With his new GEO M6 compact line array completing a George Michael tribute tour of UK theatres, rental company owner Matt Boyles speaks with impressive experience on the art of mixing and matching, maximising the versatility of NEXO designs to suit his business.
Started in 2007, Matt’s company Soundworks is based in Hinckley, Leicestershire, pretty much bang in the middle of England. Essentially, he is a one-man band employing freelance and casual engineering support. Having started out as a DJ in Yorkshire, Matt has since added almost every role to his CV, qualifying in theatre light and sound design, crewing on West End shows including West End touring productions, tour managing and FOH sound engineering, in the UK and overseas. Along the way he’s worked with names like Tony Christie, Tony Hadley, the Three Degrees, Gareth Gates and Katie Melua.
“In the last 10 years, I’ve gone from 3 or 4 speaker PAs to working with line arrays in theatres, concert halls and arenas.” He’s built up a rental business that supplies hotels, cabaret venues, theatres, halls and occasional outdoor festivals.
His first NEXO purchases were the famously all-purpose PS10-R2s, and he quickly added LS18 subs. Subsequently, he has invested in 8 boxes of GEO S12, 4x RS15 subs, more PS10s and lots of NXAMPs to run them. For his theatre assignments, he purchased ID24 cabinets which work efficiently as frontfills. And most recently, he has boosted his inventory with 6x 45N-12 line monitors, and 12x GEO M6 compact line array modules with flyware.
“Why NEXO? Firstly, it’s a rock-solid brand that is rider-friendly. The prices are reasonable, and the quality of sound is just phenomenal. I keep on buying it because I know what I’m going to get.”
With his inventory, Matt can build a great variety of systems to suit all different sizes of jobs, keeping Soundworks working at optimal capacity.
PS10 with LS18, PS10s with RS15s
“Our smallest gigs would be done with PS10s pole-mounted over an LS18 sub, running off NXAMP4x1. If we needed more, I could use a couple of PS10s per side with RS15s; that’ll still be enough for rock ‘n’roll.”
GEO M6 with LS18s
“At the next level, for around 400 people, I can pair the LS18 subs with 3x GEO M6 modules in a ground-stack, and by doubling the cabinet count to 6x GEO M6 with 2x LS18 subs per side, I can handle up to 1000 people. I’ve bought the GEO M6 flyware so we can fly the M6 for this kind of show. But on the recent George Michael tribute show, Fast Love, we’ve often used this speaker combination in a groundstack, matched with ID24s for frontfill.”
“Our work is mainly musical theatre and tribute acts, we don’t do heavy metal so the systems aren’t sub-bass heavy. When I spec up the shows with the GEO M6, it’s unbelievable how many of my customers comment on the quality and the amount of sound that comes out of such small boxes. The advantages of a long-excursion driver result in a much smaller cabinet than the PS10, but with power, and a clean crisp hi-fi sound that is ideally suited to musical theatre, where the clarity of vocals is all-important.”
GEO S12 with RS15
For gigs of 1000+, Matt brings out his GEO S12 cabinets, pairing them with RS15 subs. With 4x S12 and 2x RS15 per side, running off one NXAMP4x4 (“it’s so efficient!”), Matt can take care of audiences up to 2,500.
“This is my favourite combination! It’s big, it’s bold, it does what it says on the tin – you can’t go wrong with it!”
Thanks to an organised network of NEXO rental companies in the UK, Matt is able to sub-rent extra cabinets such as PS8s when he needs them. “When we are doing corporate events in the big London ballrooms such as the Savoy or the Dorchester Hotels, I’ll use PS8s as delays, to smooth coverage and create an even or surround effect.”
As a rental company, Soundworks enjoys an impressive utilisation of its inventory: as a sound engineer, Matt Boyles enjoys a great variety of clients, venues and events. “Yes, we’ve come a long way since I used NEXO Alpha, back in the day. But this portfolio of NEXO products, designed to be used together and so similarly voiced, means that I can choose the horses for courses – providing an exact match for my clients’ requirements in any venue, and always delivering the sonic results that make me proud.”