This fall, when Pope Benedict XVI returned to his native Germany for a historic visit to the cradle of the Reformation, Meyer Sound systems provided audio reinforcement for two key events.
In Erfurt, the Pope celebrated an outdoor Mass for 30,000 from a temporary stage erected adjacent to the majestic cathedral in the city's central Domplatz. To blanket the expansive and oddly shaped open space with sound, Hamburg-based PRG Germany deployed 120 Meyer Sound self-powered loudspeakers. The front arrays and delay towers were configured from a combination of MILO, MICA and M'elodie line array loudspeakers, with array placement and orientation carefully calculated using the MAPP Online Pro acoustical prediction program to ensure uniform full-bandwidth coverage and intelligibility.
With a remote live feed from the cathedral organ as part of the program, ten M3D-Sub cardioid subwoofers were positioned to carry controlled low end into the crowd while limiting bleed onto the stage. UPA-2P, UPM-1P, UM-1P, and UPJunior VariO loudspeakers were deployed for front and side fill, and for foldback both on stage and for the mass choir assembled on the adjacent cathedral steps. At the FOH tower, two HD-1 audio monitors were set over the Yamaha PM-1D console for near-field reference.
Kai Reiss, PRG's onsite project manager, was impressed by the system's ability to carry emotional impact. "The rehearsal the evening before, with the choir on the cathedral steps with the organ in the background, gave me goose bumps," he says. "Of course all the Meyer loudspeakers worked wonderfully, as always."
The following day, the Pope traveled to Freiburg for a series of events that included a meeting with German Catholics. The assembly was held in the Rolf Böhme Hall of the famed Freiburg Konzerthaus. Audio support here was provided by the venue's permanently installed Meyer Sound system, which includes 10 M'elodie line array loudspeakers in twin arrays, in addition to UPA-2P, UPJ-1P, and UPJunior VariO loudspeakers.
According to Thomas Schnitzer who handles event technology for Konzerthaus, the system performed impeccably for the papal entourage and full house of 1,700 conference participants. "Once again, I am extremely happy with the installed Meyer Sound system," he reports. "It has been working perfectly for three years now, and the service and support have been outstanding."