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Meyer Sound M’elodie Line Arrays For Touring Production Of “Mamma Mia!”

M’elodies chosen for their sound and flexibility.

By PSW Staff April 6, 2010

Meyer Array on tour with Mamma Mia!

A new touring production of MAMMA MIA! is filling theatres across the Netherlands, with dialog and lyrics in Dutch but with a sound that is universally ABBA.

The production carries a powerful reinforcement system based around 32 Meyer Sound M’elodie line array loudspeakers.

Loudspeaker configuration was the work of the production’s associate sound designer, Richard Brooker, who was charged with fulfilling overall requirements set by Bobby Aitken, principal sound designer.

“I’d first used M’elodies on my design for a Spanish production of Jesus Christ Superstar,” recalls Brooker. “I needed to handle a dynamic and often quite loud show, but the production had to change venues quickly.”

“Also, in most places I could not fly the system. After much head-scratching, I went the Meyer route with M’elodies and 600-HP subs. The results were fantastic, and still are with the similar system we have for MAMMA MIA!”

The flexibility of the M’elodies is also a big plus for Netherlands-based assistant sound designer Wibo Vermeulen, who uses the Meyer Sound’s MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program to fine-tune the system for each venue. The halls range from 875 to 2,161seats, in various shapes and sizes, from typical “horseshoe” theatres to post-modern asymmetrical auditoriums.

“The M’elodie is adapting very well to all venues,” says Vermeulen. “Because of its small size and light weight, it can be hung or stacked nearly everywhere, without compromising either sight lines or sound quality.”

In larger venues, the M’elodie complement is normally configured as four arrays of eight each, covering two levels from left and right. The center vocal cluster comprises (venue dependent) as many as 14 M1D line array loudspeakers.

The complete Meyer Sound complement includes six 600-HP subwoofers, 11 UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers for foldback and fills, and three easy-to-conceal MM-4XP miniature loudspeakers for downstage lip foldback. System supply came from Autograph Sound of London.

According to Brooker, the main M’elodie arrays deserve the lion’s share of credit for making the production easy to set up and a sure-fire audience energizer. “Yes, they are easy to rig, lightweight, and have a small footprint,” attests Brooker, “but the main thing is the way they sound—which is like much bigger boxes. They are clean and clear, with a smooth dynamic range that works with everything from intimate dialogue right up to full-on ABBA disco pop.”

Meyer Sound Website


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