Front-of-house engineer Craig Doubet mixed Michael Bublé’s 10 consecutive sellout shows at London’s O2 Arena, for 16,000 fans per night, on a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system provided by Montreal-based Solotech.
“The fact that I can cover a huge arena like this without setting up delays or tapping into the house system is just astonishing,” says Doubet, Bublé’s FOH engineer since 2007. “The furthest seat is 350 feet from the arrays, but when I turn around I see people way in the back dancing and partying, so I know it’s working up there.”
The LEO system deployed for the O2 shows was built around main hangs of 14-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers, with underhangs of four-each MICA line array loudspeakers. Outfill arrays comprised 14 MICA loudspeakers per side, 10 M’elodie line array loudspeakers supplied front fill, and six JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers were flown as upstage corner and front center fills. Low end was supplied by cardioid arrays of eight 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements per side, plus six 700-HP subwoofers on the deck.
A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring three Galileo Callisto and one Galileo 616 AES processors optimized performance. Foldback was provided by seven MJF-212A stage monitors and twin side fills of six-each M’elodie loudspeakers.
“I am very impressed with the MJF-212A monitors,” says Matt Napier, monitor engineer for Bublé. “Most of the acts I work with use exclusively in-ear monitors (IEM), but Michael likes to work without IEM on occasion. With its high SPL, vocal clarity, and small footprint, the MJF-212A allows me to keep both the artist and visual departments happy.”
The full system was designed by Doubet in collaboration with David Brazeau, Solotech technical advisor and Louis-Phillippe Maziade, tour systems tech.
“LEO’s voice quality is exceptional, but I also like the way I can hit the system dynamically,” says Doubet. “The band and seven singers are augmented by an eight-piece horn section or an eight-piece string section, and the sound can go from very soft to quite loud. But with LEO’s huge power reserves, I can mix the system like it’s a fine studio monitor.”
Doubet is equally impressed with the power and control of the 1100-LFC loudspeakers. “The whole LEO rig has a very muscular sound, and is amazingly well controlled—the stage is dead quiet. People come on stage and ask, ‘Is the P.A. on?’ That’s because everything is going forward, not downward.”
Doubet mixed behind an Avid Profile console with its 96 inputs nearly filled to capacity. Console plug-ins were supplemented with Lexicon PCM92 and 480L effects units, and two BSS DPR-901 dynamic equalizers. Monitor engineer Matt Napier used a DiGiCo SD7 console, while Bublé sang through a Neumann KMS 104 microphone, and DPA microphones were used for piano, strings, and horns.
After the London run, the LEO system was scaled down slightly for five shows at Dublin’s O2 Arena. Beginning in early September, Solotech’s LEO system will accompany Bublé on an extensive tour of large arenas across America, with at least 37 shows slated through the end of November.