The Killers have again taken Martin Audio’s MLA PA, supplied by Capital Sound, on their current world tour, with the British Isles leg culminating in 2 spectacular nights at London’s O2 Arena. Mixing at FOH was Kenny Kaiser, and alongside him experienced system tech Toby Donovan.
Promoting their 5th studio album Wonderful Wonderful, the band were playing through a familiar Martin Audio set-up comprising main hangs of 17 Martin Audio MLA elements plus 2 MLD Downfills per side, with side hangs consisting of 12 MLA plus 1 MLD Downfill per side. Also deployed were secondary side hangs of 10 MLA Compact enclosures on each flank. This was to ensure that while the main side hangs provided coverage up to around 8ft-12ft upstage of the downstage edge, the secondary hangs would infill the complete side stage seats with deluxe audio coverage.
For the low frequencies, 5 Martin Audio MLX subwoofers were flown on each side at a 45° angle between the main and side hangs, while a further 21 MLX were set across the front, in spaced 7 x 3 array ground stacks, with the bottom enclosure reversed. Flying the subs at 45° ensured good low-end reinforcement round the sides and enabled Toby Donovan to keep the electronic dispersion of the sub array on the ground fairly narrow and the delay time short. To complete the coverage, six of Capital Sound’s favoured Martin Audio DD12’s were used as front fills.
“I first experienced MLA when I was tech’ing for Selena Gomez, her first tour of the States,” said Kaiser. “We had MLA out and I really loved it. I then toured with a bunch of other people and it’s been awesome ever since.” Kaiser also instantly noticed the coverage power of the system: “This box really throws — it’s insane. You can do any arena, you just put the system up and go. I’ve been sitting at like 108dB — I had a peak at 112dB [at O2 Arena] so there’s tons of power in this thing and I’m barely tickling the green meters. Over in Dublin the producer of the actual album [Jacknife Lee] came out and said it was one of the better shows he heard in there; he actually walked the room and it was great coverage everywhere.”
Finally, Kaiser was full of praise for the Capital Sound team: “They’ve been absolutely awesome, the crew has been fantastic, super professional but at the same time everyone gets to share a joke.” There was a reciprocal praise from Kaiser’s ‘wingman’ Toby Donovan, who added: “Kenny’s mix is rock-solid, so we just want that to translate into every venue and sound as similar as possible in every seat, which is challenging; but now we’ve got a PA system that helps us achieve that.”
He attributes this to the fact that Martin Audio are frequently improving the optimisation software. Donovan said: “We’re using the latest version of the Display software to generate the presets which somewhat dictates the coverage the PA achieves through the venue — as well as other factors like SPL profile or if you want to achieve any particular avoidance areas of balcony front, or make the stage a bit quieter. We’re just allocating most of the DSP in order to achieve a decent smooth SPL profile through the venue.” Kaiser concluded: “The sound is really thumping, I think everyone in the band is super happy — when they come out front and listen they’re pleased.”