Herbert Grönemeyer Tours with Massive Meyer Sound M3D, MILO on Stadium Tour
Actor/musician Herbert Grönemeyer possesses near-legendary status among the German-speaking public. The talented rocker and outspoken activist has sold over 15 million recordings since his eponymous 1979 debut solo album, garnering dozens of Gold and Platinum awards along the way. His recent tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland played to sold-out stadia of 60,000 and more through a massive Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeaker system provided by Hanover, Germany-based Rocksound Management GmbH.
The main system used a total of 80 M3D line array and 24 MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers. As a point of reference for the immensity of this system, 24 MILO cabinets has proved more than sufficient as the main system for outdoor shows by major rock acts, while the same number of M3D cabinets has been used to power a hard rock festival. The Grönemeyer system used well over four times that many cabinets.
The M3D complement was configured as six arrays: two main arrays of 14 cabinets, two arrays of 14 cabinets covering the sides of the stadium, and two delay towers holding 12 M3D units each, situated some 100 meters from the stage. The MILO cabinets, flown from the roof in six arrays of four cabinets, covered the upper level seating.
Rocksound's audio director, Lothar Strunk explains that the sheer size of the venues demanded an exceptional sound system. "Germany rebuilt many of their soccer stadiums in preparation for hosting the FIFA World Cup last year, and most of these venues are pretty massive, holding between 50,000 and 75,000 people," he says. "Creating a system that can deliver great sound to that kind of coverage area can be a challenge. The M3D can easily throw 1,000 feet, but we've found that using the MILOs gives us a much smoother transition and better imaging to those upper level areas."
Up front, three MSL-4 horn-loaded long-throw loudspeakers at the left and right edges of the stage offered near-field coverage, while a pair of MSL-6 horn-loaded high-Q main loudspeakers handled sidefill. "The MSL-4 and MSL-6 cabinets kept that downfill area near the front of the stage from being too overpowering, and allowed us to bring the image down and in for that area," says Strunk.
Low-frequency content was handled by 32 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers, which shared the understage area with "monitor land." "The 700-HP is very linear, and by arranging (properly delayed) pairs of them to create cardioid coverage patterns, we were able to minimize boominess both on and underneath the stage," says Strunk. A Galileo loudspeaker management system utilizing four Galileo 616 processors handled time alignment, air absorption compensation, and other DSP tasks, as well as system drive.
FOH engineer Colin Norfield mixed the show on a DiGiCo D5 console, with a second D5 for redundant backup. Monitor engineer Wayne "Heights" Gittens worked with an identical setup under the stage, and systems engineer Sven Waldheim sized up each venue and tweaked the system design using MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction software.
"It's always a bit of a compromise in stadiums that large," Waldheim observes. "In a sense, those arenas are designed for sporting events, where it's more exciting to reflect the sound of the crowd back inward. It would be impossible to deliver this kind of a show without the Meyer system."
"Grönemeyer is an exceptionally powerful performer, and his fans expect a very special experience," Strunk says in conclusion. "The power and the performance of the Meyer system allowed us to give them that kind of experience."