Meyer Sound’s Australian Charm Offensive
By Jason Allen.
With a new distributor in place, a major new product to show off, and a decent sale to brag about, Meyer Sound staff, including founders Helen and John Meyer, descended on Sydney en-masse in late March with a two-day system optimisation seminar followed by a product launch and meet-and-greet at Chatswood’s Concourse Theatre.
The three-day Meyer Sound love-in brought together system techs, consultants, designers, production staff and integrators from around Australia, and Meyer flew out their entire A-Team: John and Helen, Director of System Optimisation Bob McCarthy, VP of Solutions and Strategy John McMahon, VP of Global Customer Engagement Antonio Zacarias, Director of Digital Products Tim Boot, Application Director of Digital Products Steve Ellison, Director of Communications and Artist Liaison Jane Eagleson, Senior Marketing Manager Eve Bryggman, Senior Technical Support Specialist Matt Salerno, and Demonstration Coordinator Joshua Korbel.
Chris D’bais, Business Development Oceania and South-East Asia for Meyer Sound was also in the house, along with new distributor Audio Brands Australia staff including Director Don McConnell and Sales Engineer Jeff Shoesmith. Chris and Jeff had the pleasure of announcing to the house that Wollongong-based CMG AV had just launched as a Meyer Sound Australian Rental House division with the purchase of 36 elements of LYON array, 50 elements of LEOPARD array, 24 1100-LFC subs, 18 900-LFC subs, 16 MJF-210 stage monitors, and 13 Galileo Galaxy processors adding to their existing LEOPARD and 900-LFC inventory.
Not a bad first month for a new distributor.
“We’re excited, it’s a dream for us,” said Jeff Shoesmith. “Audio Brands Australia are here to take care of sales, technical and design support, promotion and marketing here in Australia, and in New Zealand in partnership with Pacific AV. We work closely with the Meyer Sound factory, and with Chris D’bais. We are here to support the dealers, integrators, consultants, acousticians, live production techs, and end-users in venues.”
With a two-day system optimisation course run by Director of System Optimisation Bob McCarthy behind them, the assembled crowd were treated to a preview of new install products; the unofficially named UP-4Slim, a compact version of the UP-4XP measuring just 109mm x 403mm x 144mm, and the also as yet unnamed Installation Subwoofer, which runs 2x 10” long excursion drivers, and is based on the design of LFC subs. A simple 2.1 system ran in the foyer, and for a diminutive product, delivered a ludicrous amount of power while maintaining Meyer Sound’s legendary intelligibility.
In the theatre, it was all about Meyer Sound’s new LINA very compact line array and accompanying 750-LFC subwoofer. LINA is all about small, fast and easy. It has a ‘native mode’ in which time-pressed techs can run a single signal to the whole array, daisy chain the boxes, and get up and running in 20 minutes.
“You can run one cable to LINA and do a show in native mode,” said John Meyer. “That’s the future – you don’t want to get too complicated. I resist bringing complex sound into arenas as it’s too hard to set up. It takes time, and you can’t do one-nighters. We’ve been doing surround a long time – we did it with the Grateful Dead! Surround doesn’t make a concert. It’s about the music and the feel. Multi-channel surround is expensive. The feeling from the band is what the audience is looking for.”
“With LINA you’re hearing the legacies of what we’ve put into it,” said Helen Meyer. “The technical aspects inherited form MINA and the LEO family. It’s very small, very powerful, and easy to set up, and you don’t have to do a lot of tweaking. It’s got so many applications, and that’s the way of the future.”
With John and Helen travelling to Melbourne the day after the event to commission a new Constellation system, we asked about their views on the immediate future of spatialisation and 3D audio.
“Concert halls that are versatile are used a lot more,” stated John. “If you can change the way your hall functions, you can attract young people, and that’s the future. We need to find consultants and designers who can see that now, not wait 20 years. This is the virtual world we’re starting to create.”
“What we’ve been doing with Constellation is to create rooms that are very natural. We’re changing the room, we’re not trying to close mic everything; that’s what we were doing in the 1970s and you don’t get the natural sound of an orchestra. A Dolby Atmos-type solution works for a movie, but what we’re doing is more subtle. It’s not an effect – we’re trying to push the envelope with spaces that don’t exist physically. Dolby has already done it, and we need to take the next step.”
The appointment of Audio Brands Australia as distributor after the recent dissolution of Meyer Sound Australia has been quick and painless, ensuring continuing support in the region for the brand.
“Our team has been working for a long time to see who could work with us successfully in the region,” explained Helen Meyer. “It’s a marriage of what we want and what Audio Brands Australia want. It felt right. It’s all about people and relationships. It feels like we’re starting off well.”
“You are doing a lot of incredible things here in Australia,” observed Helen. “It’s not a small market, and it’s one of the most exciting. You’ve got a film industry, concert halls, and a huge touring market. There’s a lot happening and we want to be part of it.
“In coming here for these events, we wanted to reach out and see as many people as possible, to show them what we’re doing. We wanted to thank people for their support and say that we’re excited about what’s happening here. Actually, it is my first time in the country, and it’s a thrill to be here!”
This article first appeared in the print edition of CX Magazine April 2018, pp.30-31. CX Magazine is Australia and New Zealand’s only publication dedicated to entertainment technology news and issues. Read all editions for free or search our archive www.cxnetwork.com.au
All text and photos © CX Media
Read also: CMG Audio Visual launch new Meyer Sound Rental Division – March 28