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Jakarta Convention Center Goes Self-Powered with Meyer Sound
As a top Indonesian destination for live indoor concerts, the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) has seen its share of performances by high-profile touring acts such as Natalie Cole, Mariah Carey, and Enrique Iglesias. But the facility also hosts a huge range of locally-originating events, not only entertainment and meetings but also celebratory gatherings including college graduations and even large-scale wedding receptions. It's a busy place, with multiple events occurring simultaneously and tight turnarounds for room utilization. To meet the varied demands, JCC's sound reinforcement gear has to be flexible, quick to set up, and deliver predictably consistent quality across a multitude of configurations. Since 1992, the answer for the JCC has been relying on Meyer Sound loudspeakers, a commitment recently renewed with the acquisition of 56 new cabinets to bring its total Meyer Sound complement to nearly 100 components.
"Gala dinners, award ceremonies, product launches, conferences, conventions and wedding receptions are just some of the types of events we have here," says Technical Operations Manager Thalut Wassil. "We've had a couple of receptions for more than 10,000 guests, the biggest was for 12,000. And many local universities and colleges have their graduation ceremonies regularly in our Plenary Hall or Assembly Hall. We've even hosted a dinner for Asia-Pacific heads of state."
The common thread of these events is that all are required to utilize JCC's in-house sound equipment. "The basic reason that the convention center has its own in-house loudspeaker system is that the quality of sound produced during an event drives the impression that audience members take away from their visit to our venue. So we insist that all clients use our sound systems." Wassil says that the Meyer Sound components are primarily used as portable systems in the larger rooms, as well as occasionally in small meeting rooms that are also equipped with ceiling loudspeaker systems.
JCC's first set of Meyer Sound components, which predated the company's self-powered systems, consisted of MSL-3 reinforcement loudspeakers, DS-2 mid-bass loudspeakers, and 650-R2 Concert Series subwoofers. The choice of Meyer, Wassil says, was initially driven by "market acceptance. When a client is told that they will be using Meyer loudspeakers, they have no further questions. Many artists also mention this brand in their technical rider."
Once delivered, the speakers did not disappoint, and the system was subsequently expanded with more than 40 additional Meyer Sound loudspeakers, all of which are still in service. "We were happy with our old Meyer Sound loudspeakers," Wassil says. "Perhaps they were one reason why our center became the number-one destination for indoor live concerts."
But while the performance of the externally-powered loudspeakers was exemplary, JCC faced practical considerations that made a self-powered approach appealing.
"Our various types of events sometimes occur one right after another," Wassil explains, "giving the crews limited time for breakdown, setup, checking, and fine tuning. Using separate speakers and amplifiers in a very tight 'setup-show-dismantle' cycle consumed a lot of human resources. I thought that if we had smaller cabinets with built-in amplifiers, that would make things easier. Besides, we could also use the small cabinets for a small meeting room if there happened to be a problem with the ceiling system."
Wassil says that when he learned about Meyer Sound's MSL-4 horn-loaded long-throw loudspeaker, he "instantly believed that it would be the perfect cabinet for JCC. MSL-4 is small enough to fit in our small meeting rooms without distracting the audience, powerful enough to replace the old MSL-3, and can be flown for better coverage."
Working with local Meyer Sound dealer Solid Audio, which purchased JCC's MSL-3s, DS-2s, and 650-R2s for sale to local rental companies, JCC now has not only 24 new MSL-4 cabinets, but also 16 DS-4P horn-loaded mid-bass loudspeakers and 16 650-P high-power subwoofers. With the new cabinets in service, JCC is reaping the benefits of increased ease-of-setup and improved overall sound system performance without any compromise in audio quality or power.
"My crew prefers to set up the MSL-4 and 650-P combination," Wassil says. "If a setup needs any equalization, it can be done simply in the console or equalizer. No further adjustment between amplifiers and processors is needed. And I think system reliability increases with a self-powered system. With power amplifiers inside the speaker, maintenance becomes less. In my experience, these Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers have been very consistent and reliable."