MLA Family Takes Hakataza Theatre Upgrade into a New Dimesion

Situated in Hakata city, the Hakataza Theatre in the Fukuoka Prefecture — one of the most famous musical theatres in Japan — has been renovated after 16 years in order to meet complex acoustical demands for events such as Kabuki, Musicals and Theatrical shows.

Several premium systems were trialled for just under a five-year period before Martin Audio’s MLA family was given approval. As a result, 11 elements of MLA Compact are hung left and right of the proscenium along with DSX sub, and eight MLA Mini have been deployed as an L/C/R centre cluster.

To cover the remaining areas (including under-balcony) a further 73 Martin Audio DD6 have been specified.

The Sound Engineer, Mr. Noguchi from Music Reserve inc stated the following: “Our top priority is delivering perfect sound to the entire audience. In Hakataza Theatre we have to cater for many kinds of programme and in the past we have experienced shortcomings in the sound with some productions and presentations. The MLA family has overcome that and given me an innovative way to deliver consistent sound throughout the auditorium.”

MLA Compact has been designed to fire sound evenly into the three tiers of the theatre, using special optimisations. With the elements optimised in groups — to cover top to bottom tiers — Mr. Noguchi stated that the Preset function was very useful when changing the optimisations depending on the production. The distributed DD6s then help, not only to cover the audience area, but also maintain the character of sound. The Differential Dispersion horn on the DD6 delivers high-clarity from the front to back seats, and therefore this is no compromise whatsoever in this new system.

A second engineer, Mr. Tsubone also added his endorsement to the MLA system: “It’s essential that every audience, no mater what the performance, receives consistency and clarity from the stage performers. This was our key priority when choosing the system. MLA achieves this perfectly — even when the voice is whispering through micro-microphones, it not only delivers consistent frequency response but also has a capability to control the non-audience area. This is helpful for the engineer operating microphones to ensure the important dialogue is delivered audibly to the audience during the show. Mr. Tsubone stated that MLA is unique in this respect and, in his opinion, no other brand can do this.

Summing up, Mr. Tsubone spoke of the choice of this system: “The choice was extremely important for us — it means we now have the ability to control the sound pressure level for whole audience area, suited to every type of programme. No matter where each member of the audience is seated, consistent sound will be delivered. I have never experienced anything like this degree of functionality ever before — It is overwhelming.”