Ariana Grande’s 77-show “Honeymoon Tour” is the breakout artist’s first tour to deploy a Meyer Sound LEO and LYON linear sound reinforcement system. VER Tour Sound is providing the complete audio, video and lighting package for the tour, with coordination by Brent Dannen and Ralph Mastrangelo.
According to front-of-house engineer Toby Francis, the system has proven to be the perfect vehicle for delivering Grande’s potent voice over the sound of screaming fans in sellout arenas.
“I can’t say enough about the LEO system,” says Francis, who has previously mixed Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Kanye West, and New Kids on the Block. “Ariana’s vocals sound absolutely amazing through it. I’ve had some visiting engineers comment on how ‘in-your-face’ the sound is from LEO, like you can almost reach out and touch it. Every small, subtle move I make in the mix is clearly audible. I can’t believe it sometimes—it’s almost like sitting in a studio.”
Ariana Grande and her band at Madison Square Garden during the 2015 Honeymoon Tour.
For most shows, the system comprises main front hangs of 14-each LEO-M and four LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers. Fourteen LYON-W loudspeakers are hung per side for side fill, four MICA line array loudspeakers provide front fill, and four UPQ-2P loudspeakers are available for utility fill. The system also includes 24 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, 12 MJF-210 stage monitors, while a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with six Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment.
“The LEO system has exceeded all expectations,” reports Mastrangelo. “The reviews are good, the audiences are excited, and everyone is pleased. It’s been a slam dunk for us.”
Both Francis and monitor engineer Justin Hoffman mix on DiGiCo SD7 digital consoles, while Grande sings through custom-decorated Sennheiser 5200 wireless microphones with MD 5235 capsules. Additional outboard gear includes a TC Electronic Reverb 6000 processor and a Rupert Neve 5045 primary source enhancer for the strings. Systems engineer is Brett Stec.
“I’ve been using Meyer Sound systems off and on throughout my career, and the LEO Family is by far the company’s greatest accomplishment,” adds Francis. “The good-sounding arenas sound absolutely phenomenal, and even the bad-sounding rooms sound pretty good. There is one arena that I’ve worked since the beginning of my career, and it’s not an easy room to deal with. But we had an outstanding show in there.”