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Meyer Sound Reinforces a Music Tradition at Chicago's Ravinia Festival
As the oldest outdoor music festival in the United States, Chicago's Ravinia Festival boasts a rich history dating back more than a century. The festival runs from May through October, making it less of a typical festival and more of a semi-permanent summer venue. Performances ranging from the Chicago Symphony to Sheryl Crow and Tony Bennett attract 600,000 visitors a year to join in the celebration at Ravinia Park, located in the northeastern suburb of Highland Park.
Mike Gotshall, owner of Chicago-based wireless provider A Sound Choice, oversaw the audio needs at the festival this year along with IATSE Local 2 FOH engineer Norm Kruger. Gotshall also partnered with New York's Masque Sound to provide self-powered Meyer Sound MICA and M'elodie line array loudspeaker systems for Ravinia's two main venues.
As Gotshall explains, working with Masque has allowed him to offer additional services to his clients. "My relationship with Masque enables me to take on the bigger events, with the confidence that Masque can provide the caliber of equipment those events require, including Meyer Sound systems," he says.
The festival's 3,200-seat Pavilion was outfitted with a system centered around two hangs of 12 MICA line array loudspeakers, with UPM-1P and MSL-4 loudspeakers providing fill coverage. Eight 650-P subwoofers handled low frequencies, and a Galileo loudspeaker management system covered system processing.
Masque Sound's Paul Klimson says the MICA system was ideally suited for the Pavilion. "With so many people seated out on the lawn area, the challenge is to maintain that relaxed environment without overpowering it from the stage. The MICA array made a big difference in keeping excess energy from spilling onto the lawn, while dramatically improving the sound inside the venue."
In the 850-seat Martin Theatre, an array of five M'elodie line array loudspeakers was augmented by four UPA-1P and two UPM-1P loudspeakers, along with a pair of USW-1P subwoofers and nine UM-1P stage monitors.
Gotshall adds that the self-powered Meyer Sound systems could be moved if a visiting act opted to hang their own system, but that the option was rarely used. "They may not know A Sound Choice, but when they see Meyer Sound and Masque, their confidence in the system just comes naturally," Gotshall says.