The convention floor fills at the September’s Life@50 National Event and Expo beneath Meyer Sound Milo and Mica loudspeakers supplied by MSI Production Services and Thunder Audio. 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 loudspeakers.
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 results.”
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.
MSI Production Services