Meyer Sound systems help Sound Image power Festival Napa Valley stages

Photo: David Ortega

At the heart of Festival Napa Valley’s experience lies a to pristine sound, an integral element that shapes the essence of the event. Meyer Sound solutions provided by San Francisco supplier Sound Image powered several of the festival’s venues, anchored by the main stage at the iconic Charles Krug winery.

The festival takes place in a large outdoor space, yet with seated audiences and low sound levels, it feels very intimate. “The music tends to be quiet, but it needs to be reproduced at very high fidelity,” explained Diablo Digital Engineer, Brad Madix.

“Some of these nights, we have a full 170-piece orchestra. And, we’re outdoors, so we have to amplify the orchestra because there’s no reverberant field or hall,” Madix continued. “There are a lot of microphones up there, partially to accomplish that, but also partially to enable our record rig to capture the multitrack for post-production later.”

“This festival is definitely more complex than, say, your normal rock show,” explained Sound Image Monitor Engineer Drew Johnson. “For this particular application, it needs to be clean because of how sensitive everything is on stage, with all the open microphones and the condensers, the small caps.”

The Charles Krug stage is powered by 28 Meyer Sound LEOPARD compact linear line array loudspeakers, four 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements, and four LINA very compact linear line array loudspeakers, along with 10 MJF‑210™ high-power stage monitors and eight UPM-2P ultracompact loudspeakers. The system is managed by a Galileo®GALAXY 816 Network Platform.

“The Meyer system here is very compact, lightweight, and powerful, and gives us really great coverage for the whole field,” commented Madix. “It is able to reproduce a lot of different styles of music. Most of the music here is classical; we do a little bit of jazz and opera. It’s great for all of those things,” he adds. “Mixing on LEOPARD is great. It’s a really dynamic system. It can be quite powerful. In this context, we’re running it fairly low.”

“The Meyer system is perfect for classical music and open-air festivals like this,” said Diablo Digital Chief Recording Engineer Greg Price. “It allows perfect pristine audio throughout not only the listening area but also for the artists on stage.”

“The Meyer system and its design is the best you could have for Festival Napa Valley,” concluded Price. “It is legendary in classical music, opera, and jazz. All throughout the Bay Area, we hear Meyer systems…there is no challenge too difficult within a property or a venue that cannot be addressed with the Meyer system.”

Festival Napa Valley returns to Napa Valley 12 to 21 July 2024.