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With Meyer Sound M'elodie, American Idiot Rocks the Stage at Berkeley Rep
When sound designer Brian Ronan was charged with the task of bringing the multi-platinum album American Idiot to a live stage at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, he didn't have to look any farther than the city limits. "Berkeley is a town known for, among other things, its unparalleled restaurant culture. I feel like we were the Chez Panisse [world-renowned local dining mecca] of theatrical events by using a Meyer Sound speaker system that had been manufactured within several miles of the venue. The staff at Meyer offered their abundant talent, technical expertise, and onsite support every step of the way."
This home-grown, high-octane show, featuring every track from American Idiot plus several new tunes from Green Day's newest release, 21st Century Breakdown, takes audiences on an exhilarating journey that sounds more like a rock concert than traditional musical theater might lead one to expect. To create the energy required for this electrifying show, Ronan designed a Meyer Sound system that includes 36 M'elodie and five M1D line array loudspeakers, 18 UPM-1P, five UPJunior and ten UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers. A combination of six 500-HP and six 600-HP subwoofers provides ample headroom for low-frequency delivery. A Galileo loudspeaker management system with Galileo 616 processors is used for signal drive and control.
"When I have a system to design, I make speaker choices based on what the show's required SPL and tone will be," explains Ronan. "As soon as I was approached about American Idiot, I knew Meyer was the right choice and M'elodies came to mind. I think the end result was a design that complemented the power of Green Day's music, and helped Michael Mayer, the show's director, to fulfill his creative vision."
Berkeley Repertory Theatre's long relationship with Meyer Sound has matured over the decades since its first Meyer Sound system was installed in its Addison Street performance space in 1982. "Meyer Sound has been a generous and reliable supporter of Berkeley Repertory Theatre for many years," says Tom Pearl, production manager of the theater company. "When we began planning for American Idiot, we knew it would take a very different sound system from what we normally use. Helen Meyer [co-founder of Meyer Sound] also recognized this and contacted us early on to offer additional support for this show. I was particularly impressed with the time and care put in by Meyer Sound's Design Services staff. They not only brought their expertise to bear with Brian on the layout and balance of the system, but they also really engaged in the process and collaborated with our technical staff to eliminate structural and sightline issues without compromising the sound design."