Held in Bela Vista Park in Lisbon, Gabisom Audio Equipment from Brazil deployed
Martin Audio’s premier MLA rig on the World Stage for the first time at the recent
five-day Rock in Rio Festival in Lisbon. In doing so it was the largest deployment of
MLA on a single stage.
The historical ties between Martin Audio’s MLA and Rock in Rio began with a system
test at the US event in Las Vegas in May 2015, where it appeared on the second
stage, the Mercedes-Benz Evolution. An eclectic line-up over the Rock and Pop
weekends included Foster the People, Gary Clark Jr., Grave with Steve Vai,
Deftones, Jessi J, Charli XCX, Joss Stone, Magic!,Tove Lo, James Bay and others.
The successful event in Las Vegas was followed with the deployment of 46 MLA, two
MLD Downfill and 24 MLX subs by Gabisom at the 30th birthday of Rock in Rio in
Brazil — again on the second stage, (the Sunset Stage). Another eclectic line up
ensued featuring artists such as Korn, John Legend, Magic, Deftones, Steve Vai and
Al Jarreau, and once again MLA proved its sonic capabilities. The FOH set-up was
overseen by Pedro Cluny from Gabisom Portugal, who also doubled as system tech.
Bearing in mind that the FOH position was set 86m from the PA, he commented that
“it sounded like MLA was only about 30m away.’
In fact, with 112 MLA, eight MLD, 60 MLX subs and 24 MLA Compact this became the
largest deployment of MLA systems on a single stage, eclipsing both Glastonbury
and Hyde Park main stages.
Unusual for MLA — but a trademark sound and visual design of Rock in Rio — is the
doubling of hangs either side of the stage with both flanking an array of subs.
Typically the design calls for one array to do vocals and the other to do
instrumentation from the band. Coincidentally, and great for those that love their
audio history, a similar idea was espoused by Dave Martin in the 70’s. What the
design did deliver for the festival was a very muscular sound but one that had
absolute clarity for the daily crowds that were in excess of 70,000.
The main World Stage, was a who’s who of rock and pop celebrities, featuring Bruce
Springsteen and the E Street Band, Stereophonics, Queen and Adam Lambert, Mika,
Fergie, Hollywood Vampires, Maroon 5, Avicii, and Charlie Puth. But MLA was equal
to this challenge, displaying power, clarity and versatility.
Finally, it was not only MLA that rocked the stage, but also many acts used a full set
of LE1500 and LE2100 Martin Audio monitors which were fed by the company’s own