The ‘M’elodie’ Never Fades with Meyer Sound

The ‘M’elodie’ Never Fades with Meyer Sound

ApexPro leaves a Meyer Sound Legacy

In the world of theatrical production, the choice of sound equipment can make or break the experience. Where every note and whisper must reach the audience with crystal clarity. At ApexPro, we’ve long been champions of quality. Our enduring partnership with Meyer Sound stands as a testament to our commitment to excellence. 

For years, Eastern Acoustics and Splitbeam, two esteemed rental companies, have relied on us to supply them with Meyer Sound equipment for their stellar productions. According to David from Eastern Acoustics, “Meyer is our go-to PA system for multiple different things, especially theatre.” This echoes the sentiments of countless professionals in the industry who trust Meyer Sound to deliver unparalleled performances night after night. For timeless classics like The Sound of Music to electrifying hits of Mamma Mia, Meyer Sound has been the invisible force behind the scenes. It ensures that every performance resonates with perfection.

What sets our collaboration apart is not just the sheer longevity of our relationship, but the remarkable durability and reliability of Meyer Sound’s equipment. Take, for instance, the Meyer Heritage M1D’s – the backbone of productions like LAMTA’s Spring Awakening. These workhorses, supplemented by Eastern Acoustics’ own M1D’s, have been faithfully delivering flawless sound since 2006. It’s a verification of Meyer Sound’s craftmanship that these older models continue to reign supreme in an industry constantly seeking the latest innovations. 

But our partnership extends beyond just the classics. For productions requiring deep, resonant bass, we’ve supplied the powerful 700-HP sub bass units. For more nuanced soundscapes, the UPQ-1P and UPQ-2P speakers have provided pristine audio reproduction. While the versatility of the UPM, UPJ, UP-Junior, and UPA series ensure that every corner of the stage and auditorium is bathed in perfect sound. And let’s not forget the MM-4, a compact marvel that packs a punch far beyond its size. 

The story doesn’t end there. The MICA system, a veteran on the stage, has faithfully served multiple runs of We Will Rock You – not just the 2022 run, but also in 2005 before that. From South Africa to the latest rendition, the consistency and quality of Meyer Sound remains unwavering. And let’s not forget the M’elodie, which currently finds it’s voice in Mamma Mia, proving once again that age is no barrier to excellence. 

While the classics hold a special place in our hearts, we also embrace the future with open arms. Modern technology meets timeless performance in Meyer Sound’s new line up. The LINA, a marvel of engineering, has found its home at Artscape Theatre, enchanting audiences with productions like Calling Us Home and The Buddy Holly Story. Investing in Meyer Sound isn’t just about preserving tradition; it’s about embracing innovation and ensuring that the magic of live performance continues to captivate audiences for generations to come. 

Whether it’s the comfort of the M1D’s or the crisp clarity of the LINA, one thing remains clear; Meyer Sound is more than just equipment – it’s the promise of perfection, a guarantee of greatness, and a melody that never fades. Join us in our journey as we continue to elevate the art of sound, one performance at a time.

Meyer Sound Shakes Up Stadium Concert Paradigms on Metallica’s Epic “M72 World Tour”

Meyer Sound Shakes Up Stadium Concert Paradigms on Metallica’s Epic “M72 World Tour”

European Leg Concerts Debut Massive PANTHER Line Array System

Metallica, a creative powerhouse lauded as one of rock’s preeminent bands, continues to break new ground with the dynamic, in-the-round production for the global, two-year “M72 World Tour” that recently kicked off in Europe. Throughout the tour, the band’s sound is immersing the entire audience — at full bandwidth across a broad stereo landscape — through a Meyer Sound system comprising a record 288 PANTHER large-format linear line array loudspeakers.

For decades Metallica concerts have been known for technical and artistic innovation, and once again the band and long-time creative director Dan Braun have moved beyond the old paradigms. Two concerts will be presented at every tour stop, with completely separate music sets for each show. The celebrated “snake pit” has been relocated inside a ring-shaped stage, requiring four drum kits for Lars Ulrich to rise up as needed. Also, the sonic field has been expanded to ensure a wide stereo spread of guitars and drums at every seat and standing point in the stadium.

“I’m always concerned about making all these new ideas work at scale, but we have great partners to rely on, not the least of which is Meyer Sound. So, I never let things like practicality and logistics inhibit the creative process.”

Dan Braun

Braun took his idea for the tour sound directly to company founders John and Helen Meyer, who captured his vision and assigned Director of System Optimization Bob McCarthy to design audio for the tour.

“I told Bob that my goal was to have full stereo sound at every point with no overlap, from the center pit to the nosebleed seats,” Braun continues. “We wanted everybody to hear the band as if with nearfield monitors, and I think we’ve come closer to that than ever before in a concert setting.”

Braun also credits the new PANTHER line array loudspeakers as a key component in realizing the ambitious concept. “The clarity of the system is breathtaking, and that combined with Bob McCarthy’s brilliant design is giving us a show that sounds spectacular.”

Crafting the Metallica sound from FOH is Greg Price, a veteran known for his long stints not only with hard rock legends Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne but also for pop acts including “The Glee Show on Tour,” Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus, and Chicago.

“We’re only a few shows into the tour and so far I’m very impressed,” says Price. “And I would have to say that I don’t think there is any other PA manufacturer in the world that could take on what we are trying to do on this tour.”

As for the massive PANTHER arrays, Price describes them as “a PA system that acts like a reference monitor, like an Amie or a Bluehorn in the studio. I’m hearing things in my mixing that I always knew were there but lacked definition. Now they are right in my face, and I can work with them.”

The gargantuan “M72 World Tour” system is deployed in three concentric rings. The outer ring arrays are suspended from eight towers, with two PANTHER arrays on each tower: 16 cabinets per array on the four long-side towers and 13 cabinets on the four short-side towers. Each tower also carries dual hangs of six-each 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements and one set of six VLFC very low-frequency control elements.

The inner system, suspended from a web over the stage, has eight hangs of seven-each PANTHER line array loudspeakers, providing stereo coverage out to 42 meters from center. The “doughnut hole” in the stage center is covered by eight inward-firing UPQ‑D2 narrow coverage loudspeakers, while the outer side of the ring employs 20 ULTRA‑X40 compact loudspeakers as front fill. Ground sub-bass is powered by eight sets of 2x 1100-LFC elements around the stage.

The entire system is connected, controlled, and monitored over three MILAN AVB networks. One network connects Milan directly to all 288 PANTHER loudspeakers via 10 Galileo GALAXY 408 and two Galileo GALAXY 816 Network Platforms using a fiber network incorporating 26 Luminex Gigacore switches. The other two networks are primary and secondary networks for signal distribution and monitoring of the remaining analog Meyer Sound loudspeakers as well as providing redundant analog inputs to the PANTHER loudspeakers. The three networks comprise 52 Luminex switches and 35 GALAXY Network Platforms. Meyer Sound’s new Nebra software platform manages all network configuration, connection, and real-time system monitoring.

As yet another innovation, the “M72 World Tour” employs Meyer Sound’s Spacemap Go spatial sound design and mixing tool to a limited extent, but with stunning effect. As an intro to “One,” the rumble and roar of a four-engine vintage bomber circles the stadium with convincing reality.

“We had some people outside wondering if there was a real plane flying around in the stadium,” says Greg Price. “But Metallica is a straight-ahead band and not into trickery. The focus with spatial audio for Metallica is to enhance show content, remaining true to the band’s performance.”

The “M72 World Tour” is supported by Clair Global, and Price gives a tip of the hat to the company’s extraordinary logistical resources and depth of expertise. “We salute Clair Global for their tremendous effort in building the M72 audio systems,” he says.

Metallica’s “M72 World Tour” launched on April 27 and is scheduled for two European legs and two North American legs, wrapping up on September 29 of 2024.

Meyer Sound PANTHER Spreads the Jams at Daze Between New Orleans Festival

Meyer Sound PANTHER Spreads the Jams at Daze Between New Orleans Festival

Goose Headlines an Eclectic Mix on the Main Outdoor Stage

For two days in early May, Daze Between New Orleans offered up a piquant musical jambalaya with headliners Goose joined on the main stage by Melt, Lawrence, David Shaw and George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners. The festivities were hosted on the expansive grounds of the historic Faubourg Brewery, with Upscale Productions providing a Meyer Sound PANTHER large-format linear line array loudspeaker system for spreading potent music throughout the gathering.

Goose closed the show on both evenings of the event, with the Connecticut-based improvisational rock masters deftly mixed by their Front of House Engineer and Production Manager Eric Loomis. “It was a great experience,” he reports. “I was able to mix at my preferred average loudness with more than enough headroom left over. Also, Goose is a very dynamic band, and with some other systems, the color of the mix can change. PANTHER was very consistent no matter what the band threw at it.”

Loomis first noticed the unique qualities of PANTHER in January when mixing sets at Mexico’s Playing In The Sand festival. “There is a transparency and clarity that enables me to focus more on the balance of the mix, rather than having to adjust the frequency response of the PA in the system processing.”

Upscale Productions had fortuitously engaged the services of notable systems engineer — also FOH engineer, senior instructor for Rational Acoustics and podcast host — Michael Lawrence to optimize the system.

“One of the design constraints for festivals in this format is that you have a lot of throw distance to cover but at a relatively low trim height,” says Lawrence. “That is a challenge for front-to-back consistency because you want to hang as long an array as possible. With PANTHER, we were able to hang 12 a side within our allotted weight, which gave us higher uniformity and better directivity than we would have been able to achieve with earlier generations of product.”

Lawrence also was pleased with the horizontal coverage. “One of the interesting things about this design was how the PANTHER horn behaves horizontally. You can get much further off-axis before it starts to roll off, giving coverage to the edge of the audience area without the need for outfills.”

Lawrence used the MAPP 3D System Design and Prediction Tool and the Product Integration feature in the GALAXY processors to create both the PANTHER main hang and the deep bass array, which consisted of a line of eight two-element cardioid stacks of 700-HP subwoofers, delaying the outer two stacks to match coverage with the PANTHER arrays.

“This configuration kept tonal consistency throughout and lessened the power alley effect,” he says. “Finally, I did the tuning and alignment with Smaart v9. I think I ended up with only two filters and a bit of shading to get where I wanted to go. Other than that, the only changes were in response to changes in environmental conditions throughout the festival.”

The results of his work were appreciated by all the FOH engineers working the stage, including Leo Pisaq, who mixed for the (coincidentally booked) band Lawrence.

“The sound was exceptional in terms of stereo imaging,” he says. “Also, the vocals and the transients — specifically on drums — came through like no other PA I’ve mixed on.”

Daze Between was the first major festival assignment for their PANTHER rig since acquired by Upscale Productions in late 2022, with prior booking for regional tours and a busy showroom concert schedule at the Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, LA, not far from Upscale Productions’ home base in Lake Charles.

Upscale placed its order for PANTHER having never heard the system, according to co-owner Chris Lambert. “Meyer Sound said it would be a game-changer and I took them at their word.”

Upscale already had both the LEOPARD and LINA line array systems in their inventory, and decided it was time to upgrade their aging MILO line array system. “When PANTHER was announced, I knew it was time to make the move,” continues Lambert. “With PANTHER, we would shave off 80 pounds a box, and since much of our work is on mobile stages with weight limits, we knew that would make a huge difference. And working outdoors, PANTHER feels right on top of you at a distance. You still get a focused response at 200 feet and beyond.”

Artists enjoying the new Upscale system have included Lee Brice, Third Eye Blind, Jefferson Starship, and the Commodores. It was the Lee Brice tour that first connected Michael Lawrence with the Upscale owners and crew.

“The Upscale team takes the job seriously, but we have a lot of fun together,” says Lawrence. “I was glad to be asked to come down for Daze Between. It’s a great collaboration. Chris and David [co-owner David Lapointe] set the tone for the entire operation. They want to do it right and make sure all the pieces are in place, but they also have trust in their crew and allow everybody the space to do a great job.”

Daze Between is an interim musical celebration held mid-week between the two consecutive weekends of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. In 2023 it was presented by Dayglo Presents, Live For Live Music, GMP Live, Purple Hat Productions, and Rose Tours. A portion of the proceeds benefited the Rex Foundation and will be distributed to charities in the New Orleans area.

Meyer Sound Systems Power Tony-Nominated Broadway Productions

Meyer Sound Systems Power Tony-Nominated Broadway Productions

Sound Designer Kai Harada Credited on Two Nominees for Best Musical

New York, New York – The Company

New York, New York – The Company | Paul Kolnik

The 76th annual Tony Awards celebration, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, will be held on June 11 at the historic United Palace in the Washington Heights district of New York. Two productions nominated for Best Musical — New York, New York and Kimberly Akimbo — employ main reinforcement systems of Meyer Sound loudspeakers. Both systems are the work of noted sound designer Kai Harada, and his personal contribution to New York, New York is recognized by a nomination for Best Sound Design of a Musical, an award he garnered in 2018 for A Band’s Visit.

New York, New York – The Company | Paul Kolnik

Two productions receiving Best Sound Design of a Play nominations, Life of Pi and Prima Facie, also benefit from an audio system predominantly from Meyer Sound. The respective Sound Designer nominees are Carolyn Downing and Ben & Max Ringham.

The two Tony-nominated musicals with systems designed by Harada share similarities despite significant differences in both the venue sizes and the content of the productions. To craft the ideal balance of coverage, power, and bandwidth for each show, Harada was able to draw on a broad palette of 15 different Meyer Sound loudspeakers, both current and legacy models, with nine of those models specified for both productions.

Kimberly Akimbo: Victoria Clark, Justin Cooley, Michael Iskander, Olivia Hardy, Nina White, and Fernell Hogan | Joan Marcus

“Kimberly Akimbo is playing at the Booth Theater, a relatively small Broadway house seating around 800, while New York, New York is at the larger St. James, with a capacity of over 1700,” says Harada. “Kimberly is more of a chamber musical, with a smaller cast and smaller orchestra, but still the show’s score still requires a big dynamic range so there are a lot of loudspeakers in the space. I scaled up the same approach for New York, New York, which is a bigger and brassier dance-oriented show. Although the orchestra is in an uncovered pit — a rarity these days! — it was important to me to have a system that gave me a lot of dynamic range and complete coverage for all seating sections.”

When selecting loudspeakers for his designs, Harada places a high value on consistency. “When I spec Meyer Sound cabinets for my main PA, I know what to expect with the sound quality and coverage,” he says. “We had done Kimberly Akimbo off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre — also with a Meyer Sound system — so we knew what the show was, musically speaking, and had a sonic goal in mind. For New York, New York, we had done only one workshop of the show, so there were a lot more unknowns. In that case, I needed to know that the system I specified was going to sound good so that I could concentrate on all the other variables.”

Current Meyer Sound products used in both productions include the LINA® very compact linear line array, ULTRA-X40™ compact loudspeaker, and UPM-1P™ ultra-compact loudspeaker. Legacy loudspeakers used for both include M1D™ line arrays, UPQ-1P™, UPA-2P™, UPJ-1P™, UPJunior™, and MM-4™ loudspeakers as well as the 500-HP™ subwoofer.

Meyer Sound’s discreet LINA line arrays are major contributors to the sound for both productions. “The LINAs just sound good, and they are small,” summarizes Harada. “That makes it easy to collaborate with the visual designers to get good speaker locations because they don’t take up much space — but I still get a lot of granular control.”

His most recent favourite is the ULTRA-X40 compact loudspeaker. “It’s such a smooth-sounding box that requires so little EQ. I can’t imagine doing a show without ULTRA-X40s anymore!”

The system for Kimberly Akimbo encompasses a total of 77 full-range loudspeakers plus nine subwoofers. A total of 108 full-range loudspeakers and seven subwoofers are deployed for New York, New York. The complete audio systems for these two productions were supplied by Masque Sound of East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Other productions currently running in New York deploying Meyer Sound loudspeakers as their main systems include Tina, Monsoon Wedding, A Transparent Musical, Dancin,’ Once Upon a One More Time, and Gatsby. Major tours with Meyer Sound Systems include 1776 and Les Miserables. All of these systems were supplied by Sound Associates of Yonkers, New York.

Constellation by Meyer Sound Billed as Star Attraction at InfoComm 2023

Constellation by Meyer Sound Billed as Star Attraction at InfoComm 2023

Constellation® by Meyer Sound, widely recognized as the premier system for active acoustics, will be featured in one of the most extensive live demonstrations of the technology implemented at InfoComm 2023. Occupying the lion’s share of a large exhibit room (W231ABC), a Constellation system will create natural-sounding acoustical environments for the live vocal and instrumental music performed in the demo sessions.

Constellation® by Meyer Sound, widely recognized as the premier system for active acoustics, will be featured in one of the most extensive live demonstrations of the technology implemented at a trade show. Occupying the lion’s share of a large exhibit room (W231ABC), a Constellation system will create natural-sounding acoustical environments for the live vocal and instrumental music performed in the demo sessions.

InfoComm 2023 will be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, with exhibits open June 14–16. The Meyer Sound demo room sessions, which also will highlight the new 2100-LFC™ low-frequency control element and the Spacemap® Go spatial sound design and mixing tool, will be held June 13–16.

“We set exceptionally high standards for our demo room presentations. This year, we’re setting the bar even higher with a comprehensive Constellation listening experience.”

Meyer Sound Senior Vice President John McMahon.

Constellation Director for Meyer Sound Pierre Germain says it’s been a few years since a large Constellation demo system has been implemented at a trade show. “We think it’s vital that consultants and integrators experience why Constellation is still regarded as the ‘gold standard’ in active acoustic systems. While some other systems — particularly those offering only in-line reverberators — may come in at a lower bid, it’s still money not well spent if the client is disappointed with the results.”

Unique in the industry since 2006, Constellation is a dedicated system for active acoustics with all components and services supplied by Meyer Sound, including a dedicated acoustics team leading the design and commissioning. Constellation has transformed hundreds of venues worldwide through temporary installs and touring systems.

“Constellation is respected and trusted by the most demanding and discerning clientele worldwide,” adds John McMahon. “We have a rigorous set of standards that must be met for every project, and the difference is appreciated by everybody who — knowingly or unknowingly — has experienced Constellation acoustical environments.”

The demo room system also will offer the first trade show opportunity to experience in person the power and clarity of the 2100-LFC™ low-frequency control element. Incorporating technologies introduced in the phenomenally successful PANTHER™ large-format linear line array loudspeaker, including direct connection to Milan AVB networks, the 2100-LFC employs a single 21-inch driver and a new Class D power amplifier to produce prodigious acoustic output from 30 Hz to 125 Hz from a relatively compact and lightweight enclosure.

Adjoining the demo space will be the popular Sonic Lounge, offering an opportunity for attendees to relax and enjoy light refreshments while engaging with Meyer Sound sales and engineering staff. Meyer Sound also will have a floor booth, #5143, with the Tech Bar open for hands-on interaction with Meyer Sound’s suite of digital tools, including the award-winning Nebra™ software platform.

Across the demo space, Sonic Lounge, and booth presence, attendees at this year’s InfoComm will be able to experience adaptive acoustics, loudspeakers from Meyer Sound’s ULTRA-X, Intelligent DC, and LFC ranges, spatial audio products, Milan connectivity, and have the opportunity to meet members of the worldwide teams supporting and developing these class-leading solutions.

“This year’s InfoComm will reveal a vision of Meyer Sound’s future, a vision that is rooted in the DNA of the company,” continues McMahon. “We put exceptional effort into the design and craftsmanship of all our products. We are constantly striving to apply the latest science to further the art of sound reproduction. This has been a lifetime quest of John Meyer, and the result is a product line that sets industry benchmarks across nearly all market verticals. The latest developments can be auditioned this year in Orlando.”

Meyer Sound LEOPARD Comes Home to Stay at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon

Meyer Sound LEOPARD Comes Home to Stay at the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon

After renting for nearly eight years, Meyer Sound LEOPARD® compact line array loudspeakers have taken up permanent residence in the Silva Concert Hall.

The rental system was provided by locally based George Relles Sound, Inc., with Relles returning earlier this year as the integrator for the permanent installation. The new resident system made its debut in the 2,447-seat venue with a performance of Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) by the Eugene Concert Choir with composer Paul Winter as the featured soloist. One week later, the system supplied sound for a showing of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, with a live performance of the John Williams score by the Eugene Symphony.

“Everything is going great with our new system,” says Hult Center General Manager Jeff Weinkauf, “but of course, that is hardly a surprise. I’ve heard it many times over the years, and I’m always blown away by the clarity, depth, and consistency. George [Relles] said several times — somewhat jokingly — that we might as well buy one of our own. Finally, we were able to make that happen.”

In addition to “pops” style concerts and movie soundtracks with the Eugene Symphony, a cross-section of past performances supported by the essentially identical LEOPARD system includes Patti Labelle, the Chick Corea Elektric Band, Pink Martini, Bob Weir & the Wolf Bros., B.B. King, and Buddy Guy.

Weinkauf, who previously served as operations director and technical director at the Hult Center, had ample opportunity to evaluate alternatives for a permanent “A+” solution. “Many touring pop and Broadway shows carry their own production, so I’d heard solutions from most of the major manufacturers in our space,” he says. “Consistently, the Meyer Sound systems outperform the others in here. We always seemed to get more positive comments when the show was carrying Meyer Sound.”

Meyer Sound LEOPARD® compact line array loudspeakers have taken up permanent residence in the Silva Concert Hall.

The installed system comprises main left and right hangs of 14-each LEOPARD compact line array loudspeakers, one more than with the typical rental system. Three ULTRA-X40™ compact loudspeakers are installed as balcony delays. “For most shows, the delays aren’t critical because the LEOPARDs cover the balcony very well,” notes Relles. “But if there’s a lot of level coming off the stage from a loud band, and it’s exciting the room, the delays will help boost the clarity up there.”

The top twelve LEOPARD loudspeakers are the M80 variant, with the narrower 80-degree horizontal pattern limiting reflections off the side walls. The bottom two loudspeakers employ the standard 110-degree waveguide. Front fills are six ULTRA-X20™ compact wide-coverage loudspeakers, and deep bass is propelled by three-per-side gradient cardioid arrays of 1100-LFC™ low-frequency control elements.

“Sometimes we would get questions about having only six subs,” admits Weinkauf. “People will walk in, take a look, and say, ‘Is that really going to be enough?’” Then we fire it up, and they say, ‘That will be fine.’ Of course, we can always have George bring in a few more, if only for the visual effect.”

Relles’ long experience with LEOPARD arrays in the room made system tuning a snap. “One TruShaping filter and a couple of parametrics with just a few dB was all it took,” he recalls. “Since I already had the Compass files from previous visits I basically had the system ready in less than fifteen minutes.”

Relles and Weinkauf had discussed an option for the new PANTHER™ large format linear line array loudspeaker but soon concluded it would be more than the room needed. The first trials proved the point. “After I tuned the LEOPARDs we played tracks from all genres, ending up with some heavy metal,” recalls Relles. “We still had six to eight dB of headroom but everybody was screaming ‘Enough!’ at the top of their lungs.”

The system upgrade also included MJF-208™ and MJF-210™ stage monitors, with more of each model on order. “We still have our old monitors, but after hearing the MJF wedges, the techs in both of our rooms are specifying them for their shows. Artists love the way they sound. They’re lightweight, powerful, and so easy to dial in with very little — if any — corrective EQ needed.”

Having their own premier system available at all times allows the Hult Center more certainty and flexibility in programming, continues Weinkauf. “This gives our programming manager, Vicki Infinito, a new tool for attracting and booking top-rank artists. George is a sought-after provider for our region, so he was not always available to bring in his LEOPARD system. Also, we are seeing more acts touring only with desks, making this upgrade a high priority. We are already booking top-tier acts for the fall that might have passed us by if we didn’t have this system available in-house.”

Operated by the City of Eugene Cultural Services Division and opened in 1982, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts is renowned for its striking exterior and the novel basketweave interior of the Silva Concert Hall. The Hult Center also houses the intimate, 495-seat Soreng Theater.

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