Since recording her debut album with British pop icon Peter Gabriel in 1992, techno-pop diva Zazie has won acclaim as the most creative and popular female vocalist on the contemporary French music scene. Her subsequent recordings have earned critical raves and chart-topping sales, while her concerts have been consistent sellouts in large venues throughout the region. For the 2005 summer tour in support of her latest CD, Rodeo, a Meyer Sound self-powered line array for the audio reinforcement system was brought in.
They system’s foundation element is the M3D line array loudspeaker. “The M3D is my favorite for so many reasons,” says the tour’s front-of-house engineer, Yves Jaget. “First, the sound stays smooth even at high volumes, and no other system has the dynamics, bass extension, intelligibility and controlled directivity [of the M3D]. Even in the bad venues, the M3D sounds good!”
Jaget, one of Europe’s best-known live sound and studio recording engineers, is a former owner of the Le Voyageur mobile studio and current proprietor of Yellow Sub, an esteemed new digital studio in Paris. He has been Zazie’s FOH engineer since the beginning of her concert performance career.
To cover the variety of venues encountered on the tour, which range in capacity from 5,000 to 10,000, Dispatch of Paris supplied a main system of 18 M3D cabinets, flown nine per side, with deep bass supplemented by two flown arrays of six M3D-Sub directional subwoofers each. For frontfill or sidefill, depending on venue configuration, the system incorporated 12 MICA compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers.
According to Jaget, “I love the MICAs! They sound wonderful on their own and blend with the M3D. The response is smooth and the directivity is great.”
MICA also earned admiration from Laurent Delenclos, a longtime associate of Jaget, who served as system engineer on the tour. “MICA is the best companion for the M3D,” he agrees. “It has the same sound, and gives a seamless transition into the frontfill and sidefill systems.”
Among other tasks on the tour, Delenclos assumed responsibility for modeling specific system configurations for the larger venues in Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro™ acoustical prediction software. The program enabled him to set exact array splay angles and adjust processing in the system drive units for each zone in the arrays.
“Zazie listened to the system and loved it,” Jaget remarks. “There was no bass onstage and no slapback from the room. Zazie’s priorities are to take care of her crew and to give the audience a great show. M3D helps her to do that.”