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Gyuto Monks Tour with M2D Loudspeaker System

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"When listening through the M2D in the hall, you can hear the defined articulation of each voice, so you can tell when one stops to take a breath and another starts. It's a definite credit to the M2D that you can easily distinguish such subtle differences, and hear the exact relative stage position of each monk in the stereo imaging."

- Dave Dennison
Audio Production Supervisor, Gyuto Monks Tour

In 1959, the Gyuto Buddhist monks carried their centuries-old spiritual tradition from their native Tibet into India, eventually establishing Gyuto Tantric University near Dharmsala. Here, they maintain a rigorous practice of meditation and chanting rituals--including astonishing intonations in which a single voice produces three notes simultaneously. A choir of thirteen Gyuto monks is now on a 19-city tour of the United States to raise funds for their new campus near Dharmsala – a tour which also marks the debut of Meyer Sound's new M Series M2D Compact Curvilinear Array loudspeaker and M2D-Sub Compact Subwoofer systems.

"We sometimes slip into calling the monk's appearances 'concerts,' but these are really all-enveloping experiences and not merely entertainment," says Dave Dennison, audio production supervisor for the tour. "Absolutely accurate sound reinforcement is crucial in making that experience available to everybody in the audience, because the delicate and subtle intonations of the monks are very difficult to reproduce. But this M2D system has done the job superbly."

First stop on the tour was the 1800-seat Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles. Here, Dennison set up a system utilizing six M2D cabinets per side, ground stacked using the MG-2D Multipurpose grid that allows for flying, stacking or transition from a larger M3D system. A pair of UPM-1P Ultra-Compact Wide Coverage Loudspeakers covered two shadowed areas to the extreme sides, and a pair of 750-P High-Power Subwoofers supplied deep bass. (The 750-Ps are scheduled for replacement by the first two production M2D-Subs later in the tour.)

"The clarity and intelligibility of the M2D is truly remarkable," reports Dennison. "The midrange as shown on SIM System II is extremely coherent." Dennison notes that this exceptional clarity enables him to precisely recreate the physical arrangement of the 13 monks on stage – with the chant master at the head of a vee – in his audio mix. "The monk's voices are tonally similar, yet still distinctive. When listening through the M2D in the hall, you can hear the defined articulation of each voice, so you can tell when one stops to take a breath and another starts. It's a definite credit to the M2D that you can easily distinguish such subtle differences, and hear the exact relative stage position of each monk in the stereo imaging."

Dennison is similarly pleased with the M2D's compact size, minimal weight and integrated rigging. "Ease of set-up is remarkable compared to other similar systems. Also, the rigging is sturdy and rigid. You can depend on your splay angles staying exactly the same, with no chains involved."

Simplicity of setup is particularly important on this tour since the monks themselves – many of whom speak little English – also double as the road crew. "Watching monks in purple robes stacking up M2Ds is pretty cool," Dennison admits.

The full six-per-side M2D arrays will be flown in only a few of the larger venues on the tour. In most other venues, some with less than 400 seats, the M2Ds will be ground stacked with the number of cabinets and splay angles determined by coverage requirements of the room. For fills, and to provide for small private functions, the speaker manifest also includes four UPM-1P and two UPA-1P cabinets. Rounding out the Meyer system is SIM System II, an LD-1A Line Driver, a VX-1 Stereo Program Equalizer and three CP-10 Complementary Phase Parametric Equalizers.

The 2002 tour is the second by the monks to receive sponsorship and logistical support from friends and associates of the extended Grateful Dead family. The Dead's resident ethno-musicologist, Mickey Hart, has taken the lead in supporting the Gyuto monks since he encountered them on their first tour in the mid-1980's. As with their last tour in 1995, Meyer Sound is a prominent sponsor. Other equipment sponsors on the current tour include McCune Sound (console and signal distribution) and ProMedia/Ultrasound (microphones).

According to Grateful Dead publicist Dennis McNally, all involved in the support of the monk's cause are appreciative of Meyer Sound's technical assistance. "What the monks do is so acoustically extraordinary that there is no way we could use systems other than Meyer," he states. "The results simply wouldn't be good enough."

More information on the monk's current tour and the new Gyuto Tantric University campus is available at www.gyuto.org.

March, 2002

FEATURED PRODUCTS

M2D

M2D-Sub

UPM-1P

UPA-1P

CP-10

VX-1

SIM II

LD-1A

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