Miles Davis Hall Vibrates with VIM and Vigor, Montreux 2000
In a sense, Miles Davis Hall is a proving ground for the music of tomorrow. Here, SRO crowds of more than 3000 enjoy an eclectic mix of avant-garde, just-beyond-the-mainstream musical performances. In the spirit of its namesake, Miles Davis Hall is a magnet for musicians who break down boundaries and redefine the essence of musical expression.
Similarly, the entire Montreux Jazz Festival has become a proving ground for the latest in audio technology, in ways both big and small. This year, for example, Meyer Sound is employing a new connector/interface system that makes it much easier to add RMS monitoring and control to the stage monitor systems.
"We've had full RMS capability on the FOH systems for some time," notes Mark Johnson of Meyer Sound, "but stage monitors were more of a problem because RMS had required a separate connector. And since monitors have to be reconfigured quickly, sometimes two or three times a night, we wanted to eliminate the extra connections so everything could be hooked up faster."
The solution, implemented for the first time this year at both Miles Davis Hall and Stravinksi Auditorium, consists of VEAM multi-pin connectors and a prototype VEAM Interface Module (VIM). Each VIM box serves four powered monitors, combining audio signal, two-way RMS data and AC line current into a single multicore cable which terminates in a quick-locking VEAM connector.
"Now with RMS installed we can keep track of key performance parameters for all the stage monitor speakers at both venues, "adds Johnson, "not only at monitor mix positions but also in our Meyer Sound production office."
FOH, Monitor Configuration
In Miles Davis Hall, the FOH loudspeaker clusters are configured from all self-powered Meyer Sound cabinets. Mid- and high-frequency coverage for most of the wide room is provided by six MSL-4 cabinets, with eight underhung UPA-2P units tilted down for front fill. Four PSW-6 cardioid subwoofers deliver powerful and tightly defined bass, a must-have for many acts playing the hall. On the stage lip, five UPM-1P front fills balance out the stage sound for festival-goers who work their way to the very front.
The stage monitor systems for the two main halls allow for virtually any conceivable requirement for small and large wedges, drum monitors and side-fills. Meyer Sound products supplied include MSL-4, CQ-1, UPA-2P, USW-1P, UM-1P, USM-1P, PSM-2 and DS-4P cabinets. A total of 34 monitor loudspeakers are available for the Stravinski Auditorium stage, with 27 provided for the somewhat smaller Davis Hall stage.
Engineers and Acts
Pablo Espinosa, Meyer Sound's Customer Service Manager, makes his Montreux Jazz Festival debut this year as the SIM System II engineer at Miles Davis Hall. He will be teamed with veteran FOH mix engineer Jean Claude Pasche.
Rigging at Miles Davis Hall
"We expect Jean Claude and Pablo will work very well together," says Meyer's Mark Johnson. "Pablo is a top notch SIM engineer, and he also draws on considerable FOH mixing experience of his own. Both Jean Claude and Pablo understand the importance of clear communication and smooth teamwork in this intense environment, where sometimes you are asked to make a lot of changes on the fly."
For those whose musical tastes favor urban, world beat, avant garde or experimental sounds, the artists roster at Miles Davis Hall is certain to please. Events on tap for 2000 include reggae, Cuban jazz, hip-hop, groove, world jazz, cutting edge songwriters and, closing out the series, the Talkin' Loud 10th Anniversary.
For the complete program at Miles Davis Hall and at other venues, visit www.montreuxjazz.com.