Out There in VeronaHome to entertainment spectacles for the people of Verona for thousands of years, the Arena di Verona recently welcomed Paul McCartney’s Out There tour. With touring logistics precluding the use of the ex-Beatle’s regular PA system in the Roman amphitheatre, local supplier Amandla Productions stepped in to provide a Martin Audio MLA system, supported by All Access, the owners of Italy’s largest MLA rig.

Paul McCartney’s long-standing FOH engineer Paul ‘Pab’ Boothroyd was at the helm for the show, ably assisted by touring system tech Chris Nicholls – both evidently impressed by the system’s performance.

Arena di Verona ‘I had heard a lot of good things about the new Martin Audio rig and was happy to use it for this show,’ Boothroyd says. ‘The coverage was great, and the detail and clarity in the system made it an enjoyable show to mix. It’s great to see Martin Audio right at the front of new design – the first systems I mixed on were Martin Audio Philishave rigs and that powerful musical sound got me going in my career.’

All Access system tech, Red, was able to demonstrate the unique control of the MLA to Nicholls to good effect: ‘The way the system was able to cover a steeply raked venue with relatively few boxes was very impressive – it didn’t look as though they had enough curve on the array, and we gave them a really tight weight target to hit so they couldn’t add more boxes; yet the flatter array shape was great for the throw required. With a quick adjustment in the software they had the system covering great right up to the back seat without adjusting its angles and that’s something I’ve never heard a system do before.’

The system included 12 MLA per side for main hangs, six MLA per side for out hangs and two MLD in the orchestra pit for front fill. The out hangs were particularly challenging as they had to be flown from the ancient stepped seating within a scaffolding structure. The manageable weight and size of the MLA cabinets made this difficult manoeuvre possible. ‘The MLA is less than 88kg, and being based around horn loaded 12s meant we could physically lift the cabinets and fit them in between the steps and the scaffold structure,’ Red explains. ‘Anything heavier or taller simply would not have been possible in the space available.’

The Out There tour moved on to Vienna before a run of shows in America: ‘We’re back to our normal touring PA after this show but I’ll look forward to mixing on MLA again – this rig is right up there with the best in the world,’ said Boothroyd at the end of the two-and-a-half hour set that featured a huge range of songs from the McCartney, Wings and Beatles catalogues.

More: www.martin-audio.com

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