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Meyer Sound Melodie Cuts Loose at Dartmouth Hopkins Center

by FOH Staff • in
  • News
• Created: August 1, 2007

HANOVER, NH — The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College recently upgraded the audio component of its 900-seat Spaulding Auditorium to include a new Meyer Sound system based on the M'elodie ultracompact high-power curvilinear array loudspeaker. 

When planning for the new M'elodie system, the Hopkins Center’s production management team, which includes Ayres, Doug Phoenix, and Jim Alberghini, had to ensure that major acoustical treatments remained intact in order to preserve the room’s original aesthetics. “We couldn’t change the look intended by the designer, or the expectations of those who paid for the construction back in 1962,” says Ayres. A system of legacy, unpowered Meyer Sound products — mainly MSL-2 high-power and UPA-1 compact wide-coverage loudspeakers — had served the auditorium for the past two decades. After testing various replacement systems, Ayres and her team easily chose M'elodie, Meyer Sound’s latest addition to the MILO family of loudspeakers.

Rainbow Production Services of Hampstead, N.H., supplied the Meyer Sound system. “We prepped and aligned both systems beforehand,” says system co-designer Scott Tkachuk, Rainbow Production Services' director of touring and events. “We then played live and recorded music through one system, took it down, and did the same with the other.”

The system configured by Tkachuk, with assistance from Meyer Sound's Design Services department, incorporates left and right arrays of seven M'elodie loudspeakers each, plus three UPM-1P ultracompact wide coverage loudspeakers filling in the front-center and outside corners, and four 600-HP compact high-power subwoofers. A Galileo loudspeaker management system drives all components. The system was aligned and optimized using a SIM3 audio analyzer.
The Spaulding Auditorium’s 120 Hz bass resonance posed a challenge for the system design, but one that was readily overcome. “We originally flew two 600-HP subwoofers on each side with the arrays,” notes Tkachuk. “But we found that, by putting one down on the floor and feeding it from a separate output of the Galileo, we could get the response in the room flattened out.”

After only a few concerts with the new system in place, accolades started rolling in. “The biggest difference is that, now, anywhere in the house you sit, you get the same experience,” says Ayres. “No matter where you are, words are clearly articulated, and you hear a precise tonal balance of instruments. You can tell if a bass player is performing sloppily, because you hear a distinct bass line, not just a blob of low end sound.”
For Ayres, the critical test came when the acclaimed Dartmouth College Gospel Choir, augmented by Chicago-based guest musicians, appeared in concert. “It had sounded good with the previous system, but during the first concert on the new system, everybody was just blown away," she recalls. "We had a brass section, a Hammond B3 organ, a full rhythm section, and 60 voices, all going at once. But you still could pick out a clear bass line, the unique timbre of the B3, and the sound of individual voices. It was an amazing experience.”


For further information, please visit www.meyersound.com.

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