As FOH engineer for Berlin-based singer-songwriter Tim Bendzko, Stefan Lohr was keen to see Martin Audio’s MLA PA system used as the primary PA system for his current Immer Noch Mensch tour of Germany. Lohr is a long-time MLA user, and production company Complete Audio, who were the first global adopters of MLA when it was launched seven years ago, were happy to meet his specification.

Tim BendzkoAssisted by head of sound (and system tech) Julian Hoffmann and second line array technician Niko Fuchs, Lohr and the MLA delivered the full range of dynamics to Bendzko and his backing band, which included a horn section.

The full-size MLA system was preferred over the MLA Compact as Complete Audio proprietor, André Rauhut explains: ‘Although we sometimes use MLA Compact as the main PA in smaller venues, Stefan likes the tonal balance and the character of the full-size MLA – and won’t alter his mix to squeeze it in a smaller box.’

Complete Audio has supported all Bendzko’s tours from 2011, mostly with MLA as first choice, and again provided a scalable system to accommodate the different venue sizes, ranging from 2,500 up to 17,000. ‘It was a tour where you had to bring the appropriate gear to fit every venue size,’ Rauhut says. ‘As usual, there was no need for any delay lines, even in the larger venues, thanks to the unmatched throw of MLA.’

Smaller club venues, typically used between six and nine MLA elements per side, complemented by six or eight MLX subwoofers. This grew to 12 MLA and a single MLD per side in the larger venue set-ups. Side hangs ranged between eight and 12 MLA Compact elements, flown on each side. In this instance they used 16 MLX subs in clusters of two as a broadside array.

The tour also prompted Complete Audio to invest in new custom dollies for the PA – purpose made for MLA and MLX, it was the first time the dollies had been deployed. Each can support up to five cabinets, fully rigged and wired, while the sub dollies can hold up to three MLX (rigged and wired).

‘Thanks to the new dollies, we saved around one hour per day during set-up and breakdown,’ Rauhut reports.

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