A new Meyer Sound Leopard linear sound reinforcement system has been selected by Encore Event Technologies to serve as the sonic foundation for production services in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton.
As the hotel's resident production services provider, Encore supplies technology for more than 300 events annually, including the Golden Globes, the Oscar nominees luncheon, and the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party.
Performance requirements for the audio system are challenging as it must supply crisp speech intelligibility for up to 1,100 guests along with the power reserves and musicality needed for live music performances and reproduction of the soundtracks accompanying clips from Hollywood releases. All these factors were considered by Rachel Wolfe, director of event technologies at Encore's Beverly Hills location, in making her selection of the Leopard-based system.
"We had a Meyer Sound MICA system in here for about 10 years and we were pleased with its performance," said Wolfe, "but I felt like it was time to invest in newer, updated technology. I'd heard Leopard at other venues and was convinced it was the right choice. The power and clarity are all I expect from Meyer, and Leopard's wide coverage works well with the shape of the room. Also, the slender profile of the arrays is visually appealing and fits in well with our other staging requirements."
Clint Rowland, a freelance FOH engineer frequently contracted by Encore to mix events at the venue, commented: "I was somewhat nervous because I had relied on the MICA loudspeakers for the six years I had worked here. But I was relieved and excited when I first started pumping music through it. I was even more impressed when they put up a podium mic and then walked around with a wireless lav. This is a tricky room to work in, with a low ceiling that's covered with video and lighting gear, and layout changes drastically with different events. But Leopard is giving us great sound and superb gain before feedback."
Provided by Chicago-based integrator TC Furlong, the new audio reinforcement system is anchored by dual arrays of six-each Leopard line array loudspeakers and supplemented in sub-bass by four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. The complete Meyer Sound roster also includes 11 UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers and four UPM-1P loudspeakers, one MM-4XP self-powered loudspeaker, and four MJF-210 stage monitors.
For his part, Clint Rowland is particularly enamoured with how Leopard responds to the full spectrum of program material and output levels. "With Leopard, it doesn't matter if we're doing a corporate show with talking heads, or a fundraiser with A-list bands, or an awards show. The volume level does not affect the tonality. You can mix a low volume presenter and then move to a dinner band, then on to a full rock performance or action movie soundtracks."
The recent audio renewal by TC Furlong also included installation of a new Yamaha Rivage PM10 digital mixing console. Other production technology available from Encore at the International Ballroom includes six Christie Roadster 14K HD LCD projectors, a permanent lighting grid with over 350 fixtures (moving lights from Vari-lite, Quantum and GLP), and high-speed networking including SMPTE fibre connection.