Dierks Bentley tours with first AVB-Networked Meyer Sound system

Popular country singer Dierks Bentley is currently using a Meyer Sound touring rig on the North American leg of his What the Hell World Tour, while also setting a technical milestone.

The Meyer Sound LEO Family reinforcement system powering Bentley’s headline shows is the first on the road to be digitally interconnected by a Galileo GALAXY networked platform using the widely adopted AVB/TSN Ethernet-based networking protocol.

Galileo GALAXY, Meyer Sound’s first fully networkable loudspeaker processor, incorporates a new generation of FGPA processing with up to 64-bit resolution at 96 kHz sampling rate with a latency of 0.6ms analogue input to analogue output. Processing and alignment tools include U-shaping and parametric EQ, cross-point delay matrix and improved delay integration.

Bentley’s setup comprises six GALAXY 816 processors – two at front of house and two each stage left and right – while the Galileo GALAXY network platform is at the heart of an extensive LEO Family system supplied by VER Tour Sound of Nashville, who also played an active role in implementing the AVB network integration.

For large arena and shed shows the left-right arrays are, per side, 12 LEO loudspeakers over four underhung LYON loudspeakers, with twin outfill arrays of 16-each LEOPARD line array loudspeakers. For bass impact, six 1100-LFC low frequency control units are flown in cardioid configuration per side, with four stacks of three 1100-LFC in cardioid on stage. Four UPQ-1P and four UPA-1P loudspeakers are deployed as front and corner fills.

“On this tour I wanted to have more flexibility and more distribution options to the stage,” said James “Pugsley” McDermott, who doubles as the tour’s FOH mixer and systems engineer. “With our old setup we didn’t have a one-box, one protocol solution. Now, with GALAXY and AVB, I have all my digital signals on a single fibre optic line and I have four more channels of analogue backup. But the real selling point for GALAXY was the move up to the 96 kHz sampling and high bit-depth processing. The difference in sonic quality and dynamic range is huge.”

New on this year’s tour is the replacement of LYON loudspeakers for out hangs with the more compact LEOPARD loudspeakers: “We needed a smaller hang to accommodate video,” McDermott added, “and I was initially concerned about going with a smaller loudspeaker. But when we get them up, locked in and tuned, they really do the job beautifully.”

Bentley’s What the Hell World Tour launched in January in Dayton, Ohio and wraps up in November with a “one off” at the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, where a permanent Meyer Sound LEO Family rig is installed as the house system.