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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.

Level 42 level-up with Electro-Voice and Dynacord for UK tour

The recent Level 42 UK tour called on the versatility of Electro-Voice and Dynacord equipment to ensure that every audience had the best possible experience, no matter what kind of venue the band was performing in.

The British jazz-funk band toured with an Electro-Voice

The British jazz-funk band toured with an Electro-Voice X2 system as its main PA, driven by Dynacord TGX amplifiers with control from SONICUE sound system software.

The tour marked the first time that the band’s FOH engineer, Mark Clements, had moved away from Level 42’s usual equipment supplier for 25 years. However, the band had been working with Merlin PA on overseas and festival packages, and it became a natural move to tour the UK with the rental company too.

NEAL ALLEN, MERLIN PA’S

“The percussive and transient nature of Mark King’s style really shone through with the use of the X2’s 12” driver on the Mid Band Hydra.”

A further reason for the switch was to move to Electro-Voice’s X2 system, which Clements had heard several times. The solution’s size and form factor made it the perfect choice for a concert hall tour, but the technical qualities of the X2 also made it a strong choice for Level 42.

“The percussive and transient nature of Mark King’s style really shone through with the use of the X2’s 12” driver on the Mid Band Hydra,” explains Merlin PA’s Neal Allen. “That’s what the technology in the MBH allows you to deliver.”

The capabilities of the X12-128 dual-18” subwoofers were also an important factor for the performance. “This tour was one of the first where we consistently used a cardioid sub arrangement in almost every venue,” recalls Allen. “Due to the nature of the stage setup, some venues required a super-cardioid sub design, which dramatically cleaned up unwanted resonance onstage for Mark King.”

In addition to the X2 main PA, compact 8” two-way XLE cabinets were called into action to provide further support. “XLE was required to provide extra intelligibility and consistency,” says Allen. “This was particularly important at Sheffield City Hall, which is a notoriously tricky venue to contain with a full house when you need to cover all three floors.”

A further aspect that enhanced the tour was the Dynacord electronics and software that drove every performance. “TGX amplifiers and SONICUE sound system software provided the backbone power to the Electro-Voice system,” notes Allen. “The intuitive nature of SONICUE enabled us to make effortless on-the-fly changes at different locations, while also providing an overall picture of all aspects of the system.”

Introducing Electro-Voice MTS Loudspeaker Systems

Electro-Voice introduces the MTS point-source loudspeaker system.

Each MTS model is equipped with four 15″ woofers and dual coaxial mid/high-frequency compression drivers. The system is capable of generating more than 151 dB peak SPL with exact directivity for very long-throw applications.

According to Richard Lawn of Pro AVL Asia, “Having blended new technologies with long-established designs, Electro-Voice has delivered a powerful yet versatile enclosure that refuses to be boxed into a familiar niche.”

Richard sat down with Bob Rieder, Andrew Pardoe, and Oliver Sahm to find out more.

Find out more about the Electro-Voice MTS Series HERE: https://products.electrovoice.com/na/en/mts/

ApexPro is the leading distributor of Electro-Voice products and services in Africa.

Contact us to find out more.

Published by Pro AVL Asia