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RG Jones Record Another Henley Success with MLA
UK – RG Jones Sound Engineering has been servicing the Henley Festival for an incredible 37 years, and with the aid of Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA family (and other components in the market leading portfolio) they are able to keep the tech sounding fresh, and therefore meet the requirements of both production manager, John Harris, and technical manager / head of sound, Jim Lambert.
The centrepiece of this traditional black tie event, spread over five days, is the notorious Floating Stage, once again set up and managed by Simon Honywill. This is where MLA really comes into its own.
“The Floating Stage arena is always a challenge for the audio department being very short front to back but extremely wide,” explains Jim Lambert.
“It is important for the Festival that the general admission audience who are not sitting in the main arena still receive a good quality audio experience despite not having a direct view of the stage. However, this can cause issues keeping off site noise levels to reasonable levels.”
Although the festival was again blessed with great weather, the very still evenings had the adverse effect of higher than normal offsite amplified noise levels, Lambert continues. “The MLA technology allows us to very simply set the coverage area which this year proved invaluable and allowed us to remain within the Festival’s licence despite still achieving indoor type levels within the coverage areas set.”
MLA Compact was not only used for the main PA hangs on the Floating Stage but also outfills, along with the MLA Mini for infills. RG Jones have retained the same curved MLX sub bass arrangement that they know will deliver such a smooth response in the far reaches of the main stage arena. Meanwhile, the delays this year were changed to Martin Audio CDD12s, which according to Simon Honywill: “Worked excellently as their unique dispersion characteristics allow for very even coverage from one box to another when used as a laterally distributed delay system.”
He added: “The Floating Stage rig is a little unconventional in its configuration, with the out-hangs being bigger than the front facing left and right, but such is the shape of the audience area it makes perfect sense. MLA Mini was given a chance to show it can deliver as the main coverage for the expensive seats directly in front and up close to the stage. The Tom Odell show was particularly high energy and MLA Mini handled this with ease and fidelity.”
Meanwhile, additional fills were covered by the differential dispersion technology of Martin Audio’s DD12 and DD6.
In addition to the main stage, RG Jones also equipped the Bedouin Bar and The Jazz Club with MLA Mini, the latter this year featuring BBC Introducing acts. In addition, The Comedy Salon and Riverside Restaurant also boasted Martin Audio rigs, while in addition RG Jones provided the site-wide announcement system.
This backdrop provided an ideal setting for this year’s headliners (and their sound engineers) who in addition to Tom Odell included Boy George, Jessie J and Bjorn Again. MLA Compact once again proved a popular choice.
Also demonstrating the versatility of the sound system was the classical performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Pete Harrison with Aled Jones (presenter), Francesca Chiejina (soprano), Rosemary Clifford (mezzo-soprano), Johanna Röhrig (violin) and Oliver Poole (piano).
Personnel on duty were Matt Sussex (head of design / crew chief), Simon Honywill (Floating Stage FOH and MLA technician), Matt Manasse (Floating Stage monitors), Mark Widdowson (Floating Stage patch), Sam Liddiard (Salon Comedy Club), Olly Wicks ( Jazz Club), Dan Langridge (Bedouin Lounge Bar) and Liam Kean (Riverside Restaurant).
Summing up, Jim Lambert said: “2019 was once again a great Festival and we are already looking forward to next year by the River.”
But the final word came from production manager, John Harris. "Henley without RG Jones would be like Summer without Pimms. Our relationship with the company grows stronger ever year as they strive with us for excellence across the festival."
12th September 2019
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