WHEN STEREOPHONICS singer Kelly Jones asked to be as far away from the bass sound of his sub units as possible, as he sang on a second stage away from the main performance area, audio supplier Capital Sound had to take a new approach to configuring the bass, according to the company’s project manager Robin Conway.
He reworked the traditional cardioid (heart-shaped) array of MLX subwoofers by manufacturer Martin Audio for arena shows including First Direct Arena, (cap. 13,500), Leeds, Belfast’s SSE Arena, (11,000) and Motorpoint Arena Cardiff (5,000), Cardiff.
“I knew that if we went for conventional left and right stacks we ran the risk of lobing [tonal distortion caused by overlapping frequencies],” says Conway. “With a combination of modelling and experimentation, I came up with a solution that would avoid any compromise.”
Conway devised two hangs of six MLX in a cardioid pattern either side of the centre line, flown at a 30° angle pointing outwards. This ensured cancellation of the low frequencies from the centre of the stage, ensuring the loudest point for low end was not on the thrust which connected the two stages.
“We tried this at production rehearsal and the coverage was even, with no hot-spotting down the middle,” he says. “The two MLX hangs functioned, in effect, as a single source.”
The general touring rig comprised 13 MLA elements per side and an MLD Downfill, with hangs of 12 MLA Compact on each flank for sidefills.