Meyer Sound’s M Series Adapts to Complex “La Pasión”

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Meyer Sound's M Series loudspeaker systems supported separate performances of the touring production of Osvaldo Golijov's La Pasión Según San Marcos in Eugene, Ore. and in London, England. George Relles, a Eugene-based engineer and sound rental company owner, handled front-of-house engineering duties in Eugene at the 2,500-seat Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.

“It's an extremely demanding production because of the complex interweaving of solo vocalists, choir, heavy percussion and string ensemble,” Relles says. “Balancing the reinforced sounds with the ambient hall sound is tricky, and everything changes with the size and acoustics of the hall. It takes finesse to create that balance, and it's difficult to keep it consistent from hall to hall.”

Relles flew, per side, eight MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers with one MILO 120 extended coverage high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker underhung for downfill. “At the Hult, we had a 60-foot vertical [coverage height] within a throw of about 105 feet,” he recounts, “so we used nine cabinets to get the coverage. We had more than enough power, including bass. I didn't need to bring in any subs.”

Relles was invited to design and mix the sound for several subsequent performances in the U.S. and Europe. When the production went to London to appear at the 1,989-capacity Barbican Hall (pictured), Relles encountered a different acoustical environment, but was pleased to find that MILOs were installed in the Barbican's house sound system.

“Acoustically, the Barbican was much more of a live room than the Hult Center,” Relles says. “It was much more an acoustic performance. But with the consistency of the MILOs, I was able to bring up sounds as I needed and blend them in seamlessly.”

The house arrays at Barbican Hall comprise, per side, one MILO 60 high-power narrow coverage, four MILO high-power and two MILO 120 high-power wide coverage curvilinear array loudspeakers. (The M3D-Sub directional subwoofers at the top of the arrays were not used for this concert.) A pair of UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers on each side supplied frontfill. The 12 separate monitor mixes were handled by 16 legacy unpowered UM-1A UltraMonitor stage wedges.

The Barbican's staff production manager, Eddie Shelter, was impressed with the capability of the MILO system in such a mixed genre show. “We find that MILO works particularly well with acoustic-based music, and the system gives excellent coverage throughout the auditorium,” he says. “The clarity and balance from the lower to the higher ends of the scale are exceptional.”

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