Meyer Sound M1D and M2D Loudspeakers Follow Wicked Witches to Japan

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"With Meyer Sound, we know we can achieve consistent sound in every production.... There are a lot of variables that can get in the way of meeting those goals. It's comforting to know that the loudspeakers will always sound the same."

- Kai Harada
Associate Sound Designer, Wicked

Wicked, the dynamic musical inspired by the classic story, the Wizard of Oz, has blown through box-office records, making it one of the most popular musicals on Broadway and beyond. A Japanese production of Wicked opened in Tokyo this summer, becoming the fifth resident production after New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and London. Following the success of the other productions, a Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeaker system was once again deployed.

Veteran sound designer Tony Meola created a basic loudspeaker design template for all of the resident productions based on two main clusters each of Meyer Sound M2D compact and M1D ultracompact curvilinear array loudspeakers. That foundation remained unchanged as the show moved into Tokyo's 1,216-seat Dentsu Shiki Theatre SEA.

"We've done some tweaking here and there to accommodate the specific needs of this theatre, but we're following the same template," says Kai Harada, Associate Sound Designer. "It gives us the sound that everybody expects."

A significant "first" for the Tokyo production is the incorporation of a Meyer Sound Galileo loudspeaker management system. "I love the fact that I can walk through the theatre with a laptop and make changes via the Galileo system from any seat in the house," says Harada, who traveled to Tokyo to align the entire system using Meyer Sound's SIM 3 audio analyzer.

The twin center arrays tucked behind the wings of a dragon perched over the proscenium remain a trademark feature of all Wicked systems, with each array comprising 10 M1D loudspeakers. Left and right arrays of eight M2D loudspeakers each handle most of the orchestra mix. The remaining elements of the 93-cabinet Meyer Sound system include six 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers, 39 MM-4 miniature wide-range loudspeakers, four UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers, four UPM-1P ultracompact wide coverage loudspeakers, and four UPM-2P ultracompact narrow coverage loudspeakers.

Though Harada has accumulated credits on dozens of shows, he acknowledges Wicked as the most successful project of his career thus far. "Tony [Meola]'s design was the key, but I think we're also very lucky to have a company like Meyer Sound behind us on Wicked," he says. "With Meyer Sound, we know we can achieve consistent sound in every production. We've worked hard to make the sound of the show dynamic and to accommodate the wishes of the creative team. There are a lot of variables that can get in the way of meeting those goals. It's comforting to know that the loudspeakers will always sound the same."

A German language production of Wicked has recently opened in Stuttgart, Germany, followed by an Australian production that will open in Melbourne in 2008.

December, 2007

FEATURED PRODUCTS

M1D

M2D

700-HP

UPM-1P

UPJ-1P

UPM-2P

Galileo 616

SIM 3

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