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Loreena McKennitt Tours North America with Meyer Sound MILO Line Array Loudspeaker


Photo used with permission 
"Loreena has perfect pitch and is very discriminating when it comes to sound and her mix. She prefers Meyer Sound so, from day one, we've always used Meyer systems on her tours."

- Keith Watson
System tech, Loreena McKennitt tour

With two and a half hours of music and no opening act, "An Ancient Muse" tour was a pure showcase for Loreena McKennitt's musicianship. "Her shows are kind of like a rock band, folk festival, and world jam all rolled into one," says Clive Alcock, Director of Western Canada-based Allstar Show Industries and the Canadian singer's FOH mixer for 15 years.

"Loreena has perfect pitch and is very discriminating when it comes to sound and her mix," notes Allstar Show Industries' Keith Watson, who is also SIM engineer and system tech on McKennitt's tour. "She prefers Meyer Sound so, from day one, we've always used Meyer systems on her tours."

McKennitt performed with a nine-member backing band, with each of them playing multiple instruments, and covering traditional pieces such as the lyra and hurdy gurdy. "The real challenge is with the unique percussion we have," adds Alcock. "They're mostly low tones, each with a distinct pitch. With a large number of percussion pieces playing at once, each with its own voice in the mix, balancing those tonalities can be quite a feat."

While McKennitt's crew carried a main system made up of ten Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeakers and two 700-HP subwoofers per side, the configuration of the system frequently changed depending on the venue. "Across Europe and North America, we're going to arenas, opera halls and some older theatres which don't have proper supports to hold a lot of flown boxes," explains Watson. "So for each venue, we use MAPP Online Pro to determine what we're going to use and how we're going to array it."

In addition to the main system, the wide selection of Meyer Sound loudspeakers on McKennitt's tour included six UPM-1P, ten MSL-4, six CQ-1 and four CQ-2 loudspeakers, as well as eight M1D line array loudspeakers. Monitoring was handled by four UM-1P stage monitors and six UPA-1P loudspeakers. The system was tuned with a SIM 3 audio analyzer.

"Having that many pieces on hand was very useful," says Watson. "Because whether we needed reinforcement in the front, side, balcony, or anywhere else, we could easily adapt to each venue's coverage needs; flying the cabinets or groundstacking them if necessary."

"When I design and tune the system," adds Watson, "The main goal is to provide the same experience for the person in the top row of the back balcony as the person sitting in the middle of the floor. We aim at delivering the same great show to each member of the audience."

As on previous tours, the "An Ancient Muse" tour has received rave reviews from both the audience and artist alike. Having collaborated with McKennitt for over a decade, Watson and Alcock both enjoyed working on the tour. "The show is intense and theatrical night after night," says Watson. "By now, we're very familiar with her as an artist and her requirements. However, the venues, setup, and the ensembles are always changing, which keeps things challenging."

McKennitt has recently announced a series of summer show dates in Europe. More info can be found by visiting

March, 2008












MAPP Online Pro

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