Sound systems

Meyer Sound Systems shines on the Lumineers’ “Brightside World Tour” – rAVe [PUBS]

Solidifying their status as one of this year’s top gigs, the Lumineers zigzagged across the continent this summer on the North American leg of their “Brightside World Tour.” Playing in a mix of sheds and arenas as well as the occasional ballpark, the band delivered their trademark blend of alternative folk and Americana through a Meyer Sound LEO® family reinforcement system provided by Sound Image, based in Escondido, Calif.

Production manager Sara Full, a vital player on the Lumineers team since 2013, points to the key role of audio reinforcement in maintaining the band’s popularity. “Lumieers music transitions from stripped-down moments to momentous builds, and capturing these dynamics in a way that translates evenly – from the first fan in the stands to the last in the upper 300s – is key to meeting the expectations and ensure fans will come back for more. Our collective desire, group and team, is to produce amplified sound in an arena comparable in quality and clarity to what the audience would hear acoustically. Simply put, the Meyer Sound system reproduces what the band does with purity but translates it to a wide audience.

Full also gave Sound Image a thumbs up for his role. “Jesse Adamson, our Sound Image representative, has worked with us since 2016 and has been diligent in ensuring we have the best technicians with the right training and skills. Sound Image has also done a great job of supporting us overseas, helping to ensure we have access to the same Meyer Sound boxes around the world.

The Lumineers live mix benefits from the experience and experienced ears of veteran FOH engineer Josh Osmond, who has also been with the band since 2013.

“The most important factor for me is consistency,” says Osmond. “The mix itself is subjective, and once the band and I are on the same page as to what the show should sound like, then it’s up to me to make that sound as cohesive as possible night after night. This is where using the Meyer Sound systems really paid off.With the linear phase response of the LEO family and the flexibility offered by the Compass control software, Meyer gave me all the tools to reach this goal.

Osmond is also a fan of the self-powered architecture inherent in Meyer Sound. “Self-feeding has a number of benefits, including reducing truck footprint and floor space. It also eliminates long speaker cables between the amplifier on the ground and the speakers in the air. As a result, there’s a transient response that other enclosures don’t have.

As configured for most shows, the Lumineers’ touring rig includes left and right main hangers on each side, 12 LEO® line array loudspeakers to six LYON®-M line array loudspeakers. The side loudspeakers are made up of 16 LYON® each (eight LYON-M and eight LYON®-W), the 270 suspensions each deploy 14 compact LEOPARD® line array loudspeakers and six LEOPARD loudspeakers form the central loudspeaker. Nine 1100-LFC™ low frequency control elements are mounted on each side as steerable cardioid arrays.

Homegrown delays were added for most ballpark shows, though the final show at Chicago’s Wrigley Field presented a particular problem because venue management did not allow late turns, only floor-stacked systems limited to rolling carts.

“These lag stacks had limited tilt to reach the steep upper levels, so the main system had to do more work to cover those seats,” Osmond says. “I received several comments from the band management and friends who were listening from these areas, and they said that it sounded like they were in front of the house. The LEO family is known to do a fantastic job in the long-range situations, and she’s really proven herself on this show.

For signal optimization and distribution, the system used eight Galileo® GALAXY Network Platform processors, all linked over an AVB network running the Milan protocol. The fully redundant network, implemented over a quad-core fiber link, has a primary network with AVB only and a secondary network carrying AVB, RMS system monitoring and Compass® control. The quad-core link allows both right and left racks to be connected to the main FOH processor without additional switch jumping.

“The biggest advantage of AVB over analog or AES3 is having fewer connections,” says Ryan Cornelius, the tour’s system engineer. “I can run our entire drive signal stream over two cables. It’s also more flexible, as I can redirect or add inputs to GALAXY processors with a few mouse clicks, rather than digging around the back of the rack to find binding lines.

Other key members of the audio team are monitor engineer François Paré, monitor technician Kevin Hu and PA technicians Tyler Harris and Tucker Arbuthnot.

Despite having early roots in New Jersey, founding band members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites moved to Denver before breaking through with their chart-topping single “Ho Hey” in 2012. The 2022 tour, supporting the fourth band studio album, The bright side, launched with a European leg at the end of winter. The North American leg, covering a total of 52 shows in 49 cities, kicked off in Jacksonville on May 17 and ended at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on September 3. “Brightside World Tour” consistently ranked among Pollstar’s top 10 tours throughout the summer.