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Michigan’s NCG Eastwood Cinemas Installs Meyer Sound System for “Xtreme” Screen

The 18-screen multiplex NCG Eastwood Cinemas in Lansing, Mich. has selected a Meyer Sound cinema loudspeaker system for its premium “Xtreme” screening room.

“It’s an amazing sound system,” says Mark Henning, chief operating officer for NCG Cinemas. “In a recent trailer, the explosions and gunshot effects—with sound going from one corner to another—were just phenomenal. I also remember a scene from ‘The Hobbit’ inside a cave, with footsteps in water and water dripping from the walls. The clarity and detail were astonishing.”

The installation comprises three Acheron® 100 and three Acheron LF screen channel loudspeakers, 10 X-800C cinema subwoofers and 26 HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers. The system is driven and optimized by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with three Galileo 616 processors.

Ken Angst of Washington, Mich.-based Audio Imaging Specialists served as system integrator. “They were looking for the highest quality audio, and I knew that Meyer Sound’s self-powered technology makes a substantial difference,” says Angst. “It sounds absolutely awesome in that room. It was an honor to put it together.”

The Eastwood audio system was pre-wired for its future implementation of the Dolby Atmos format.

The “Xtreme” screening room was built from the ground up as an addition to Eastwood’s existing 18-screen complex. In addition to the Meyer Sound system, the room features a Christie digital projector, a 74-foot wide screen, a RealD 3D system, and premium seating—including a number of reclining love seats.

“The Meyer Sound audio quality certainly is impressive, and our customers have noticed the difference,” says Henning. “Without question, along with the screen and the seating, it completes our full ‘Xtreme’ movie-going experience.”

Headquartered in Owosso, Mich., NCG Cinemas operates 14 theatres with a total of 137 screens, primarily in smaller cities and metropolitan suburbs in Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana.

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SMPTE Presents Journal Certificates of Merit to Meyer Sound’s Schwenke and Soper

SMPTE (The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) has just awarded the Journal Certificates of Merit to two Meyer Sound staff for their technical paper “Further Investigations into the Interactions between Cinema Loudspeakers and Screens.” The paper was co-authored by Meyer Sound’s Roger Schwenke, staff scientist, and Pete Soper, engineer, along with Brian Long, engineer at Skywalker Sound, and Glenn Leembruggen, principal of consultants Acoustic Directions and ICE Design in Australia.

The 27-page paper presents a thorough investigation of the acoustical interaction between loudspeakers and cinema screens of both perforated and woven construction. By employing both large sections of screen in front of loudspeakers in an anechoic chamber and smaller sections inside a plane wave tube, the authors were able to present a more detailed evaluation of the screen materials’ effect on sound transmission into the room, as well as any effects of sound reflected back into the loudspeaker.

The results of the research should lead to improved optimization techniques for cinema sound by providing new insights into the selection of screen materials, setting of distance between loudspeaker and screen, and DSP tuning and measurement procedures. The paper is available for purchase here.

The awards were presented by SMPTE President Wendy Aylsworth at the society’s annual Honors and Awards Ceremony, held on October 24 at Loews Hollywood Hotel in Los Angeles.

As a sustaining member of SMPTE, Meyer Sound manufactures cinema loudspeaker systems that have been installed in exhibition venues around the world. Postproduction installations include INK Production, 20th Century Fox, Skywalker Sound, and 40 other sound design rooms and dubbing stages.

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Dubai World Trade Centre Debuts Meyer Sound LEO at Music Week

The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) recently introduced its new Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system during Dubai Music Week. Featuring a lineup that included will.i.am, Selena Gomez, and Timbaland, the event programs were held at the DWTC Arena.

DWTC’s system marks the first LEO purchase in the Middle East. “LEO stood true to its specifications in uniformity, extended frequency response, and sheer power,” says Ashley A. Rodrigues, DWTC’s manager of technical production. “There was very little that needed to be tweaked. The response was linear and transparent throughout the arena, and we measured levels of 116 dBA continuous at 65 meters from the stage.”

The system at Dubai Music Week comprised left and right main arrays of nine LEO-M line array loudspeakers over three MICA® line array loudspeakers as down fills, supported by dual flown cardioid arrays of nine-each 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Five MILO® line array loudspeakers on each side supplied out fill, and the entire system was driven by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and two Galileo 616 processors. On-stage foldback was supplied by 12 MJF-212A stage monitors, four MINA™ line array loudspeakers, and one 700-HP subwoofer.

“I have heard practically all the other high-quality brands on the market, and LEO’s quality stands above the rest,” says Rodrigues. “It engulfs you in a way that is difficult to express, but a pleasure to experience. The system certainly did justice to the excited crowd of 8,000—in fact, all the performers’ FOH engineers reported that they were awed by LEO’s performance.”

DWTC’s LEO system will be used for all large-scale concert events inside the complex, and will also be available as a rental system for major events throughout the Emirates.

Dubai Music Week brought famed luminaries of popular music together for a program that included the Quincy Jones Seminars, the MIDEM Music Conference, the Pepsi Bandslam, and major concerts by Bollywood and Arabic star performers, in addition to the headliner shows.

The DWTC is a multi-faceted business complex that encompasses office towers along with world-class event facilities for conferences, conventions, exhibitions, and entertainment.

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Meyer Sound Constellation at Cohan Center Facilitates Communication for Musicians

Home of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the 1,289-seat Christopher Cohan Center has recently installed a Meyer Sound Constellation® acoustic system. Featuring a retractable active acoustic canopy formed by 40 miniature loudspeakers, the Constellation system provides an environment that helps musicians hear each other better and hence improve their sense of ensemble.

“The orchestra plays on a thrust stage in front of the proscenium, under a very high ceiling,” explains Fred Vogler, principal sound designer at Sonitus, a Los Angeles-based audio and video consulting firm that handled venue demo, as well as the design and commissioning of the final system at the Cohan Center. “The distance between the orchestra and the walls and ceiling created the opportunity for Constellation’s virtual canopy to add early reflections to the stage and front seating areas. The result is improved communication among the musicians and conductor.”

Jim Black, executive director of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, says: “The reaction of the musicians has been remarkable. Now they are just beaming at one another while playing. Their ability to hear other parts of the ensemble has been greatly enhanced, and this has improved their overall performance.”

Constellation has also enhanced the overall audience experience. “Now you can hear more subtleties, and the sound just blooms better,” says Black. “There’s more color to the orchestra without it sounding at all amplified.”

The installed system is driven by a D-Mitri® digital audio platform with six processors, including two that run the patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithms. Completing the system are 16 suspended compact cardioid microphones, a combination of 40 Stella-8C installation loudspeakers, UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, and UPJunior™ VariO loudspeakers, and six UMS-SM subwoofers. Both the microphones and Stella-8C loudspeakers are suspended by small lift motors, allowing the system to be raised out of sight with the press of a button when not in use.

Fred Vogler worked with the venue, orchestra, and integrator on the final design and implementation of the Constellation system. Vogler also designed a new sound reinforcement system for the hall, in collaboration with Roger Phillip, the center’s audio lead. The system is anchored by twin arrays of 11-each MICA® line array loudspeakers, and includes two UPQ-2P, eight UP-4XP, and six UPJunior loudspeakers as corner, front, and balcony fills, respectively. Low end is supplied by eight 600-HP subwoofers. Installation was handled by the Los Angeles office of Miami-based integrator Pro Sound & Video.

Located on the campus of California Polytechnic State University, The Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo incorporates two venues: the Christopher Cohan Center, housing the main concert hall and two smaller halls; and the 498-seat Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre.

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Meyer Sound CAL Covers 360 Degrees at Vancouver Chan Centre

The 1,185-seat Chan Shun Concert Hall in Vancouver’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts has installed a 360-degree system comprised of six steerable CAL™ column array loudspeakers from Meyer Sound. The upgrade has markedly improved both vocal clarity and sound distribution for the hall’s variety of events.

The system design was tasked to Martin Van Dijk, principal designer of the Toronto-based consulting firm Engineering Harmonics. The requirement was to evenly cover all seating areas, including 180 hard-to-reach seats in the choral loft behind the stage. The system also had to work at various heights, as the hall features an adjustable canopy to optimize reflections for different events.

“It was an extraordinary challenge,” says Paul Alegado, project manager and associate designer for Engineering Harmonics. “During the review process, the manufacturers and contractors involved had to re-submit designs several times to fully meet the requirements. When all was said and done, it worked beautifully.”

Employing powerful DSP algorithms, the steerable CAL column array loudspeaker allows its vertical beam to be angled up or down in one-degree increments to accurately aim only at target areas. The center cluster at Chan Centre comprises three forward-facing CAL 64 loudspeakers covering the orchestra level and two balconies, two side-facing CAL 32 loudspeakers, and one rear-facing CAL 32 loudspeaker for the choral loft. Four presets in the Meyer Sound Compass® control software allow operators to maintain constant coverage, regardless of the height of the cluster and overhead canopy.

“In the past, we’d had problems with people sitting behind the stage or on the stage hearing what was said,” remarks Owen Schellenberger, technical director at the Chan Centre. “Now those problems are essentially eliminated. We had no complaints after any of the ceremonies this graduation season, and the centre management has commented favorably on the improvements.”

The hall has also installed a left-right reinforcement system based around Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeakers. The system is anchored by twin arrays of 10-each MINA loudspeakers under a 500-HP subwoofer, and also includes 10 UPM-1P loudspeakers for front and loge fill, two on-deck 700-HP subwoofers, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor.

“The MINA works very well in here,” says Will Howie, audio engineer at the Chan Centre. “I’m impressed with the clarity it has brought to the room, which is a difficult one, as it was designed for symphonic music. MINA has that certain ‘forwardness’ you hear in a good studio monitor.”

Both the CAL center cluster and the music reinforcement system were provided and installed by Sapphire Sound of Abbotsford, BC. Brockville, Ontario-based GerrAudio provided project support.

The overhaul of the hall’s AV system also included the installation of Avid VENUE consoles at FOH and monitor, and an Optocore fiber-based network system.

Artists who have performed with the new system include Patty Griffin, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, and the Taj Mahal Trio with Shemekia Copeland.

Opened in 1997, the Chan Centre at the University of British Columbia was made possible by generous donations from local philanthropists Tom and Caleb Chan. The performing arts complex also includes the Telus Studio Theatre, the Royal Bank Cinema, and the Great Performers Lounge.

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Sweden’s Liseberg Amusement Park Comes Alive with Meyer Sound D-Mitri

In celebration of its 90th anniversary, Liseberg amusement park in Sweden has completely renovated its children’s area to create Rabbit Land, a 10,000-square-meter play area where children can interact with animals and rabbit-costumed actors. To carry the actors’ voices, sound effects, and incidental music throughout the park, system integrator One Two Sales of Gothenburg has outfitted Rabbit Land with Meyer Sound’s D-Mitri® digital audio platform and Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers discreetly placed throughout the area.

“Meyer Sound’s integrated solution was a perfect match for Liseberg’s expansion,” says Ola Lindstedt of One Two Sales. “They wanted a supplier with extensive experience in themed entertainment, which Meyer has worldwide. Of course, they also wanted high-quality sound and reliability.”

At the heart of the system is the D-Mitri platform, which provides all show control, audio playback, mixing, matrixing, and DSP functions using five processors. D-Mitri connects to six UPJunior-XP 48 V VariO™ loudspeakers nestled in the park’s Rabbit Hills and Cupcake areas, with three 500-HP subwoofers providing low end. In addition, seven UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers are mounted underneath the park’s monorail track to extend coverage and provide sound effects.

The system was designed and specified by Lindstedt in consultation with Dan Rigtorp, Liseberg’s technical director.

“The D-Mitri platform contains all the necessities, including integrated Wild Tracks playback,” says Rigtorp. “We particularly like the fact that you can tailor the workspace on the iPad controller app to access the D-Mitri functions any way you like.

“We looked at other solutions, but decided on Meyer for several reasons,” continues Rigtorp. “The speakers have a small footprint with their unique low-voltage solution. In addition, Meyer Sound offers us a single source for everything, including support and education.”

In addition to Wild Tracks playback of programmed music and effects, the system carries the live voices of rabbit-costumed actors who perform in interactive shows. The actors use six Shure ULX-D wireless microphones in conjunction with six channels of Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring, which are used to time their antics with the Wild Tracks playback. An HP network with six WiFi access points allows total system control anywhere throughout the attraction.

The Rabbit Land development represents Liseberg’s largest single investment, with a total cost of just under 200 million Swedish kroner, or about $31 million USD. Established in 1923 and owned by the municipality of Gothenburg, Liseberg attracts about three million visitors annually with 40 rides and attractions.

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With Meyer Sound Constellation, San Francisco Exploratorium Looks to Educate Science of Sound

Billed by the New York Times as “the most important science museum to have opened since the mid-20th century,” San Francisco’s Exploratorium has recently opened its new multidisciplinary theatre, the Kanbar Forum. To fully support its programming diversity and inspire original works of multimedia art, the Exploratorium has become the first museum facility to install a Constellation® acoustic system, supplemented with a palette of other audio tools from Meyer Sound.

Installed in more than 50 venues worldwide, Constellation is a technology that allows venues to alter a room’s acoustics from an intimate recital hall to a vast cathedral with the push of a button. One of Kanbar Forum’s first programs to take advantage of Constellation is a live performance series named Resonance.

“We’re very excited about exploring the Constellation system’s potential for both artists and scientists,” says Nicole Minor, the Exploratorium’s manager of moving images. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can do with it. I expect we’ll be able to develop an entirely new breadth of work focused on both the art and the science of sound.”

Constellation has impressed both staff and visitors at the Exploratorium. “As part of his Full-Spectrum Science series, our Staff Scientist Ron Hipschman has been demonstrating Constellation in his talks,” says Minor. “Switching through the presets, he elicits ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ with just his voice and handclaps when the audience experiences the startling, yet natural acoustical effects.”

Constellation is built on Meyer Sound’s patented VRAS™ acoustical algorithm. The configuration in Kanbar Forum features 12 distributed microphones and more than 90 loudspeakers, including Stella-4C installation loudspeakers, MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers, UP-4XP 48 V loudspeakers, and MM-10XP 48V subwoofers.

The Kanbar Forum’s expansive audio toolbox also includes SpaceMap® multichannel panning, a technology that allows sound designers to fly sounds through space. SpaceMap is used in Fathom, a sound installation by Shane Myrbeck and Emily Shisko as part of the series Soundscapes.

A sound reinforcement loudspeaker system in the venue features UPQ-2P and MM-4XP loudspeakers, UPJ-1P and UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers, and 600-HP subwoofers with a Galileo® loudspeaker management system.

The Exploratorium’s Executive Associate Director Ron Semper and renowned multimedia pioneer Kristina Woolsey conceived the audio systems in the Kanbar Forum. System design specifics were developed by Phil Bailey of systems integrator BBI Engineering, in consultation with theatrical design firm The Shalleck Collaborative.

“It took a great deal of effort by a lot of dedicated people to create a room that looks so deceptively simple, yet has the potential for such a variety of uses,” says Adam Shalleck, principal and president of The Shalleck Collaborative. “All parties worked together to ensure that the Kanbar’s technical and aesthetic elements fit in with the Exploratorium’s vision.”

While the Kanbar Forum stands out as a technology showcase, more than 120 additional Meyer Sound loudspeakers are installed in 11 other locations around the Exploratorium, including the Webcast Studio, the Bay Observatory Gallery, the Outdoor Exploratorium plaza, The Retail Store, conference rooms, and classrooms. These spaces feature 12 different loudspeaker models, ranging from the discreet MM-4XP loudspeaker to the 700-HP subwoofer.

Established by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium was originally located in San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. The museum moved to expanded and technologically enhanced facilities at Piers 15 and 17 on the San Francisco waterfront in 2013. The new Exploratorium was designed by EHDD.

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Barbie Live! Musical Tours Asia with Meyer Sound M’elodie

Mattel’s universally beloved Barbie™ and Ken™ dolls are performing across Asia in the stage production Barbie Live! For the young audience in this family show, sound designer Kai Harada has built a sound system based on the Meyer Sound M’elodie® line array loudspeaker. Equipment provider is Orlando, Fla.-based Show Systems.

“It’s a dance-heavy show,” says Harada, “so we needed a robust system that would cover large theatres or smaller arenas with exceptional clarity—but at levels appropriate for children’s ears. I knew that a M’elodie rig would give us those qualities, as well as the flexibility to adapt to different venues.”

The show uses up to 24 M’elodie loudspeakers that can be configured as either left-right or left-centre-right arrays, depending on the venue. The system also includes two 600-HP subwoofers, 16 UPJunior™ VariO™ loudspeakers for foldback, delay, and fill, 10 UPM-1P loudspeakers for front fill, and eight MM-4 loudspeakers for offstage foldback. A Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 408 and two Galileo 616 processors supplies system drive and optimization.

“From my experience, M’elodies are exactly what shows like this need,” says Harada. “They are highly controllable, with excellent vertical focusing. They are also reliable, and that comfort factor is critical.”

Harada’s long-time associate Douglas Graves assisted with show design and the initial system alignment in Singapore. Traveling with the tour are FOH engineer Tristan Jackson and systems tech Andrea Espinosa.

“Galileo gives us the option to make design changes from city to city very easily,” says Frank Snipes, vice president of Show Systems, who coordinated tour audio logistics. “Coupled with self-powered loudspeakers, Galileo allows the road crew to reconfigure the system as needed, with absolutely minimum hassle.”

The tour carries a DiGiCo SD9 console with MADI-linked dual Pro Tools systems for audio playback. Cast principals sing live using Shure UR-1 wireless bodypack transmitters with Countryman B6 omni microphones. Dialogue tracks for most Asian shows are pre-recorded in the native language. Actors on stage mime the dialogue, staying in sync by following low-volume English tracks played on the MM-4 foldback loudspeakers.

Barbie Live! is produced by EMS Entertainment, in association with Mattel Live Entertainment. Opening in Singapore, the tour includes Thailand and China, followed by Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand through 2014. North American and European tours are in development for later in 2014.

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Meyer Sound-Equipped FutureWorks Studio in India Receives Dolby Premier Studio Certification

Indian postproduction company FutureWorks has upgraded its flagship Studio A facility in the historic Rajkamal Kalamandir Studios in Mumbai. Featuring a Meyer Sound cinema loudspeaker system, Studio A has become the first Dolby Atmos facility in India to be awarded Dolby Premier Studio Certification.

“With the Studio A refit, we challenged ourselves to come up with the best sounding room we could,” says Gaurav Gupta, managing director of FutureWorks. “We decided that we wanted to achieve Dolby Premier Studio Certification, and for that we needed loudspeakers of remarkable clarity and response.”

In evaluating FutureWorks’ equipment options, Gupta kept returning to a positive experience he had several years ago with a Meyer Sound cinema system at Skywalker Sound in Nicasio, Calif.

“I was blown away by its accuracy,” recalls Gupta. “Ultimately, it was clear that a Meyer Sound system was the number one choice, both technically and from a business point-of-view, in terms of what our customers require.”

Studio A’s monitoring system includes five Acheron® 80 screen channel loudspeakers and 37 HMS-10 cinema surround loudspeakers, complemented by four X-800C cinema subwoofers and two 500-HP subwoofers. System optimization is handled by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors. Pondicherry-based consultancy Sound Wizard advised FutureWorks on the upgrade.

“The reaction from our clients has been absolutely fantastic,” says Gupta. “They love how the room sounds, and the response and accuracy they are able to get from the new equipment. It is clear that Meyer Sound represents the future for cinema sound.”

Founded in 2007, FutureWorks provides complete postproduction services to worldwide clients, including a number of Hollywood studios. FutureWorks has studios in Mumbai and Chennai.

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Two Meyer Sound Rental Houses Join Forces for Metallica’s Malaysian Debut

Two of Malaysia’s leading rental companies came together this summer to ensure Metallica’s first-ever concert in the country would be a memorable event. By merging their Meyer Sound inventories, Kuala Lumpur-based EHQ Projects and Selangor-based SES Sound & Lighting created a massive, 146-loudspeaker system based around MILO® line array loudspeakers.

“There were no delays, but the sound was clear and very loud even 100 meters back from the stage,” recalls Jay Neil, technical director of EHQ Projects. “Afterwards, I had people telling me it sounded like a CD on a great stereo.”

In order to cover an audience of 30,000 in Kuala Lumpur’s Stadium Merdeka, the two companies configured a system of 72 MILO loudspeakers, including 40 for main hangs, 30 for side hangs, and two for out fills. Front fill was provided by 12 M’elodie® line array loudspeakers, and 40 700-HP subwoofers provided ample low end. System drive and alignment was supplied by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors. Dual side-fill arrays featuring five-each MILO loudspeakers over two-each 700-HP subwoofers combined with 26 MJF-212A stage monitors to provide on-stage foldback.

FOH mixing duties were handled by “Big Mick” Hughes, Metallica’s long-time engineer. Monitor engineer Bob Cowan and assistant monitor engineer Adam Correia handled the band’s on-stage mix.

“After the show, the media reported that it was the first time they’d head really great sound at an outdoor rock concert in Malaysia,” says Neil. “Big Mick deserves a great deal of credit for mixing Metallica as only he can.”

Andrew Warren, managing director for EHQ Projects, worked closely with Neil, while Frankie Lau, Marcus Koay, and Frando Ho coordinated logistics for SES Sound & Lighting under the supervision of Managing Director S.T. Ho.

“Metallica was the show of a lifetime,” says Neil. “We want to thank SES for coming on board as a partner to make it a great success.”

Metallica’s Malaysian appearance was produced and organized by Galaxy Group, in association with LAMC Productions and Rockstar Touring.

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