Canada’s Royal Theatre opts for Meyer Sound line array system

The Royal Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia has upgraded its in-house production audio with installation of a new Meyer Sound system with LEOPARD compact line array loudspeakers.

According to the theatre’s 30-year veteran technical director, Blair Morris, the move up to LEOPARD was largely a matter of patiently awaiting the Meyer Sound LEO Family solution that offered just the right fit.

“We’ve had three iterations of Meyer Sound systems in the theatre over the last 27 years, starting with MSL-3 loudspeakers in 1990,” said Morris. “We had considered other line array solutions, but held off when we were given advance notice about LEOPARD. We expected it would be the perfect fit, and it was.”

The new system’s main left and right arrays each comprise 12 LEOPARD compact line array loudspeakers flown under two 900-LFC low frequency control elements. Deep bass is bolstered by dual floor-standing 1100-LFC low frequency control elements, with four UPJ-1P and four UPM-1XP loudspeakers deployed as, respectively, front apron and under balcony fills.

Six UPA-1P loudspeakers and two USW-1P subwoofers are available for on-stage effects or foldback, with system drive and optimisation supplied by two Galileo GALAXY loudspeaker processors. The Meyer Sound loudspeakers were supplied by Pacific Audio Works and installed by the theatre’s own crew under the direction of assistant technical director and head of audio Warren Busby.

LEOPARD hit the sweet spot for us on all counts – size, coverage, power and sound quality.

– Blair Morris, Royal Theatre technical director

“LEOPARD hit the sweet spot for us on all counts – size, coverage, power and sound quality,” Morris explained. “For a house PA, we didn’t skimp at all. There’s nothing coming through the door that we can’t handle, from the most extreme rock show to a symphony pop concert.”

Morris is particularly pleased with the uniformity of front-to-back coverage. “That was critical for us because we can’t use sheer volume to throw to the back seats. For example, with the symphony pops, if some seats are not getting the reinforced portion of the program, you can’t just increase raw volume because that would overpower the acoustic orchestra in other seats. The LEOPARD system lets us balance reinforced sound with the orchestra everywhere. But the next night we can turn around and do a rock show with all the level we need.”

Shawn Hines of GerrAudio, Meyer Sound’s Canadian distributor, added, “Meyer Sound has a long relationship with the Royal Theatre and at Gerr we’re thrilled with this latest system upgrade.”

The Royal Theatre is the permanent home for the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera. With the Royal also serving as principal venue of the Victoria Jazz Festival, the new LEOPARD system was given a workout earlier this year by Ziggy Marley, Elvin Bishop, and Mavis Staples. More recent touring users include k.d. lang, Jacob Collier, Jesse Cook and the Simon & Garfunkel Story tribute production.

The Royal Theatre’s audio chain includes a DiGiCo SD5 mixing console at front-of-house and a DiGiCo SD10 at monitors. The wireless rig offers six channels of Lectrosonics while the wired microphone complement includes choices from Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Neumann, Schoeps and others.