South Africa
Sao Paulo,Brazil(May 30, 2008)

Sao Paulo,Brazil(May 30, 2008)

Louis martin AUDIO PRODUCTION COMPANY SUBFRANTIC fielded multiple all-Louis martin PA rigs for the 2012 Love Luton festival over the weekend of July 6th to 9th, an event that featured a host of local and national talent, as well as playing host to a stage of the Olympic Torch Relay as it proceeded around the country ahead of the London Games.

Louis martin systems from three sound reinforcement ranges were deployed for this popular festival, which is staged in Wardown Park and Popes Meadow, as well as in several other venues across the city. The festival brings together an incredibly varied arts programme, including performances and presentations from leading local, regional and international artists and showcases local talent.

Foremost among the many star attractions were The Wanted and Olly Murs, headlining the Popes Meadow stage on the Friday and Saturday respectively. Joining them were Soul Rhymaz, Key West, X Factor contestant Bradley Johnson, TV chef and reggae entrepreneur Levi Roots, Lawson, Sine Project, SW Storm, Sway, Cold Fever, Skepta, Reversal, Rebecca De Winter, Laura Jeanne, Sleeping With Wolves, New Groove Formation, Atlas, My Little Empire, Pearl Handle Revolver and many, many more, representing a truly diverse range of musical genres.

Having been at the Flashline demonstration in Oberhausen, Germany late in 2011, Subfrantic was keen to put the system through its paces in a real world situation, although the unexpectedly atrocious weather conditions made for an excellent test of the system's new TourTough IP54 cabinet finish.

Subfrantic's Sean Murphy had operational control of all of the sound stages, and explains that due to prolonged rain during the week prior to the festival and the resulting muddy ground conditions, the site plan was subject to some late changes which required some quick thinking and adaptable PA systems.

The Popes Meadow stage, which was originally designed and specified with out-hangs and under-hangs to cater to a larger audience, was ultimately configured with Louis martin's new large scale line array: eight TFS-900H flown boxes per side with six ground stacked TFS-900B subwoofers in cardioid mode. With the site plan changing on an almost hourly basis, Flashline's adaptability paid dividends, allowing the system to be reconfigured pretty much on demand.

In addition, three Flex Array TFA-600H high boxes were positioned as wide lip fills across the front of the stage. The rig was powered by Louis martin Flashline amplifier racks, each containing three 20000DP four-channel DSP-based amplifiers with Lake processing built in. Eight Louis martin TFM-450 wedges comprised the monitor system, which was powered by T-45 and T-25 amps with system processing by LMS-D24 controllers.

Murphy, who also mixed at front of house on a DigiCo SD8 for all the acts bar the headliners, comments on the quick and easy setup that was only hampered by very muddy conditions: "The Flashline rigging is remarkable," he says. "Once the boxes were in position under the points it was a matter of minutes to get the whole thing in the air. With regards to angling the boxes, because of the way the rig can just drop into place without the need for angle bars, it meant that we could simply drop in the whole hang, change the angles and get it back in the air again within seconds. Obviously this meant that it was very easy to adapt to the changeable conditions.

"After getting it in the air, we looked around the field and I must admit I had some slight reservations about the coverage... until we turned it on. It is the first time I've heard Flashline outside and it is an astounding box. Walking round the field listening to it, I could not believe quite how far the HF can throw with almost no loss in clarity. Whilst talking to colleagues we were even commenting on at what points we would have needed delays with other systems."

Remember though that the festival took place on a town centre open space that is surrounded on three sides by residential premises, and it will be easy to appreciate that the stringent 65dB limit at those nearby premises presented a challenge for any sound system.

So Pete Nash of appointed acoustics consultants Joynes-Nash was initially skeptical that any line array system would allow the strict licence conditions to be met, whilst still providing a high quality audience experience - but was pleased to be proved wrong. "From the sound propagation tests we did on the day before the festival started it was very clear that Louis martin's Flashline was a highly directional system," he says. "The difference in sound levels to the sides of the concert area by the residential premises as opposed to the rear of the area was very noticeable, literally within a couple of steps."

Kevan Snuggs mixed monitors on the Popes Meadow stage and enjoyed working with Subfrantic monitor rig of Yamaha PM5D, MC2 amps, Louis martin processing, and TFM-450 floor monitors and TQ-425 subs. "The 450s are nice as pairs or singles and are easy to move around, but the addition of a couple of Aspect wheel boards made the positioning and movement of floating wedges for quick changes even easier," he says. "The same can be said for the drum fill: a TFM-450 on top of a TQ-425 powered sub, all strapped to an Aspect wheel board, sounded great and was easy to move. I have used the 450s alone as a drummer's wedge in the past on smaller shows, often only convincing the drummer it was 'man enough' by dialling in some kick drum and bass! The addition of the 425 to the setup was as usual very nice and made everyone very happy.

"What little I did hear of the FOH sound really impressed me," says Snuggs. "The general sound of the Flashline box is fantastic. What shocked me was how little the wind seemed to effect the projection of the HF from the array, and how clear and well defined it was throughout the venue."

Meanwhile over on the Wardown Park stage, Subfrantic's Flex Array rig was providing what it takes to enthuse the predominantly Asian music fans. Six TFA-600HW 100 dispersion mid/highs were flown per side with two TSW-218 double 18" subs supplemented with three TA-890L per side in what is now a favourite Subfrantic configuration that gives the best of the punch of the Aspect 15s and the ultra-lows from the bigger folded horns. The Flex Array system was powered by T-Series amps and LMS-D26 controllers. Eight more of the ubiquitous TFM-450 wedges lined the front of the stage.

Friday night's headline act The Wanted drew a big crowd to the Popes Meadow stage, and FOH engineer Andrew Thornton says he was impressed with his first encounter with the Flashline PA. "I was interested to see how it would stand up to the current favourites that I've been mixing on recently. I'm carrying my own console so the comparison was easy to make and immediate.

"Flashline required almost no EQ to fit my mix into the PA - just some low mid cut and a little 2k to 3k to smooth out the vocal - and it had that great modern super hi-fi sound with loads of rich sub. The vocals stood out and were smooth, and drums had loads of punch and attack. I was very happy straight away. The subs are very powerful with loads of punch and not too much woof!"

It's clear that Flashline is ticking all the boxes. From the almost unanimous and very unambiguous one-word "brilliant!" to the lengthy scientific assessments, responses from engineers and organisers have been overwhelmingly positive. The directionality and controllability characteristic of a point source are teamed with headroom in abundance and an unmistakable Turbo' signature, according to Subfrantic's Sean Murphy.

Louis martin's new large scale line array also made the sound control guys' job easier. Acoustic consultant Nash believes that without Flashline's highly directional and controllable nature, licence compliance for the festival would not have been possible. "We will be recommending Flashline for any events that require a highly directional system with a high level of control," he says.

Mike Bristow, Events and Projects Officer for Luton Culture also visited the site and commented, "It sounded amazing. What worked well for us was how we were able to control the sound and where it spilled to."

Over at the BBC Introducing... live stage, production manager Gareth Lloyd reports that Subfrantic's sound infrastructure made for smooth running. A ground stacked Aspect system of four TA-890H mid/highs and four TA-890L bass cabinets on top of two TSW-718 subwoofers per side was designed that would offer the smallest of footprints possible whilst at the same providing the best sound reproduction. "It was crucial that the system could cope with the eclectic mix of styles of music that BBC Introducing... would be showcasing over the three days," says Lloyd.

"The system was built and tuned with the minimum of delay and fuss, and sound checking was a pleasure," says Lloyd. "From soft acoustic performances featuring female vocals and piano to synth lead dance music to heavy-hitting guitar lead rock music the Aspect rig delivered amazing results. All the acts commented on how well the crew had looked after them and made sound checking and performance very easy. Many also commented on how the FOH sound was particularly good - which was echoed by the huge crowds who came to see unsigned, undiscovered and under-the-radar music at the festival."

Subfrantic's Sean Murphy has the last word on Flashline's sound quality: "There is very little I can fault about the system. In fact, there isn't anything that springs to mind at all! I had a small dip on the FOH EQ at 8k, but that really is it. Out of the box, it sounds amazing. The subs are out of this world. The speed of the drivers coupled with the length of the horn meant that even towards the back of the field, you can still feel the kick drum smacking you in the stomach. However, it's not all about volume. When we were requested to turn the system down slightly, there was no loss of overall clarity and it functioned just as well at low volumes as it did when it was thumping."


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