Meyer Sound Sets Precedent in Chilean Presidential Change of Power
On March 12, 2006, history was made in Chile when, after a very close vote, Michelle Bachelet was elected the nation's first woman president. Her victory was commemorated by a party in the Plaza de las Celebraciones in the capital city of Santiago. More than 200,000 people attended the event, called Canta, América, Canta ("Sing, America, Sing,") at which more than 120 artists from 10 different countries were invited to perform.
In addition to its historical significance, the event would also set a precedent in the organization of large-scale events in the country, so it was vital that the audio system offer optimal performance. The event organizers called in Stecher Sound and Audiopro, both Santiago-based audio companies with substantial experience in events of this caliber. The two companies' technical staffs immediately noted that the outdoor space where the event would be presented was an open area surrounded by historical buildings that would create acoustical problems. In order to ensure the event's audio would be flawless, they recommended a Meyer Sound system.
"When I found out that Stecher and Audiopro had recommended MILO (high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers), I knew we were in good hands," recalls Renato Gonzalez, the audio engineer employed by the Presidency of the Republic for the event. "Having worked before with MILO, we knew that this system would be the most reliable choice to cover the entire space," Gonzalez continues. "That was particularly important, not only because of the number of people that attended the event, but because of the enormous importance of a presidential change."
The musicians performing at the celebration included luminaries from all over the world, among them Mexico's Lila Downs, recipient of a Latin Grammy in 2005 for Best Folk Album, and Bolivia's Luzmila Carpio, named as the Ambassador for the Indigenous People by her country's Congress in 2001, and as Bolivia's ambassador to France in April 2006. Also performing were Lilia Vera of Venezuela, Peruvian Eva Ayllon (known as "the Afro-Peruvian diva"), Hernaldo Zuniga from Nicaragua, Pedro Aznar from Spain, Andres Cabas from Colombia, Laura Canoura from Uruguay, and Julieto Venegas and Reyli from Mexico, to name a few. Chile itself was musically represented by Inti Illimani, Congreso, Lucybell, Illapu, Javiera y Los Imposibles, and Kudai.
Audiopro and Stecher designed a system that would assure even coverage by using Meyer Sound's MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program to define the number of loudspeakers, their configurations, and locations for delay towers. A SIM 3 analyzer was used to set the final alignment of the system.
For the main system, two towers each housed nine MILO cabinets, supplemented by six M2D compact curvilinear array loudspeakers installed on each side. Four UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers and six CQ-1 wide coverage main loudspeakers filled the center area. For sidefill, two towers holding nine MILO cabinets and six M2D compact curvilinear array loudspeakers were set up. For the low end, eight M3D-Sub directional subwoofers and 16 650-P high-power subwoofers did the job. Three delay towers with nine MSL-4 horn-loaded long-throw loudspeakers were necessary to carry the sound to the farthest corners of the space.
The images of the event shown all over the world showcased the emotion with which the Chileans welcomed this new phase in the political life of their country. The celebration itself undoubtedly set a new precedent in the Latin American audio industry for large-scale events.
"The advantage of working with a Meyer Sound system, particularly with MILO, lies in that you know with certainty how it will perform," says Gonzalez. "Everybody in the production knew it was the appropriate system to cover an event like this one."