The next leg of rootsy, soulful artist Ray LaMontagne's North American tour will begin late August, 2011, with audio support by Livonia, Mich.-based Thunder Audio. For their recently concluded round of shows, LaMontagne and band Pariah Dogs played a range of live venues that held audiences from 2,000 to 10,000. To handle the diverse concert capacities, Thunder Audio provided two separate Meyer Sound systems: A MICA-based system for more intimate venues and a MILO-based solution for larger, open-air amphitheatres.
"I've been using MICA in theatres for a long time," confides LaMontagne's FOH engineer, Doug Dawson. "The sound of the horn is really smooth; Meyer Sound definitely manufactures a nice horn driver. I've worked with a bunch of different speakers, but to me, the voice sounds so much nicer on Meyer Sound loudspeakers. We typically play theatres, but Ray's been doing so well that we've started playing outdoor venues. We're using MILO outside, and I love it."
For smaller theatres, Thunder Audio supplied 32 MICA® line array loudspeakers, 16 per side; 12 700-HP subwoofers, flown six per side; and eight M'elodie® line array loudspeakers serving as front fills. For larger outdoor venues, 32 MILO® line array loudspeakers substituted for the MICA loudspeakers, also in a 16-per-side configuration. Signal distribution and optimization was handled by Meyer Sound's Galileo® loudspeaker management system.
Pairing the MICA- and MILO-based systems was an ideal solution, says Mike "Savage" Nichamin, the tour's systems engineer and designer. "The integration between the systems—MILO, MICA, M'elodie—is absolutely seamless with the minimum amount of EQ applied," he explains. "The Galileo loudspeaker management system is one of—if not the—best on the market today, allowing us to configure the various systems daily with ease. I have been using these systems almost exclusively since they came onto the market, and I really don't want to have to work with anything else. Plus, they sound absolutely fantastic."
Nichamin continues: "In fact, Dean Norman, Ray's monitor engineer, likes them so much he's ditched the standard wedge monitor and is now using a pair of M'elodies along the downstage edge for Ray's fill."
Production Manager Mark Jones adds: "The system performed extremely well. The vocal clarity for Ray's music is very important, and the MICA worked great in theatres and the smaller venues. Once we went into the larger venues, the MILO worked fantastically well. Another thing I really liked about the PA was that we flew the subs, which from a production manager's point of view is great, because it didn't affect sightlines."
A Meyer Sound system was used on the recent European leg of Ray LaMontagne's tour, with equipment supplied by UK-based SSE Audio Group.