Adamson installed at the MCEC, brings in the big guns for Hillsong
by Jason Allen
Dramatically increasing its attractiveness for concert production, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has invested in an Adamson S10 line array system, complemented by E119 subwoofers, and CS7p dual 7” loudspeakers for infill; the world’s first powered, Milan-ready dipole loudspeaker with network redundancy. Completing the package are lab.gruppen amps with Lake processing. This new system gives MCEC the ability to turn all of its major spaces not currently fitted with a concert PA into venues for major musical acts.
“Over the years, we’d invested heavily in the tech installed in our meeting rooms, but hadn’t yet secured a concert-quality PA that we could bring in and out of our exhibition bays,” explains Michael Walker, Infrastructure and Equipment Manager at MCEC. “Expanding our visibility in that market has been a focus of our management team for a while. Our Plenary fills a nice position in that market, and has been successfully picked up by promoters, but we also have 39,000 square metres of flat-floor concrete exhibition bays that with appropriate acoustic treatments, draping, and theming, are excellent for live performances. Melbourne’s been losing some of those spaces, and we’re looking at where we can fill the gaps.”
“It’s about expanding what we do and can offer our clients,” adds Michael Pfundt, Audio Specialist at MCEC. Michael spearheaded the project to add to MCEC’s PA capability, and supervised all product assessments and evaluations, eventually recommending Adamson for purchase.
“There were a lot of reasons to choose the S10 system,” elaborates Michael Pfundt. “It’s smaller than most competitors, which is advantageous when rigging, and for sightlines; it looks good in a corporate environment and doesn’t get in the way. With that, it’s incredibly powerful for its size, throwing 40 to 45 metres. It produces a natural sound in the vocal range; very clear with none of the harsh high-end you often hear in line arrays that exaggerate high frequencies to achieve their throw distance.”
With its custom-made Kevlar driver cones, the Adamson S10 produces the same outstanding mid-range response as the flagship E Series. “We just rigged up our S10 system, tuned it, and it sounds amazing,” reports Michael Pfundt. “The response is very smooth and natural with no EQ, in a room I’ve mixed in hundreds of times. Out of the box, it’s a turnkey solution that takes almost no effort to sound good. It’s a great sounding box that makes life easy.”
Meanwhile, Australian Adamson distributor CMI Audio has imported a substantial turnkey E12 concert system with associated amplifiers. The move comes as major Adamson customer Hillsong Church readies itself for its annual Sydney Conference in Qudos Bank Arena. The 2019 Conference is being staged in-the-round, a configuration that would have required more Adamson PA than was available in the country.
Adamson is Hillsong’s preferred loudspeaker vendor for installations, with their Baulkham Hills campus already home to E12 arrays, and other selected campuses running Adamson S10 systems. Last year’s Hillsong and Colour Conferences in Sydney saw Hillsong deploy Adamson for the first time on their major Australian external events, and the results spoke for themselves. “The vocal clarity of Adamson systems is ridiculously good,” says Justin Arthur, systems engineer for Hillsong Conference. “The result we got at Conference in 2018 with Adamson was excellent. We were very pleased with the coverage, and the system performed exactly as it was predicted to. The clarity of both speech and music was much better than we have experienced at Conference previously.”
Above all, it’s the tonal performance that is driving Justin’s preference for Adamson “It’s all about the way it sounds,” he declares. “The spoken word is the most important element at Conference, and Adamson PA has proven it delivers the Word better than systems we’ve used previously. Adamson has what the mix engineers at Conference really need; mid-range clarity, and the depth it adds. A lot of the musical arrangements are really complex – there’s electric and acoustic guitars, tracks, synths, keys, and then eight or 12 vocals over the top. What we’ve found is that the amount of complexity can get messy in some PAs, but Adamson brings it together much better than the others.”