showrooms in the area around Sheung Yuet Road spawned other property developers to take note. In early 2013, Hong Kong’s first zero carbon building was opened here in the form of the ZCB.
Developed by CIC in partnership with the Government, ZCB is a signature project that showcases eco-building design and technologies both local and international. It aims to educate the construction industry in low carbon building design whilst raising community awareness of sustainable living. Designed to achieve carbon neutrality, ZCB utilises solar panels and biodiesel made of waste cooking oil to generate renewable energy onsite. Commercially, it attracts event organisers to make full use of its indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces and multi-purpose hall.
To add amenity to these space, a Martin Audio MLA (Multicellular Loudspeaker Array) Mini system was installed. Suspended under a 4m height canopy, the L-R hangs comprising four MLA Mini cabinets per-side are accompanied by an MSX mini-sub power-plant which houses the amplification and DSP for the entire system. Each 13.8kg Mini module measures 210 x 500 x 337mm and combines two 6.5-inch LF drivers with a vertical line of three 1.4-inch HF drivers on a 100-degree horn. Capable of producing a maximum SPL of 130dB at 1m within a 76Hz to 18kHz frequency range, the system can operate to a depth of 35m. A removable power supply featuring nine channels of Class-D amplification is integrated into the design of the MSX mini-sub module.
Referred to as cellular technology, individual control of the four HF and four LF individually powered cells in each array is conducted by programming Display2.1 software, thus creating custom settings for the venue. This small but powerful system can be remotely controlled from a laptop or wireless tablet running VU-NET control software with its GUI. For ZCB, however, the MLA Minis and MSX are controlled and managed as a plug-and-play system using onboard presets instead of computer control. The newly created outdoor zone is routed through a Lectrosonics DM1612 16-in, 12-out digital signal processor allowing gain adjustments, digital delay, DSP filters and a compressor/limiter. The facility managers rely on AMX NI-4100 control wireless touchscreens when hosting indoor and outdoor events.
Local systems integrator Vial Technology was called upon to install the MLA Mini system. ‘It’s actually a plug and play set up,’ explained Vial Technology assistant manager Daniel Chow. ‘Having configured and optimised the system, we have eliminated any trial and error for the ZCB’s facility managers during set-ups. It is deceptive - it packs extremely high SPLs, yet the programmable leakage parameter meets environmental noise constraints for nearby residences and businesses.’
Crucially, the MLA Mini’s Power Factor Correction (PFC) reduces the AC mains current to promote greener audio power ensuring the venue’s carbon footprint is reduced in size. Whilst the amplifier modules can withstand ambient temperatures to 113-degrees (F) and rain, the power consumption efficiencies of the MLA Mini and MSX subwoofer met with ZCB’s stringent tolerances.