Stravinski Soars with QuickFly, Delay Subwoofers, Montreux 2000
Over the past few years, the Meyer Sound self-powered systems in the festival's premier venue, Stravinski Auditorium, have drawn rave reviews from crowds and critics alike. Understandably, then, the design team from Meyer was reluctant to tinker too much with success. Nevertheless, this year's Stravinksi system does incorporate two significant new elements: QuickFly Rigging and PSW-2 subwoofers flown as balcony delays. "This is the first year we have used QuickFly in all the main venues," says Mark Johnson of Meyer Sound, "and it's an exciting new development. QuickFly has saved a lot of time and effort in getting things up. Everything goes together faster. The MSL-4s latch on under the MSL-6s very easily, and we can get the precise trim we want with a minimum of hassle."
This year's other new addition, PSW-2 subwoofers flown for balcony delays, marks a further refinement in Meyer Sound's continuing quest to deal creatively with some problematic acoustic characteristics in the 3,400-capacity venue. Designed principally for classical music concerts, the hardwood-paneled room can be difficult if over-excited by amplified low frequencies. Although last year's system employed delayed USW-1P s with good success, substituting three of the far more powerful PSW-2 units will nearly double the headroom available for heavy bass transients.
"Delayed subs add quite a bit of fatness up in the balcony," notes Johnson. "Now with the PSW-2s up there, we can let the mixers push the system as hard as they want with no concerns about the balcony subs running out of steam."
The forward sections of the hall are covered by clusters of three CQ-2 cabinets flown left and right, plus a CQ-2 pair for center fill. Eight PSW-6 cardioid subwoofers handle the lowest registers with ease, filling the hall while limiting bass bleed back onto the stage.
Music lovers privileged to occupy the very front will hear stage sound augmented by a row of seven UPM-1P front fills along the stage lip, while fans in the near corners will enjoy the show courtesy of a pair of UPA-2Ps.
The Stravinksi Team
When the lights go down, long-time Montreux veteran Chris Ridgway will assume the post of FOH mixer for those acts without their own engineer, and head system tech for those who do. After a few days, once the SIM alignment is rock-solid, Dave Dennison will start sharing FOH duties with Ridgway to prevent "ear fatigue" and general exhaustion--a real threat considering the 15-plus hour days that are common between first sound check and last encore.
Artists slated to take the Stravinksi Auditorium stage this year represent, as usual, a rich cross-section of contemporary music styles. A random sampling includes The Blues Brothers, Joe Satriani, Al Jarreau, Manhattan Transfer, B.B. King, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega, Taj Mahal and Deep "Smoke on the Water" Purple.