Capital Supplies Martin MLA for Idles

By February 2, 2022 Uncategorized
After a two year delay indie punk rockers Idles took to the road for a UK tour with audio supplied by Capital Sound.
In an all too familiar tale, Idles were due to tour in 2020 before the global pandemic derailed their plans. The tour was moved to 2021 only for those dates to prove impossible due to the UK’s restrictions on large gatherings. The gigs finally went ahead in January 2022. Even then some dates fell victim to the differing rules in Wales and Ireland as a result of the Omicron variant of the virus. Indeed, the dates in Scotland were in doubt when the tour started only to be reinstated when the Scottish government relaxed their own rules just in time for the gigs to go ahead.
Idles have gone from strength to strength in recent years and arguably could have opted for arenas for this tour. However, the band prefer the intimacy of smaller venues so opted formultiple nights in theatres instead.

Capital Sound’s Project Manager David Preston opted for a Martin MLA/MLAc system throughout the tour as FOH Engineer Chris Fullard had been impressed with the system on previous shows in 2019/20. At Brixton O2 Academy the system was designed with main hangs comprising of 15 MLA and 1 MLAD downfill per side to provide coverage for both the stalls and the upper circle. Six Martin Audio MLX Sub cabinets were ground stacked either side of the stage to provide LF, three MLA-C per side covered the outfill in the stalls to cover a renowned dead spot under the balcony’s. Four Martin WPS were positioned along the stage apron for infill and with a further two Martin DD12s positioned either side of the sub stacks.

With Idles reputation as a loud band (peaking at around 105 dB), Toby Donovan needed to take advantage of the MLA’s cellular directivity: “I used the ‘hard avoid’ feature across the front of the balcony to stop it bouncing straight back at the stage. It means you maintain the quality even at the high SPLs that a band like Idles require. Even at 105 dB there was still loads of headroom available in the system.”

At FOH, engineer Chris Fullard opted for an AVID 24-D with monitor engineer Jeremy Snyder behind an AVID 24-C. “I’ve become a fan of the S6L,” explained Chris Fullard. “I’d used the Profile before and liked the workflow so the S6L was a simple upgrade. I like the look and sound of it and you feel you’re mixing on a console rather than a computer. With having an S6L at either end of the snake we’ve been able to use just one stage rack and utilise the gain sharing capability. Jeremy has been able to set his gain levels on stage and I’m free to set my own rather than just having a trim option. So long as you’re both in the same area in terms of dB it works really well.”

David Preston was delighted with how the tour had gone: “The implementation of Plan B restrictions in the UK threw this whole tour in to doubt so it was a relief to see it out the door after a two year wait. It’s grood to see Idles getting the recognition they deserve as they are a great band, and it was a pleasure to work with Production Manager Robin Genetier, Chris Jeremy and the rest of Idles who are a great team to work with.”

Idles continued the tour around the UK into February with Martin Audio MLA and MLAc systems. The band play multiple nights at Manchester Victoria Warehouse, Glasgow Barrowlands and end the UK tour on 18th Feb with a sold out show at Cardiff Arena.

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