On Danish band Volbeat’s North American tour, a Meyer Sound LEO® and LYON™ linear sound reinforcement system has brought a level of sonic clarity and subtlety that is taking the band’s live production to a new era, according to its long-time FOH engineer, Mads Mikkelsen.
“Working with LEO and LYON, I’m hearing things I simply didn’t hear before, things that would get lost with other systems,” says Mikkelsen. “I can add elements to my mix—subtle reverb and delay effects—because now I know I will hear them, and so will the audience, all the way to the back rows.”
According to Mikkelsen, the self-powered technology of the system has enhanced the tour in several respects. “With the amplifiers right there in the boxes, there’s no loss of power through long cables. This feature benefits not only the sound quality, but also makes the system faster to fly.”
The touring system comprises dual front hangs of 12-each LEO-M over two-each LYON-M main and LYON-W wide-coverage line array loudspeakers. Twenty-four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements are split between flown and ground-stacked arrays, and side hangs are eight-each LEO-M over two LYON-W loudspeakers. Eight M’elodie® loudspeakers supply front fill and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 and three Galileo Callisto™ 616 array processors handles drive and optimization. Onstage foldback is provided by 16 MJF-212A stage monitors, four 1100-LFC elements, one 500-HP subwoofer, and six JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers. The FOH cue system comprises two MM-4XP self-powered loudspeakers and an MM-10 subwoofer.
"Since switching to Meyer Sound MJF-212A wedges, I barely have to EQ my mixes at all now,” says Kristoffer Hinrichsen, monitor engineer for Volbeat. “It took a couple of shows to get used to this, but it's been all smiles ever since—I feel completely confident firing up my system each day."
Theis Romme, systems tech for the tour, is impressed by the system’s ease of configuration: “It takes only 30 minutes to fly the mains, subs, and side hangs of a LEO system, and it is also an easy system to tune. But the best thing is that the sound doesn’t change when the room fills with the audience.”
Denmark-based Victory Tour Production serves as the 30-city tour’s audio provider, with equipment support from Montreal-based Solotech. Victory’s Theis Romme is assisted by Étienne Lapré and David Barriault of Solotech. Mikkelsen mixes Volbeat through a DiGiCo SD10 digital console equipped with a DiGiGrid server for plug-ins, with Hinrichsen mixing on another SD10 console. All microphones are from Audix.
Formed in 2001, Volbeat has received numerous music awards in Denmark, and its 2014 release Room 24 received a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance.