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Meyer Sound Brings the Pope's Words to 250,000 in Paris
Pope Benedict XVI recently made his first visit as pontiff to Paris, praying together with more than a quarter million followers on the massive lawns of the Esplanade des Invalides. Sound designer Fred Goguet created a mammoth audio system for the momentous event, using Meyer Sound components provided by a coterie of French audio firms, including Dispatch, Ateliers Lumiere, Projectis and Audio-Technique.
Spread over an area nearly 500 meters wide, Goguet's design comprised a total of 96 MICA, 78 M'elodie and 20 MILO line array loudspeakers, along with a handful of UPA-1P and UPM-1P loudspeakers for fill. "Considering the architectural perspectives of the scenery and the constraints of limited heights and no scaffolding, I created a distributed system of 22 main and ten secondary arrays," Goguet explains. "The coverage was seamless across the entire audience area, with excellent intelligibility everywhere."
Dispatch's Marc de Fouquières observes that despite having the equipment coming from several different providers, combining it into a single, cohesive system was easily accomplished. "Meyer Sound equipment is so consistent, it's never a problem to integrate it," Fouquières says. "The bigger challenge was to position the equipment over such a vast area. We didn't have much time to listen to and fine-tune the arrays once they were in place, so we configured most of it beforehand in the MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program, which proved to be exceptionally accurate. Also, with the SIM 3 audio analyzer, we're able to compensate for how the crowds would change the acoustics, and our work during the service was made a lot easier."