Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC) in Abu Dhabi recently appointed
Martin Audio customer, Almoe AV Production & Rentals, to provide the Ramadan
2015 sound system for all the indoor areas throughout the mosque — with a peak
attendance of 65,000 people.

With strict coverage specifications dictated by SZGMC’s audio consultants and in-
house sound engineer, the requirement was met in the Main Hall, largely by using
Almoe’s Martin Audio MLA rental system for the main prayer hall. The promise of
MLA being able to deliver the specific coverage from front to back with minimal
reverberation was key to Almoe’s bid, as was the finished look.

“The only goal we were given was “to deliver consistent coverage everywhere’,’
said System Designer and Technical Project Manager, Bruno Vitanza. “We showed
all the prediction results and calculations in the Display software which was
extremely accurate. All I needed to do was avoid all the marble and glass where
possible, while trying to get direct sound to the areas needed.’

Almoe’s submission also needed to show renders of the finished look of the cladding
for the stacks and W8LM totems and goalposts.

In order to keep the footprint to a minimum, the system itself comprised four
stacks of 3 x MLX and 5 x MLA to provide even coverage to a depth of 46m deep. As
for the Martin Audio MLX enclosures these were not deployed as conventional subs.
“Instead we used them as support stacks due to the linkable rigging and safety
features,’ explained Bruno.

The challenge in the room was to deliver prayer calls and the Imam’s voice with
high intelligibility and at consistent levels down to the people praying directly in
front of the MLA stack. “We ended up with a difference of 2dB between the first row
at 1m to the very end of the room,’ the Almoe man explained. “Although MLA is
capable of providing 0dB difference between these two points, the final 2dB
between A-B was necessary to keep a realistic natural reverberation in the room
caused by all the beautiful marble surfaces in the hall.’

For other large indoor and outdoor areas Almoe specified the Martin Audio
W8LM/W8LMD Mini Line Array System, 62 enclosures in total. The system was flown
on goal posts for the corridors (in two arches) with two further arches as delay. The
brackets were custom designed for Almoe’s Milos Trusses and all processing took
place within Martin Audio’s dedicated DX1.5 and DX2 system controllers.

The result in all the areas was a sound extremely clean, direct and focused,’ he
said. But the challenges didn’t end there. As the main Prayer Hall contained several
columns, to overcome the resulting acoustic shadow they opted for a wireless
solution.

As for the speakers, all had to be covered and Almoe used their own Inviframe
system with Joelastic material to cover all the MLA boxes, and custom Aluminium
Pipe and Drape to cover the W8LM Mini Line Array System. “This allowed us to
provide an extremely neat solution to satisfy the client,’ said Bruno Vitanza.