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Montreux Sets New Record with Meyer Sound Support
The 38th annual Montreux Jazz Festival posted record ticket sales this year, as music lovers from around the world converged on the scenic Swiss city nestled between the Alps and Lake Geneva. Between July 2nd and 17th, an unprecedented 100,000-plus ticket holders poured into the three main performance venues, where they heard 135 of the world's most celebrated music artists through M Series loudspeaker systems from Meyer Sound.
The 2004 Montreux Jazz Festival marked Meyer Sound's 18th consecutive year as official sound supplier to the event. More than 300 of the company's self-powered systems were in place at 18 locations in and around Montreux – in halls large and small, on outdoor stages, in workshop venues, and even aboard boats cruising Lake Geneva.
The record-setting ticket sales were at the premier indoor venues: Auditorium Stravinski, Miles Davis Hall, and the Casino Barriere. The largest of the three, Auditorium Stravinksi, featured a system anchored by the flagship M3D line array, with a configuration of six cabinets per side supplemented by M3D-Sub directional subwoofers and M2D compact curvilinear arrays for center and downfill coverage. The Stravinski's stage hosted many of the best-known headliners, including Santana, Dido, Phil Collins, B.B. King and Bryan Ferry.
"I thoroughly enjoyed mixing on the M3D system," comments Chris 'Privet' Hedge, FOH engineer for Ferry. "It was beautifully SIMmed (i.e. aligned using a SIM audio analyzer), so I didn't do a thing with the guest graphic (equalizer). What comes out of the desk is what you hear, which is normally the case with Meyer."
A MILO high power curvilinear array system – six cabinets per side augmented by a phalanx of 650-P subwoofers – was deployed in the smaller Miles Davis Hall. Here, reggae, electro-pop, hip-hop and other urban music genres were mixed through Meyer Sound's popular line array system.
More traditional jazz styles were the staple fare at Casino Barriere, with main arrays of four M2D cabinets per side at the core of a smooth, full bodied and transparent system carrying the power and delicate subtlety of artists such as Bobby McFerrin, James Taylor and Chick Corea.
The demanding task of providing first-rate sound for eighteen venues simultaneously was accomplished under the supervision of Patrick Vogelsang, the festival's technical director for audio and also managing director of Niveau 2, the Swiss distributor for Meyer Sound. Loïc Joilat of Hyperson (Niveau 2's rental and production division) organized the daunting logistics, while the sound system design efforts were charged to Marc de Fouquières of Paris-based Dispatch.
"We worked with a very happy group of sound engineers," says de Fouquières, who also assisted on site. "We had friendly people who enjoyed the casual feeling of comfort and high sound quality."
Other venues of note and their primary Meyer Sound systems included the Jazz Club (CQ-1 full-range wide coverage and UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers), Jazz Café (UPA-1P) and Petit Théâtre (M1D ultra-compact curvilinear array).
The relationship between John Meyer and the Montreux Jazz Festival dates back to 1973, when Meyer first advised the festival organizers on acoustical and sound reinforcement issues. Meyer Sound was established in 1979, and, in 1986, when the available product line had expanded to meet the festival's broad requirements, the company was selected as the official sound reinforcement supplier. The partnership continues as one of the most unique, enduring, and successful of its kind in the performing arts.