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San Francisco Symphony Live at Justin Herman Plaza with Meyer Sound
The San Francisco Symphony's outdoor concert series has become a popular summer tradition, bringing intimate and entertaining open-air performances to the public free-of-charge in Bay Area venues from the enormity of the Shoreline Amphitheatre to the placid, rolling hills of Dolores Park.
Certainly one of the more challenging settings in the symphony's schedule is San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza, a brick-lined square at the foot of Market Street. With the waters of the bay on one side and the jagged walls of Embarcadero Center on the other, the environment is a test for any musical performance. San Francisco Symphony's audio provider for more than five years, Pro Media/ UltraSound (PMUS) from Hercules, Calif. prescribed a Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeaker system for the event.
"Justin Herman Plaza is a great place to see a show, and it draws a nice crowd," explains PMUS's David Bowers. "Certainly the biggest challenge is keeping the sound off the buildings, and combining the Meyer Sound MILO with the MSL-4 delays really enabled us to cover the deepest parts of the plaza without having to push the main PA level. It gives people the feel of the symphony without overpowering them."
Using MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program, Bowers created a system design including two hangs of ten MILO line array loudspeakers each, augmented by left and right delay stacks of three MSL-4 loudspeakers. Frontfill was provided by a center pair of UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers, with left and right pairs of MSL-2 loudspeakers. Low frequency content was covered by two stacks of three M3D-Sub cardioid subwoofers, and a pair of UPM-2P loudspeakers provided onstage monitoring.
The symphony's audio engineer, Hal Soogian, worked closely with Bowers on final tweaking of the system onsite, and reports that the results were superb. "This was the first time the symphony has been back at Justin Herman Plaza in 15 years, and it sounded great," Soogian says. "There were lots of compliments. The symphony says it was one of their best concerts."