An unquestionable rising star in Australia’s production company touring arena is Melbourne-based Monitor City (MC). Comprised of staff with an impressive CV of headliners including Elton John, Bruno Mars, Chaka Khan, Coldplay, Deep Purple, Earth Wind & Fire, Jamiroquai, Lionel Ritchie, NERD, to name only a few; the crew at MC are renowned for delivering results for every event they take on. Adding to their already impressive Nexo inventory which already includes GeoS12, RS18’s and 45N12 Wedges, MC is now the first Australian Nexo STM partner; bringing Nexo’s flagship scalable modular line array to the Australian touring and live production scenes.
MC was conceived back in 2006 when live sound engineers and production managers Matt Dufty and Ade Barnard met whilst touring together with Australia’s Pete Murray. Ade felt that Australia was severely lacking in terms of high-end wireless In Ear Monitoring solutions. Instead of renting less than optimal solutions, they decided to team up and start Monitor City.
Matt Dufty mixing FOH & Ade Barnard on Monitors – Sell out Pete Murray tour 2004
The philosophy behind MC was focussed and simple: utilise their unparalleled expertise in monitoring and touring for live production alongside only the highest quality audio equipment to deliver impeccable results consistently. Their formula proved a success very quickly and saw MC expand rapidly into a complete end-to-end touring production company with a full inventory comprised of leading brands such as Nexo and DiGiCo.
Matt Dufty has spent over 20 years mixing FOH for multi-platinum award winning Australian Bands while having over a decade as a Tour & Production Manager for countless world acts throughout North America, Europe, UK, South East Asia as well as nationally. Ade Bernard got his start in theatre at the humble age of 15. By his early 20’s Ade was working exclusively in audio constantly on worldwide tours working his way up from 3rd man on audio to being a highly respected industry Tour Manager.
Understanding that the international touring circuits often demand a particularly high standard across the board, MC knew exactly what would be required to deliver precisely what world leading artists expect from production partners. Having worked on both sides of the production hierarchy, and having been advocates of Nexo’s Alpha series, MC immediately saw the advantages of STM’s scalable design which drew their interest immediately as Matt discusses.
“I had toured Alpha for many years. I was a big fan and familiar with the Alpha sound. STM seemed to be a similar PA but would throw a lot further and be very flexible for our purposes. The scale of each gig tends to vary a lot so the modular concept fits really well”.
Ade was also taken by the scalability of the system. ” It’s all about the modularity. We only wanted to buy one PA so we need it to do everything well and that’s exactly what STM is.”
Ade Barnard Touring with Goyte – Melbourne National Theatre with Nexo as the main PA
With Nexo’s approach to STM, anything from a ground stack to a four wide arena hang can be achieved utilising a combination of three core modules: the M46 main module, the B112 Bass module and the S118 sub module. There is also a full range STM omni module in the final stages of production testing which will add yet another dimension of versatility as well as a host of new configuration options.
Nexo’s unquestionable position in the market as a high-end brand coupled with its reputation for innovation also enticed MC’s decision further. The completely new take on rigging makes STM a highly lucrative option for production companies as Matt quickly realised.
“Nexo is very high quality and although there are a few brands in the high end category, the rigging concept and well thought out system-as-a-whole really sparked our interest in the product even before hearing the system. Once we heard it though, we knew we made a great choice. It was so loud and clear with studio like detail.”
Ade found that STM was also cleverly designed for transport. “It’s a fantastic rigging system that is very fast to fly and take down. Everything from the stacking to the dolly boards and the system dimensions means it packages up neatly and fits in the truck really well.”
From left to right: MC Crew – Matt Dufty, Simon ‘Skeet’ Keets and Dean Peters.
After acquiring an initial 36 box system comprised of 18 x M46 main units, 18 x B112 bass units and 6 x NUAR intelligent amplifier\controllers, MC was quick to take the PA out on tour for Angus Stone. In practice, touring with STM proved to be everything they had hoped and then some (more to follow soon on the Angus Stone tour).
“Touring with STM is just great. Its fast to rig and flexible to use. It’s very high power so headroom is never an issue. We’ve both found that the NS-1 simulation\prediction software is very accurate and easy to use too. We just love it!”
The Official STM Handover – From left to right: Matt Dufty (MC), Managing Director of Nexo Denis Baudier and Ade Barnard (MC)
With the likes of Capital Sound, Sound Linear, Acoustic Network, Mubari and MC alongside several world leading production companies (we can’t yet name!) becoming early adopters of STM; the concept is already enjoying phenomenal success. A PA which can deliver not only the sonic purity but also the practicality demanded by today’s highly competitive production industry, there is no doubt that Nexo STM system has begun a paradigm shift in raising the bar of expectation to yet another level.