With a Meyer Sound LEO™ and LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system supporting just his vocal, acoustic guitar, and loop pedal, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has single-handedly captivated 10,000-plus crowds on his latest world tour. Among the many concert reviewers impressed by how well Sheeran’s one-man show translated in a large arena, Katie Atkinson of Billboard writes: “He had the crowd wrapped around his finger, and the booming sound to pack an arena with just an acoustic guitar and his voice.”
Chris Marsh, Sheeran’s production manager and FOH engineer, says: “I’ve had a chance to hear Ed’s music on a lot of different systems, for various festivals, one-off shows, and opening for acts like Taylor Swift. But whenever I came across LEO—and more recently, LYON—I’ve noticed a marked difference in sound quality, and hence a marked difference in my enjoyment of mixing the show. When using them together, the transitions between the two loudspeakers are virtually seamless, whether moving across to the side hangs or up underneath the down fills.”
Although configurations vary slightly with venues, the large arena system comprises main front hangs of 12 LEO-M over four LYON linear line array loudspeakers each, with 14 additional LYON loudspeakers in each of the twin side hangs. Completing the system are 18 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements for low end and eight M’elodie® line array loudspeakers for front fill. A Galileo® Callisto™ loudspeaker management system with one Galileo Callisto 616 AES and four Galileo Callisto 616 array processors provides system drive and alignment.
Onstage foldback is supplied by four MJF-212A stage monitors and dual side-fill stacks, each with two 700-HP subwoofers and one JM-1P arrayable loudspeaker. The system is supplied by Wiltshire, England-based Major Tom Limited, and systems tech for the tour is Tristan Nelson-Hauer.
“The 1100-LFC is an astonishingly fast-moving device,” says Marsh. “The impact it transmits when Ed slaps his guitar—his interpretation of the kick drum—is far better than I’ve heard from any other sub. The others are just too slow to keep up.”
Major Tom’s decision to invest in LYON was made by principal Lars Brogaard, an early LEO adopter. “The LYON-W has the wide dispersion I wanted for down-fill, and with the longer-throwing LYON-M, they complement the LEO very, very well,” he says.
Feeding the LEO system on the tour is a DiGiCo SD7 mixing console augmented by Avalon VT-737SP channel strips and Bricasti digital reverbs. Sheeran’s vocal mic is a Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless with a custom MD 9235 capsule.