MSI unites Barbee Boys audience with MLA
Tuesday, 10 March 2020
martinBarbee Boys returned to the Nippon Budokan
Japan - Barbee Boys are a five-piece Japanese rock band who were particularly popular in 1980’s. The first Japanese group to perform at the Nippon Budokan, they disbanded in 1992, much to the disappointment of their young generation of fans.
This turned to excitement when they suddenly announced a ‘comeback’ concert at the Yoyogi National Stadium 1st Gymnasium on 13 January - exactly a decade after that Budokan show - sending these same fans into raptures.
MSI Japan was asked to provide the sound production and Bun Hote, who has been supporting artistes from the Office Augasta stable (which includes Kyoko, a member of the Barbee Boys), was charged with mixing the sound. Known for his ability as a system tech as well as a FOH engineer, he chose Martin Audio’s MLA as his favoured PA.
His solution was to adopt a different approach to his system design, to achieve consistency throughout the challenging arena and unite the entire audience.
On each side of the stage, three arrays were hung from a single H-shaped truss tower, all facing in different directions. The main array consisted of 13 MLA cabinets and a single MLD Downfill cabinet. The side array was pointing 45 degrees outside of the main array and comprised nine MLA and an MLD. Another array was aiming 90 degrees outside of the main array and consisted of five MLA and two MLD Downfill boxes. A further array of six MLX subwoofers (with a pair facing backwards to create cardioid directivity) was hung from the same tower.
Bun Hote describes his design philosophy: “First of all, we had little time for set-up, starting at midnight when the load-out of the last show had finished. The H-shaped tower was reused from the previous show, just changing the location of the motor. In Yoyogi National 1st Gymnasium, it is necessary to build stand-alone towers from the ground, as the roof weight is strictly regulated. After considering those factors, this location plan seemed to be the best.”
There is an additional line of subwoofers stacked in front of the stage, besides the rigged subwoofers. Eight MLX subwoofers were aligned horizontally, while the four MLXs were stacked separately onto the subwoofer line, aiming behind in a cardioid broadside subwoofer array arc.
The concert itself was successful and followed by an additional show at the 2,084-capacity Line Cube Shibuya.
(Jim Evans)

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