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With Nearly 300 Meyer Sound Loudspeakers, Self-Powered Advantage a Hit at Beijing Auto Show

At the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, 20 car manufacturers relied on nearly 300 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers to provide visually unobtrusive and high-quality reinforcement. These brands included Chrysler, Toyota, Volkswagen, Subaru, and Honda; luxury makers Bentley, Ferrari, and Maserati; and six domestic Chinese manufacturers.

“Our business is focused on commercial exhibition, and it’s a great advantage for us to offer self-powered Meyer Sound systems,” says Dakun Bai, audio technology department director for Beijing Huelead AV Equipment, which provided more than 124 Meyer Sound loudspeakers for voice and music applications. “The line level audio cables don’t suffer the attenuation losses of speaker cables, and they are easier to tie on a truss. Self-powering also eliminates the noise and heat dissipation of amplifier racks, and because each driver has its own amplifier, sound quality and system reliability are much improved.”

The Volkswagen exhibit space included 30 UPA-1P, 30 UPM-1P, and 13 UPQ-1P loudspeakers; 10 UPJ-1P VariO™ loudspeakers; 16 MINA™ and 15 MICA® line array loudspeakers; and five-each 700-HP and 500-HP subwoofers. The system was optimized and driven by a Galileo® loudspeaker management system comprising eight Galileo 616 processors.

“Galileo is a great-sounding and highly reliable signal processor,” says Dakun Bai. “Using the Compass® control software wirelessly makes it very convenient to adjust the system from anywhere in the exhibit space. Also, the MAPP Online Pro® acoustical prediction program makes it easy to communicate with our clients’ technical teams anywhere in the world.”

In addition to Beijing & Shanghai Huelead AV Equipment, three other companies also supplied Meyer Sound products such as M’elodie® line array loudspeakers and USW-1P subwoofers. They include Superb Oriental Exhibition Service, AV Promotions Ltd., and Beijing & Shanghai Bright AV Solutions Ltd.

Informally known as “Auto China 2014,” the exhibition took place at the massive China International Exhibition Center across more than 230,000 square meters. It attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors from 22 countries, with estimated attendance at well over one million.

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Meyer Sound MINA Goes Gold at Pennsylvania’s F.M. Kirby Center

The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. has installed a new system based around Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeakers. As part of the restoration for the art deco auditorium, custom-painted gold arrays blend seamlessly into the gilt wood proscenium arch. Dave Grogan of Wilkes-Barre-based Effects Unlimited handled system design consultation and installation.

“The MINA system has a powerful sound, and fills the hall beautifully,” says Michael Dale, technical director for the F.M. Kirby Center. “The system will be accepted on 95 percent of the riders. It’s got the most bang for the buck, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

In addition to dual hangs of 13-each MINA loudspeakers, the Meyer Sound system also includes six 600-HP subwoofers, four UPM-1P loudspeakers as front fills, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor for system drive and alignment.

“The MINA arrays were the preferred solution, as the venue didn’t want a massive array of black loudspeakers hanging in front of that gorgeous proscenium,” says Grogan. “As small as the MINAs are, they still throw beautifully to the back of the balcony. And the centre’s management was flabbergasted at how well the custom painting matched.”

Matching the loudspeakers’ color to the venue was a smooth and simple process, according to Michael Dale. “I took a color swatch up to that level of the proscenium, made a selection, sent it off to Meyer, and they sent back a piece of cabinet and metal grille for verification,” he reports. “The match really is astonishingly good.”

Dale adds that the system has already impressed a number of touring FOH engineers. “The sound is just phenomenal,” he says. “Alice Cooper was our first real test, and his FOH mixer loved what he heard. I heard much the same reaction when the Experience Hendrix tour came through with some of the world’s top guitarists.”

For the 1,800-seat venue’s movie showings, Effects Unlimited also provided three new 7,000-lumen Panasonic video projectors with image merging by Airflex 5D processing. FOH is mixed on a MIDAS Venice 320 console.

The lavish art deco structure housing the F.M. Kirby Center was completed in 1938, closed in 1977 due to economic factors, and reopened in 1986.

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A Full EDM Immersion: Meyer Sound LYON and 1100-LFC Power Germany’s MAYDAY Festival

MAYDAY, a 20-year-old electronic dance music (EDM) tradition in Germany received a sonic power boost this year with a brand-new Meyer Sound LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system. The 2014 “Full Senses” edition drew 21,000 to the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund, with headline DJs Fedde Le Grand, Moguai, and Sander van Doorn playing in the main arena through an immersive surround sound configuration.

“The sound was clean, clear, crisp, and had loads of headroom,” reports Bernd Görgen, co-managing director for Wiesbaden-based schokopro, which has supplied technical production, including sound, light, video, and kinetics for the third year. “We received very good feedback from the promoter during soundcheck, and the performance throughout the night proved us right in our decision to use LYON.”

The main system comprised arrays of eight-each LYON linear line array loudspeakers in each corner of the arena, bolstered by side arrays of six-each MICA® line array loudspeakers. Low-end reinforcement was supplied by an array of 24 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, and auxiliary and fill systems comprised two hangs of ten-each M’elodie® line array loudspeakers for front entry, five MICA loudspeakers for near fill, and 12 UPA-1P loudspeakers for side tiers. Drive and optimization were supplied by a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and six Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and two Galileo 616 processors. Four JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers and four 600-HP subwoofers provided DJ monitoring.

The LYON system was recommended for MAYDAY by Jörg Rapp, head of sound for schokopro, based on his recent experience using another member of the LEO™ Family, the larger LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system. Audio engineers Dirk Maron and Dennis Siebert coordinated system design for schokopro and worked as system technicians on site.

“We had the pleasure of working with a crew that could get the best out of a sound system,” says Wulf Issinger, co-managing director for schokopro. “With the effortless power and even coverage of the LYON arrays and the tremendous performance of the 1100-LFCs, the system provided an amazing experience for the crowd—from the front of the stage to the very back of the venue.”

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Denmark’s Victory Adds Both Meyer Sound LEO and LYON to Rental Inventory

Denmark-based Victory Tour Production has updated its rental inventory with two systems from Meyer Sound’s newly expanded LEO™ Family of products: the LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system, as well as its more compact and flexible sibling, the LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system.

“LEO is already being requested by major tours,” says Frank Grønbæk, project manager for Victory and head of the Copenhagen office. “Its power and long throw opens us to not only the largest stadium and festival shows in Denmark, but also to a wider market elsewhere in northern Europe. And LYON’s size and weight is ideally suited to most shows in the relatively small Danish market.”

The pivotal point in Victory’s purchase decision was a convincing LYON demo in Amsterdam. “The coverage and power were very impressive,” recalls Grønbæk. “I went back 65 meters, up in the balcony, and the sound was still right there, in my face. Then when I walked around the side and came out of the coverage, it just dropped off, like pulling down a console fader. That was amazing. Even all the way off to one side, way in the back, I could still hear a solid left-right stereo image.”

Victory’s LEO family purchase comprises 24 LEO-M line array loudspeakers, 20 LYON-M main line array loudspeakers, eight LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers, and 28 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. Also purchased were eight JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers, six UPA-1P and two UPQ-1P loudspeakers, a Compass® RMS remote monitoring system featuring six RMServers for real-time loudspeaker feedback, and a Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system featuring four Galileo Callisto 616 and two Galileo Callisto 616 AES array processors and two Galileo 408 processors.

The first outing for Victory’s new LEO and LYON systems was a large-scale Danish television broadcast of the TV 2 music show “Top Charlie,” taped at the 50,000-capacity Parken soccer stadium.

The system configuration was anchored by left and right main arrays of 12 LEO-M loudspeakers each, with two LYON-W loudspeakers each for downfill. Two end-fire directional arrays of nine 1100-LFC loudspeakers each provided low end, with two UPQ-1P and six UPA-1P loudspeakers used for front and corner fill, respectively. Four delay arrays utilized a total of 18 LYON-M and two LYON-W loudspeakers. System drive and optimization were supplied by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with one Galileo Callisto AES 616 and six Galileo Callisto 616 array processors. Theis Romme of Victory was system tech for the event.

“The client requested delays because of the particular show set-up,” explains Grønbæk. “But we did some tests before sound check, and found we could bring the levels up to the point where, with a higher hang, we could have covered the entire stadium without using any delays. In the future, that will certainly save our clients time and money.”

Victory Tour Production is one of Scandinavia’s leading providers of sound, light, staging, and technical event production services. The company has offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen.

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Skillet FOH Engineer on Meyer Sound LEO: “The Bass Guitar Has Never Sounded Better”

A cornerstone of White House, Tenn.-based Blackhawk Audio’s inventory, the Meyer Sound LEO™ linear large-scale sound reinforcement system is staying busy this spring season. Now supporting Christian hard-rock band Skillet’s tour with rappers TobyMac and Lecrae, the LEO system gives the Blackhawk crew and FOH engineer Robert Taylor the tool to deliver an exceptional live experience show after show in amphitheatres across North America.

“LEO is perfect for what we do,” says Robert Taylor, FOH engineer for the Skillet tour. “You can feel the drums and the guitars, and the bass guitar has never sounded better.”

The standard configuration for the tour is 16 LEO-M line array loudspeakers per side, with two MICA® line array loudspeakers per side used for down fill. Out-fill arrays consist of up to 10 MICA loudspeakers each, and 16 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements supply low-end reinforcement. The tour also carries four 700-HP subwoofers and four JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers for side fill. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 and four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors handles zoning, drive, and alignment.

For Taylor, who first mixed on LEO when Skillet played a festival last year, the new system has been a welcome new foundation for the band’s shows. “When we first fired up this rig and started line-checking, people were walking around with huge grins on their faces,” he recalls. “The sound is big, full, and in-your-face, but never harsh. The subs get down really low, under 40 cycles with no problem, but they stay musical while they’re doing it.”

An Avid SC48 console is chosen for both FOH and monitoring mixing. The tour is also carrying Shure UHF-R wireless microphone systems and IEMs for Skillet, with additional Sennheiser G3 systems for opening acts. Scotty Rock is the tour production manager, and Ted Daniels of Blackhawk Audio is system tech.

Jamie Nixon, director of touring and marketing for Blackhawk Audio, finds LEO to be a perfect match. “Skillet puts on a very high energy show, and the LEO system finishes the way it starts—with a full wall of sound.”

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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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