Meyer, Ultrasound, and the Dead got a chance to renew these close ties at the sing-along holiday party Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh threw on December 7th at Maritime Hall in San Francisco. Lesh organized the all-star bash to raise money for the newly created Unbroken Chain Foundation, which benefits a variety of social programs in San Francisco's economically blighted Tenderloin district.
Lesh invited an eclectic group of famous performers to the charity event. Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Mickey Hart, Graham Nash, pianist Bruce Hornsby, Eddie Brickell, and San Francisco Symphony conductor Michael Tilson Thomas were just a few of the noted musicians leading the caroling. The sing-along nature of the evening presented a unique acoustical situation: while the on-stage performers needed to be louder than the audience, the performers still required monitoring of the voices of 2000 singing audience members in order to effectively lead the songs.
In order to help to disintegrate the traditonal division between audience and performers, Meyer Sound's own "Decibel" Dave Dennison was brought in to assist UltraSound mixer Howard Danchick. The two soundmen worked with the Maritime Hall's exisiting Meyer system, which consists of 10 MSL-4 Self-Powered loudspeakers, 8 650-P Self-Powered subwoofers, 4 MSL-2 loudspeakers, and one UPA loudspeaker. A mixture of UM Ultra Monitors, USM monitors, and 2 MTS-4 Self-Powered loudspeakers comprise the on-stage monitor system.
"It was a relatively painless process," Dennison said "Given the acoustical set-up, there could have been difficulty hearing the music over the crowd. However, the self-powered products made tuning the system easy." Dennison fine-tuned the house system with the SIM® II Analyzer.
Results were phenomenal. The musical reunion came off without a hitch,
continuing the Meyer tradition of outstanding musical and sonic collaboration with the Grateful Dead and Ultrasound.