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Meyer Sound's MILO Family Powers the Party on Dane Cook's In-the-Round Tour
From Toronto's Air Canada Centre to the Honda Center in Anaheim, Dane Cook's 25-city transcontinental "Rough Around the Edges" tour blazed new trails for comedy acts. It was a one-man stand-up show, yet the tour packed arenas that normally host NBA franchises and rock music supergroups.
Audio production for this sold-out tour was no laughing matter. Every syllable of the rapid-fire comic banter had to be fully articulated at every seat, a serious challenge in massive arenas jammed with more than 20,000 fans. To ensure that nobody missed a punch line, Hampstead, N.H.-based Rainbow Production Services supplied a sizable system based on Meyer Sound's MICA compact and MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers.
"Getting clear intelligibility in some A-market arenas can be a nightmare, because you're dealing with multiple reflective glass and concrete surfaces in all directions," says Mike Martell, Rainbow's CEO and production designer for the tour. "Precision pattern control is critical, which is why we chose MILO."
The in-the-round configuration comprises six arrays flown from the hexagonal truss. Four arrays with ten MILOs plus two MILO 120s at the bottom were aimed toward the far ends of the arenas with expanded coverage into the lower bowl. Two arrays of 16 MICAs covered the near sides. Six UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers and six M2D compact curvilinear array loudspeakers were assigned to floor duty. On stage, six MJF-212A high-power stage monitors were placed for Cook, with a Shure Beta 58 wireless system plugged into the Yamaha PM5D console.
"Voice intelligibility is the whole show, so the key is maximizing direct sound and minimizing reflections," says Rainbow's senior audio engineer, Ian Silvia, who worked with Scott Tkachuk, Director of Touring and Event Operations, to ensure adequate coverage for the audience using MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program. A Galileo loudspeaker management system handled signal processing and drive, and a SIM 3 audio analyzer set delays and equalization.
Rainbow supplied production for 16 shows on the tour, including most of the consecutive night shows. In that respect, Martell readily gives credit to Meyer Sound's QuickFly rigging system. "The MILOs go up quickly, and what's even more impressive is how fast it all comes down," he observes. "With 80 boxes in the air, six sticks of lighting truss, cabling that goes for miles, plus audio and video on the floor, we're still getting out in under two hours." For the longer hauls, Taylor, Mich.-based Thunder Audio provided an identical B production rig.
Thunder's vice president Paul Owen attributes the success of the venture to Meyer Sound's quality products. "Having done various in-the-round and duplicate system productions, we must say Meyer Sound's self-powered systems have made our lives so much easier." Owen says. "Even with A and B rigs, no longer do you have to worry about crossover points and amp alignment differences. Also, Meyer Sound's loudspeakers sound the same no matter where they come from, enabling us to provide consistent sound quality from location to location."
Cook's personal manger, Brian Volk-Weiss is also pleased with the results. "In all of my experience doing shows on the road, the MILO system performs better than anything else I have ever worked with," Volk-Weiss says. "It is dependable and more importantly, it makes large arenas sound almost intimate."