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Oregon Shakespeare Festival: “The Meyer Sound System has Completely Changed the Artist & Audience Experience”

The 79-year-old Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) in Ashland has chosen Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeakers to anchor the first full reinforcement setup in its 1,190-seat, outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre. With a stage house and thrust stage originally built for non-amplified performances, the theatre now benefits from an architecturally pleasing audio solution that heightens vocal clarity and musicality for the audience, while making performing easier for the actors.

“The Meyer Sound system has completely changed the experience for both artists and audience,” says Bill Rauch, artistic director of OSF. “The amplification is so subtle in the Shakespeare plays that the audience often cannot tell the actors are amplified, but they appreciate hearing and understanding every word.”

The move to a full reinforcement system was prompted by several factors, including the scheduling of more musicals, concerns about comprehension of Shakespearean language, and the directors’ desire to free the actors from always facing forward to project. With the repertory theatre changing the complete set daily, it was important to OSF that the system blended into the architecture without being incorporated into the scenic design.

OSF’s audio staff worked with Meyer Sound to design a visually unobtrusive solution using split center arrays of MINA loudspeakers, with two arrays of seven covering the orchestra and two of five covering the balcony. Outer left and right clusters of two-each UPQ-1P and UPQ-2P loudspeakers per side add stereo dimension for music and effects, while four 500-HP subwoofers supply musical low end and convincing effects—such as the giant’s footsteps in Into the Woods.

“For a language-based theatre company such as ours, nothing is more important than to hear the words with clarity,” says Rauch. “During Into the Woods, the singers are able to be heard clearly over a 20-piece orchestra—a revelation on this stage.”

Douglas Faerber, head of OSF’s sound department, adds: “Our new system is working beautifully. We really love it. We’ve had feedback from audiences about how they appreciate the clarity and the even and natural coverage, and the directors have been ecstatic about what they’re hearing.”

In addition, six UPM-1XP, two UP-4XP, and seven MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers provide under-balcony, box-fill, and front-fill coverage, respectively. System drive, optimization, and delay alignment is supplied by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 and two Galileo 408 processors.

The audio renovation also includes a Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console and 32 channels of Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless systems with G3 beltpacks and MKE II Gold lavalier microphones.

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, and recipient of a Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre, OSF presents an eight-month season of 11 plays in three theatres. Attendance at the approximately 800 yearly performances normally exceeds 400,000. The Allen Elizabethan Theatre was named in recognition of a $3 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The new sound system was made possible by a gift from Judy Shih and Joel Axelrod of Ashland.

Prior to the 2014 season, another new Meyer Sound system was installed in OSF’s Thomas Theatre, with flexible deployment of UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers along with UP-4XP and MM-4XP loudspeakers.

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Meyer Sound Launches User Training Videos for LYON Line Array System

Meyer Sound has released four online video tutorials to support users of the LYON ™ linear sound reinforcement system, the newest addition to its LEO™ Family of line array products. Covering topics that range from system design and rigging to optimization, the video modules are available for viewing on meyersound.com and Vimeo.com.

LYON Product Introduction: The comprehensive overview outlines the system’s coverage patterns, rigging features, connections, and integration with the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element and the Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system.

LYON Array Assembly: The video gives a step-by-step tutorial for presetting splay angles, lifting and locking an array, and pullback techniques. It also shows the rigging calculator features in the MAPP Online XT™ acoustic prediction software.

LYON Compass Presets and Controls: The module shows the user workflow for optimizing a LYON loudspeaker array, featuring presets in the virtual Galileo Callisto array processor, array configuration in zones, integration of 1100-LFC loudspeakers, and the U-Shaping™ filters for output equalization.

Using Array Correction and Delay Integration: The video demonstrates the use of array processing and correction and delay integration for Meyer Sound line array systems.

These training resources complement Meyer Sound’s industry-leading education program, which includes in-person seminars and online resources for all aspects of sound reinforcement, from audio theory and mixing workshops to in-depth courses on the design and optimization of complex systems.

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Meyer Sound LEO Powers 200,000-Strong CfaN Gospel Crusade in Burundi

Christ for All Nations (CfaN) recently debuted its new Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system at a four-day gospel crusade on the outskirts of Bujumbura, Burundi. Set up in an open field without delay towers, the LEO system performed flawlessly for the musical and speech programs in front of 200,000 visitors, and replaces CfaN’s Meyer Sound MSL-3A conventionally powered loudspeaker system that has served the ministry for 26 years.

Unassisted by giant video screens, lighting effects, or pyrotechnics, CfaN events rely heavily on exceptional audio reinforcement. “Clarity of speech is our primary concern at these events,” says Derek Murray, head of sound operations for the ministry. “The LEO system is able to cover very large areas with high intelligibility, as proven by positive reports from the perimeter of the field.”

The system’s dual main hangs in Bujumbura comprised nine LEO-M and three MICA® line array loudspeakers each. Side hangs were eight MICA loudspeakers per side, and four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements per side provided low-end reinforcement. In addition, 10 UPA-1C conventionally powered loudspeakers supplied in and out fill. Control and optimization was handled by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo AES processor and three Galileo Callisto 616 array processors.

“LEO gives us more power in a smaller package, so we now have the space to carry subs without having to leave behind other critical material,” reports Murray. “With the addition of the 1100-LFCs in Bujumbura, we were able to improve the quality of the music presentation—to the obvious delight of the crowd.”

CfaN maintains two Meyer Sound systems for its African ministries: an M3D line array loudspeaker system is used in West Africa, and the new LEO system, based in Kenya, is used for East Africa.

CfaN’s East Africa system also travels with three DiGiCo SD9 consoles linked by optical fiber to a DiGiCo SD-Rack, Shure UHF-R wireless microphone systems with Beta 58 capsules, and a Sennheiser IEM system.

“The fact that we’ve used our MSL-3As for so long, under grueling conditions, is a testament to the longevity and reliability of a system that is still supported almost 30 years after it was first produced,” observes Murray. “Just as the MSL-3A was a game-changer back in the 1980s, LEO is a great product that perfectly fits our needs.”

The event in Bujumbura, attended by Burundi’s President and First Lady, was led by evangelist Daniel Kolenda, who succeeds CfaN founder Rev. Reinhard Bonnke as principal leader of ministries in Africa. The German-born Bonnke first launched his African ministries in 1967.

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With Meyer Sound MINA, Every Seat is a Great Seat at Canada’s Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre in British Columbia has installed a Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeaker system to reinforce its theatrical and music productions. Together with its existing Meyer Sound mono center cluster, the 750-seat theatre now provides an exceptional listening experience to every guest. The MINA loudspeaker arrays were specified and installed by James Dreyer of Kamloops, BC-based Dreyer Bros. Sound.

“It’s a wonderful improvement,” says Eric Pells, technical director for the venue. “The clarity of MINA is excellent, and there’s very little difference now in levels from front to back. Even on shows when we have to mix from the booth in the back balcony, we still get a true representation of the sound.”

Nine MINA loudspeakers each flank the existing overhead center cluster, comprised of two each CQ-1 and CQ-2 loudspeakers and one 650-P subwoofer. Four UPM-1P loudspeakers provide front fill, while two 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements have been added for low-end reinforcement. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor provides system drive and alignment.

“The MINA arrays work very well in the room, and have a profile that literally disappears into the proscenium wall,” notes Dreyer. “And their performance is just unbelievable. We walked the room top to bottom and side to side, and there wasn’t a dead seat anywhere.”

Artists and productions heard through the new MINA system include Bryan Adams, Jesse Cook, Great Big Sea, and the Catalyst Theatre’s musical, Nevermore.

“We’ve yet to bring in an outside rental or have a tour take their rig off the truck,” adds Pells. “Regular touring techs told me they love the MINAs, both because they don’t have to hang their own arrays and because they now have a great system to mix on.

“It’s been a great experience all around,” continues Pells. “The installation was easy, and we didn’t have to compromise any lighting positions with the slender profile of the MINAs. So we now have the best of both worlds, for audio and for lighting.”

The upgrade also included a new DiGiCo SD9 mixing console with LCR panning capabilities for musical theatre productions. The venue uses Audio-Technica and Shure wireless systems, along with microphones from AKG, Countryman, Shure, Sennheiser, and Clockaudio.

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Meyer Sound Adds Oskar Meijer to European Technical Support Team

Meyer Sound has strengthened its European technical services with the appointment of Oskar Meijer as Senior Technical Support Specialist. Meijer brings a wealth of field experience working with Meyer Sound products, including the newest LEO™ Family of line array systems.

In his new position, Meijer will support Meyer Sound’s European customers in the design and optimization of loudspeaker and digital audio systems, on-site project commissioning, and after-sale customer training. He will work closely with the technical support teams in Europe and at the company’s Berkeley, Calif. headquarters.

Meijer has more than 20 years of experience in the design, configuration, and commissioning of complex audio systems, and has worked as a stage technician, ground rigger, and project manager. He has served as a lead systems technician at major European festivals such as Way Out West, Stockholm Music & Arts, and Kollenfest, as well as concerts by Ozzy Osbourne, Andrea Bocelli, John Fogerty, and Metallica.

“I have enjoyed using Meyer Sound equipment in my career, and have been a beneficiary of the company’s amazing technical support,” says Meijer. “From my experience working with LEO in the past two years, it is my honest opinion that there is no better tool in the market today when it comes to large-scale reinforcement. I look forward to bringing what I have learned to help other Meyer Sound users get the most out of their systems.”

Meijer will be based in Lund, Sweden, and can be reached at oskarm@meyersound.com.

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George Relles Sound’s New Meyer Sound LYON System Gets Stamp of Approval at Lee Brice Arena Concert

At a recent Lee Brice concert at the University of Oregon, George Relles Sound of Eugene, Ore. showcased its brand new Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system. LYON gave a convincing performance that left an impression on Brice’s FOH engineer, Wayne Pauley, and affirmed owner George Relles’s investment decision.

“The LYON system was a real eye-opening experience,” says Pauley, who mixed Brice on a LYON system at the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena. “It has remarkable clarity and projection, and it seemed like everything was jumping out of the arrays right at you.”

Pauley also noticed how the linear performance of LYON changed his mixing approach. “I found I could get a well-defined mix that sounded louder than its true SPL. Everything came together so well that I was surprised when I looked over at the SPL meter.”

Relles’s purchase includes 14 LYON-M main and six LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers, adding to an arsenal that includes six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system.

One of the traits that first drew George Relles to LYON was its evenness of front-to-back coverage. “With some line arrays, as you get into the near field it doesn’t sound as good, so you have to cover it with front fills,” says Relles. “But with LYON, I was struck by how smooth it sounded when you got close. It was a marked difference from what I’ve heard from other systems.”

In addition to LYON’s sonic qualities, Relles adds that the system’s cost- and time-saving logistical benefits also contributed to his investment decision. “With LYON I can squeeze a lot more power into my limited truck space,” says Relles. “And when I get to the gig, flying is a breeze. I can put the LYONs in place in groups of four, lift them up, and they expand out to the preset angles, ready to lock into place. Everything goes up so quickly, it’s amazing.”

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Dennis Sands Selects Meyer Sound for Dolby Atmos Film Music Mixing Stage

Award-winning film sound engineer Dennis S. Sands has upgraded his Sound Waves SB studio with a Meyer Sound cinema loudspeaker system for mixing in Dolby Atmos. Located in Santa Barbara, Calif., Sands’s private studio is the first Dolby Atmos dubbing stage dedicated exclusively to native mixing of film music.

“I’d heard Meyer Sound systems at several well-known post-production studios,” says Sands. “I was immediately impressed with the quality of the sound, the accuracy, and the depth and richness of the entire soundtrack. It was obvious Meyer Sound was the direction to go for the studio.”

Sands’s monitoring system is anchored by three Acheron® 80 screen channel loudspeakers and two X-800C high-power and X-400C cinema subwoofers each. Perimeter and overhead reinforcement comprises 14 HMS-10 and 10 HMS-12 surround loudspeakers with IntelligentDC technology, while a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 processor supplies drive and equalization. The system was designed and installed by Ron Lagerlof of Los Angeles-based Visioneering Design Company in consultation with Andy Potvin of Dolby Laboratories.

“It’s easy to see why Dennis was pre-sold on Meyer Sound,” says Lagerlof. “The loudspeakers have extremely low distortion and accurate phase response. You hear exactly what’s there, and nothing else.”

Since installation, Sands has finished native Atmos film score mixes for “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and the 2014 “Godzilla” reboot. He has also completed a 7.1 mix of “Maze Runner” and television mixes for the “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” series.

Originally built as a private dubbing stage for director Andrew Davis, Sands’s studio was designed by film sound legend Tomlinson Holman. The room features a 12-by-20-foot screen, a Euphonix System 5-MC DAW controller, a Euphonix CS3000 digitally controlled analog console, and four linked Pro Tools systems. A Focusrite RedNet 6 MADI bridge connects the Dolby Atmos RMU (Rendering and Mastering Unit) to a BSS SoundWeb London DSP system, which is used primarily for signal routing when switching from Atmos to 5.1 or 7.1 monitoring.

“People who have worked with me in the room before are very impressed with the improvement,” reports Sands. “Reactions have been uniformly positive. For me, the monitoring decision was a no-brainer. Everything I do here translates beautifully onto the dubbing stage.”

Dennis Sands has credits on nearly 300 feature films as a score mixer or re-recording mixer, earning four Academy Award nominations and winning two Cinema Audio Society Awards, including one for Lifetime Achievement.

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Cross Pointe Church in Georgia Upgrades to Meyer Sound MICA & 1100-LFC

Located inside a former Boeing missile factory building in Duluth, Ga., Cross Pointe Church has taken its worship experience to a new level with its recent upgrade to Meyer Sound MICA® line array loudspeakers and 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. The new system replaces its trusty nine-year-old Meyer Sound CQ-2 loudspeaker system, which will continue to serve in a second Cross Pointe campus that will open in late 2014.

Alfred Burgess, pastor of worship and creative arts, reports that the MICA loudspeakers’ power and clarity was immediately noticeable. “After the first Sunday, our lead pastor Dr. James Merritt came up to me and said, ‘I’ve just had the best speaking experience of my life,’” says Burgess. “MICA has the coverage and the clarity we want, and now it’s really enjoyable to sit out here and listen.”

The new system includes main hangs of seven-each MICA loudspeakers, which provide uniform coverage for most of the 1,700-seat worship auditorium. Four UPM-1P loudspeakers and a single UPA-1P loudspeaker provide front and center fill, respectively, while four 1100-LFC loudspeakers arranged in left and right cardioid pairs supply low end. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors supplies drive and optimization.

System design and installation was handled by Tom Larrison of Norcross, Ga.-based Blue Hat Design, with assistance by Scott Clark and Joe Kimsey.

Burgess is also impressed by the 1100-LFC loudspeakers. “The low end is really amazing. It doesn’t just rumble at you like some other subwoofers. The sound is powerful, yet tight and clear.”

The new MICA installation is complemented by Avid Profile and D-Show consoles at FOH and montiors, respectively, Waves and McDSP processing plug-ins, and Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring systems.

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Making Waves in EDM: Meyer Sound LEO Powers German WORLD CLUB DOME Festival

At the WORLD CLUB DOME electronic dance music (EDM) festival in Frankfurt, Germany, a Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system was selected for main-stage headliners Pet Shop Boys, David Guetta, Steve Aoki, and Tiësto. With this latest deployment at the Commerzbank-Arena, the Meyer Sound LEO Family of line array products continues its busy summer of EDM events, having recently powered the Mayday Festival in Germany and Soenda Festival in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

“LEO is strikingly elegant in appearance and relatively compact, particularly considering how it can project very clear sound over a considerable distance,” says Holger Schwark, FOH engineer for the Pet Shop Boys.

Supplied and configured by POOLgroup of Emsdetten, Germany, the system featured dual main hangs of 14 LEO-M line array loudspeakers each, with two MICA® line array loudspeakers for down fill. Side hangs consisted of 10 LEO-M and two MICA loudspeakers each. Low end was supplied by left and right end-fire arrays of 12 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements each, plus a center array with an additional 12 1100-LFC loudspeakers. Two UPQ-1P loudspeakers and 18 JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers provided front fill, while a single delay system comprised two hangs of 10 MILO® line array loudspeakers each and eight 1100-LFC loudspeakers in a cardioid array.

The system was aligned, optimized, and driven by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES processor and six Galileo Callisto 616 array processors. Tim Humpe served as project manager for POOLgroup, and Dirk Maron was lead system tech. The production was presented by BigCityBeats.

“LEO is a very forward-looking product,” says Schwark. “My personal experience mixing on it certainly supported the positive statements I’d heard about LEO from other sound engineers.”

The Meyer Sound LEO Family comprises the LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system, and its more compact and flexible sibling, the LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system. Learn more by visiting the Meyer Sound website: http://meyersound.com/leo/

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Meyer Sound Constellation Fosters Idea Sharing at Enbridge Corporate Learning Center

Calgary-based energy company Enbridge is the latest corporation to install a Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system, with the goal of clarifying corporate communication and facilitating the free flow of ideas. Eliminating the need for lavalier or handheld microphones, the systems support a variety of functions in two adjacent meeting rooms located in the company’s new Learning Center. The systems are part of a complete AV design by Bill Schuermann, senior consultant at the Houston office of SLR Consulting.

“The rooms are used for everything from executive meetings, teleconferencing, and employee training to safety orientations for construction workers, and even occasional social events,” says Amin Ladha, AV subject matter expert at Enbridge. “Constellation has performed exceptionally well for all of them.”

Constellation is an active approach to expanding the acoustic capabilities of a multipurpose space. In environments where speech communication is essential, the voice lift feature of Constellation enhances speech intelligibility by generating precisely articulated and directed early reflections.

In Learning Center A at Enbridge, the system is equipped with three preset modes to take advantage of the voice lift feature. For presentations, the system picks up signals near the presenter and reproduces them in the audience area. In Conference Table mode, the system focuses on sounds from the center of the room, and Small Groups mode uses subtle reverberation effects to provide acoustical isolation between adjacent groups.

“Learning Center A is a large room, and several important staff members are very soft-spoken,” says Ladha. “If that person is at one end of the room, he or she could not be heard at the other end without Constellation turned on. But when it’s on, they can talk in a natural tone of voice, and everybody hears clearly at the other end, even though the voice stays localized in place. It sounds like the person is five feet away rather than 50.”

Worldwide partners connecting with Enbridge via teleconferencing have also noticed the improvements in intelligibility. “We used to have people at the other end complain that it sounded like we were in a tunnel,” reports Ladha. “In the new rooms, that is all eliminated.”

The system in Learning Center A comprises 66 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers and six MM-10XP subwoofers, both with IntelligentDC technology, and 24 miniature condenser microphones tucked close to the ceiling. Learning Center B has a similar setup, employing 30 MM-4XP loudspeakers, two MM-10XP subwoofers, and eight microphones. A D-Mitri® digital audio platform with the patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithm is at the core of both systems.

Ladha was also pleased to discover that, since the new systems have been installed, requests coming to him for technical support to solve audio problems have dropped by about 75 percent.

“These are multi-purpose rooms, and Constellation’s voice lift technology is in use constantly,” says Ladha. “It’s easy to use, highly effective, and is proving exceptionally useful. Before Constellation, people in the back were asked to stand and talk louder. Now, people can stay focused on the conversation.”

In addition, the Learning Center has equipped its small meeting room and two social areas with 39 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers and three MM-10XP subwoofers.

Other technologies housed in the Learning Center include Biamp Systems Tesira audio DSP and routing, NEC and Sharp video screens, and a Crestron DM control system. All systems were installed by the Calgary office of AVI-SPL, with project management by Chad Lavoie.

With more than 11,000 employees in Canada and the U.S., Enbridge specializes in distribution systems for crude oil and natural gas, as well as renewable energy projects.

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