Martin Audio WPM draws crowds at Cheshire Fairground

New England audio production company Paddle Out Productions recently deployed its expanded Martin Audio WPM line array system at the Cheshire Fairground drive-in music venue.

The venue – essentially a huge open field allowing up to 425 cars parked in every other space – hosted performances from the likes of Guster and Grace Potter.

Organising such an event in a large and socially distanced space has had its challenges for the events team, and Ryan Burhans of Paddle Out Productions admits that in a space like Cheshire Fairground, sound quality and audience coverage were his top priorities.

“I was nervous with the size of the field that we weren’t going to fill those ‘Rock and Roll’ shoes that are expected now and again,” he explained. “For example, we had a louder band, Blue Oyster Cult, who were due to perform and I was worried if we would hit the right SPL the guys were expecting. But we were cruising from the beginning.”

Paddle Out Productions equipped the venue with 12 Martin Audio WPM speakers per side, powered by two iKON amplifiers using a two-box resolution for the main PA. In addition, hangs of W8LM were used for the delay towers at around 250 feet, of the 650-foot-long field.

“All our concerts right now are long-throw because of the cars and spacing but we nailed it with two amps for the whole PA, 12 per side, and we were rockin’,” said Burhans.

Having originally bought 16 WPM cabinets, Burhans was so impressed with the quality and the clarity of the boxes, he committed to purchasing an extra eight.

“Because originally I only had eight per side, those extras have been awesome for this event. We almost didn’t need the delay tower. Their sight lines are all clean, and they are super speech friendly because the clarity is so clean.”

Budget is a high priority for any company, and adding COVID-19 into the mix has made it all the more pertinent within the entertainment industry. Fortunately, the ability of the Wavefront Precision family to be deployed in different resolutions provided a cost-effective solution for Paddle Out Productions without compromising on quality.

“I would have liked to have gone to one box and that is where we were at with the 16 boxes, but it was nice to be able to know that I could add more speakers without buying more amps,” Burhans added. “It can be pulled apart into smaller systems. You can still work big without having a lot of big cases to move around.”

Photography credit: Nathan Ekis and Ryan Burhans