Ed Sheeran lends LEO

This Autumn, British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran headlined three solo acoustic shows at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Sheeran and his acoustic guitar were supported by a Meyer Sound LEO linear large-scale sound reinforcement system.

Provided by UK-based Major Tom, the LEO system was built around dual main hangs of 12 LEO-M line array loudspeakers and four MICA line array loudspeakers. Side hangs were comprised of 16-each MILO line array loudspeakers, while six UPA-1P loudspeakers provided fill. Ten 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements were flown in cardioid arrays using MAS-1100 array spacers, with an additional six 1100-LFC loudspeakers stacked on the ground. The onstage mix was fed to Sheeran with six MJF-212A stage monitors and four 600-HP subwoofers. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system featuring two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors and two Galileo 616 processors supplied drive and optimisation for both FOH and stage systems.

“LEO is an incredibly open-sounding rig,” said Chris Marsh, Sheeran’s FOH engineer and production manager. “Although Ed performs solo with acoustic guitar, the harmonies he builds with his loop pedal can be deep and complex, and no other system has handled them as well. I hear every part in the harmonies with superb separation, and the vocal sits effortlessly on top of the mix.”

LEO was chosen for the New York shows based on prior experience in Ireland. “We had done five arena shows with LEO in Dublin and Belfast,” Marsh recalled. “In a production meeting with Ed and his management, we all agreed those were the best-sounding shows we’d done in two years. Basically, Ed said, ‘I want the sound system from Ireland for New York.’”

Marsh mixed the New York shows with a DiGiCo SD11 console, while a Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless system with an 865 capsule was used for Sheeran’s vocal. The pickup in his Martin LXE1 acoustic guitar was connected via an Avalon U5 direct box.