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Tyler Perry Returns to Stage as Madea with Meyer Sound MICA

From left to right: Mike Charbonneau (FOH), Keith Jex (System tech), and Bruce Danz (Monitor technician)

"The Meyer system also has great separation between the left and right arrays, and has much higher fidelity than other systems I've used."

- Mike Charbonneau
FOH Engineer, Madea's Big Happy Family tour

On the Madea's Big Happy Family tour, fans of Tyler Perry's wildly successful TV shows and movies follow the comedian in his new play in theaters and arenas across the US. The musical tale reunites the audience with Perry's signature character Madea, a silver-haired, aggressive matriarch. TEC Award-winning Thunder Audio of Livonia, Mich. is providing a Meyer Sound MICA and M'elodie line array loudspeaker system for the tour.

A deviation from mainstream theater, Madea's Big Happy Family engages the crowd with spontaneous humor, and features musical interludes that find audiences singing along to well-known R&B and rock and roll hits. "I'm breaking the wall. I'm talking to the audience. It's theater. It's some of everything. It's concert," says Perry, according to

For the arena shows that include the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC and the Target Center in Minneapolis, Thunder Audio is supplying 16 Meyer Sound MICA line array loudspeakers per side, in addition to side hangs of ten M'elodie line array loudspeakers each, four for frontfills, and six 700-HP subwoofers per side for bass power. In more intimate venues like Oakland, Calif.'s Paramount Theatre, 12 MICA loudspeakers per side were used as the main system. RMS remote monitoring system delivers extensive status and system performance data directly to the operator from every loudspeaker. A Galileo loudspeaker management system provides signal processing, while a SIM 3 audio analyzer is used for system optimization.

A nine-year veteran on the Tyler Perry crew, FOH Engineer Mike Charbonneau is touring with a Meyer Sound system for the first time. Charbonneau reports that the system is powerful yet well controlled, allowing him to manage the frequent audience interactions, the nine-piece band and 13 actors on stage. "The Meyer system also has great separation between the left and right arrays, and has much higher fidelity than other systems I've used."

To ensure even seating area coverage, system tech Keith Jex of Thunder Audio takes advantage of the accurate predictions of the Meyer Sound MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program. "MAPP is used for every show," says Jex. "We still walk around and use our ears and SIM, but the prediction is always very close to reality. This is important. You don't want the last row asking for their money back because they can't hear the show." The audio crew also includes Bruce Danz as monitor technician.

Perry's charisma garners an adoring reaction from the audience who cheers and laughs through the two-and-a-half-hour performance. "After Tyler's second DVD came out, the live shows were sold out in two weeks," says Charbonneau. "The word of mouth for his shows has been great. No two shows are the same or are like any others. "

Madea's Big Happy Family marks Perry's return to the stage for the first time in five years. His credits include theatrical productions Madea's Family Reunion and Madea Goes To Jail and TV shows "House of Payne" and "Meet the Browns."

February, 2010





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