This summer, New York Philharmonic relied on a Meyer Sound LEO sound reinforcement system for a series of concerts across New York City.
Two major shows were held on Central Park’s Great Lawn, where the company's loudspeakers covered a widely dispersed audience of over 50,000 people.
For the 15th summer season in a row, Larry Rock – New York Philharmonic's Grammy Award-winning audio director – was made responsible for sound coordination and FOH mixing duties for the symphony orchestra.
“It was a new experience,” Rock revealed. “The LEO system is very powerful – it is particularly clear and efficient in the high-frequency ranges. Also, its throw is rather astonishing. I expect we could have eliminated the first delay ring, or moved it back 50 to 100 feet.”
The main LEO system for Central Park consisted of dual main arrays of 12-each LEO-M line array loudspeakers, with 12 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements set up in four cardioid arrays. System drive and alignment was supplied by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with five Galileo Callisto 616 processors.
To cover the whole audience on the Great Lawn, the stage’s main LEO system was augmented by a delay system, which included 18 M3D, 16 MILO, and 26 MICA line array speakers. Twin arrays of 12-each M’elodie units provided stage side fill.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard a line array behave as a single, giant loudspeaker,” said Domonic Sack, project coordinator at Sound Associates, which supplied the delay system and logisitcal support. “When you walk from front to back, you don’t hear any changes. It exhibits seamless consistency both vertically and horizontally, which is an incredible accomplishment.”
At front-of-house, Rock used a Studer Vista 5 digital console, augmented by a Lexicon 300 reverb processor. The orchestra used MK4, MK21, and MK4V Schoeps mic capsules, as well as several Neumann KM 184 mics.
The first of the orchestra’s two free Central Park shows was for Hurricane Sandy relief, featuring a guest appearance by Mariah Carey. Two days later, New York Philharmonic presented Dvorák’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.
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