Alford Media Invests in the Future With Martin Audio MLA

Alford initially opted for a system comprised of 32 MLA Compact, 32 MLA Mini, 18 DSX and eight MSX subs

Originally founded in 1984 by Steve and Tom Alford, Alford Media is a Dallas-Fort Worth area-based company that specialises in staging high-end corporate events throughout the U.S. and around the world.

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Asked about the company’s criteria for choosing a new speaker system as part of an equipment upgrade, Manager of Audio Services John Caswell said, “We’ve been using another system for about 11 years and wanted to take it up several notches to offer our customers a high end solution that could stay on the cutting-edge of technology for years to come.

“We demoed many of the top lines before talking to some of our freelancers who’d used the Martin Audio MLA System and had a lot of good things to say about it. Tom Alford spoke with Mario Educate, CEO and founder of On Stage Audio, who strongly recommended that we listen to the system before making a final decision.

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“That got us listening to MLA,” John continues, “discussing the product and the technology in terms of a loudspeaker system that’s still going to be ahead of the curve many years from now. When we looked where Martin Audio was headed with MLA, we felt it would be the longest-term solution and stay well ahead of other companies technologically. This explains why we made the decision.”

Declaring that Alford Media is “glad to be part of the MLA family,” Caswell affirms how impressed they were when his team first demoed MLA at a Walmart show at the Orlando Convention Center. “This is one of the biggest and most acoustically challenging convention centres in the country, which truly helped demonstrate MLA in its element. We were extremely impressed with the results on that show, and so was our client. The system covered the areas it was supposed to cover with a balance across the spectrum. The ability to control sound and quickly achieve optimisation was what sold us on MLA.”

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Alford initially opted for a system comprised of 32 MLA Compact, 32 MLA Mini, 18 DSX and eight MSX subs. Taking delivery early, the audio team quickly had half of the system hanging in the MGM Grand for a corporate focus group event and the other half on a truck headed to San Antonio for a Pizza Hut show.

According to John, “Initial feedback from our audio team was that the system was covering exceptionally well and had more horsepower than we needed for these events. Overall, when you factor in the system’s cutting-edge technology, product cycle longevity, superior performance and exceptional audio quality, the reasons for choosing Martin Audio MLA just go on and on.”

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About MLA™ (Multi-Cellular Loudspeaker Array)
The result of many years of intensive R&D, MLA’s methodology replaces trial-and-error array design with intelligent numerical optimization of the array’s output based on a highly accurate acoustic model. The multi-cellular format has six individual cells in each enclosure, each with its own DSP and amplification.

With up to 24 enclosures, each MLA array has up to 144 cells -- too great a number to optimize manually, or by ear. Instead, Martin Audio’s proprietary Display2™ system design software automatically calculates FIR DSP filters for each cell and a redundant-ring audio network (U-NET™) downloads the settings into each array enclosure. Martin’s VU-NET™ software provides real-time control and monitoring of the system.

MLA delivers a frequency response and SPL consistency never before achievable; a very high system output (140dB peak, per cabinet @1m); Automatic optimization of the array, both physically (splay angles) and electronically (DSP); Computer control and monitoring of the entire system, and total control of sound system balance for engineers and sound technicians.

MLA is fully integrated, with Class D amplification, DSP and U-NET digital audio
Network built into each enclosure. MLA complete systems are ready-to-use, with MLA, MLD and MLX enclosures, flying hardware, software, cabling and training all supplied. Everything needed is included. All ancillary items — from tablet PC and Merlin™ controller to network interconnects and mains distro — are also included in the complete system package. This ensures full compatibility worldwide, down to cabling and accessories.

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Additional features include 90° x 7.5° dispersion; a compact size (1136mm wide x 372mm high x 675mm deep), one-box-fits-all (festivals to theaters) application range and a global voltage, power factor corrected power supply.

MLA’s compact size and very high output allows it to be shipped using smaller trucks, offering considerable savings and reduced carbon footprint. The system also includes the MLX powered, flyable subwoofer capable of an unprecedented peak output of 150dB @ 1m; MLD downfill cabinet, and Merlin 4-in/10-out system controller and network hub. Audio input is via analog, AES3 or U-NET.

By adopting these principles and system components MLA is optimized for every member of the audience — from a 2,000 capacity theater, to a 20,000-seat arena, to a 100,000-person festival site. It will deliver the engineer’s exact mix to every seat (up to over 150 meters) with precision, exceptional power and clarity.

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