Martin Audio hits the Road to Ultra
HONG KONG: For the fifth year in a row, the organiser of Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Ultra Worldwide, toured Asia and South America with a series of events named Road to Ultra. For the Hong Kong leg of the tour, which took place in West Kowloon Cultural District’s heavily noise-polluted Nursery Park, production manager Alex Ng from International Fixer decided to implement a PA system comprising Martin Audio’s MLA Series speakers. Turning to the manufacturer’s local partner, MSI Japan, Ms Ng requested the assistance of Martin Audio’s product support engineer, Chris Pyne.
The event attracted approximately 8,000 dance music fans from neighbouring regions across the continent. Alex Ng was contracted to work on the event due to her wealth of experience in the production of big events in the region, including many big-name western artists and acts. She sought Mr Pyne’s help in setup and programming due to the sound problems presented by the new urban development nearby and his knowledge of the sonic capabilities of artists such as the headliners, Knife Party, Martin Garrix and Nero, and how to contain it.
MSI Japan supplied the audio equipment, including 13 MLA elements and an MLD Downfill per side, with 24 MLX subs stacked in eight columns of three in a cardioid array formation that meant the bottom unit of each stack was reversed. With only 100m of throw distance to cover, no delays were required.
‘The Ritz Carlton is immediately behind the park, alongside other high-end accommodation plus the Sky 100 – a 360-degree indoor observation deck on the 100th floor of the International Commerce Centre. Across Victoria Harbour is Hong Kong Island – and the water has the effect of extending the audio spill due to a denser air layer above the surface,’ explained Mr Pyne. To banish any reverberation from behind the stage, the product support engineer utilised the Hard Avoid setting on Martin Audio’s Display Software. ‘During the event we were receiving noise data from the three measurement points, taken by the local Government department and the event production management every 15 minutes, but we received no complaints throughout the entire day,’ he added.
As day gave way to night and with the unexpected offsite threshold results coming in lower than anticipated, Mr Pyne increased the SPL after 8pm by applying added DSP. With the SPL complying, the local authorities, as well as the event organisers, were impressed.
‘We have proved conclusively that local authorities can now get around sound issues in this location. I was extremely happy with the overall result, as working in an urban environment such as this is fraught with potential problems,’ concluded Mr Pyne. ‘This was an important outing for MLA and the event has clearly set a high benchmark for others to match. The sound quality was great and we received many positive comments from the DJs and their management companies.’