...what is really critical for portable applications is the size and weight for truck pack, as cutting back even one truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ten metric tons or more on a tour that zigzags across North America.”
Tim BootDirector of Global Marketing, Meyer Sound
With the introduction of the PANTHER large-format linear line array loudspeaker — the company’s first product designed and engineered from conception to completion with sustainability as a primary goal — Meyer Sound has redoubled its longstanding corporate commitment to green touring. PANTHER was designed for a reduced carbon footprint in manufacturing, transport, and operation, and Meyer Sound’s continuing focus on sustainability carries through to all future product development, campus facilities, technical support initiatives, and education programs.
The design criteria for PANTHER required a substantial reduction in size and weight compared to prior generations of line array loudspeakers as well as at least a 20% reduction in power consumption to achieve the same acoustic output. The result is a system with a peak acoustic output exceeding 150 dB SPL and weighing under 150 lb (68 kg), retaining the same slender width of the LYON linear line array loudspeaker but with nearly the same output and long throw capacity of the much larger and heavier LEO system.
“The reduction in power consumption is an important factor regardless of the application, whether touring or installed,” notes Meyer Sound Director of Global Marketing Tim Boot, “but what is really critical for portable applications is the size and weight for truck pack, as cutting back even one truck can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ten metric tons or more on a tour that zigzags across North America. Of course, Meyer Sound self-powered systems always have had an advantage by eliminating amplifier racks.”
The green credentials of PANTHER were a crucial factor in selecting a reinforcement system for Ed Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (“Mathematics”) Tour, according to Chris Marsh, tour production manager and FOH engineer as well as a principal partner in the rental company, Major Tom Ltd.
“Sustainability is now one of our chief concerns when planning a tour,” Marsh says, “and we are doing everything we feasibly can to operate in a sustainable way. The fact that this new PANTHER box is smaller and lighter is a really big thing. It will take less truck space for the shows in UK and Europe, and it will also make a significant difference when we have to use sea freight containers and especially, when we really have to, use air freight.”
The benefits of PANTHER’s reduced carbon footprint are not limited to high-profile global tours, notes Tim Boot. “Local and regional rental companies that work only in one area or a few adjoining states still will haul systems thousands of miles annually, and PANTHER’s weight reductions will make a difference — with an even bigger reduction when PANTHER’s size lets them use smaller trucks.”
Although PANTHER is the flagship system for touring applications, the same attention to sustainability is reflected in other recent Meyer Sound products, most notably the ULTRA‑X40 and ULTRA‑X20 point source loudspeakers. The same sustainability goals will be at the core of all future product developments, with the scope extending beyond the product itself into manufacturing processes and green certification of key component suppliers.
One emerging trend in green touring is for acts to carry only mixing consoles and monitor systems, relying on the host venue’s permanently installed main house system. Venues that upgrade to PANTHER systems to leverage this trend will also benefit from the greater energy efficiency and attendant reduction in both greenhouse gas emissions and utility costs.
Development of smaller, lighter, and more energy-efficient loudspeakers is only one aspect of Meyer Sound’s all-encompassing commitment to sustainable business practices. Meyer Sound has been recognized as a Bay Area Green Business since 2016, a distinction that reflects focused programs to reduce energy and water consumption across the Berkeley campus, and to work toward zero manufacturing waste.
Emissions reduction is also affected by a product’s lifecycle. Meyer Sound’s products are designed for working lifespans regularly measured in decades. Meanwhile, many competitors would have ceased spares availability and consigned the equipment to the landfill.
Although Meyer Sound’s contribution to green touring is focused on reducing emissions related to concert production, the broader green touring initiative also encompasses greenhouse gas emissions from venues and audience travel — the two largest contributors — along with merchandising, promotion, accommodations, and artist travel. Green touring also seeks to reduce other environmental impacts, such as reducing or eliminating non-recyclable solid waste.