New York, NY (December 3, 2003)–In early November, Toys “R” Us held its Holiday Parade through Times Square. Sound for the popular event was provided by two 7-foot-high arrays of Meyer Sound Milo line array loudspeakers, spec’d for the occasion by event sound designer Jim van Bergen of Audio Art Sound.
“Milo proved to be the perfect tool for the job,” said van Bergen. “I was asked only to cover about a quarter mile on either side of Times Square, but we easily doubled that distance. My clients were surprised at the small footprint of the rig, yet the sound was superb. I received numerous compliments on the quality of the sound.”
The two ground-stacked arrays were rolled out into their positions only minutes before the parade started. One stack pointed north, projecting up Broadway as far as 52nd Street, while the other fired south and was heard clearly about 10 blocks in the other direction, below 35th Street. Each array comprised three Milo cabinets stacked on top of an M3D-Sub directional subwoofer, with the entire assemblage rolling on the stock M3D transport dolly.
“The police blocked off Broadway at 8:30 a.m., and the event producers wanted pre-show music heard down the length of the route in 5 to 10 minutes,” noted van Bergen. At the conclusion of the parade, the Milo-based system provided primary reinforcement for an hour-long entertainment program featuring a throng of cartoon character puppets, musical excerpts from hit Broadway shows and a performance by the Radio City Rockettes.
Supplementary sound for the immediate performance area (bleachers, in-fill) and monitoring was supplied by a total of 22 UPA-1P compact wide coverage loudspeakers.
Van Bergen’s sound design also encompassed the parade itself, with 14 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers incorporated into various floats and vintage vehicles. The event producers stipulated that all audio systems must be completely independent of the vehicles and using only their own power sources. On most vehicles, the Meyer systems were powered by special Gaia Power Cube battery packs. However, for one vehicle with particularly tight space restrictions, van Bergen specified a pair of UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers powered by a prototype rechargeable power supply that measured barely 4 x 6 inches and weighed just over two pounds.
“I contacted Meyer about this particular problem, and Meyer’s engineering delivered a spectacular prototype, two custom UPM-P’s each with a rechargeable battery power supply,” said van Bergen. “The children’s TV character Clifford the Big Red Dog rode on the back of a tiny, cherry red MG convertible with two bucket seats. I barely had room to get the two UPMs in the vehicle, but still the battery packs were small enough to squeeze in on the side. They fired up and out to the sides of the vehicle at near full volume, putting about 94 dB into the crowds on the sidewalk.”
All of the Meyer Sound system components were provided by One Dream Sound of New York, with general supervision and coordination by owner Dave Ferdinand and chief operating officer John Petrafesa. Company president Tim Coyle contributed to development of the Gaia Power Cubes, and “A2″ systems engineer David Chessman managed on site support.”
One Dream Sound