New York, NY (November 8, 2022)—Swedish rockers Ghost have had a busy year, hitting the road in the U.S. twice, most recently on a late-summer headlining tour that launched in San Diego on August 26 and wrapped in Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 23, with a total of 17 shows in the USA and three in Canada.
Providing audio along the way was UltraSound (Petaluma, CA), which served up control gear and P.A. for the run. Putting all that equipment to good use was Ghost’s long-time FOH engineer, Dave Nutbrown; monitor engineer Matt Kogle; systems engineer Michael Lawrence; monitor tech Sam Boone; P.A. tech/RF coordinator Michal Kacunel; and P.A. tech Sean McAdam.
While it was the second U.S. run of the year for Ghost, it was the band’s first time using a Meyer Sound Panther P.A. system, said Lawrence: “The band had been in Europe for a couple of months in between, and the system we’d had earlier was booked for another client. We checked in with Josh Osmond at UltraSound, and he said he could help with another Leo Family rig, but then mentioned that their new Panther system—which was out with Dead & Company for most of the summer—would be available. I assumed it would cost a bit more, but when the quote from UltraSound came in, we were thrilled that the bottom line for Panther was actually less.”
Versatility was the order of the day as the tour was booked into arenas of varying sizes, shapes, and importantly, trim heights. Lawrence optimized the rig for each venue, hanging as much power as the space allowed. For larger arenas, a typical configuration would fly 16 Panther line array loudspeakers for each of the left and right main hangs, all with the “L” narrow (80°) horn to maximize gain before feedback when the band used a thrust that projects in front of the arrays. The 16 wide coverage (110°) Panther loudspeakers were all flown in the side hangs, with eight W cabinets over four L cabinets.
“Dave and I are always talking about ways to make things better for the audience,” says Lawrence, “and on this tour, we did some non-traditional things with the wide boxes. Usually, you put them at the bottom of your main hangs to fill in the center. But because the artist spends a lot of time on the thrust, we didn’t want to do that. With the L all the way down, we got about another 4 dB on the vocal mic when he was in front of the PA.
“As for the side hangs, putting the wide boxes on top just makes sense when you look at the shape of the side hang coverage in an arena. We did a MAPP 3D prediction, and it wasn’t just a little bit better in the upper corners; it was a lot better. We want the people in those seats to have the best possible experience, not just those in the front. The band really cares about that.”
The balance of the system comprised nine 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements flown per side in a cardioid configuration, bolstered on the floor by cardioid stacks of three 1100-LFC elements per side on the floor and two under the center thrust. Front fills were eight Leopard loudspeakers deployed along the stage and thrust. Optimization and drive were handled by six Galileo Galaxy 816 network platforms linked by a dual redundant AVB network with analog backup.
Ghost FOH mixer Dave Nutbrown was happy with the results: “The transition from Leo-Lyon to Panther has been seamless, and the fact that we could use only one set of parameters for the whole hang reduced the programming time immensely. The tour went extremely well, and everyone seems happy with the results.”