Martin Audio has upgraded its Display optimisation software for the MLA loudspeaker series.

DisplayBased on an accurate acoustic model of array behaviour, Display gives a precise prediction of the direct sound delivered to an audience as well as in areas where sound is to be minimized generating ready-to-use DSP filter configurations and comprehensive rigging information, including mechanical load safety analysis.

The patented optimisation process evaluates thousands of potential array configurations against multiple target functions – such as frequency response, flatness and sound leakage into non-audience areas. With the computer working behind the scenes, the engineer retains full control over the system’s balance or ‘house curve’. This upgrade brings key improvements and added functionality resulting from in-the-field research and feedback was gathered by Martin Audio’s Product Support Group (PSG) to determine end-user requirements as a basis for the upgrade.

Display now fully supports all MLA products including Compact and Mini. Deployment options, such as groundstack and flown, are selected at the start of the design process. The comprehensive rigging view then provides detailed mechanical information to help construct and position the array. Notably, the Slice Import function from existing Display projects is now available making it possible for the user to build a database of designs that can be used again upon returning to the same venue.

Display’s optimisation code has also been improved. Dependent on specific system deployment, HF headroom has improved by up to 3dB. Hard Avoid regions – such as a requirement for a quiet stage or the avoidance of reflective surfaces or controlling noise pollution beyond the audience perimeter – now have potential to be even more effective without compromise to audience coverage.

Another significant enhancement is the inclusion of nonlinear index points making the prediction of how the array will perform in the real world quicker to generate. Display takes reference points around a 2D slice of the venue that are essentially ‘virtual test microphones’ and from each one a frequency response is calculated and used to create the index plot so the coverage in the entire venue can be interpreted at a glance. Previously, these points were spaced evenly in the audience region but the contribution of each array cell changes more quickly in the close field than the far field.

The spacing of the reference points in the new Display are now closer together at the start of the audience region getting further apart as you go through the audience region to the furthest seat. By altering the spacing points to better match array behaviour, fewer points are necessary which speeds the software computation and therefore quicker deployment.

3D DXF array export is a useful inclusion as it allows users to create beautifully detailed dimensionally-accurate, drawings of the array, which could be used as part of installation quotes or indeed as part of a set design layout.

Finally, the new Display helps identify any ‘shadow’ coverage areas, like underneath deep balconies, where there is no direct transmission path from array to listener due to physical obstruction. Display now identifies them with a new pink colour making it much easier to re-position an array to cover all the audience or add additional fills to cover such problem regions.

Martin Audio’s Ambrose Thompson was responsible for leading the software development: ‘The emphasis for this release is usability,’ says. ‘The Product Support Group identified what new features mattered most to end-users and explained how to improve existing ones – it’s this collection of improvements that represent the most significant change.  MLA is the clear leader in providing superior coverage for every member of the audience, and now with this enhanced functionality it’s even easier and quicker to accomplish’.

Display 2.1.10 is now available, along with a comprehensive manual explaining the design process and how to operate all aspects of the software.


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