Martin Audio Deployed For Opening Concert at Met’s “Play It Loud” Exhibit


Frost Productions recently supported the opening concert for New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s popular “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” exhibit with Martin Audio MLA Mini and CDD-LIVE.

Discussing the production, Frost’s Joe Lima explains, “We partner with the Met as a preferred production equipment provider and we handle many of the events when people use it for corporate or social events, or even something like the Met Gala.”

“This was an internal event for the museum and we were called in a couple of months in advance about a special exhibition of instruments, memorabilia and collectables from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and private collectors including several A-list musicians. To kick things off they wanted to invite all of museum’s patrons and donors to a special private concert featuring The Roots and guest artists like Steve Miller and Don Felder of the Eagles.”

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Discussing the challenges, Joe adds, “the Museum’s team wanted to do the show in the Metropolitan’s Great Hall which is about 106 ft. long by 70 ft. wide and 65 ft. tall with a surrounding balcony, multiple entrances and exits, and stone and marble all around. So the space can be quite cavernous sounding with a lot of reverberation––a very tough room.”


To accomplish a successful sounding concert with a limited amount of setup time in the room, the team from Frost dampened as many of the hard surfaces as possible with soft goods such as thick cloth curtains to cover the stone walls and unused entrances and exits. Then they positioned the stage to help avoid direct reflections coming right back at it.

According to Joe, “the third step was choosing a PA that enabled us to ‘Hard Avoid®’ whatever was in front or behind it and direct and focus the energy onto the crowd, which is what really matters. So Martin Audio MLA and cellular technology was the obvious choice. We didn’t need anything that big because we wanted to keep the output contained to the first 60 feet in the room where the bulk of the crowd was going to be. So, the MLA Mini was a perfect solution for that application without exceeding the museum’s 95dB SPL limitation, yet delivering the clarity and dispersion control we needed first and foremost.”

To do that, Frost built what they call an MLA Mini ‘Super Stack’ with an element of four MLA Mini cabinets and one MSX sub on top of a WS218X sub per side. In addition, they deployed four CDD-LIVE 8’s for front fills and eight more around the room to fill areas not covered by the PA and maintain consistent coverage throughout the space.”

Discussing the show, Joe adds, “The museum originally predicted 400 guests, which turned out to be 1200 but it was no surprise that the MLA solution was more than adequate. In fact, the additional people helped dampen the sound even more.

“The performance lasted about an hour and a half, the artists’ FOH engineers were super satisfied and very happy with the sound. We did a prediction on Display, put it into the system and Artless Poole, the Roots’ FOH engineer, fired up the system the night before and was satisfied and pleased right off the bat with no tweaking needed. He was able to do a virtual sound check the day before the event and everyone thought it sounded great.

“The Met was also very pleased and the turnout was incredible,” Joe concludes. “Not to mention the coverage and audio quality in a challenging space not designed to reproduce electric music.”

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