London venue Scala recently upgraded its house PA system to a Martin Audio MLA Compact system, designed and installed by Capital Sound.
Paul Timmins, Capital Sound’s operations and development director, approached the Kings Cross venue’s technical manager David Preston after they acquired a new digital console, and he in turn introduced them to Scala owner, Ryan Bissett and operations director, Lee Hazell.
“We recognised that this is a difficult venue, with a big reflective glass wall at the back, and we felt that MLA Compact would offer the ideal solution,” said Timmins. “The sale was concluded over a course of meetings.”
The installation itself comprises six MLA Compact elements per side and three stacked DSX subwoofers on either side of the stage. In addition, they have provided two of Martin Audio’s Coaxial Differential Dispersion CDD-LIVE12 — one for centre fill and one for balcony fill — all operating under Vu-Net system control.
“MLA is set with a flat frequency response to deliver clean and identical sound everywhere in the venue — and this will enable it to overcome some of the inherent difficulties it faces,” said Capital Sound head of development Robin Conway, who had been responsible for much of the system design and sound predictions. “At the same time, the fact that it is now state of the art will make it more attractive to engineers coming in.
“MLA Compact is a 100° box so there is already plenty of horizontal coverage,” he added. |It made sense to fill any holes (in the coverage pattern) with a separate CDD-LIVE rather than using MLA for balcony coverage.”
Capital has also provided a new cabling infrastructure and the installation has been carried out in such a way that it is semi permanent, and can be used as a training facility. It has been supplied on a long-term rental basis. Due to the venue’s heavy programme, the fast-track installation was carried out over a two-day period.
“MLA has been increasingly evident in all the big, high profile festivals Capital has supported, particularly in London,” Timmins concluded. “We therefore felt it was time one of the major London venues had its own MLA system, which will also provide access to take potential customers along, and allow them to hear a system before they use it.”
Scala has played host to many top bands since it reopened in 1999, including Tiesto, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, Nine Inch Nails, Kaiser Chiefs, Foo Fighters, Rihanna, Rita Ora, Lana Del Rey, The Killers and Stereophonics.