Meyer Sound MICA Line Arrays Come Home for Norah Jones's Tour Finale (with Video)
Norah Jones concluded her recent North American tour at one of her favorite venues, the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. It was also a fitting finale for the 48 Meyer Sound loudspeakers carried on the cross-country tour—more than 45 shows from Boston and New York City to San Diego—as they completed their assignment roughly two miles from the factory where they were manufactured.
At times it was a challenging but most of all satisfying odyssey for FOH engineer Brett Dicus and Spencer Ellis, systems tech for the US tour's sound provider, Audio Analysts of Colorado Springs. Both expressed their complete satisfaction with the reliability and pristine performance of the Meyer Sound system, which was anchored by dual hangs of 12 MICA line array loudspeakers each.
"When configuring our system and then mixing the show, we focus on the intelligibility of all of our instrumentation at every seat in the house, with our first priority being the vocal," notes Dicus. "Consistency is critical for maintaining that. With the MICA system we're touring with now, as well as earlier with the MILO, we have the ability to work with a very consistent box."
Adds Ellis, "I enjoy working with Meyer Sound because we get a consistent product that is very reliable. On a tour like this where time is limited, it is important to know how the system is going to act in any room."
On this tour, the system had to adapt to a wide range of venue types and sizes—predominantly theaters and performing arts centers seating between 2,000 to 4,000—but also outdoor venues such as Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater. In addition to the MICA arrays, the tour system comprised 12 CQ-2 loudspeakers for side fill, six MID line array loudspeakers for front fill, and six 700-HP subwoofers. Drive and processing was supplied by a Galileo loudspeaker management system with two Galileo 616 processors.
According to Dicus, the uniform sonic signature of the Meyer Sound line was key to developing a transparent mix in any environment. "In my early years working with regional sound companies, we dealt with boxes that needed proprietary tunings. But with Meyer Sound loudspeakers we have a tool we can trust. It's a tone we've come to know throughout the line, from the MILO and MICA arrays down to the small M1Ds."
For Spencer Ellis, whose prime responsibility is making the system work every night, another plus for Meyer Sound is the technical support. "Assistance from the factory is always available when we need it," says Ellis.
A near-capacity crowd of about 5,000 gathered in the Greek Theatre for Jones and opening act Corinne Bailey Rae. Although the weather had turned unseasonably chilly by the time Jones took the stage, the talented performer warmed hearts with her stellar five-piece band.
Norah Jones has been supported by Meyer Sound systems on all her concert tours since she broke as a major headlining act in 2002 following the release of the multi-GRAMMY-winning Come Away with Me. She was also one of the first artists to tour with a Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeaker system.
Watch video interviews with Brett Dicus and Spencer Ellis on the sound reinforcement for the Norah Jones tour: