MLA delivers Soundtrack to Donny Osmond tour
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
chris-actonDonny Osmond’s tour manager and FOH engineer Chris Acton
UK - Donny Osmond’s recent Soundtrack of My Life arena tour has given the entertainment icon not only a chance to promote the album of the same name (his 60th), but also take a trip down memory lane to cover five decades of material.
The fact that Donny-mania is still alive and well can be measured by the constant screaming of fans, drowning out the mainly arena auditoria, which in normal circumstances would threaten to envelop the sound from the stage.
In the case of Martin Audio’s award-winning MLA, Osmond’s tour manager (and FOH engineer) Chris Acton found so much headroom under the bonnet that this never became an issue.
Capital Sound, who supplied the rig, first worked with Acton on Donny & Marie’s tour of the United Kingdom two years ago. Introduced by UK event production company, LarMac LIVE, the relationship has blossomed - and Acton was highly-appreciative both of the pedigree of the sound crew, and the sonic ordnance they had supplied.
Although more familiar with other PA systems, he became an instant convert to Martin Audio’s multi-cellular array technology, which was used in all bar the Eventim Apollo (the only theatre on the itinerary) where the house rig was deployed.
Elsewhere, production typically fielded 12 MLA elements plus two MLD Downfill per side and four MLX subwoofers per side all forward facing, with hangs of 12 x MLA Compact per side for out-fills and eight DD12 for front-fill coverage.
“I can honestly say that the Martin Audio system has a brighter, smoother high end, more powerful low end than what I am used to, and puts the vocal right in my face,” Acton observed. “MLA proved to be an excellent recommendation. It’s powerful and dynamic when it needs to be - such as in the rock classic Crazy Horses - but at the same time allows me a good deal of finesse, when run quieter.
“We have needed a lot of SPL to get over the screaming fans - and MLA has done it with ease and grace. The PA is like driving a sports car, requiring just subtle EQ.”
A long serving member of the Osmonds’ community, the sound engineer had replaced regular sound man Lucas ‘Rico Corrubia following the latter’s illness. And he readily pays tribute to “the world class team behind me”. He explains, “When I walk in, the PA is already tuned the way I like it, and all I have to do is push some faders.”
He was referring to Cap crew chief Robin Conway, monitor techs Marty Beath and Barney Cushman, and system tech Toby Donovan.
“Capital have done their due diligence to ensure each room is measured correctly. Aside from recommending MLA from the brands that they could have presented [account manager] Martin Connolly also upgraded our Yamaha desk to a CL5 when we realized we needed 61 input channels.”
The sound engineer also credited Robin Conway for putting together a five-page Dante bible. “I have used Dante a lot on my corporate events but it’s the first time I’ve toured with a full Dante [distribution system] with everything on the same network - and it’s been a wild success.”
In conclusion Chris Acton states, “We jumped into MLA feet first and it’s been a perfect solution. I can't imagine better - and I know this PA has kept Donny more than happy.”
(Jim Evans)

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