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World Changing Ideas Awards Ceremony Makes Impact with Meyer Sound

FOH Staff • News • July 7, 2008

NEW YORK – The World Changing Ideas Awards ceremony is an annual event staged by Saatchi & Saatchi to celebrate innovations with the potential to impact our world. As in previous years, the ceremony was held at one of Saatchi’s large Manhattan loft spaces, equipped with a high-performance audio system from Meyer Sound to deliver the awards presentation and ambient background music by a resident DJ.

According to the audio crew, the venue presents challenges for sound design, including a mix position situated behind a curtain. “It has a concrete, expoxied floor, painted drywall and large windows, making it quite reflective,” reports Michael Corbett, coordinator of the event and audio engineer of Nashville, TN-based PeopleTech. “As it was an awards reception with lots of ambient noise, system intelligibility was a primary concern. At the same time, the show included lots of music, so a full-range audio system was a priority.”
Corbett designed a multifunctional system that included six Meyer Sound UPJ-1P VariO loudspeakers flown at a height of 14 feet to provide ambient sound. Four flown M1D line array loudspeakers supported the video cube for the awards presentation, and low-frequency was provided by a single M2D-Sub subwoofer.

“With people milling all over the room, we had to achieve foreground-quality coverage while remaining unobtrusive to the reception,” Corbett explains. “Coverage was clean and intelligible, but people were still able to converse without having to shout no matter where they were standing.”
PeopleTech Project Manager Chris Simmons adds: “The World Changing Ideas awards has always been a wonderful and inspirational event. This year, there was a desire to take it up a notch, with a strong focus on the presentation ceremony itself, the finalists and their unique contributions. The great sound quality and control of the Meyer Sound system really helped us to sharpen that focus and get the message across.”
Creative ideas from contributors ranging from scientists to schoolchildren were evaluated by a panel of judges, which included Edward de Bono, author of Lateral Thinking; musician and activist Peter Gabriel; Malcolm McLaren and Jordan’s Prince Hassan. This year’s finalists featured a collapsible wheel, a brain-computer interface, $100 laptops for impoverished children and the winner, a portable water purification device called LifeStraw.


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