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Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace Tour with Meyer Sound MILO
Canadian Platinum-selling band Three Days Grace joined rockers Breaking Benjamin and Puddle of Mudd with opening act Red on a successful spring and summer tour of sold-out arena shows. To deliver the power needed for the diverse lineup, Hampstead, N.H.'s Rainbow Production Services provided a top-notch sound system featuring Meyer Sound MILO-family high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers.
Prior to the tour's May kickoff in Glen Falls, N.Y., tour management elected to use local rental companies at each venue rather than work with one production company for the entire U.S. jaunt. Their first few Northeast dates went to Rainbow Production Services, whose highly skilled crew supplied and installed a powerful system with Meyer Sound MILO loudspeakers at its core. Rainbow director of touring and operations Scott Tkachuk, who designed the system, knew that the crowds of up to 17,000 fans would demand a system with serious muscle. His resulting loudspeaker configuration was so successful that tour management quickly retained Rainbow and the Meyer Sound system for the rest of the tour.
"This is one of the best tours I've ever done," says E.J. Bridges, FOH engineer and production manager for Breaking Benjamin. "I am extremely grateful for Scott's expertise, and the Meyer system is an outstanding rig."
The main system is comprised of left and right arrays of 12 Meyer Sound MILO cabinets and two MILO 120 high-power expanded coverage curvilinear array loudspeakers each. Smaller arrays of eight MICA compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers per side act as reinforcement for areas near the stage, while six UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers provide frontfill. Nine 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers per side, groundstacked, cover low end. A Galileo loudspeaker management system handles all processing and the RMS remote monitoring system tracks output levels.
Based on past experience with Meyer Sound, Tkachuk also knew that a self-powered system would provide the accuracy and flexibility needed for a concert with a diverse lineup of amplified bands.
"All of the sound guys wanted something that was very flat," says Tkachuk. "The beautiful thing about using Meyer Sound for this tour was that if the rig was flown properly, I really didn't have to EQ much at all."
Bridges was especially impressed by the solid low end that the subwoofers provided. "Breaking Benjamin likes their guitar tuned low, and with the bass and kick drum added in, I run a lot through the subs, but they never came close to running out of gas, and you could hear everything with amazing clarity."
Throughout the tour, a smattering of smaller performance halls were interspersed with the larger sheds and auditoriums. For those intimate venues, Tkachuk utilized smaller arrays of eight MICA loudspeakers per side with six 700-HP subwoofers groundstacked.
"The thing that blew me away was the consistency every night in the different rooms," says Tkachuk. "We played everything from arenas to sheds, and every night the sound was just dead-on. When you have great bands and use a high-quality product that's set up properly, you just can't go wrong, and we had that every night."
This scaled-down setup worked quite well at a 7,000-person show in North Carolina, where local ordinances limit concerts to 96 decibels—roughly the same volume as a loud nightclub. Bridges had doubts about achieving an adequate performance.
"I was nervous," he says. "We had police officers roaming the perimeter with decibel meters, and when the crowd screamed, it shot up to 108 dB. However, it turned out to be a great show — the warmest, cleanest 96 dB I've ever mixed in my life." Adds Tkachuk, "The sonic quality was one of the best of the tour," says Tkachuk. "It sounded like a CD."
"We've been using Meyer Sound ever since the MILO came out in 2003," says Tkachuk. "It's the real deal. You don't really need to do anything to it to make it sound good." Bridges adds, "Having the Meyer gear makes me look great, the tonality is awesome, and it's the best system I've ever mixed on by far."