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Meyer Sound Powers RTL France's Long-Awaited Renovation
The RTL Group is a European broadcasting institution, an acronym whose letters carry a degree of cachet comparable to that of the American NBC, ABC and CBS networks. Founded in 1924 when the Anen brothers, Francois and Marcel, installed their first transmitter in the attic of their Luxembourg house, the original Radio Luxembourg has grown into the RTL powerhouse of 31 radio stations and 32 television channels in 11 countries across the European continent and beyond.
In France, RTL was the country's first radio and television group, founded in September 1933. The French network produces some 30 radio and television programs and runs three of the country's top radio stations: RTL (classic rock), RTL2 (pop rock) and FunRadio (for younger audiences). RTL's Paris office is considered the heart, soul and nerve center of the French network, and its rue Bayard studios have recently undergone a massive renovation, adding artist and technical facilities and upgrading the in-house sound system.
The studios, which regularly play host to talk shows and live on-air performances, have hosted artists ranging from Lenny Kravitz and the Scorpions to Black Eyed Peas and Marcus Miller. And while replacing the 17-year old sound system was an easy decision, it was rather more challenging to design a system flexible enough to meet the station's broad range of needs. After carefully considering offerings from the world's leading audio manufacturers, the station's clear choice was a system from Meyer Sound.
The main studio system, installed by leading French audio provider and Meyer Sound's French distributor Best Audio, comprises a main distributed system of seven UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers, plus two CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers and six UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers for the surround fill. A pair of 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers supply low-frequency content, while eight MM-4 miniature wide range loudspeakers cover the under-balcony area. Two more UPJ-1P cabinets are used as monitors at the FOH mix position. Several of the facility's smaller studios are running systems based around UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers and UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers.
"In the end, the Meyer system was an easy choice," remarked Philippe Magniez, RTL's chief engineer. "There's a wide range of products to choose from, and they all have a consistent and dependable sound, so we didn't need to do a lot of work to make the system sound good. Using MAPP Online Pro (acoustical prediction software) to plan the installation saved us a lot of time and guesswork, and Meyer's self-powered solution made the entire job quick and painless. (The use of self-powered loudspeakers) will make future upgrades that much simpler as well. And we love the sound of the 700-HP's!"
Magniez also gives high marks to Best Audio's installation and support. "They did a highly professional job in planning and installing the system, even in the face of an ever-changing timeline. It was great to have such a flexible and accommodating company to work with, and they have delivered excellent support as well, coming in regularly to check and adjust the system. We feel we have purchased a total solution and a complete system, not just a product."
Both the RTL staff and the visiting artists are reported to be very happy with the studio. Magniez sums it up: "I never have to say 'no' to anyone anymore. With the new studio, whatever the artists need, we can do it. It functions well without me — it lets me do my job!"