Meyer Sound MILOs Used During Holiday Parade

Dec 16, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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At the recent Toys "R" Us holiday parade, two compact 7-foot-high Meyer Sound MILO arrays—each with only three MILO high-power curvilinear array loudspeakers—were used to provide sound up and down a mile of New York City streets.

"MILO proved to be the perfect tool for the job," said the event's sound designer Jim van Bergen of Audio Art Sound says. "I was asked only to cover about a quarter mile on either side of Times Square, but we easily doubled that distance. My clients were surprised at the small footprint of the rig, yet the sound was superb. I received numerous compliments on the quality of the sound."

The two ground-stacked arrays were rolled out into their positions in New York's Times Square only minutes before the parade started. One stack pointed north, projecting up Broadway as far as 52nd Street, while the other fired south and was heard clearly about 10 blocks in the other direction, below 35th Street. Each array comprised three MILO cabinets stacked on top of an M3D-Sub directional subwoofer, with the entire assemblage rolling on the stock M3D transport dolly. At the conclusion of the parade, the MILO-based system provided primary reinforcement for an hour-long entertainment program featuring numerous cartoon character puppets, musical excerpts from hit Broadway shows and a performance by the Radio City Rockettes. Supplementary sound for the immediate performance area (bleachers, in-fill) and monitoring was supplied by 22 UPA-1P compact wide-coverage loudspeakers.

Van Bergen's sound design also encompassed the parade itself, with 14 self-powered Meyer Sound loudspeakers incorporated into various floats and vintage vehicles. The event's producers stipulated that all audio systems must be completely independent of the vehicles and using only their own power sources. On most vehicles, the Meyer systems were powered by special Gaia Power Cube battery packs. However, for one vehicle with particularly tight space restrictions, van Bergen specified a pair of UPM-1P ultracompact wide-coverage loudspeakers powered by a rechargeable power that measured 4x6 inches and weighs just over two pounds.

"I contacted Meyer about this particular problem, and Meyer's engineering delivered a spectacular prototype, two custom UPM-Ps each with a rechargeable battery power supply," said van Bergen. "They are compact, robust units built with to the high standards of John Meyer and they performed flawlessly. The children's TV character Clifford the Big Red Dog rode on the back of a tiny, cherry-red MG convertible with two bucket seats. I barely had room to get the two UPMs in the vehicle, but still the battery packs were small enough to squeeze in on the side. They fired up and out to the sides of the vehicle at near full volume, putting about 94 dB into the crowds on the sidewalk." Van Bergen said that he wasn't concerned about the UPM loudspeakers running out of juice, as his earlier shop tests had them working constantly for more than eight hours.

All of the Meyer Sound system components were provided by One Dream Sound of New York, with general supervision and coordination by owner Dave Ferdinand and COO John Petrafesa. Company president Tim Coyle contributed to development of the Gaia Power Cubes, and "A2" systems engineer David Chessman managed on-site support. "One Dream was my primary vendor and both their equipment and support were first rate," said van Bergen.

For more information, visit Meyer Sound online at

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