Dead & Company stadium tour rolls on
Monday, 20 September 2021
dead-cotour20211Formed in 2015, Dead & Company includes former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann
USA - Dead & Company’s stadium tour is rolling into autumn, with more than 30 concerts scheduled and the grand finale on Halloween weekend. This latest iteration of the jam band is touring with audio production anchored by a Meyer Sound Leo system provided by UltraSound.
Meyer Sound’s enduring relationship with the Grateful Dead (and subsequent spin-offs) extends back prior to the company’s founding in 1979, with company president & CEO John Meyer consulting on the legendary Wall of Sound. The band was often heard through the Meyer-designed JM-3 and JM-10 loudspeakers from McCune Audio shortly thereafter.
“We’ve obviously been working hand-in-hand with Meyer for many years,” says Derek Featherstone, who doubles as both CEO of UltraSound and FOH engineer for Dead & Company. “I came on board in 1988, but I know UltraSound started developing products with Meyer back in late 1979. It’s a two-way relationship, because our company has long been involved in the developmental stages, as a proving ground for what works and doesn’t work for a touring company.
“For this tour we have prepared for a remote pandemic mixing scenario. When we are faced with a venue that has a compromised mix position that would put the crew within six-feet of the crowd, we move the FOH mix to backstage in a dressing room,” continues Featherstone.
“Using the Meyer Galaxy AVB network, we have set up a FOH drive tuning station for the daytime in addition to running the analyser mics back to the dressing room via AVB. We can then watch the FFT analysis of the PA, adjust it in real time, in addition to monitoring the FOH SPL. In the dressing room we can match the frequency response daily of the PA using Galaxy to the Amie studio monitors with Amie‑Sub. These monitors do a great job replicating the main PA sonically and allow us to mix the show remotely and stay connected to the PA tonal characteristics.”
In the shed configuration, Dead & Company’s 2021 touring rig comprises main front hangs of 16 Leo line array loudspeakers per side, with identical arrays for the side hangs. For sub-bass, nine 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements are flown per side behind the Leo arrays, with an additional dozen elements in a 6 x 2 setup in the pit. Ten Leopard line array loudspeakers are available to be deployed singly for front-fill, with system drive and optimisation supplied by eight Galaxy 816 Network Platforms linked on an AVB network.
For the stadium shows, two more Leo loudspeakers are added to each of the four main arrays, one more 1100-LFC is hung on each sub-bass array, and the pit complement is expanded to 10 x 2. UltraSound adds components for the stadium delays on a per case basis with a typical system comprising three delay towers and deploying 12 Lyon line array loudspeakers per tower.
Formed in 2015, Dead & Company includes former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann along with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti. The band has performed every year since, though the 2020 schedule was cut short by the pandemic following January shows in Cancun, Mexico.

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