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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

“Raising Sand? Across the Land – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Tour with Thunder Audio and Meyer Sound MILO

Robert Plant’s vocals defined several generations of rock, and the combination of Alison Krauss’s voice and fiddle has been one of the powers behind bluegrass’s resurgence during the last decade. Their collaboration album “Raising Sand,” produced by the legendary T-Bone Burnett, sold about 112,000 copies in the first week. To deliver every detail of the tunes from their GRAMMY-winning album for the fans across the US and Europe, Taylor, Mich.-based Thunder Audio provided production and a pristine sound system based on Meyer Sound’s self-powered loudspeakers.

“You’re talking about two icons here, so the sound has to be perfect,” says Production Manager Gary Trew. “The nature of the music and the backing band fluctuates from places where you can hear a pin drop clear to big crescendos during some numbers.”

Robert Plant’s long-time FOH engineer who also handled the “Raising Sand” tour, Roy Williams agrees: “Two very different artists getting together means very different expectations among the audience as well, but after a few shows, we realized we had a “Raising Sand” audience. It allowed us to add more dynamics to the mix, going from a whisper to a scream. The audience was receptive to this because they knew where the artists were coming from.”

The compact but powerful touring system included 11 MILO line array loudspeakers and one MILO 120 line array loudspeaker per side, with 16 MICA line array loudspeakers for side hangs, and five M1D line array loudspeakers for frontfill. Two 700-HP subwoofers per side handled low end, while a combination of 14 MJF-212A stage monitors, three M’elodie line array loudspeakers, and one 600-HP subwoofer per side provided monitoring. System control was handled by a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors. MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program was used for system design and tuning was completed with a SIM 3 audio analyzer.

“The huge advantage with this system has been the compact size,” adds Trew. “It’s a great piece of equipment to work with.”

For system technician Keith Jex, the MILO system has made preparation for each show much easier. “My biggest goal here is to make it as clear and neutral as possible and let the beauty of the music come out. Thus far, the reviews have been phenomenal in every city we’ve done.”

Williams reports that support from Jex, Tom Howet and Daniel Seal were critical for the success of the tour, as was the Meyer Sound system. “Thunder was providing the Meyer system in the US, with equipment in the UK coming from Canegreen; and both systems sounded identical. We went straight into a show in the UK without any pre-production. Knowing the level of consistency and the sonic signature of Meyer Sound systems gives me peace of mind.”

Images available by pasting this link into your browser:

http://www.meyersound.com/marketing/pr/raising_sand_2008

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