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Cast of Thousands Creates Latter Day Saints Celebration
This year marks dual milestones in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the 175th anniversary of the church's founding and the 200th birthday of its founder, Joseph Smith. Two of the most ambitious celebratory events were hosted in Utah, home to the church's headquarters, at the 11,000-seat Dee Events Center basketball arena at Weber State University in Ogden.
With a cast of over 2,200 performing in the round on the arena floor, the challenge for sound system provider Webb Audio Visual (Salt Lake City, Utah) was to mount a system that could provide full, high-fidelity coverage to every seat without spilling onto the stage area and causing feedback issues.
Webb AV's Scott Webb knew a self-powered Meyer Sound system was the key to the job, but he needed a bigger system than he had, so he cross-rented a MILO high-power curvilinear array system from Audio West of Yorba Linda, Calif.
From a technical standpoint, the show was distinctly different from and more difficult than most. "Literally the entire floor of the arena was the stage," Webb says, "and we couldn't have any feedback. With the MILO system and the way the (coverage) dropoff works, we were able to cover every single seat from the top (of the arena) down to the front row, with nothing pointing at the floor."
Technical Director Don Wilhelm was enthusiastic about Webb's plans. "The first time I heard a Meyer Sound system was at a Gordon Lightfoot show," Wilhelm relates, "and the sound was just phenomenal. Then I read an article about how Meyer Sound was used for the Broadway production of the musical Wicked. I happened to be going to New York, so I made it a point to see the show, and it was the same thing: just great sound. I really became a fan. So when Scott Webb told me we would have a MILO system for this show I was excited."
The main system consisted of 24 MILO family loudspeakers. Four arrays, each consisting of five MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers and one MILO 120 expanded coverage high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker, were hung from a 30-by-30-foot truss rigged around the scoreboard. Low end was provided by four groundstacked 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers on the arena floor, while system drive needs were met by an LD-3 compensating line driver. The system was tuned using a SIM 3 audio analyzer.
Webb had asked Meyer Sound to help him design the system, and the company's Design Services and Technical Support groups responded with a design generated using the company's MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction software.
Webb was impressed. "Between the MAPP program and the QuickFly rigging hardware, this system is a real time-saver," he remarks. "We flew those 24 speakers using just two people. They just went from stack to stack, lifted them up, and connected them really easily. Then they simply splayed them as they needed to be. It was very simple and quick."
With the event behind him, Webb feels fulfilled by the level of quality he was able to provide. "Being involved in something like this makes me unbelievably proud to be a Meyer dealer. Meyer Sound combines great science with incredible customer service. I feel like I understand where they're coming from, because John Meyer has his name on his company and wants everything to be the best. Webb Audio Visual has been a family business for 50 years, and that's the same thing we try to do."