Mexico City’s Auditorio Nacional, honored with the top slot in Billboard’s Touring Awards in 2007 and topping Pollstar’s rankings of theatres and auditoriums by posting total ticket sales of over 995,000, has just implemented a new high-end audio system featuring 60 Meyer Sound MILO line array loudspeakers – the largest MILO system owned by any theatre or auditorium.
The Auditorio seats an audience of nearly 10,000 and is the Western Hemisphere’s largest auditorium that is not a religious institution. Size is certainly one reason for the venue’s popularity. High technical standards have also helped to attract productions to the Auditorio, with more than 260 events booked annually, including performances by sold-out artists such as Sting and Robert Plant.
According to Production Manager Mark Giancola, key factors that led to the important decision to purchase a MILO system were sound quality, application flexibility, and support from the company. “We present everything from pop and rock to jazz and classical, so we needed one system that has been proven over and over to be successful with all types of music,” he remarks. “The MILO has certainly done that.”
The Auditorio started using Meyer Sound systems in the early 1990s. According to the Auditorio, strong support from Meyer Sound through the years has helped foster a close relationship with the company, and the way Meyer Sound stands behind its products allowed the Auditorio to invest in this large system with confidence.
“The service has been absolutely first-rate,” testifies Giancola. “Antonio Zacarias (Meyer Sound’s director of Latin American sales) and his team of highly-trained technical services staff have given us incredible support. They’re always right there whenever we need them.”
The new MILO-based system was configured by Meyer Sound Mexico’s design services department headed by Oscar Barrientos, following specifications outlined by the Auditorio’s own production staff. The new system will not be permanently installed, but rather will be available as an in-house rental that can be quickly flown and precisely optimized for any type of production.
The base configuration includes 38 standard MILO loudspeakers, 20 MILO 60 narrow coverage loudspeakers, and two MILO 120 wide coverage loudspeakers, as well as 28 700-HP subwoofers and frontfill of eight UPA-1P loudspeakers. A Galileo loudspeaker management system comprised of two Galileo 616 processors provides drive and processing.
“Many shows were bringing in their own line array systems,” observes Giancola, “but that could be problematic because our busy schedule requires so many back-to-back changeovers. With our MILO system in-house, we will save time, cut costs to the promoter, and guarantee ample power with superior quality. This system is substantially more powerful than any other outside rentals that have come through.”
The new MILO system can be flown in eight different configurations and precisely aligned using the SIM 3 audio analyzer, accommodating both flown and groundstacked subwoofers.
“Everything is recorded as a preset in the Galileos,” explains Giancola, “so the system can be rigged to meet staging requirements for any show. We can quickly hang it, hit the preset in Galileo, and it’s instantly aligned for the perfect sound.”
The new system was first used to reinforce the live orchestra at Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet. “The sound was just fabulous,” reports Giancola. “You could go to the very back and still hear a presence that you’d normally get only right up front. It’s fantastic. I think everybody will be very, very happy with it.”
Giancola is certain that the investment will pay dividends as the Mexico City venue continues its winning ways. “When you consider the stature of shows booked in here, we cannot afford to use anything but the best equipment,” Giancola contends. “That is why we chose Meyer Sound MILO. Our insistence in quality has placed us among the top venues in the world, and this new system allows us to maintain that reputation. It is certainly a strategic investment for the future of Auditorio Nacional.”
Designed by architects Teodoro González de León and Abraham Zabludovsky, Auditorio Nacional opened in 1952 and originally served as a multiuse facility with open floor space for accommodating conventions and sporting competitions. In 1991 it was rebuilt to serve as a theatre and auditorium for the performing arts. The varied program schedule includes a wide range of Latin American and international artists representing dance and drama as well as pop, rock, classical, and operatic music.
Through the years, artists who have performed at the Auditorio include Robert Plant, Sting, Norah Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Alejandro Sanz, Cranberries, Joe Satriani, and Barry Manilow.