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Meyer Sound Strengthens Strategic Marketing Programs; Appoints Karen Ames as VP of Marketing and Communications

Meyer Sound has bolstered its marketing efforts by recruiting Karen Ames for the newly created position of Vice President of Marketing and Communications. A veteran communications professional who has worked with a diverse range of artists and institutions—from the San Francisco Symphony to George Thorogood—Ames joins the Meyer Sound senior leadership team to head up its global marketing and communications strategy. She is charged with the overall leadership for corporate communications, marketing, advertising and sponsorships, social media, public relations, philanthropy, and public affairs.

As part of this restructuring, Ames heads up a marketing team that includes Jodi Hughes, who assumes the Director of Marketing position, and Rachel Archibald, who drives strategic marketing initiatives such as competitive research, market development, and industry alliances. The changes take effect beginning May 31, 2014.

“John Meyer and I are both thrilled that Karen is joining our team,” says Helen Meyer, co-founder and executive vice president at Meyer Sound. “Karen has a deep understanding of performing arts and the music business, and brings incredible creative energy, strategic thinking, and solution-oriented perspectives. Her contributions will be crucially important as we build on the company’s growth and expand our global presence.”

Ames has handled the strategic communications and promotion for artists and cultural institutions for three decades, including Cal Performances and the San Francisco International Film Festival, to name a few. Her career includes senior executive roles with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera.

She has led the promotion of world premiere operas from composers Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, and John Adams, as well as recordings with Decca Records, BMG and SFS Media. Most recently, she was president of her own consulting firm, and helped Meyer Sound launch the Stephanie Blythe recording which deployed a pioneering recording technique based on the company’s Constellation® acoustic system.

“Throughout my many years in the music industry, I have been fortunate to work with artists determined to enrich the lives of audiences,” says Ames. “Meyer Sound’s founders and engineers share that same goal. They understand what those onstage and in the audience need and want in terms of sound that communicates. They believe that, in the world of sound and sound reinforcement, everything is possible. And they have the genius, drive, and sense of adventure to achieve their ideal. I am privileged to become part of this legendary company.”

Karen Ames will be based at the Meyer Sound headquarters in Berkeley, Calif.

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The Dubai Mall Installs More Than 900 Meyer Sound Self-Powered MM-4XP Loudspeakers

Home to 1,200 retail businesses and covering 1.1 million square meters, The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination to date, according to the Construction Week website. To provide intelligible yet discreet background music for shoppers, 939 Meyer Sound MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers have been installed. Dubai-based Mediatech Design Group (MDG) designed the system, with Abu Dhabi-based Systech Middle East handling installation and integration.

“MDG has successfully specified Meyer Sound products on a number of projects in the past where performance was critical, so it was logical for us to consider them again for The Dubai Mall,” says Ged King, CEO and founder of MDG, a company with extensive experience in shopping mall AV design installations. “In addition, we needed a self-powered system that could provide high-quality audio from a small and compact loudspeaker and could be incorporated into the mall’s interior design.”

With a face measuring just four inches square, the custom-colored MM-4XP loudspeakers are distributed throughout the main shopping area to blend in with the surroundings. More than 60 km (37 miles) of Belden cabling allows the loudspeakers to be dispersed across three floors of the building. Supporting the loudspeakers are 131 MPS-488HP power supplies (48 V DC), while system drive and alignment are provided by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system comprising 18 Galileo 616 processors. The system was installed to co-exist alongside the previously installed reinforcement system in the mall’s older section.

“I’m extremely happy with how it sounds,” says Malek Ghorayeb, general manager of Systech Middle East. “The MM-4XPs effortlessly reproduce both speech and music. Anyone who walks around the mall now will notice the difference. It’s remarkably intelligible and balanced. Even walking down a 200-meter corridor you will not notice the sound level changing.”

In other areas of The Dubai Mall, MM-4XP loudspeakers supply music reinforcement for an impressive fountain show, while a MICA® line array loudspeaker system provides coverage for the Dubai Ice Rink.

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Musikverein Chooses Meyer Sound CAL: Bringing Sonic Depth and Speech Clarity to Vienna’s Distinguished Concert Hall

Home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Golden Hall of the Musikverein is described by the New York Times as “a model of acoustic perfection” for classical concert halls around the world. To optimize the speech clarity in this space characterized by its resonant, rich acoustics, the Musikverein has chosen the steerable Meyer Sound CAL™ column array loudspeakers.

“Everybody is very pleased with the intelligibility of the new system,” reports Martin Laumann, audio engineer contracted by the Musikverein. “Voices through CAL have more depth, reach, and clarity in a room where you often can’t understand a colleague talking to you from only five meters away.”

In specifying a loudspeaker for speech reproduction, Laumann reports that the room was faced with layers of acoustical and logistical challenges. First, the system had to cope with a reverberation time of well over two seconds—exquisite for orchestral music, but poor for speech intelligibility. The loudspeakers also had to be completely hidden from view behind a grille, fit inside a narrow space in a less-than-ideal location, throw clear sound nearly 50 meters to back of the second balcony, and present voices with a natural balance and timbre.

“We auditioned and measured systems from different manufacturers, and CAL was clearly the best solution,” says Laumann. “The CAL cabinets are more compact, the sound beam is better controlled, and the STI-PA intelligibility measurements show better values. CAL also fits neatly into the narrow space, so the loudspeakers remain invisible to the audience.”

Two CAL 64 column array loudspeakers are mounted side-by-side: the beam of one is aimed down at a 19-degree angle with a 20 degree vertical beam spread to cover the main floor; the other is aimed on axis with a 15-degree vertical beam spread to cover the two rear balconies. These two CAL loudspeakers are set up for failover redundancy. In addition, the system includes two MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers to cover small seating areas behind the stage on each side of the organ loft.

The CAL system has been used extensively for voice narration in performances such as Tchaikovsky’s Peter and the Wolf, as well as for introductions and commentary by conductors, rehearsals, and educational programs.

Provided and installed by Sommerein, Austria-based ATEC Pro Audio under the leadership of Manfred Prochazka, the complete system also includes an Allen & Heath iDR-8 matrix mixer and processor with remote capability, as well as Sennheiser wireless microphones.

In the Musikverein’s 600-seat Brahms Hall, ATEC also installed a Meyer Sound UltraSeries™ loudspeaker system. To accommodate the hall’s flexible seating and staging, loudspeakers are placed and timed to allow either longitudinal or transverse seating, with main loudspeakers in one configuration serving as delays in the other. The system includes four UPJunior-XP 48 V VariO™ and four UP-4XP 48V loudspeakers, plus eight MM-4 loudspeakers. An Allen & Heath iDR-8 with a PL-10 remote controller provides mixing and processing.

The Golden Hall of the Weiner Musikverein (Vienna Music Association) seats 1,744 with standing room for an additional 300. The room’s ideal reverberation envelope and balanced sound diffusion are attributed to its elongated “shoebox” shape and its richly appointed interior, which presents thousands of varied surface shapes for generating multiple early and late reflections.

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Finland Kicks Off April Jazz 2014 with Meyer Sound and Studiotec

Celebrating its 28th year, April Jazz brings the world’s top jazz artists to the Finnish city of Espoo from April 22 to 27. This year, acts such as Snarky Puppy, Angélique Kidjo, Tiempo Habana, and The Kenny Garrett Quintet are supported by more than 100 Meyer Sound loudspeakers at all three principal venues located in and around the Espoo Cultural Center.

2014 marks the April Jazz debut of Meyer Sound’s new MJF-210 stage monitors, 10 of which were recently purchased by the Espoo Cultural Center, and will remain in its permanent inventory. Sound reinforcement support and equipment supply come from Espoo-based Studiotec, with logistical coordination by Antti Murto.

As the main venue for the festival, the April Jazz Arena features a JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker system supporting artists such as the Omer Avital Quintet and the Pedrito Martinez Group. Erected on a grassy courtyard across from the cultural center, the covered venue features main arrays of five JM-1P loudspeakers each and six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. The system also features MINA line array loudspeakers for front fill and UPQ-1P loudspeakers for out fill. The foldback system includes 10 MJF-210 stage monitors, in addition to UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers and 500-HP subwoofers for monitor side fill and UPJ-1P loudspeakers and a 650-P subwoofer for drum fill. Additional UPJ-1P loudspeakers are available for VIP area delays.

Inside the cultural center’s Tapiola Hall, performances are heard through a permanently installed house system comprising dual arrays of 12 M’elodie® line array loudspeakers each, with dual flown arrays of three 500-HP subwoofers each and two 700-HP subwoofers on the ground. UPA-1P and UPM-1P loudspeakers supply front fill and in-fill, with 10 MJF-210 stage monitors for artist foldback.

Also inside the cultural center, Louhi Hall is transformed into jazz club “Café Louhi.” The stage features dual arrays of eight MINA™ line array loudspeakers each with four 500-HP subwoofers, two flown and two on the ground. Galileo® loudspeaker management systems supply drive and optimization at all three venues, with two Galileo 616 processors each at the April Jazz Arena and Tapiola Hall, and one at Louhi Hall.

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Brantley Gilbert FOH Engineer: “Meyer Sound LYON Has Power for Days”

Brantley Gilbert’s “Let It Ride” spring tour marks the christening of the new Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system from Nashville-based Digital Console Rental (DCR).

“LYON is extremely smooth and linear, and has power for days,” says Andy Wacker, FOH engineer for Brantley Gilbert. “It just keeps on going. It’s also easy to work with—there’s no need to manipulate the sound, to pull tricks from up your sleeve. It’s all straightforward, so I can concentrate on my mix.”

LYON incorporates the technology of the LEO™ Family in a more flexible and compact package, and extends the advantages of highly linear self-powered systems to a larger range of venues and applications.

“Brantley has been a DCR client for more than six years,” says Howard Jones, owner of DCR. “For the bigger arenas this year, we needed a lot of horsepower that would still fit into a tight truck pack. LYON arrived just in time. The sound quality and the power-to-size ratio are absolutely the right combination for us.”

For the larger arenas with capacities up to 20,000, the system comprises arrays of up to 12 LYON-M main line array loudspeakers and four LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers. For the smaller venues, the system is cut back to 12 LYON loudspeakers total in each array.

The tour also carries 24 MICA® and 12 MINA™ line array loudspeakers for out fill and front fill, respectively. Six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in cardioid or end-fired configuration provide low end, while a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and a Galileo 616 processor handles drive and optimization.

With only six 1100-LFC loudspeakers up front, the audio team has been asked if the tour has enough subwoofers. “I just say, ‘Wait until you hear them,’ and that settles it,” says Wacker. “The 1100’s have an amazingly high output, and supply more than enough low end for the venue sizes we’re playing.”

The tour audio package also includes Avid VENUE Profile consoles for FOH and monitor, while the band uses Shure PSM 1000 personal monitoring systems. A Shure UHF-R wireless microphone system with a KSM9H mic capsule is used for Gilbert’s vocal. DCR also supplied the tour’s lighting and video systems, with overall show design by Howard Jones. DCR’s system techs are Chris Wilhelm and Patrick Johnston.

“LYON is what I’ve come to expect from a Meyer Sound product,” Jones continues. “It does all they say it will do, and more. For one thing, the new rigging hardware is exceptional—it makes the arrays so much easier to fly. The whole package is a great step forward for Meyer Sound, and for us.”

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Meyer Sound MINA at Home in The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam’s Legendary Orchestral Venue

A world-renowned concert hall for orchestral music, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw is reinforced with a new Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeaker system for its amplified events. The self-powered system is designed to be flown and ready within an hour, and removed for unamplified symphonic concerts.

Both coverage and voicing of the MINA system are optimized for the 1,974-seat hall’s natural acoustics, featuring a reverberation time of 2.8 seconds when empty and 2.2 seconds when filled.

“Our goal was to give The Concertgebouw a system that was consistently better than what was available from outside rental companies,” says principal system designer Jan Panis, an accomplished engineer who specializes in reinforcement for modern classical music. “It was a challenge, because the same acoustics that make The Concertgebouw splendid for unamplified music are problematic for amplified concerts. MINA’s clarity, purity, and lack of coloration are qualities exceptionally well-suited to this application.”

MINA has been well received in its new home, according to Alfons Hutschemaekers, theatre technology coordinator for The Concertgebouw. “With this system I don’t hear the speakers, I simply hear an open and spatial sound,” he says. “I particularly like how it reproduces vocals and the brass in big bands.”

The system provides total front and back coverage with two flown arrays, each featuring 11 front-facing MINA loudspeakers, one MINA loudspeaker for the extreme side balcony, and three MINA loudspeakers aimed to the rear for the choir/organ loft seating. On the floor, six UPM-1P loudspeakers supply front fill, while two USW-1P subwoofers anchor the low-end frequencies. The system also includes an Allen & Heath iLive FOH console.

The dedicated array configuration streamlines workflow, according to Hutschemaekers. “Saving time is a critical issue, since we have so many programs with very short periods in between,” he points out. “The system has been a tremendous time saver.”

In addition to its sound quality and discreet profile, the self-powered benefits of the MINA system are also essential in this application. “We have main arrays, side fills, and rear fills all in one array, with no amplifiers in the attic, which is a difficult place to reach,” says Panis. “One technician can put the system up in an hour, where it can take a full crew four or five hours with other externally-powered systems.”

The MINA loudspeakers are used for jazz and pop shows, as well as for augmenting soloists in symphonic concerts. In addition to the resident Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, acts that have used the new system include the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jazz Orchestra of The Concertgebouw, and Brad Mehldau. Artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Tori Amos, and Roy Hargrove are scheduled in the coming weeks.

Designed exclusively for The Concertgebouw and kept on site when not in use, the MINA arrays are owned by PME-Téchnica, a new collaborative enterprise formed by Jan Panis and associate Koen Keevel. The sale was facilitated by Meyer Sound distributor Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM).

Permanent Meyer Sound systems are heard in all other smaller performance spaces of The Concertgebouw. The Small Hall is equipped with four UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers and two UMS-1P subwoofers, The Choir Hall features seven UPJunior loudspeakers and a USW-1P subwoofer, and The Pleinfoyer has four UPM-1P loudspeakers and a USW-1P subwoofer.

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Spain’s Use Sonido Debuts New Meyer Sound LYON System on Sergio Dalma Tour

One of the latest companies to invest in a Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system, Use Sonido of Spain is deploying the system on tour with multi-platinum recording artist Sergio Dalma.

“We believe LYON is a significant technological breakthrough,” says Oscar Marchena, technical director of Use Sonido. “It not only has excellent sound quality, but it is also compact and exceptionally powerful.”

LYON incorporates the technology of the LEO™ Family in a more flexible and compact package, and extends the advantages of highly linear self-powered systems to a larger range of venues and applications. For the Sergio Dalma tour, Use Sonido is providing 20 new LYON linear line array loudspeakers, six 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, six UPA-1P loudspeakers for front fill, and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with a Galileo Callisto 616 and a Galileo Callisto 616 AES processor. The LYON sale was facilitated by Rafael Jimenez of Meyer Sound España.

Use Sonido sealed its decision to invest in LYON after Oscar Marchena and Eusebio Marchena, managing director, attended a demonstration session in Amsterdam. “We were very impressed by LYON’s extreme clarity and natural tonality, as well as its exceptionally uniform coverage,” says Oscar Marchena.

“The accuracy and headroom of LYON and the 1100-LFC easily deliver all the power that Sergio Dalma’s music demands, without losing the delicacy that is also essential,” continues Marchena.

Following the Sergio Dalma tour, Use Sonido’s LYON system will tour with rising Spanish pop star Manuel Carrasco.

Based in the northwest Spanish city of Valladolid, Use Sonido is a full-service sound and lighting provider serving the concert touring, corporate meeting, theatrical, and festival markets throughout Spain.

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Chile’s Audiopro Adds Meyer Sound LYON and MJF-210 Stage Monitor

Viña del Mar, Chile-based Audiopro has invested in a Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system. According to Jorge Diez, owner of Audiopro, the purchase will extend his company’s rapid growth in Chile’s thriving concert and event production market.

“I have been using Meyer Sound loudspeakers since 1997, and they have been the foundation of my business,” says Diez. “When I heard the LYON demos in San Francisco, I knew immediately that I wanted this system. Its powerful, precise sound will appeal to a broad range of clients.”

Introduced in January, LYON incorporates the advanced technology of the LEO™ Family in a lighter and more compact package, extending the advantages of highly linear self-powered systems to a wider range of venues and applications.

The Audiopro order comprises 32 LYON-M main line array loudspeakers, 16 LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers, 18 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, eight Galileo® Callisto™ 616 and three Galileo Callisto 616 AES processors, and 12 MJF-210 stage monitors.

Diez will use the full LYON system for many arena-sized concerts and summer outdoor festivals. He also foresees using his LYON and 1100-LFC loudspeakers in smaller configurations as the Southern Hemisphere summer season winds down.

“LYON is an exceptionally versatile system that will allow me to cover a wide variety of events, large or small,” says Diez. “These may include anything from corporate events to rock concerts or rave parties.”

One of Latin America’s premier sound rental companies, Audiopro has supplied concert sound systems for domestic and international artists such as Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Juanes, and Luis Miguel. Its corporate customers include McDonald’s, LAN Airlines, and Hyundai.

The LYON sale was facilitated by Antonio Monasterio of Santiago-based Audiopro Limitada, Meyer Sound’s Chilean distributor that coincidentally shares the same name as Diez’s Audiopro.

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Church on the Rock in Texas Engages Congregants with Meyer Sound MINA

A Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeaker system has been installed in the new 950-seat auditorium of Church on the Rock in Lubbock, Tex. The church reports that MINA is helping break down separation between worship leaders and the congregation, bringing a greater sense of unity and participation to services.

“Compared to the system in our old sanctuary, the MINAs are much more intelligible,” says Michael Koontz, technical director for Church on the Rock. “You feel much more engaged with the singers and musicians, like you’re right there with them. It’s no longer a passive experience—you feel actively involved.”

Leslie Rich, the church’s worship leader for the past 12 years, has also noticed a significant improvement. “The sound is very clear and full,” she points out. “In our old facility, it felt like we were constantly working around problems. Now, our sound team tells me that it’s much easier to get the sound they want, which is critically important to translate what we do on the worship team out to the congregation.”

In addition to two arrays comprised of nine MINA loudspeakers each, the system includes seven UPJunior-XP 48 V VariO™ loudspeakers as front fills, six 500-HP subwoofers flown in a cardioid configuration, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor for system drive and optimization. Lubbock Sight, Sound and Security handled system integration, with owner Alan Rich consulting on design and handling project management.

“We were able to outfit Church on the Rock with a reinforcement system we can honestly say is the best money can buy,” says Rich. “The system brings to life every nuance and detail of the worship team, and we’ve received nothing but compliments from the church staff.”

The system at Church on the Rock also incorporates a new Behringer X32 digital mixing console; 11 Behringer Powerplay 16 P16-M digital personal mixers, including six extended with Shure wireless IEMs; and six channels of Shure wireless microphone systems, including one beltpack equipped with a Countryman lavalier mic for the senior pastor.

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Soundfirm Installs Australia’s First Meyer Sound Cinema System for Dolby Atmos Dubbing Stage

Soundfirm, which has received more awards than any other Australian audio post facility, has selected a Meyer Sound cinema loudspeaker system for its Dolby Atmos dubbing stage in its new Melbourne location. The large mixing room is the country’s first to feature an all-Meyer Sound screen channel and surround loudspeaker system.

The Meyer Sound system was selected by owner Roger Savage, a veteran re-recording mixer whose film credits include the family classic “Babe” and the musical “Moulin Rouge!”

“When we decided to install an Atmos room, we needed surround loudspeakers capable of full-range response, and Meyer Sound sounded so much better than anything else we’d experienced,” says Savage.

The monitoring system incorporates three Acheron® 80 screen loudspeakers, eight HMS-12 and 29 HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers, six X-800C high-power cinema subwoofers, and two 500-HP subwoofers in the rear for surround low end.

Chris Goodes, Soundfirm’s chief re-recording mixer, has mixed a number of projects in the new room. “The first thing I took to was the top end,” he says. “The Acherons are so much better than what we’d been using before. The dialogue clarity is outstanding, and you can trust what you’re doing with equalization. You never have to question whether the speaker is changing the sound. And you can work for 10 or 12 hours on this system without fatigue.”

Projects mixed by Goodes since opening include “The Monkey King,” an Atmos mix for the Chinese market; “Predestination,” a feature starring Ethan Hawke; “Deep Sea Challenge,” a James Cameron documentary; and “Hidden Universe” for IMAX release.

Savage appreciates the streamlined installation of the 48 V remotely powered surround loudspeakers. “Installation and setup was much easier than the conventional approach,” he notes. “You simply run a single cable with 48 V power and audio for the internally bi-amplified surrounds. This saves installation costs, particularly when you’re dealing with an Atmos system.”

The new mixing theatre also includes a Harrison Trion mixing console with 240 inputs, five Avid Pro Tools systems, a 10-meter-wide screen, and a Christie 4K projector with 3D capability.

“The independent mixers who use the room all comment on how great it sounds,” reports Savage. “The Meyer Sound monitors have lived up to our high expectations, and exceeded them—particularly with Atmos.”

Established in 1983, Soundfirm lists sound mixing credits for such iconic films as “Crocodile Dundee,” “Mad Max 2,” and “Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome.” In addition to its Melbourne location, Soundfirm also maintains post-production facilities in Sydney and Beijing.

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