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Self-Powered Meyer Sound MINA a Perfect Fit for Duke University Auditorium

The historic Baldwin Auditorium on the campus of Duke University in Durham, N.C. has recently reopened following a complete interior renovation. To satisfy the varied demands of the 685-seat hall, the university has installed a self-powered Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeaker system. The hall’s acoustics and reinforcement system were both designed by Norwalk, Conn.-based consulting firm Jaffe Holden.

“We’d designed the physical acoustics to be quite live, so we needed line arrays to focus sound on the audience and not excite the architecture,” explains Ben Bausher, senior consultant at Jaffe Holden. “We also wanted a minimal profile for aesthetic reasons. Finally, a self-powered solution was mandatory, as there was simply no place to put amp racks, much less a cooled equipment room. MINA was a perfect fit on all counts.”

The system comprises main left and right arrays of 10 MINA loudspeakers each, supplemented by 10 UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers for front fill, two MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers for side-balcony coverage, and two UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers for over-balcony coverage. Four 500-HP subwoofers are recessed under the stage for vibration isolation, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with both a Galileo 616 and a Galileo 616 AES processor provides system drive and optimization. The system was installed by Greensboro, N.C.-based Audio & Light.

“The system coverage is exceptionally uniform,” says Richard Kless, assistant manager of theatre operations for Duke University. “What we had before was really a glorified rehearsal space, and now it’s a splendid-sounding and aesthetically gorgeous concert hall. It was an amazing transformation.”

Brian Cox, vice president of sales at Audio & Light’s installation division, adds: “As self-powered technology eliminates the need for an amplifier room, the MINA system was more cost-effective as well.”

The new system works jointly with the room’s optimized acoustics to provide impeccable sound for classical, jazz, world music, and more. These concerts are presented by the school’s own music department and Duke Performances, which sponsors touring professional artists.

The Baldwin Auditorium renovation project was designed and supervised by New York-based Pfeiffer Partners Architects in consultation with Ray Walker, Duke campus architect. Principal acousticians for Jaffe Holden were Mark Holden and Matthew Nichols.

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Netherlands’s Bazelmans AVR Expands Rental Inventory to Reach 100 Meyer Sound Loudspeakers

With its recent purchase of 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements and JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, Veldhoven-based rental company Bazelmans AVR has grown its inventory to include more than 100 Meyer Sound loudspeakers.

“We had heard through the grapevine that the 1100-LFCs were amazing, but when we first fired up the units for testing we were dumbstruck,” says Aart Habraken, rental manager for Bazelmans AVR. “The 1100-LFC maintains linearity regardless of power levels and SPL output. It truly raises the bar for all others to follow. With the EDM [electronic dance music] market now showing keen interest in Meyer Sound, the 1100-LFC couldn’t have come at a better moment.”

Wiljan Bazelmans, founder and CEO of Bazelmans AVR, adds: “We want the best experience for our customers, not just once but every time. We decided to step up from other loudspeaker brands to Meyer Sound some years ago, and we have never looked back. It’s a win-win situation for everybody.”

The sale was made through Audio Electronics Mattijsen (AEM), Meyer Sound’s Dutch distributor. “It is very gratifying to see that a company like Bazelmans has clear ideas about quality and assertive marketing, is acting on them, and achieving success,” remarks AEM’s Eric Mattijsen. “We look forward to new and exciting projects together.”

Bazelmans AVR provides comprehensive production services for events ranging from multi-room conferences to high-end corporate events. Its inventory also includes Meyer Sound MICA® and M’elodie® line array loudspeakers, UPQ-1P loudspeakers, UPJ-1P and UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers, and 500-HP, 600-HP, and 700-HP subwoofers.

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Herbie Hancock Video Interview: Experimenting with Concert Surround Sound

In summer 2013, at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall, keyboardist and jazz pioneer Herbie Hancock rolled out a concept he has been fascinated with for over 20 years. Using a multichannel surround system from Meyer Sound, Hancock brought the surround sound of movie theatres to a one-of-a-kind live concert experience that cannot be heard elsewhere.

To realize Hancock’s vision, Meyer Sound set up a system with 45 loudspeakers and 28 channels. The heart of the system was the SpaceMap® multichannel surround panning technology, which allowed Hancock to pan sounds around the 800-seat concert hall in real time, controlling movement via a touch-screen tablet.

Watch Hancock and Jason Rauhoff, senior digital audio products specialist for Meyer Sound, discuss the artist’s vision of surround sound in a concert setting and the technology that helped bring it to life.

Herbie Hancock Video Interview

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Peru’s First Meyer Sound LEO System Gives Engineers “A Feeling of Unlimited Headroom”

Lima-based DBLUX S.A.C. recently debuted its new Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system at the Pilsen Callao Festival in Lima’s National Stadium (Spanish: Estadio Nacional). The LEO system is the first in Peru, and it supported an all-star Latin American lineup headlined by salsa superstar Rubén Blades. Covering over 120 meters of the concert field with no delay towers, the LEO system made a strong impression on veteran FOH mixers.

“I’ve worked with almost every line array from the major makers, but I’ve never before had that feeling of unlimited headroom, where there is always room for more, and uniformity is still preserved,” recounts Guillermo “Memo” Gómez, FOH engineer for Rubén Blades. “LEO is very different from other systems. The sound quality and coverage are exceptional.”

The system was purchased by Andres Cuadros and Guillermo Riera, co-owners of DBLUX S.A.C. It includes 30 LEO-M line array loudspeakers, six MICA® line array loudspeakers for down fill, 18 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and one Galileo 616 AES processor.

“We invested in LEO because it sets a new standard for power and clarity in large systems,” explains Andres Cuadros. “It also integrates seamlessly with our existing Meyer Sound loudspeaker inventory so we can offer a complete high-performance system. This gives us a great competitive advantage.”

The Lima concert was the first opportunity for many engineers to mix on a LEO system. “It was an incomparable feeling,” says Ender Torres, FOH engineer for Adolescentes Orquesta. “LEO is unmatched by any other line array system­ due to its quality, versatility, sound pressure, and accurate definition at all frequencies.”

Also mixing on LEO for the first time was Jose Quique Vives, FOH engineer for Tego Calderón.  “It was one of my best mixing experiences,” he says. “The system has flat sound projection over very long distances, and is very efficient in the high frequencies. The presence of the sound made my work easy.”

Shortly after its National Stadium debut, the LEO system provided reinforcement for 30,000 people attending Festival Claro at Lima’s Plaza San Martin.

As one of the Latin America’s premier sound providers, DBLUX S.A.C. has supported performances by regional acts as well as international stars such as Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Justin Bieber.

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Meyer Sound CAL at Hong Kong University: Redefining the Musical Capabilities of Column Array Loudspeakers

The Grand Hall at the University of Hong Kong’s new Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre has installed a sound system based around three Meyer Sound CAL™ column array loudspeakers. The power, clarity, and beam-steering flexibility of the CAL loudspeakers make them ideal not only for lectures, but also for musical performances and cinema soundtracks.

“CAL is the only steerable column array I’ve experienced that can reproduce music—even classical concerts—with such clarity and musicality,” says Y.H. Shum, director of Hong Kong-based China-Tech Engineering Co. Ltd., which handled system integration. “For spoken word or music reproduction, no other column loudspeaker comes close.”

The installation marks one of the first multi-manufacturer installations of the AVB (Audio Video Bridging) networking protocol, with the CAL loudspeakers interfacing seamlessly with the Biamp Systems Tesira platform for signal processing and networked audio distribution. The CAL loudspeakers are controlled by Meyer Sound’s Compass® control software.

The Hong Kong office of Shen Milsom & Wilkie handled audio specification for the project. “Because of the long lead time on the project, the contracts were all complete long before I first heard CAL at a trade show demonstration,” says David King, senior consultant at Shen Milsom & Wilkie. “But when I first heard them, I was not simply reassured; I was blown away.”

The hall’s reinforcement system comprises two discreetly mounted main left and right CAL 96 loudspeakers, in addition to one center channel CAL 64 loudspeaker that can be lowered into place behind a temporary cinema screen. Completing the system are 28 UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers for surrounds, front fill, and balcony fill; seven Stella 4C installation speakers for underbalcony fill; and two USW-1P subwoofers.

“During the commissioning, we checked SPL throughout the empty room,” says King. “We measured less than 4 dB variance from FOH to the rear of the balcony, with no delayed speakers turned on. That was very impressive.”

The Grand Hall system is mixed on a Yamaha LS9 digital mixing console, which communicates with Tesira via an installed CobraNet card. An AMX control system allows efficient operator access to function presets for the hall’s different events.

“When we heard Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 through CAL, we knew right away CAL is the most powerful and musical column array in the market,” says Paul Poon of Audio Dynamic, system supplier and coordinator of project logistics. “We are very proud to be a part of this project showcase in Hong Kong.”

New York-based Jaffe Holden provided acoustical design for the 1,000-seat Grand Hall. The architecture firm for the Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre was Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd.

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Spain’s FIBES Convention Centre Chooses Meyer Sound MICA

In Seville, Spain, a Meyer Sound MICA® line array loudspeaker system has been installed in the new auditorium at FIBES Conference and Exhibition Centre (Spanish: Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos). With its seating flexibility and sonic excellence, the FIBES auditorium is a popular venue for international conferences, major concerts, and musical theatre productions. The audio system was specified by Carlos García-Diéguez Acuña of Seville-based GD Consulting.

“We selected a Meyer Sound MICA solution based on its overall sound quality, high efficiency in compact enclosures, and the availability of strong technical support in Spain,” explains García-Diéguez. “For conferences, it delivers high clarity and intelligibility in all seats, while for concerts, it is excellent for all music styles, including folk, classical, and rock.”

The Meyer Sound MAPP Online Pro® acoustical prediction program proved to be an essential design tool for the room with reflective metal and PET-based synthetic materials for wall surfaces. “MAPP Online Pro allows us to focus the sound on the seating area and greatly minimize any destructive reflections,” says García-Diéguez.

The FIBES auditorium system is built around twin arrays of eight-each MICA loudspeakers flown underneath three 600-HP subwoofers. Four UPM-1P loudspeakers supply front fill, six UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers are mounted for underbalcony fill, one UPJunior loudspeaker covers one side of the asymmetrical top tier, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system featuring one Galileo 616 processor handles system optimization and drive. GD Consulting and Madrid-based systems integrator Vitelsa assumed project management for the installation.

The permanent house audio system is mixed on DiGiCo SD9 and SD11 digital mixing consoles, both equipped with a MaDiRack.

The FIBES auditorium is designed by renowned architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra. It seats up to 3,000, although moveable walls can enclose upper sections for simultaneous use as smaller meeting spaces.

Since opening, the auditorium has hosted performances by Julio Iglesias and Raphael, the Flamenco Biennial Festival, and touring productions of Beauty and the Beast and Les Misérables, among others.

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Meyer Sound M’elodie Heightens Speech and Music at Malaysian Church

Subang Jaya Assembly of God is a fast-growing Malaysian contemporary church near Kuala Lumpur. To enhance the audio quality of its celebration-style worship services, the church recently installed a Meyer Sound M’elodie® line array loudspeaker system in its 750-seat sanctuary. The new system was provided and installed by Danny Kinchang of First Live Sound, based in Petaling Jaya.

“We have certainly experienced an improvement in sound, and consequently, an improvement in the playing of the worship music team,” says Pastor Donny Tan, who takes an active role in the church’s music program. “The M’elodie system has brought strong positive motivation to the team, and resulted in a more professional presentation.”

Twin flown arrays of five-each M’elodie loudspeakers cover the auditorium, along with four UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers for out fill and center down fill. Four 600-HP subwoofers in an end-fire directional array supply low end, while a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor provides system drive and optimization.

“The new system also has improved speech clarity,” points out Pastor Tan. “It sounds great—there is very little need to tweak the equalization, as everything is clear and distinct.

The front-end complement for the new system includes a Yamaha LS9-32 digital mixing console and an assortment of premium microphones from Sennheiser, DPA, Audio-Technica, and Shure. Kinchang and First Live Sound also designed and supervised the acoustical treatment for the room.

Subang Jaya Assembly of God’s vibrant LifePoint ministry provides Sunday worship services in English and Chinese, as well as a full spectrum of programs and activities for children, youth, young adults, and seniors throughout the week.

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Meyer Sound Constellation Tailors Acoustics at California’s Antelope Valley College

Antelope Valley College’s Performing Arts Theatre in Lancaster, Calif. is using a Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system to support its diverse schedule of events. At the press of a button, venue operators can adapt the auditorium’s acoustical characteristics to suit performances for the resident Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, Shakespeare plays and opera.

“Constellation’s effect is often subtle, but when applied in just the right amount, it is very effective and sounds remarkably natural,” says David Newby, artistic director and conductor for the resident Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra and Master Chorale. “We always apply some enhancement for the orchestra, and usually select a preset with a bit longer reverberation for the chorus, particularly when singing a capella. I’m very satisfied with the results.”

The audio system in the theatre incorporates Constellation and sound reinforcement. Both of these systems are driven by Meyer Sound’s D-Mitri® digital audio platform, which features the patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithm. Constellation uses 16 miniature cardioid microphones distributed on stage and throughout the room, in addition to 14 Stella-4C and 29 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers and four UMS-SM subwoofers. CQ-2 and UPQ-2P loudspeakers, UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers, and a 700-HP subwoofer are used for both sound reinforcement and Constellation. Constellation lateral and overhead loudspeakers are matrixed by D-Mitri for theatrical sound as well.

“Constellation is mainly used by the Antelope Valley Symphony and Master Chorale, but we’ve also used it for voice lift on a Shakespeare play, where it gave the dialogue the extra energy needed to carry it through the room,” says Chester McCurry, manager of the 400-seat theatre. “We even used it on a tap dance number instead of floor boundary mics, and it worked out great.”

The reinforcement system can operate simultaneously with Constellation or independently. “When we had opera in here, we couldn’t use the stage shell, so we added a touch of Constellation along with the body mics’ signal through the PA, and the two worked quite well together,” says McCurry.

Passive and active acoustic systems were specified by acoustical consultant Roger Noppe of Chatsworth, Calif.-based Purcell-Noppe Associates and installed by Sound Image of Escondido, Calif. Theatre consulting and AV design was handled by Ian Hunter, senior consultant at San Francisco-based The Shalleck Collaborative.

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Modern Touch Installs Meyer Sound MM-4XP at Four Seasons Graffiti Lounge in Cairo

In Egypt’s Four Seasons Hotel Cairo, the Graffiti Bar and Lounge has created a guest environment that is both relaxing and lively, depending on the time of the day. To ensure optimal audio quality for Graffiti’s requirements, Cairo-based Modern Touch has installed a discreet yet powerful Meyer Sound system based around the MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers. The system works in conjunction with a series of 4K-ready atmosphere media display panels that deliver a variety of high-quality visuals.

“Graffiti Lounge is a new concept for the Four Seasons, and is intended to be fresh, funky, and colorful,” says Magued Makram, co-founder and managing director of Modern Touch. “People can sit and enjoy a drink over ambient background music, but as the evening progresses, the mood heats up with DJ sets and live performances.”

Graffiti Lounge’s system consists of 22 MM-4XP loudspeakers and one MM-10 subwoofer. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor supplies system drive and optimization. The system was installed by Modern Touch engineer Hany Naguib.

“Self-powered loudspeakers cut down on rack space,” says Makram. “And it’s also highly beneficial that the MM-4XPs are so compact and easy to mount. They have a max peak SPL of 113 dB, which allows the system to cover everything from very minimal background music to full-on DJ sets.”

The loudspeakers fit seamlessly into the lounge’s sleek aesthetic, which is balanced by the two sets of atmosphere media display panels. The panel configurations display elemental visuals, such as waterfalls and sunrises.

“This project was really the brainchild of Rony Gad El Rab, the Four Seasons’ food and beverage director,” says Makram. “He’s very content with the system, to the extent that he shows everyone passing through the lounge what it can do.”

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Meyer Sound Gives Houston Airport Terminal B the Self-Powered Advantage

At the new Terminal B at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), a self-powered 48 V Meyer Sound loudspeaker system in the south concourse has raised the bar for audio fidelity and flexibility. Despite large reflective surfaces and tall ceilings, announcements and music are projected with a crispy clarity rarely heard in transportation facilities.

“The audio quality, intelligibility, and uniformity of coverage are distinctly better than most terminals across the country,” says Ulf Lueders, Terminal Services group manager of the Houston Airport System (HAS). “With this upgrade, travelers can enjoy the various concessions without having to worry about missing a flight announcement. Higher quality also allows the concourse operator to choose from a wider variety of background music, without being restricted to the ‘elevator music’ compatible with lower fidelity systems.”

Both airport management and the concourse operator, United Airlines, worked to offer across-the-board improvements in traveler experience. Improving audio quality in the concourse proved a challenge, as the 27-foot high ceiling, the room’s large size, and the expansive glass area presented acoustical difficulties. To control unwanted reverberations, Houston-based HFP Acoustical Consultants designed both the room’s acoustical treatments and the Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeaker installation as a balanced, integral system.

“Self-powered loudspeakers, with amplification and signal processing inside the cabinet, provide inherently better audio reproduction,” explains HFP’s Bill Schuermann. “Without the transformers and long cable runs typical of airport systems, they provide flatter frequency and phase response, lower distortion, and extended bass. The result is remarkable intelligibility with a natural voice quality, and far superior musicality.”

The principal Meyer Sound system comprises 60 UPM-1XP 48 V loudspeakers, 44 MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, and two Stella-4C installation loudspeakers, with a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with seven Galileo 408 processors providing system optimization. LD Systems of Houston installed the system.

“If conventional systems have to be rezoned to accommodate a new floor plan, you usually have to change wiring in the ceiling,” Schuermann explains. “But with self-powered systems, all the changes can be quickly accomplished inside the equipment room.”

“We’ve raised the bar with Terminal B south,” says Lueders. “It is certainly the airport’s prime location as far as audio quality and coverage is concerned.”

IAH Terminal B south concourse was designed by Cheryl Gajeske and Ivan Pire of Houston-based PGAL. The $97 million project opened in 2013 with 15 active gates for United Express regional flights, with expansion to 30 gates planned by the end of the year.

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