London's Royal Albert Hall Installs New Meyer Sound M Series Loudspeaker System
In a city rich with culture, the Royal Albert Hall stands proud as one of London's most treasured historic landmarks, as well as one of the world's leading entertainment venues. Since Queen Victoria officially opened the venue in 1871, the Albert Hall has hosted more than 350 performances annually, including a staggering roster of world-renowned musical guests, sporting events, awards presentations, and other entertainment.
As part of a £100 million refurbishment effort, Surrey, England-based Sound By Design, Ltd. recently designed and installed a new in-house sound system for the venue's famously echoey main hall based on arrays of Meyer Sound M1D ultracompact and M2D compact curvilinear array loudspeakers.
The new system features 10 M2D cabinets, 20 M1D cabinets, two M1D-Sub ultracompact subwoofers, and one M2D-Sub compact subwoofer. Six UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers provide coverage to the seating surrounding either side of the hall's famed pipe organ. A Galileo loudspeaker management system handles system drive and processing.
The design collaboration between Sound By Design's Principal Engineer Phil Wright and Systems Engineer Dave Shepherd resulted in a system that can be reworked into several configurations to suit the hall's varied program requirements. Additional groundstacked components, including four additional UPA-1P units, four UPM-1P ultracompact wide coverage loudspeakers, two UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers, and four 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers, can be employed when needed.
Sound By Design's successful relationship with the Albert Hall dates back more than 15 years. "The new system configuration was conceived well over a year ago, and our Phil and Dave have fine-tuned the design over recent months prior to its permanent installation in June," says Sound By Design Managing Director Andy Callin. "The system had to fit within a compact profile to allow unrestricted access to key rigging points for touring shows, and our aim was to provide the best possible performance by creating a system that would cater to a wide range of events."
According to Wright, the company has known from the outset that the Royal Albert Hall would require only minimal Meyer Sound product to adequately fill the room. "Our original concert series system was in situ for 10 years, during which time it provided exceptional sound for some of the most critically acclaimed productions to visit the venue," he says. "The new M Series system builds on that legacy and provides us and our clients with a much more capable system, while maintaining the discreet physical presence which is so important in one of the world's most prestigious and instantly recognizable concert halls."