Meyer rig reinforces Metallica celebrations
Thursday, 20 January 2022
metallica40thanniversary7The San Francisco Takeover
USA - In mid-December, Metallica celebrated its 40th anniversary with four days of events dubbed the San Francisco Takeover, culminating in two concerts for fan club members only at the city’s Chase Centre arena. As with nearly all Metallica shows in recent years, the band relied on a Meyer Sound reinforcement system - here a massive 286 loudspeaker in-the-round configuration.
The longstanding Metallica - Meyer Sound relationship has evolved into a partnership between musical artists and a technology supplier, a collaboration that has pushed the technology envelope for large scale audio production.
“We have never worked with a vendor or manufacturer where we’ve had the kind of close, collaborative relationship we have with Meyer Sound,” says Dan Braun, Metallica’s creative director and production designer. “They are not simply equipment providers, but really partners in what we do. It starts with John and Helen and extends down through everybody we work with in the company.”
A key collaborator on the team is Meyer Sound director of system optimisation Bob McCarthy, who was principally responsible for ensuring that the sound for the anniversary concerts would maintain the Metallica standard despite the size and weight of the massive, oval loop video screen.
McCarthy’s design comprises 10 main arrays interspersed with the video screens, with long throw arrays of mixed Leo and Lyon line array loudspeakers and short throw with Lyon only. The six inner down-fill arrays employ Leopard line array loudspeakers, except for two long-throw with three Lyon each. Deep bass reproduction is supplied by 40 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, with visceral sub-bass (13-30 Hz) propelled by 48 VLFC very low frequency control elements.
The system for the Chase Centre shows was deployed by Bay Area rental company UltraSound.
Powerful and dynamic low end is a hallmark of Metallica, and for more than a decade Meyer Sound has worked with the band to create solutions that provide more power with uniform coverage. Metallica’s 2008–10 World Magnetic Tour introduced the TM Array, a proprietary central subwoofer cluster for in-the-round arena shows that ensured even coverage with minimal cancellation.
For the WorldWired Tour, Meyer Sound worked with Metallica on creation of VLFC, the first sub-sonic loudspeaker able to reproduce the chest-slamming sensation of explosions to accompany visual effects, but with no danger to band or audience. Metallica was the first - and so far, only - act to use VLFC in large-scale concert applications.
The San Francisco Takeover event also includes live performances by artists who appeared on the Metallica Blacklist tribute album at smaller venues around the city, a Metallica film fest, and pre-show parties.

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