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Starlight on Powering Back-to-Back Heavy Metal Festivals: “Rigging & Tuning Meyer Sound LEO is That Fast”

Supporting heavy metal festivals STHLM Fields and Sonisphere not only took tremendous sonic power, but also an intelligently designed loudspeaker rigging system built for mission-critical circumstances. For the festivals’ headliners Metallica, Slayer, and Mastodon, Starlight built a massive Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system with close to 200 loudspeakers. Within 24 hours, the system was flown and tuned for action for the two productions located 500 km from each other.

Both produced by Live Nation, the STHLM Fields welcomed a sold-out crowd of 50,000 in Stockholm’s vast Gardet Royal Park, while Sonisphere drew 40,000 metal fans to Oslo’s Valle Hovin stadium.

“Although the shows were two days apart, Metallica preferred to have the system ready for a 6:00 pm check in Oslo the day after the first show,” says Fredrik Arwidson, systems engineer for Starlight. “We managed to deliver on the band’s demands with only seven people on the audio crew; rigging and tuning LEO is that fast.”

The main LEO system comprised dual main hangs of 16 LEO-M line array loudspeakers with two MICA® line array loudspeakers for down fill. Low end was provided by 42 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements in dual flown arrays of 12 each and dual end-fire arrays stacked in rows of three by three, in addition to six M3D-Sub directional subwoofers for center coverage. Main stage out hangs each used 14 MILO® line array loudspeakers, with six MICA loudspeakers for front fill. Four delay systems deployed a total of 24 MILO and 32 LEO-M loudspeakers and 24 flown M3D subwoofers.

System drive and optimization was provided by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 AES and eight Galileo Callisto array processors.

“The sound quality was great,” says Christian Schøyen of Live Nation Norway. “The LEO system filled the entire stadium with plenty of volume, and it looked good, too.”

Arwidson adds: “Every time we set up LEO, I’m surprised by how effortlessly it delivers extremely high output with no power compression. It seems that the headroom never ends. The audience was excited all the way to the back.”

In addition to the main LEO system, the Stockholm site featured a dual-stage setup using a Meyer Sound system also provided by Starlight. It included 54 M3D line array loudspeakers, 42 700-HP subwoofers, eight JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and two Galileo 616 processors.

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Meyer Sound JM-1P & 1100-LFC Drive High-Energy Worship at The Crossing Church in Las Vegas

To attract a younger, media-savvy demographic, The Crossing Christian Church has installed a concert-grade Meyer Sound system. The design features the JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker and the 1100-LFC low-frequency control element, Meyer Sound’s most powerful loudspeaker for 30 Hz to 85 Hz frequency range.

“It’s great to finally have a system with enough headroom so that we can push it hard when needed, and have it respond with a smooth increase in gain, without distorting or changing the tonality,” says Bob Meyers, principal audio engineer at The Crossing.

For uniform coverage of the wide, 1,800-seat room, the system relies on four main clusters of JM-1P loudspeakers, with four in each end cluster and five in each of the two center clusters. One UPA-1P loudspeaker provides down-fill under each cluster, while six UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers supply front fill. Four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements are flown in an end-fired array over the stage, and two 600-HP subwoofers are placed underneath the deck. System drive and optimization are handled by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors.

Kevin Potts and David Starck of Las Vegas-based Coherent Design handled system planning in close consultation with the church’s principal audio engineers: Meyers and Aaron Beck, a volunteer who is also head of sound for a resident Cirque du Soleil® production. System integration was handled by Las Vegas-based AVDB Group, with Bob Langlois responsible for overall direction and Daryl Porter handling on-site project management.

“They are serious about audio quality at The Crossing,” says Starck. “When they built this new worship space, they wanted to make sure everything was done to the highest standards.”

From an integrator’s perspective, the Meyer Sound solution has saved both time and money. “With a Meyer system, you pull it out of the box, and it works,” says Langlois. “The amount of labor is so much less than with other non-powered systems.”

The front end of The Crossing’s new audio system includes a Yamaha CL5 digital mixing console at FOH, Shure ULX-D wireless microphone systems, Shure PSM 900 IEMs, and wired microphones from Countryman, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, Shure, and Audix.

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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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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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