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Prolight + Sound 2013: MLA Mini takes Martin Audio to the masses

Jo Ruddock 10 April 2013
Prolight + Sound 2013: MLA Mini takes Martin Audio to the masses

Following the widely-acclaimed success of the Multicellular Loudspeaker Array (launched in 2010) and its sister system the MLA Compact (2012), Martin Audio are introducing a third component to its groundbreaking sound reinforcement toolbox at this year’s Prolight + Sound event. MLA Mini combines “lightweight, radical design inspiration” and a compact footprint with the award-winning multi-driver MLA technology to produce a small-scale, portable system for installed and live sound applications.

The Mini’s output power is still substantial: the High Wycombe-based developer reports that a 12-box array will throw 35m and deliver audio comfortably in venues of 750-1,000 people.

“When we first pioneered the revolutionary MLA technology several years ago, we always hoped that one day we would be able to make it available to mass market on a reduced footprint and without compromise,” said director of sales, Simon Bull. “Due to some inspired invention from our engineering team it’s a case of mission accomplished.”

Fundamental to the power of MLA Mini is the MSX mini-sub ‘power plant’, which complements the main system and houses the amplification, networking and DSP necessary to power and control itself and four MLA Mini enclosures. 
The system can be flown, ground-stacked or pole mounted. In its simplest configuration, four MLA Minis can be pole-mounted above the MSX with precisely adjustable tilt angle, and function as a plug-and-play system, with the user recalling onboard presets instead of using computer control. At the other end of the scale, up to 16 MLA Minis can be flown in an array and powered by four ground-stacked MSXs.

The MSX contains nine channels of Class D amplification to provide cellular drive while the onboard DSP interacts with proprietary DISPLAY2.1 intelligent software for array optimisation. 

With each individual cell under software control, ‘hard-avoid’ areas can also be programmed in to reduce sound spill, and vertical coverage can be fine-tuned electronically in-situ without the need to re-rig the array – as with all the MLA systems.

Martin Audio managing director Anthony Taylor adds: “In addition to the physical advantages, MLA’s revolutionary technology now becomes accessible to most budgets for the first time. In theory, every installed venue or touring show can achieve the controlled delivery and speed of set up that cellular technology allows, no matter how big or small the space is.”

The new system is expected to ship at the end of May 2013. 

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