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Meyer Sound PANTHER Shines on US Tour Debut with Dead & Company

Meyer Sound PANTHER Shines on US Tour Debut with Dead & Company

Stadium/Shed System from UltraSound Anchored by 72 PANTHER Loudspeakers

Dead & Company is back on the road for their 2022 Summer Tour which kicked off in mid-June at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. As they carry on the Grateful Dead tradition of using the latest innovations in sound reinforcement, the tour is powered by a system featuring Meyer Sound’s new PANTHER large-format linear line array loudspeaker. The band further augmented its seemingly limitless repertoire of tunes while UltraSound — decades-long audio provider for the Grateful Dead and successor ensembles — assembled the largest system of PANTHER loudspeakers in North America, and the first to roll out on a USA tour.

To cover expansive audience areas in a mix of sports stadiums and larger sheds, UltraSound is carrying a PANTHER inventory that allows reconfiguration for venue size. For stadiums, a typical deployment is four identical arrays — two main front and two side — each comprising fourteen PANTHER loudspeakers, with four PANTHER-W wide coverage versions flown under 12 PANTHER-L long-throw versions.

Mixing the band for PANTHER’s North American touring debut is FOH Engineer Derek Featherstone, who also serves as tour director and UltraSound CEO.

PANTHER is a very responsive system and reacts quickly to change. The vocals tend to lead nicely, staying up front in the mix better than with last year’s system. I’ve altered some vocal compression to take advantage of this.”

Derek Featherstone
UltraSound CEO and Dead & Company Tour Director/FOH Engineer

Weighing in at 150 lb (68 kg), the PANTHER loudspeaker nevertheless produces greater than 150 dB peak SPL. The compact size and reduced weight save on transportation costs while the new Class D amplifier dramatically reduces power consumption. PANTHER is the first line array system to offer AVB Milan™ protocol network connection directly to the loudspeaker cabinet.

As tour director, Featherstone appreciates the added flexibility afforded by PANTHER’s power-to-size/weight ratio.

“We’re using the same count of PANTHER as we had for LEO last year, but the reduced size and weight allowed us to carry more subs and deploy them more effectively. Recovered truck space allowed us to bring the VLFCs, while PANTHER’s reduced weight makes it easier to do more end-fire sub-arrays in stadiums within the same total weight limits.”

For larger venue deployments, PANTHER arrays are bolstered in the bass registers by 18 flown 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements plus 12 700-HP high-power subwoofers on the ground. Ten VLFC very-low-frequency control elements extend response down to a subsonic 13 Hz.

A dozen LEOPARD compact line array loudspeakers are deployed singly for front fill, and a total of eight GALAXY Network Platforms provide system drive and optimization. The stage foldback system comprises 10 MJF‑210 and two MJF-212A stage monitors along with two JM‑1P loudspeakers for side fill and two 1100-LFC elements as drum subs.

“We invested in PANTHER for three reasons,” says Featherstone. “We needed additional inventory, we were confident that the fidelity would be as expected from Meyer Sound, and we would benefit from the added versatility. We are already getting a good deal of interest from other tours and events after Dead & Company wrap up next month.”

In addition to Featherstone, the Dead & Company tour is supported by Michał Kacunel (system engineer), Ross Harris (recording engineer and ground PA tech), Lonnie Quinn, and Ian Dubois (monitor engineers), along with crew members Sean McAdam, Aaron Lauzier, and Reilly Williamson.

The band’s 2022 tour proceeds eastward with 20 shows scheduled in 16 cities, wrapping up at Citi Field in New York on July 16. Of the tour venues, four are Major League Baseball stadiums, one an NFL stadium, and one college football stadium, with the balance at larger sheds.

Dead & Company was formed in 2015 when the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir joined forces with artist and musician John Mayer, Allman Brothers’ bassist Oteil Burbridge, and Fare Thee Well and RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, and has quickly become one of the most successful touring bands year over year. Since its formation, the band has completed six tours playing to millions of fans and became a record-breaking stadium act when it broke Wrigley Field’s all-time concert attendance record, which still holds to this day. Having toured consistently since its 2015 debut, the band has grossed $300 million and has sold more than three million tickets across 172 reported shows.

ApexPro’s Justin Acers experiences the Meyer Sound Panther first hand at Infocomm 2022

Prosound Director Justin Acres at Meyer Stand, Infocomm, 2022
Prosound Director Justin Acres at Meyer Stand, Infocomm, 2022
ApexPro Managing Director, Justin Acers meets with Meyer Sound Director of Global Marketing, Tim Boot at Infocomm 2022, Las Vegas 2022

Last week, Meyer Sound premiered the new Panther large-format linear line array loudspeaker at it’s booth at InfoComm Show 2022, in Las Vegas.

Our managing director, Justin Acers, had the pleasure to meet with Meyer Sounds Director of Global Marketing, Tim Boot, to experience the power of the Panther firsthand!

“We are very excited to bring the Panther to the African market. No other line array comes close to matching PANTHER’s remarkable output of over 150 dB in such a compact cabinet. PANTHER delivers unrivaled linearity and headroom, only achievable with a self-powered system.” ApexPro technical director Mark Malherbe points out.

Meyer Sound Makes Science Education an Adventure at Denmark’s LIFE Campus

Meyer Sound Makes Science Education an Adventure at Denmark’s LIFE Campus

Spacemap Go Spatial Sound Adds an Extra Dimension to Immersive AV Learning Experiences

LIFE Campus was created to give young Danish students intensive engagement with a range of learning experiences in STEM — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Certainly, local fieldwork and laboratory experiments are fundamental to scientific exploration, but LIFE Campus also has world-leading resources for giving students memorable learning adventures in 360-degree immersive environments created by cutting-edge digital technologies. The facility’s extensive AV systems and sophisticated control networks, designed and installed by the consulting and integration firm Stouenborg, include a total of more than sixty Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers.

Located in Lyngby, adjacent to the Technical University of Denmark, LIFE Campus is operated by the non-profit LIFE Foundation and was founded with the mission of inspiring Danish school children to become fully engaged in their formative years with inquiry-based science education. The new 5,400 square meter facility, opened in late 2021 by HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, is situated in an expansive natural area.

“The LIFE Foundation is an ambitious project with the purpose of strengthening young students’ knowledge of — and fascination with — the natural sciences. Therefore, we wanted to have only the best technical elements in our education center. And that includes outstanding sound systems which afford extraordinary opportunities for auditory support of teaching.”

Mogens Laursen Hastrup, head of AV operations, Technical University of Denmark, LIFE Campus

For large group learning experiences, LIFE Campus offers the innovative Kolossalen (“Colossal Hall”), a large open space that can be divided into two separate rooms. All the walls can serve as projection screens using 11 Panasonic projectors, and to control the acoustics the wall surfaces employ a perforated metal material that helps keep the reverb time to an intelligibility-friendly 0.8 seconds.

One side of the room, with a tiered floor, is termed “Auditorium 180.” Here, sound and visuals are oriented to one side with Meyer Sound’s CAL 96 column array loudspeakers — concealed behind the perforated wall/screen surface — using advanced beam steering technology with beam-splitting capability to precisely tailor coverage to the tiered seating areas.

The other half of the space, when divided and enclosed, is referred to as “Auditorium 360.” From an audio aspect, the most striking feature here is the dynamic spatial audio enabled by Meyer Sound’s powerful yet easy-to-master Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool. Using an intuitive iPad interface, Spacemap Go allows the user to freely move sounds around and through the space, directing them to the 26 full-range loudspeakers and four subwoofers, either singly or in loudspeaker groups.

“When designing this space, we consulted with workgroups of teachers and tech personnel. They wanted to have 360-degree projection, and although Spacemap Go had not yet been introduced, I knew it was coming. I recommended we support the projection with dynamic spatial sound. The idea was accepted by the group, and fortunately Spacemap Go arrived in time.”

Anders Jørgensen, project manager for Stouenborg

The Auditorium 360 system deploys 12 HMS‑10 surround loudspeakers around the walls, with four more in the ceiling along with 10 UP‑4slim compact loudspeakers. Four MM‑10XP miniature subwoofers supply deep low frequencies.

A key element in making the concept work, according to Jørgensen, was the flat-profile of the HMS-10. “The speakers are all hidden behind the perforated walls, and the HMS-10s were the only ones with the power to project through the walls and still fit in the space allowed.”

The room’s capabilities have opened new horizons for learning, according to Mogens Laursen Hastrup. “The multi-room allows us to present scientific phenomena — such as extreme weather, atomic structure, or lunar landscapes — in completely new ways to get the pupils’ attention and stimulate their interest. The dream is that, when they leave LIFE Campus at the end of the day, they think science is cool and they want to learn more.”

Other Meyer Sound systems are installed throughout the campus, with Ashby‑8C ceiling loudspeakers in the three laboratory classrooms (8 in each), in the large meeting room (4), and in the foyer (16). In the intimate canteen, full-range music reproduction is supplied by two MM‑4XP miniature self-powered loudspeakers augmented by an MM‑10ACX subwoofer.

“Our AV systems are crucial to the support of teaching at LIFE Campus,” summarizes Hastrup. “The projectors and sound systems are the first to be turned on in the morning and the last to be shut down at the end of the day.”

LIFE Campus was designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. The architecture is inspired by DNA strings, Fibonacci sequences, and other scientific and mathematical patterns. The façade features 96 solid oak columns. Major funding for the LIFE Foundation is provided by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. At Integrated Systems Europe 2022, LIFE Campus won an Inavation Award in the “Education” category.

If you are looking for an award-winning audio solution for your education facility, contact us to find out more about Meyer Sound Lab solutions.

ApexPro is the sole distributor of Meyer Sound Solution in South Africa.

Meyer Sound PANTHER Exceeds Expectations at Ed Sheeran “+ – = ÷ x” Tour Launch

Global Stadium Tour Debuts with Bold New Line Array In-The-Round

More than 80,000 Irish fans burst into cheers of jubilation when the first pummeling chords of “Tides” opened each of Ed Sheeran’s two shows in late April at Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium. Though most in attendance knew that the shows were the first of the in-the-round “+ – = ÷ x” (“Mathematics”), Sheeran’s fourth world tour, few outside the production crew likely knew that the occasion also marked the global premiere of Meyer Sound’s new PANTHER large-format linear line array loudspeaker. Supplied by U.K.-based Major Tom, Ltd. and suspended from daringly conceived mast and cable net rigging, the system was anchored by 212 PANTHER loudspeakers. The Dublin shows also were the first anywhere to deploy a Milan protocol AVB network from FOH mix all the way to the loudspeaker cabinets.

Although the PANTHER-based system is substantially smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient than would have been the case using Sheeran’s prior touring inventory, which was largely based on LEO line array loudspeakers, everybody on the audio production team was confident that the new rig would perform with equivalent results. However, according to Production Director and FOH Engineer Chris Marsh, the Dublin debut suggests their expectations may have been overly cautious.

“One of the main criteria for the tours since we started 11 years ago was that Ed has to be heard clearly at every seat in the venue,” says Marsh. “I’ve always been impressed by how well LEO arrays could bring that sense of intimacy to the back rows of stadiums. And in that regard, I was surprised at how PANTHER, a lighter and smaller box, could do the same. I managed to get a bit of a walkaround during the support acts, and I was immediately aware of the remarkable clarity at distant seats.”

Marsh emphasized that the clarity went beyond simply a fan’s ability to understand Sheeran’s lyrics. “Clarity is usually thought of in terms of the high-end, of sibilants and diction, but PANTHER was also very tight in the low-mids — something you tend not to get when that far away. Everything was present and clear, including subtle nuances like reverb tails, which are often lost at distance.”

For the Croke Park shows, the system deployed 14 hangs of PANTHER arrays in two rings. The six inner arrays each comprised 10 of the “L” long-throw versions and two of the “M” main versions. The eight outer arrays comprised 10 “L” versions, two “M” versions, and two “W” wide-coverage versions. The three horn dispersion configurations enable system designers to tailor coverage for uniform levels and frequency response at various distances.

Controlled deep bass was supplied by six flown arrays of 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements configured in gradient arrays of 10 each. A total of 20 LEOPARD loudspeakers were set around the circular stage as front fill, with stage bass supplied by six stacks of three 1100-LFC elements in gradient arrays.

Mixing the shows behind his DiGiCo Quantum 7 “was a remarkable experience,” says Marsh. “With LEO, I felt everything sat nicely in the mix, with ample open space. But now I feel PANTHER gives me even more space, an even larger canvas to paint on.”

The primary, Milan Certified GALAXY 816 Network Platform at FOH connects to a Milan End Point (MEP) network, configured as a star topology, which consists of one GALAXY 816 platform, three GALAXY 408 platforms, and 20 Luminex Gigacore 26i switches. As failover backup, the always-active parallel analog inputs were connected via a primary and secondary redundant Milan network with dedicated GALAXY units.

The tour system was designed in consultation with Meyer Sound Director of System Optimization Bob McCarthy, with on-site assistance from Senior Technical Support Specialist Josh Dorn-Fehrmann. Veteran audio system engineer Charlie Albin handles system alignment, tuning, and monitoring duties for each show.

The advantages of PANTHER also extend to the efficiency and sustainability of the tour, according to Marsh. “With the way it rigs, the 14 hangs go up and come down very quickly. Also, we are taking up a lot less truck space than if we were using other systems. The entire audio system fits in only three trucks, which we could not do with a LEO-based system or likely any other. Finally, although I don’t have the telemetry data yet, I’m sure the power consumption is way down from what we had on our previous tour, and those were end-on shows.”

Ed Sheeran’s “+ – = ÷ x” (“Mathematics”) Tour is currently scheduled through March 12, 2023, with 54 shows in Europe and 10 in Oceania. It is the follow-up to the 2017–2019 “÷” (“Divide”) Tour, which currently holds Pollstar’s all-time records for both gross receipts and total attendance.

ApexPro is the sole distributor of Meyer Sound solutions in Africa.

Contact us for all your pro-audio needs

Meyer Sound Audio Reinforcement Systems at TED Conference 2022

Meyer Sound Assures Audio Clarity and Balance at TED Conference 2022

Meyer Sound audio reinforcement systems are used to update system design to extend living room intimacy throughout a 1,200-seat theater.

Meyer Sound Audio Reinforcement Systems at TED Conference 2022
The annual TED Conference returned to Vancouver, British Columbia April 10–14

The annual TED Conference returned to Vancouver, British Columbia April 10–14 for the first in-person gathering of the flagship event since 2019. The TED2022 theme of “A New Era” recognized our changed post-pandemic global landscape, with 80 presenters offering bold ideas and inspiration for a better future. In terms of media technology, the production team built on the solid foundation of the prior event, implementing updates to Meyer Sound audio reinforcement systems for the 1,200-seat TED Theater and other smaller venues clustered inside the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“In terms of audio, it is my responsibility to make sure everything sounds great not only in the theater but also in the broadcast streams and edit rooms. Audio is extremely important in what we do and it’s probably the most complicated element. Fortunately, I have backup from the vast experience of our lead audio engineer, Michael Nunan, and the entire talented audio team, as well as our continuing collaboration with Meyer Sound.”

Mina Sabet, head of production for TED Conferences
Meyer Sound Audio Reinforcement Systems at TED Conference 2022

The TED Theater is a custom-built combination of a broadcast studio and large event auditorium, a pairing that creates challenges for a format that relies on a direct, person-to-person communication style. Keeping all amplified room sound out of presenter mics while making sure all 1,200 seats are blanketed with clear audio has proven no easy task.

“Before Meyer Sound came on board in 2019, we were struggling with sound in the first few rows,” says Sabet. “In that first system, Meyer Sound introduced the MM‑4XP miniature floor loudspeakers, which really worked beautifully and changed the whole audible experience. The only change this year was adding some delay speakers for the very back rows to give a greater sense of intimacy for the furthest seats.”

The 2022 TED Theater update was designed by Meyer Sound Technical Support Specialist David Vincent. The flown system is anchored by twin hangs of 12-each LEOPARD line array loudspeakers with three 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements for deep bass extension. Four UPQ-1P and two UPQ-2P loudspeakers provide front and side fill, with two rings of 11 total UPQ-1P delay loudspeakers for even dispersion throughout the space.

The floor system comprises nine UPM‑1P loudspeakers for front fill along with — to enhance the sense of close-up immediacy — 34 MM-4XP miniature self-powered loudspeakers.

“The clarity and the uniform coverage of the system really is extraordinary, and this year I noticed how well it helped us deal with soft-spoken presenters. Making sure our audience can clearly hear a soft-spoken speaker has been a significant recurring issue, but this year — with the new microphones and the Meyer Sound PA — the need to take compensating measures has dropped dramatically.”

Meyer Sound Audio Reinforcement Systems at TED Conference 2022

Although most presentations focus on the spoken word, music was woven throughout the conference. “We had musicians on stage every day, including a personal favorite of mine, Duckwrth for the Audacity session,” recalls Sabet. “The sound of his voice and the live instrumentation just blew away the audience.”

The smaller Community Theater, also inside the Convention Centre, was outfitted with a 54-loudspeaker Meyer Sound system — including 12 900‑LFC elements to ensure ample deep bass for the conference’s closing party. Additional Meyer Sound UPJ‑1P and UPM-1P loudspeakers provided audio at more than 50 small simulcast locations spaced around a loop outside the theater. All Meyer Sound systems were supplied by the Los Angeles location of PRG, with installation under the direction of Audio Project Manager Randall Knight.

“There’s no question that our partnership with Meyer Sound has benefited TED Conferences,” summarizes Sabet. “They take a collaborative approach, they listen closely to our needs, and their system designers have the expertise to develop solutions with the best possible audio quality.”

The 80 presenters at TED2022 spanned the full spectrum of creative endeavors in science, technology, the arts, and humanities. Although TED considers all of equal importance, three of the better-known speakers at TED2022 were Al Gore, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk. A scaled-down version of the TED Conference took place in Monterey, California in 2021.

ApexPro is the leading distributor of Meyer Sound Solutions for the African market and beyond.

Contact us to find out if a Meyer Sound Solution is the right fit for your application.

Meyer Sound launches daily online training

Meyer Sound has announced a comprehensive daily online training programme, with company CEO John Meyer joining and leading some of the discussions.

The programme’s content aims to provide a natural progression of subject matter, giving practical knowledge as well case studies for reference, and instructors reviewing specialty tools covering solutions across all industry verticals. Attendees can choose from an à la carte menu to create ‘on demand’ programming via a weekly poll through the Meyer Sound Users Community Facebook group. 

The webinars are organised by weekly content chapters, with content presented in English on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays by senior technical support and education specialist, Merlijn van Veen. Tuesday and Thursday session will be in Spanish, with the first session featuring Oscar Barrientos, Meyer Sound technical services manager, Latin America. 

‘Education has always been a pillar of the holistic Meyer Sound core brand philosophy of sharing knowledge,’ said John McMahon, Meyer Sound’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. ‘Recent events have put the spotlight on the importance of offering our public training not just with in-person seminars but via online platforms. Our global team was quick to respond to the need by curating an informative and engaging programme.’

The free sessions run approximately one hour, with no registration required. Upcoming training sessions are listed in the Meyer Sound events calendar at https://www.facebook.com/meyersoundlabs. The webinars are archived on YouTube at www.youtube.com/thinkingsound

Meyer Sound Constellation Optimizes Acoustics and Inspires Creativity at German University

With seating for an audience of 465, the Forum is the principal performance venue for the Hochschule für Musik und Theater (University of Music and Theater) in Hamburg, Germany. Although it has hosted a full schedule of performances since opening in 1986, the auditorium had been hampered by problematic acoustics. Fortunately, thanks to funding from a national “Innovative University” competition, the Forum recently was transformed into a world class venue for both traditional and cutting-edge performances with the installation of a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system. Now with a simple tap on a touchscreen, acoustics can be optimized for lectures, dramatic theater, opera, chamber music, or a symphony orchestra. The system also affords expanded opportunities for student experimentations in electronic music with dynamic 3D spatialization.

Driving the transformation on behalf of the university was Prof. Dr. Georg Hajdu. “Interestingly, the Forum was originally designed for use with an active acoustic system,” he explains, “but for technical and financial reasons it never materialized. Later attempts to modify the somewhat unbalanced acoustics by mechanical means never gave satisfactory results.”

Prof. Hajdu was already familiar with Constellation, having experienced its capabilities nearly a decade before at the University of California in San Diego. “I heard a demonstration in their black box theater and the room sounded wonderful and completely natural — until they turned off Constellation,” he recalls. “I was baffled.”

Later, during the planning stages for the Forum installation, Hajdu also heard systems at Meyer Sound in Berkeley and elsewhere in the Bay Area. “My impression was that the systems performed nicely in all contexts,” he says. “Also, I always trusted the strong research orientation of the company and I was reassured by visiting their facilities.”

For planning and construction supervision of both physical acoustics and Constellation electroacoustics, the university commissioned Graner + Partner GmbH of Bergisch Gladbach as a consultant. The firm was intimately familiar with Constellation, having partnered with Meyer Sound in 2017 on a system for the kING Culture and Congress Hall in Ingelheim.

“We started the project by first listening to some rehearsals and concerts before making any changes,” says Graner + Partner Project Engineer Dominik Schenke. “We found the acoustics were too dry for chamber and orchestral music, but too reverberant for speech, with an unpleasant coloration in the mid-frequency range. We prepared the hall for Constellation using mid-frequency absorbers to get rid of this odd ‘metallic’ sound.”
Schenke then worked collaboratively with the Meyer Sound team, led by Constellation Project Director John Pellowe, to finalize the design and engineering particulars. After the project was put to tender, the contract was awarded to Aveo Conference Systems of Wolfegg.

“A far-reaching infrastructure was put in place well in advance of the installation of 142 Constellation loudspeakers, two line arrays, near field systems and subwoofers, 48 microphones along with 30 of our custom-made I/O boxes,” says Aveo Managing Director Wolfgang Huber. “This enabled us to react quickly and precisely to the project requirements. Another critical point was the design of an easy-to-use touchpanel interface to allow the stage crew the safe operation of the Constellation system. Aveo’s programmers have implemented this challenge in the best possible way. It was a great pleasure implementing this special project as a collaborative team together with the university, Graner + Partner and Meyer Sound.”

Constellation’s small, self-powered loudspeakers are placed in overhead and lateral positions, with loudspeaker groups divided into separate zones in the hall and on the stage to create a unique blend of early reflections and late reverberations as appropriate for the audience and for the performers. Models installed include the full-range MM-4XP, UP-4XP, UPM-1XP, and UPJunior-XP as well as the MM-10XP subwoofer. The miniature condenser microphones are distributed throughout the space for capturing the ambient acoustics, with the desired acoustical signatures created by a D-Mitri digital audio platform with 22 modules, including four D-VRAS modules for hosting the patented Variable Room Acoustics System algorithm.

For performances requiring direct amplification, the Forum now provides a system comprising left and right arrays of seven each LINA compact line array loudspeakers with deep bass from two each 900-LFC and 750-LFC low frequency control elements.

According to Prof. Hajdu, the Constellation system has greatly enhanced the acoustical flexibility of the hall while opening new avenues of creativity. “The applications range from a very subtle ‘coating’ of the acoustic sound to — for dramatic effect — turning the hall into a large cathedral. One of the most desired applications is use of the Constellation loudspeakers as a multi-channel system for spatialization of up to 96 sound sources. In combination with the LINA line array loudspeakers the hall now sounds just spectacular.”

As an example he cites a concert presented in January which gave an overview of the hall’s new audio and acoustic capabilities, together with enhancement from a new LCD wall. “We used the system to recreate the sound of the church pipe organ in our organ studio. We used a 7.1 Holophone microphone and streamed the multichannel audio and video over a digital network to the Forum. This was a striking experience, with many in the audience finding it hard to believe this all took place in real time.”

Consultant Dominik Schenke also attended several opening performances. “The acoustics of the hall benefited enormously from the conversion and the Constellation system,” he says. “We heard a piano concert with beautiful chamber music acoustics, and then a choir that was wonderfully sustained by long reverberation. A theater piece was performed with different acoustics appropriate for every scene, and the 3D audio functions were showcased with experimental electronic music. The sound for the musical performances was warm, enveloping and transparent while speech was direct and clearly intelligible.”

In addition to opening new creative possibilities on campus, the Constellation system affords opportunities to collaborate via high-speed internet on experimental music projects with other Constellation-equipped institutions worldwide, including the University of California at Berkeley and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Founded in 1950, Hochschule für Musik und Theater is one of the leading public universities for the performing arts in Germany. It is located at the prestigious Budge-Palais in the Rotherbaum district of Hamburg.

Fabled Newman Scoring Stage at Fox Studio Lot Upgrades with Meyer Sound Bluehorn System Monitoring

The Newman Scoring Stage, located on the Fox Studio Lot in Los Angeles, recently upgraded its control room with the installation of Meyer Sound’s Bluehorn System full bandwidth studio monitors. A seamlessly integrated system comprising three drivers in two cabinets along with proprietary digital processing, Bluehorn is uniquely capable of high acoustic output coupled with flat amplitude and phase response across the entire audible spectrum.

The Newman Scoring Stage project marks the first permanent installation of a Bluehorn System in any major commercial studio. Prior to installation, several Los Angeles scoring stages had Bluehorn System rental systems in place.

A revered industry institution for more than eight decades, the Newman Scoring Stage has hosted recording sessions for many of Hollywood’s iconic films, including The Sound of Music, The Matrix, Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean and countless others.

After sitting idle for several years, the Newman Scoring Stage was completely refurbished in 1997 and a new 5.1 monitoring system was installed in the control room at that time. In recent years this system had been showing signs of age, but according to Denis St. Amand, recently retired as supervising engineer for the facility, there was a lack of clear consensus on a preferred replacement.

“Very few mixers were using our old installed front monitors,” says St. Amand, “but instead they were using a variety of mid-field monitors that they brought in themselves or we took from our own inventory. Needless to say, setting these [personal monitors] up was a time-consuming inconvenience for everybody.”

The momentum toward a Bluehorn solution gained traction when, at the prompting of renowned score mixer Shawn Murphy, a temporary system was brought in for a month-long trial demo.

“We had positive feedback from just about everybody who heard them, but it was really Shawn and Armin Steiner who helped me convince management to make the investment,” recalls St. Amand. “I remember the first day when Armin walked into the room with the Bluehorns. He sat down and listened for a while, then told me he was hearing things that he knew had to be there but he couldn’t really hear before. The clarity and definition were just astounding, he said. After that, he campaigned hard to have these put in.”

For screen LCR, the installation comprises three self-powered Bluehorn Systems, each with a full range loudspeaker (12” cone driver and 4” compression driver on an 80° x 50° horn) and a complementary 18” LF extension loudspeaker. The integrated Bluehorn processor applies a patented phase correction algorithm that results in flat response from 25 Hz to 22 kHz. Four HMS-12 surround loudspeakers are installed for side and rear channels while four X-400C compact cinema subwoofers — arranged in two end-fire arrays — provide ample power for LFE channels.

“Acceptance of the new Bluehorn solution has helped streamline and simplify operations here,” says Erin Rettig, currently supervising engineer for the Newman Scoring Stage. “As a group, the scoring mixers who work here have shown a great deal more confidence in how these monitors will translate their mixes to the final dubbing stage. Some have stopped bringing in their own mid-field speakers in favor of just using the Bluehorns.”

For Rettig, the shift toward increasing confidence in the new room monitors is no surprise. “Once you understand the full-bandwidth phase correction and the difference it makes in terms of accurate reproduction, you realize that there are things Bluehorn brings to the table that the others cannot. It simply paints a more transparent and accurate picture, and it certainly is in our interest to give our clients access to that benefit.”

Accuracy and translation are essential in scoring stage monitors, as any anomalies heard in the final dubbing mix can be difficult and expensive to fix. “The Bluehorn System better matches what is heard on the Fox dubbing stages,” says Marc Gebauer, chief engineer for all studios on the Fox Lot. “I find that the impressive improvements in phase response and dynamic tracking lead to a marked improvement in imaging, fidelity and transparency.”

Scores mixed using the Bluehorn System monitoring include feature films The New Mutants, Call of the Wild, and Togo and television shows Family Guy, American Dad and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (final episode).

Structural modifications to the soffit and installation of the new loudspeakers were carried out under the direction of Brian McEvoy, head of facilities construction, with overall project approval and supervision by Stacey Robinson, vice president of sound operations at Fox Entertainment Group.

Other state-of-the-art technology available at the Newman Scoring Stage includes an AMS-Neve 88RS console (96 channels) with Encore 3 automation and 48 channels of Neve remote microphone preamps; an extensive collection of premium condenser and ribbon microphones from Neumann, Sennheiser, Schoeps, Royer and AKG; and a wide selection of outboard signal processing equipment. Four Pro Tools systems enable recording of up to 112 inputs with playback of 768 tracks.

The Newman Scoring Stage structure was built in 1928 for filming but was converted to a scoring stage in the early 1930’s under the direction of illustrious composer and arranger Alfred Newman, head of the studio’s music department at the time and for whom the facility was eventually named.

Meyer Sound LEO and LYON Power 50 Years of The Allman Brothers Band Celebration at Madison Square Garden

Members of the final The Allman Brothers Band lineup, dubbed “The Brothers,” came together Tuesday evening at Madison Square Garden in New York City to celebrate 50 years of The Allman Brothers Band. The Brothers included founding member Jaimoe and longtime members Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones, and Chuck Leavell along with guests Duane Trucks and Reese Wynans. The powerhouse band transported Madison Square Garden into the past with songs going back to the band’s original 1969 album.

The one-night show was powered by Meyer Sound solutions anchored by LEO and LYON linear line array loudspeakers, provided by rental partners UltraSound and PRG North America. The system configuration consisted of, per side (L/R), a main PA with 16 LEO loudspeakers, six flown 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, main 180-degree arrays and 270-degree arrays of 18 LYON loudspeakers each, 18 rear LEOPARD compact loudspeakers and six center rear LEOPARD loudspeakers, eight LEOPARD for front fill, and 10 1100-LFC control elements ground-stacked.

“Bringing in UltraSound and PRG Audio with a Meyer Sound PA was the most logical option,” says Derek Featherstone, FOH Engineer of the evening and CEO of UltraSound. “This decision was based on a number of variables. Most importantly, we have deployed the same set up for at least 12 Dead & Company 360-degree shows in this same room [MSG]. We wanted to approach this one-off event by eliminating as many unknowns as possible and the Meyer Sound LEO and LYON system has performed for us successfully in this environment.”

The UltraSound and PRG teams joined forces for a night to remember with, in addition to Featherstone behind the console, monitor engineer Bobby Tis, system engineer Michal Kacunel, monitor tech Chris Bedry, and audio engineers Mike Bollella, Paul White, Dustin Lewis and Chris Rushin.

Omaha’s CHI Health Center Outfitted with Meyer Sound LEOPARD System

A new Meyer Sound system based on LEOPARD line array loudspeakers is the keystone component of a complete audio upgrade for Omaha’s up to 18,300-seat CHI Health Center arena. Now equipped with the latest in audio reinforcement technology, the venue offers an enhanced audience listening experience for a wide range of large-scale athletic, community and corporate events.

Integrated and installed by the Sports and Entertainment division of Alpha Video, the new system replaces a sturdy but dated Meyer Sound point source cluster system that had been in place since the arena first opened in 2003.

“The durability and craftsmanship of the Meyer Sound speakers outlasted most of the rest of the system,” notes Gino Meyer, manager of audio-video technology for the Omaha Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA), the venue’s manager and operator. “So when it came time to upgrade to the latest in line array technology, going with a new Meyer Sound system was a no-brainer.”

CHI Health Center had worked extensively with Alpha Video on their broadcast systems, so MECA’s Meyer called on Jeff Volk, vice president of sports & entertainment, to work on solutions. System design was a collaborative effort involving Alpha Video Broadcast Design Engineer Fred Street in consultation with Meyer Sound Design Services. Although the planning process extended back to 2018, the actual installation was accomplished in two compressed time windows in summer and then late fall of 2019. The result, according to Meyer, has been a markedly improved audience experience.

“Creighton University men’s basketball is our main tenant here, so we really wanted a system with both very high intelligibility plus a really solid low end,” says Meyer, “since most of the incidental music for them is hip-hop. We really needed a system with punch, and the new Meyer Sound system definitely delivers.”

The system’s 88 LEOPARD line array loudspeakers are configured in six hangs, with four arrays of 16 each at the corners for near and far throw, and two of 12 each for the end arrays with a shorter throw. For low end impact, the 12 900-LFC low frequency control elements are deployed in four cardioid arrays, with two LF arrays of three each flown over the end LEOPARD arrays and two on the sides between the corner arrays. System drive and processing is courtesy of five GALAXY 816 network platforms, with three RMServer implementing comprehensive remote system monitoring.

The system produces remarkably uniform coverage across the full bandwidth, according to Alpha Video’s Fred Street. “Meyer Sound likes to hit within a couple dB consistently, and we’re doing that here,” he says. “Predicted maximum levels are well over 90 dB, and we’re certainly capable of doing that. We didn’t have time to do any formal intelligibility measurements, but it really wasn’t necessary. The clarity is amazing. It’s smooth, consistent and beautiful-sounding, top to bottom and all the way around.”

For Jeff Volk, the bottom line is making the sound work with the contemporary shift in sports video presentation. “It used to be just speech reinforcement in the PA, but what we’ve designed gives them a full range of music playback capability, including a lot of low frequency power. Now when the basketball team comes out, they can complement the opening video with a lot of low end punch to match the visual elements on the screen. Yet it still delivers a very high level of speech intelligibility, even when announcements are over the music.”

Testifying on behalf of the principal user of the venue is Joe Willman, director of marketing and broadcast services for Creighton University Athletics.

“The new Meyer Sound system certainly has delivered,” he says. “Whether you are courtside or in the last row, you get clear intelligibility and enhanced dynamic range. We’ve revised the way we create content for the venue, knowing that we have a lot more room to play with as far as what we’re giving the system. We’ve received compliments on the clarity of our PA announcer, and now when the opening video plays and the sound booms, the fans really know it’s game time!”

For Alpha Video’s Jeff Volk, client satisfaction is a consistent result when partnering with Meyer Sound. “Everything we do with them is a great experience,” he says. “Not only do they make great products, they back them with great engineering and great support. We couldn’t be happier with this project or the others we’re working on.”

Alpha Video’s complete overhaul of systems in the arena also included a complete network infrastructure upgrade on 10 GB fiber optic with fully redundant topology, new back-of-house systems, and new DSP and control systems. Also new are the two Yamaha consoles, with a QL5 at FOH and a QL1 at scoreboard control.

In addition to Creighton University men’s basketball, the CHI Health Center arena also regularly hosts NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament games, NCAA Women’s Volleyball Finals, Olympic swimming trials (using large temporary pools), and the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. Concerts by major touring artists also are featured in the venue, though most acts will deploy their own end-stage audio production.