With the recent addition of Meyer Sound loudspeaker arrays and a Galileo loudspeaker management system the Michael D. Palm Theatre in Telluride, CO, has heightened its reputation as, according to one regional newspaper, “the most impressive performing arts facility between Denver and Salt Lake City.” Certainly that’s a bold assertion for a small theatre that seats only 665, which is 28% of the town’s year-round population.

“One of my first assignments when I came on board was to make recommendations regarding a concert-quality sound system,” says Michael Wingfield, the theatre’s technical director since early 2005. “Having worked in the performing arts for many years, I already knew of Meyer Sound’s reputation. We had a budget to go first class anyway, but when we looked at the end costs we found we could get the Meyer system for not that much more money than a lesser system.”

Wingfield turned to Marc Nutter at LVW Electronics in Denver to design and supply the system. Nutter set to work on the design with the assistance of Meyer Sound’s Design Services department. Nutter and Design Associate Brian Long imported CAD drawings of the theatre into the MAPP Online Pro™ acoustical prediction program and sketched out a basic system of M1D ultra-compact curvilinear arrays, then fine-tuned the specifics of array configuration, installation, and system tuning to reach the final design.

Because the theatre is located on the campus of the Telluride Middle/High School, it must accommodate a wide range of educational and arts activities on a daily basis. The new system had to be suited to amplifying everything from school assemblies to top-tier touring artists of every musical genre.

The M1D arrays fit the application on all points, says Nutter, providing “even coverage throughout the room, with wide frequency response and tonal balance.” The installed configuration comprises eight M1D cabinets per side of the stage, with each array split into three zones: two cabinets for the top, two for the middle, and four on the bottom. Two single M1D cabinets are deployed for frontfill from the stage lip, and a pair of 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofers — moveable for placement on stage or in the wings — provide ample low frequency support.

“Everybody loves the system, and I was amazed at the amount of sound that comes out of it,” says Wingfield. “But so many times, in theatres like this, the true test of a system is when people don’t notice that it’s on. That means it’s totally transparent. When people leave, they don’t mention the sound. They just rave about the performance.”

The system was rigged, wired, integrated with existing equipment, and commissioned by LVW under Nutter’s supervision. Long flew in to support alignment of the system with a SIM® 3 audio analyzer. At the same time, LVW also installed a new Yamaha M7CL digital console, integrating it seamlessly with the Galileo processor in the digital domain via AES/EBU connections on both units.