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Great Big Sea Tours with Compact Meyer Sound System
Hailing from Newfoundland—or as the bands refer to it, the eastern edge of the western world—Great Big Sea recently completed a tour of U.S. and Canada with a compact Meyer Sound system that includes the MSL-4 loudspeaker and 700-HP subwoofer.
Formed in 1993, Great Big Sea has spent the past 15 years touring extensively throughout America and Europe, earning a dedicated following for its hybrid blend of traditional Newfoundland folk and edgy rock. Impromptu guest appearances by good friends like Russell Crowe have also boosted attendance and sparked interest in the group.
The system, provided by Nova Scotia-based Tour Tech East, was chosen for its power and compact size. As FOH engineer Steve Doherty explains, the compact but powerful Meyer Sound system they're carrying—two MSL-4 loudspeakers and two 700-HP subwoofers per side—covers most shows sufficiently on the tour. "We wanted to carry our own production, and the requirement was that all audio and lighting had to fit into a 16-square-foot trailer behind the bus," says Doherty. "And of course, we needed a rig that would deliver top-notch sound; we're not Metallica, but it's a very high-energy show. The Meyer rig comfortably covers a crowd of up to 1,000 people."
The self-powered Meyer Sound system makes for a quick setup. "It's about as close to plug-and-play as it gets," says Doherty. "The subs roll in, the MSL-4s go on top, and we're good to go in about 90 minutes. I've been out on tours with four and five tractor trailers, and I've been out with this setup, and I have no complaints."
Doherty says Great Big Sea's music, rich in traditional folk instrumentation, really benefits from the well-defined articulation of the MSL-4. "It's interesting," he observes. "On larger tours, you carry your own PA, and you always know what it sounds like. But on this tour, we've had several nights at midsize theaters and other venues where we went through the house PA. It always sounds good and all, but when I go back to our Meyer system the next day, I can always hear the difference."