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Q&A with Bob McCarthy

  • Bob McCarthy, Meyer Sound Director of System OptimizationBob McCarthy, Meyer Sound Director of System Optimization
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January 31, 2022

Meyer Sound Director of System Optimization Bob McCarthy discusses the advantages of basing system designs around PANTHER arrays.

From a system designer’s viewpoint, why is PANTHER such a breakthrough in line array technology?
To begin with, PANTHER is a step into an extremely versatile product line. It is powerful, lightweight and the multiple versions let you spread it wide or focus it deep. And, of course, everybody will be happy about the pricing. I think we will find PANTHER applications in everything from Broadway theaters up to stadiums and festivals.

Why is weight such an important factor in system design?
In many cases, weight will determine the maximum number of boxes we can put in an array. This is often the case on hang points and trusses, particularly when shared with lots of lighting and video gear. Also, following some tragic wind-related incidents, restrictions on weight have clamped down on outdoor applications. With PANTHER we can add more boxes for longer throw and more uniform coverage from the mid to the far field.

We understand you are excited about the new PANTHER-L long throw horn. Why is that?
The PANTHER-L horn is an extraordinary piece of engineering, but that’s not surprising as Meyer Sound has always excelled in horn design. The beauty of it to me is the way it holds a large majority of its angular coverage inside a 3 dB window, then dips out quickly with a well-defined edge at 80 degrees. That gives us a clear place to join with other arrays or fill systems, so we can maintain consistent response across all frequencies.

You had advance access to the PANTHER data for MAPP 3D, and you’ve been using it on design of the system for the upcoming Ed Sheeran tour. How has PANTHER worked into this design?
PANTHER has been a lifesaver on this project, and we worked in collaboration with Major Tom’s Systems Engineer for Ed Sheeran, Charlie Albin, on the system design. The design would have been much more difficult without it, and the system certainly more expensive to transport and rig. The tour is an in-the-round configuration, but in very large venues that require a long throw to the back seats. The system is laid out in two concentric circles, with the PANTHER-L horn covering the back sections, then we move into the PANTHER-M and finally to the PANTHER-W where we need the spread on the short throw. Everything connects together smoothly. The lighting and scenic designers painted a difficult picture for our team on weight and array profile, but with PANTHER we’re confident it will work out beautifully.

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