from Pro Sound News
Boston, MA - October 23, 2007
Boston, MA (October 23, 2007)--This past September's Life@50+ National
Event and Expo welcomed 25,000 attendees from all 50 states and 10
countries at the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The event
was heard through a Meyer Sound PA provided by San Diego-based MSI
Production Services and Taylor, MI's Thunder Audio.
Hosted by AARP, a non-profit organization formerly known as the
American Association of Retired Persons, the three-day event featured
musical performances by Tony Bennett, Earth Wind & Fire, and Rod
Stewart. It also presented a wide range of celebrity speakers,
including Brian Dennehy, Maya Angelou, Kirk and Michael Douglas, Whoopi
Goldberg, LL Cool J, Bob Newhart, Robert Reich, Joan Rivers, and
presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee.
MSI Production Services teamed with Thunder Audio to provide sound,
lighting and video for the event, including a massive line array of 48
Meyer Sound Milo high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers and 24 Mica
compact high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers. The main arrays were
augmented by 20 M'elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array
As Ken Freeman, MSI's technical director observed, the venue was a
challenging one from an audio perspective: "It's a very wide room,
probably 100 feet tall at the center and very live. The spoken
presentations were a very significant part of the event, so it was
important to design a system that could deliver both musicality and
intelligibility in the face of such a large, reflective environment."
Low frequency content was covered by 20 700-HP ultrahigh-power
subwoofers, arranged in cardioid pairs to reduce low frequency buildup
on stage. "Lars Brogaard, Rod Stewart's engineer, had mentioned that he
always does cardioid pairs with the 700-HPs, and we were really
impressed with how effective it is," said Freeman. "The bottom end was
clear and powerful out in the house, but there was no boominess at all
up on the stage."
A Yamaha PM5D RH handled primary FOH duties, with a DM1000 providing
submixes of all playback material. Earth Wind & Fire brought in its
own DiGiCo D5 console. Sennheiser wireless mics dominated, with a mix
of Shure, Sennheiser and Audio-Technica wired mics on backline. An
assortment of MJF-212A high-power stage monitors and UM-1P narrow
coverage stage monitors covered the performers and presenters.
Freeman gives particularly high marks to the Galileo loudspeaker
management system. "This is the second time I've used the Galileo, and
the simplicity of it is really impressive," he said. "We were able to
configure everything from the front row with just a tablet PC. And two
Galileo 616 boxes really made for a great interface. Because they have
so many inputs and outputs, we were able to connect both the
entertainment and production mix consoles, and only needed to change
patches, rather than reconfigure everything."
"It was a large space, and there was a lot to take into consideration
in designing the system," said Thunder Audio vice president Paul Owen.
"We used MAPP Online Pro to size up the room and were able to put it
all together before we put a single box into the room. Ken and his crew
were really great, very professional, and everyone was pleased with the
Freeman and MSI were equally complimentary: "Paul and the folks from
Thunder were great to work with--intelligent, on the ball and
thoroughly familiar with what the talent needed. They really delivered."
AARP's next Life@50+ convention will be held in Washington, DC, on September 4-6, 2008.
Link to Story
Technology Sales Manager
Director of Audio/Visual Services