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Meyer Sound Celebrates 20 Years of Sponsorship at 40th Montreux Jazz Festival
For the first two weeks of July, the entire universe of popular music — from rock and jazz to hip-hop and reggae — converges on a single point: Montreux, Switzerland. Here, for the 40th time since 1966, the incomparable Montreux Jazz Festival will present 16 unforgettable days and nights of indoor and outdoor concerts in a stunning setting nestled between mountain peaks and Lake Geneva. More than a quarter million music lovers from around the globe are expected to attend this year's festival to hear 200-plus international artists spanning the music world from Abdullah Ibrahim to Zucchero and from Donovan to the Deftones.
"We first met Claude Nobs when John and I lived in Switzerland while he was working at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies and Claude was promoting shows in Switzerland," says Meyer Sound Executive Vice President Helen Meyer. "We watched him build the Montreux Jazz Festival as we built Meyer Sound, and one day Claude called us saying he needed better sound for the festival. We were delighted to help then, and now, 20 years later, it is still a pleasure and an honor for us."
"In addition to the casino system, we are introducing M'elodie as the main system at the Parc Vernex outdoor site and for fill to supplement the MILOs in the big Stravinski Hall system," notes Patrick Vogelsang, audio director for the festival and also managing director of Niveau2 MediaSystems, Meyer Sound's distributor for Switzerland. "Judging from what we have already heard from this wonderful little system, I'm certain the audiences and sound engineers will be impressed with its performance."
At the Parc Vernex outdoor stage, a robust system of 12 M'elodie cabinets covers most of the audience in the expansive lawn area, supplemented by bass boost from four 600-HP subwoofers and fill for the near corner from some UltraSeries units.
From smallest to largest, the Meyer Sound systems at Montreux maintain the same level of quality, with configurations simply scaled to the size of venue and style of music. So it's not surprising that the "heavy lifting" at Stravinski Hall, where the Black-Eyed Peas, Santana, and Iggy & the Stooges take the stage, is delegated to M'elodie's big brother, the MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker. The main left and right arrays comprise 10 MILO cabinets each, with eight 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers, arranged to create a cardioid effect, kicking in the deep bass. A center array of four MICA compact high-power curvilinear arrays puts plenty of punch in the middle of the wide hall. Additional fill and delay subsystems utilize 600-HP subwoofers and assorted UltraSeries cabinets, in addition to M'elodie.
Another Meyer Sound product making its Montreux debut in 2006 is the Galileo loudspeaker management system, which will be used at both Stravinski Hall and Casino Barrière. All performance systems were designed using the MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program and calibrated with a SIM 3 audio analyzer. A SIM 3 unit remains in residence at Stravinski Hall during all performances. "With the combination of the Galileo 616 processor, its Compass control software, MAPP Online Pro and SIM, our job is completed faster and with more accurate results," comments Vogelsang, "which is exactly what we're looking for!"
The Rouvenez, Jazz Club, Bar Pub, Leman A and B (workshops), Press Center, Loge Claude Nobs, Terrasse, and Jazz Festival Boat venues will also feature Meyer Sound systems, primarily based on compact UltraSeries cabinets and 650-P subwoofers. The boat will additionally employ some MSL-4 cabinets.
Companies supplying Meyer Sound systems for 2006 are Dispatch of France, and the Swiss-based firms Hyperson, LPS Sonorisations, Axcess, Skynight, and Megasound.
"This year marks several special occasions," observes Vogelsang. "It's not only the 40th year of the festival and Meyer Sound's 20th year as sound supplier, but it's also the 70th birthday year of festival founder Claude Nobs. It has become a unique and special relationship between Claude and Meyer Sound. Obviously, Claude Nobs has found in Meyer Sound all that he needs to support the festival's music, including performance quality that is respected by the artists, superior technical support, and systems that are always at the forefront of audio evolution."