LCI Provides Old Billingsgate with Martin Audio W8LM
Offering spectacular views over the River Thames, the Grade II-listed Old Billingsgate is one of London’s largest blank canvas venues, with the capacity to stage major events, from film premiere parties, private dinners, concerts and fashion shows to conferences and exhibitions.
Of its three spaces, the vast 28,000sq.ft main space, with its triple height ceilings, is the centre-piece and can host sit-down dinners and conferences for in excess of 1,000 people.
LCI was invited to tender for the technical design, installation and commissioning of a comprehensive house production system, incorporating industry standard sound, lighting and video. This would be available to any incoming production companies along with smaller event clients who don’t have a production partner associated with them.
Speed of rigging/derigging was an essential part of the criteria, as was a small footprint and so LCI turned to a combination of Martin Audio’s W8LM Mini Line Array and MA series amplification. According to Project Manager (and system co-designer) Carl Miller, in addition to the system’s footprint, the W8LM was chosen for its high impedance, allowing multiple cabinets to be flown together, as well as its clean sound. He also notes that the MA amplifiers each have a comprehensive DSP built in which negates the need for an additional external audio processor.
The brief for the entire multimedia integration was ease of patching into the main system should an incoming company wish to add further components, thus spare capacity was built into the control signal infrastructure. In addition, all systems specified needed to be future proof, reduce load-in times and prove themselves able to withstand the rigours of constant assembly and dismantling. Once again, the Martin Audio system met this criteria.
LCI specified two left/right hangs of Martin Audio line array, each comprising five W8LM elements and a W8LMD downfill unit per side, were supplied by dealers Capital Sound. The optional lifting bar and flying grid have been provided to give increased dispersion and coverage flexibility, since the line arrays are rigged on a per event basis to the specification of the incoming sound designer.
The low end of the system is derived using a pair of Martin Audio WLX subwoofers. The Martin Audio system is powered by a total of four MA5.2K DSP amplifiers and an MA12K DSP amplifier for the WLX subwoofers. The W8LM and W8LMD cabinets are bi-amped for greater control and clarity.
The new Martin Audio line array forms the core of a complete audio system which includes in-fills for the upper and lower mezzanine and delay speakers, where required and audio tie lines have been installed between various positions around the venue and patch through the system control room to any of the audio outlets around the venue.
As for the line array connection points these have been installed in the two most commonly utilised orientations: high level on the first truss and high level above the north wall to allow the system to be operated in either orientation without unsightly cable flying above the audience.
LCI has shown the same attention to detail and flexible utilisation with the specification and cabling of the video projection and the lighting infrastructure, which is again built around industry standard tools, and offers 72 ways of dimmable power and 72 ways of hard power, with DMX and Data circuits provided to all areas via careful cable management. Again, a large stock of fixtures is available for use on a ‘per design’ basis.
All venue design and consultation was carried out by LCI’s project managers Carl Miller and Luke Bennett. Project engineers were Huw Micklewright and Duncan Wood.
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