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Thunder Audio Provides Meyer Sound MILO for Movement Electronic Music Festival

The Movement Electronic Music Festival, taking place May 26-28, 2012 at Detroit’s Hart Plaza, will feature a huge array of Meyer Sound equipment provided by Livonia, Mich.-based Thunder Audio.

The annual festival, which drew some 100,000 attendees in 2011, has grown and evolved considerably from its inception as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000. This year, three of five stages will feature a Meyer Sound system.

“Our company was unaware of Meyer in a practical sense until we teamed up with Thunder Audio on the Movement Festival a few years ago,” recalls Sam Fotias, operations manager of the Movement Electronic Music Festival and Detroit-based Paxahau Event Productions and Management. “We had tried other loudspeaker products, but nothing really gave us the raw power and, more importantly, clarity at high SPL that we were looking for until we were exposed to MILO.”

The festival’s Main Stage will boast a system comprised of 48 MILO and 16 M’elodie line array loudspeakers; 36 700-HP subwoofers; two UPA-1P and UPA-2P loudspeakers each; and a Galileo loudspeaker management system. The monitoring system includes 12 Meyer Sound MJF-212A stage monitors.

The Beatport Stage will feature 24 MICA, 12 MILO, and eight M’elodie line array loudspeakers; 18 700-HP subwoofers; three UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers; and a Galileo loudspeaker management system. The Made in Detroit Stage will feature 24 MILO and eight M1D line array loudspeakers, and Galileo.

“We got involved in this event six or seven years ago, and there was all manner of different configurations on each stage,” recalls Thunder Audio’s Paul Owen. “We came in and did one stage, and then they saw how good the Meyer product was—the powered line array, without hundreds of amp racks everywhere.”

Fotias adds: “Having Tony [Villarreal] and Paul and their team from Thunder so close is amazing. They have been such an instrumental part of allowing this event to grow and being able to facilitate all of the big crowds we get.”

www.meyersound.com/news

Tennessee Performing Arts Center Looks Ahead with Meyer Sound M’elodie after Two Decades with the MSL-3

When it was ready to upgrade its venerable Meyer Sound MSL-3 loudspeakers of more than two decades at its 2,472-seat Andrew Jackson Hall, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) in Nashville chose Meyer Sound again, this time a system based on the M’elodie line array loudspeaker.

“The MSL-3s had served us well since the mid-80s,” says Larry Bryan, TPAC’s chief audio engineer. “But we were ready to step into the 21st century with the latest Meyer Sound line array technology.”

As typically deployed, the system comprises left and right flown arrays of 16 M’elodie loudspeakers each, plus six deck-stacked 700-HP subwoofers, eight MINA line array loudspeakers spaced across the stage lip as front fill, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with a Galileo 616 processor for drive processing. The system was provided by Blackhawk Audio of nearby White House, Tenn., with sale facilitation by director Jamie Nixon and system tuning with the SIM 3 audio analyzer by CEO Rick Shimer.

To date, the system has been used for a variety of acts, ranging from a comedy show by Bill Maher and rehearsal sessions by country star Trace Adkins to concerts by bleeding-edge rockers Puscifer and pop-rock legends Journey. A true test of the system’s moxie came when the “Experience Hendrix Tour” stopped at TPAC for an evening of tributes by musicians including Dweezil Zappa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Buddy Guy.

“We have a lot of guitars on this show,” remarks the tour’s FOH engineer, Sean Quackenbush, “and the M’elodie rig at TPAC made them all big and warm sounding. The boxes translated very well with what was coming off the stage and responded immediately to whatever I did with the console. As always, any day on a Meyer rig is a great day!”

Bryan highlights the Meyer Sound linearity and longevity. “We have a range of musical styles coming through here, from rock and jazz to Broadway,” he says. “A lot of touring Broadway shows brought in Meyer rigs, so it was a sound we had come to appreciate. We knew it was something we would hold on to for another 15 years.”

Bryan also appreciates the simplicity of M’elodie’s QuickFly rigging. “We really liked the ease and the rigidity of the rigging,” he notes. “The fact that a majority of it is captured is important. Once we saw them do it once, we realized it doesn’t take a master’s degree in mechanical engineering to figure out how it works.”

Meanwhile, Nixon, who organized a demo of the system prior to sale, was confident that the M’elodie arrays would be ideal for the hall’s size and acoustics. “The M’elodie is so versatile in that room,” he says. “They can use it for so many things, so it made perfect sense. Basically, the box just sells itself.”

The new M’elodie system was added to Andrew Jackson Hall’s existing complement of premium gear, which includes a Soundcraft Vi6 digital live sound console, Shure ULX and Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless microphones, Avalon and Millennia Media preamps, and high-end microphones from Schoeps, Neumann, and Shure.

www.meyersound.com/news

Lyric Opera of Chicago Chooses Meyer Sound Line Arrays for its Tribute to American Theatre

Photo credit: Robert Kusel

Named “one of the best opera companies in the world” by Esquire magazine, the Lyric Opera of Chicago presented an American contribution to the operatic stage at the close of its season—Show Boat. To properly present Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s seminal masterpiece that was first performed in 1927, Lyric Opera chose a large complement of sound reinforcement equipment from Meyer Sound.

“As a company, we’re not just doing the great works of European culture but also the great works of American culture,” explains Drew Landmesser, production and technical director for Lyric Opera of Chicago. “This is a 3,600-plus-seat house, a huge hall to be doing a musical. To get everyone’s diction—their song and spoken words—and to be as crisp and clear as possible in a house this size is quite a challenge.”

With a long tradition of natural acoustics, amplified sound represents a significant departure for the company. “It’s a deep auditorium,” Landmesser illustrates, “and we do not want the sound from our speaker system to be slapping the walls and coming back as unwanted reflections. Where we’re focusing that and how we’re using it is a matter of great precision.”

To meet its exacting needs, the Lyric Opera selected a Meyer Sound system comprised of 10 M2D line array loudspeakers, 16 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, two CQ-1 loudspeakers, one 700-HP subwoofer, a Galileo loudspeaker management system, and two MPS-488HPe power supply units.

“One of the things that Meyer has been especially important in is trying to maintain the natural acoustic sound,” Landmesser says. “The line arrays are such an elegant solution for getting a lot of sound into the house yet really being precise about where that sound is going. Without a doubt, this has been some of the best sound we’ve had in our auditorium.”

Chicago-based sales, rental, and live events company TC Furlong provided the Meyer Sound package for the Lyric Opera. “It’s our go-to loudspeaker,” says Jeff Cech, general manager at TC Furlong. “We’ve been a Meyer Sound dealer for 18 years. Meyer is also the primary loudspeaker brand in our rental department and live event business.

“John and Helen [Meyer] have such a dedication to consistency and quality,” Cech adds. “It’s so important when you’re putting multiple loudspeakers next to one another that they all sound exactly the same, and I don’t think Meyer has any peer. They stock deeply—the parts are always available. And the seminars that they do all over the world, which we’ve participated in and hosted, are amazing. We just don’t find that whole range of support with other manufacturers.”

www.meyersound.com/news

National Tour of Million Dollar Quartet Powers up with Meyer Sound MICA and M’elodie

Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel

Having continued successful permanent productions in Chicago and New York, the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet (MDQ) has hit the road with a North American tour. To accommodate venues seating from 1,400 to over 3,000, sound designer Kai Harada specified a Meyer Sound system based around MICA® and M’elodie® line array loudspeakers.

“My goal was to give the touring crew a system with a lot of flexibility, so they could adjust coverage angles for theatres of all shapes and sizes,” explains Harada. “With the M’elodie center cluster and MICA side arrays, they have all the power they need for bigger houses, along with reliable consistency of sound—a quality at which Meyer systems always excel.”

Inspired by a 1956 recording studio jam session by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, Million Dollar Quartet captures a pivotal night in the history of rock ’n’ roll. On the MDQ tour, the lion’s share of the show’s energy is delivered by a split dual center array of 20 M’elodie loudspeakers and the upper and lower side arrays comprising a total of 20 MICA loudspeakers. A left-right configuration of 600-HP subwoofers and a 700-HP at center provide low end, while a total of 16 UPM-1P and UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers supplies fill and delay systems as needed. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with four Galileo 616 processors provides drive and optimization.

“This is a rock ’n’ roll show, but it was my goal to preserve the dynamic between the book scenes, the songs, and the big finale,” Harada says. “It’s important to hold a lot of punch in reserve, and this system certainly has it.”

Harada is also the sound designer for resident productions of MDQ at Chicago’s Apollo Theater and off-Broadway at New York’s New World Stages. The New York system is based around a MINA™ line array in the center with CQ-1 and CQ-2 loudspeakers on the sides, while the wide thrust staging in Chicago also employs CQ-1 loudspeakers with smaller UltraSeries™ models for delays and fills. PRG Audio supplied all three systems for the touring and resident productions.

Despite the radical differences in venues, Harada credits the Meyer Sound systems with maintaining a uniform sound. “For me, it comes down to consistency and transparency,” he says. “I can focus on bringing the audience closer to what is happening on stage with the confidence that the system won’t adversely color their experience.”

Harada also specified Meyer Sound systems for MDQ’s well-received 2010-11 run on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre and in London at the Noël Coward Theatre in 2011-12.

The book for Million Dollar Quartet was written by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott. The Broadway production was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards, with Levi Kreis (Jerry Lee Lewis) winning Best Featured Actor in a musical.

A long-time associate of Broadway sound designer Tony Meola, Kai Harada currently supervises sound for all productions of Wicked, and has designed around the world using Meyer Sound systems, including Hinterm Horizont in Berlin, and the critically acclaimed revival of Follies on Broadway.

www.meyersound.com/news

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