In action: the Funktion One from Vero
The launch of the Martin Audio Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array system in 2010 arguably ushered in a new phase of touring PA design. David Davies takes a look at some of the major launches to have come along since then.
peaking to PSNEurope in 2010, newlyappointed Martin Audio managing director Dom Harter remarked that “most manufacturers would love to have a technology like MLA (Multi-cellular Loudspeaker Array), so at Martin Audio we are aware that we are very privileged to now have these amazing R&D building blocks that we can move anywhere [and incorporate into other products].” The system’s ability to deliver highly directed and consistent coverage immediately struck a chord with a touring and festival market where noise issues were a burgeoning concern. But more generally, MLA’s innovative credentials might be argued to have raised the bar for the PA sector – and helped to usher in what has proven to be an exceptionally creative half-decade in loudspeaker design. This overview rounds up some (if not all) of the most exciting launches, and begins with a product that proves Martin Audio’s own focus on fresh innovation remains undimmed… CDD-LIVE! Series by Martin Audio: Introduced at PL + S 2016, CDD-LIVE! has been designed to cover all manner of professional standalone and distributed applications – from SR and monitoring for live bands, DJs and corporate events, to ﬁxed installations. Combining the ‘point-source’ beneﬁts of coaxial designs with the consistent coverage of Differential Dispersion technology, CDD-LIVE! sports onboard Class D ampliﬁcation, DSP and Dante digital audio networking. “We have certainly been getting a lot of requests for Dante integration,” said Harter in the same PSNEurope interview. “The people at Audinate are very smart and
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The CDD Live! Series from Martin Audio
understand their business model very well. They deliver a good product that solves a number of problems, so for the foreseeable future it will be Dante [around which we focus our efforts regarding networking].” Vero by Funktion-One: One of the other undoubted stars of Frankfurt this year was Funktion-One’s Vero. In the works for six years, Vero is a complete system comprising speakers, ampliﬁers, cabling, rigging, transport dollies, weatherproof covers and software. The Vero speaker range includes six low distortion hornloaded units – the V60 mid-high, V90 mid-high and V315 mid-bass, with a choice of V221, V124 or V132 bass – while ampliﬁcation comes from a trio of Lab.gruppen PLM 20K44 ampliﬁers. Vero also provides support for Dante networking. Speaking in 2015, Funktion-One founder Tony Andrews highlighted the system’s careful balance of
quality and user-friendliness. “While Vero’s primary aim is to achieve the best sound quality possible, its intelligent design features ensure that the user experience is straightforward, making efficient use of tight production timeframes,” he says. Scale Through Modularity (STM) by NEXO: Given the forbidding nature of the turnarounds facing many touring personnel, as well as a wide variety of event types and sizes, it is to be expected that many recent launches emphasise their versatility. NEXO’s Scale Through Modularity (STM) system is a case in point, with a range of four modules making it possible to put together everything from a simple ground stack to a ‘massive stadium system’. Integral to the operation of the STM is the NEXO Universal Amp Rack, which feeds 12 STM modules
NEXO’s Scale Through Modularity