Ed Sheeran’s sell-out Divide tour saw UK-based production company Major Tom supply a Meyer Sound LEO system for audio reinforcement, with the star’s production manager Chris Marsh hailing the “palpable” difference in sound.
“Major Tom and the Ed Sheeran production team have a very strong relationship, which began with Ed when he was starting out playing clubs, and has continued with him into stadiums worldwide,” said Marsh. “The key to the longevity of the relationship is a mutual desire to continually evolve, and provide the best sound. Major Tom is heavily invested into Meyer Sound products and the response from Ed’s family, friends and team when we originally switched to the LEO system was an instant observation and acknowledgement that we had changed something — the difference in sound was palpable.”
Marsh has worked as Sheeran’s FOH engineer for over six years. Marsh’s partner in fine-tuning the tour’s LEO system daily, is audio systems engineer Charlie Albin.
“Our touring system has transitioned smoothly into the USA stadiums,” said Albin, “although every venue presents a slightly different set of challenges due to variations in size, shape and reverberant field. That’s why we keep using the Meyer Sound LEO Family loudspeakers alongside the GALAXY processing and SIM3 analysis tools. Together they deliver the consistent clarity, tonality, musicality and dynamic impact from the nearest to furthest seats, whether Ed is singing an intimate ballad or an all-out belter.”
The touring system is currently formed by four arrays of ’18-each’ LEO line array loudspeakers with low end augmented by 42 1100-LFC low frequency control elements: two flown arrays of nine each and two end-fire arrays of 12 each on the ground. LEOPARD (8), LINA (20), and UPA-1P (2) loudspeakers supply fill from the stage as needed, while 56 MILO line array loudspeakers are deployed on four delay towers.
Onstage, the tour carries two MJF-212A stage monitors and two 900-LFC low frequency control elements.
System drive and optimisation is handled by a pair of Galileo GALAXY AES master processors, with stage array processing from eight GALAXY processors and delay processing by four Galileo processors. The tour also carries a SIM3 audio analyser for fine tuning response before each concert.
Sheeran uses a Sennheiser 9000 Series digital wireless system for his guitars and on-stage microphones. The primary vocal mic has a 9235 dynamic capsule while the secondary mic (for loop-building) has an MMD 945 super-cardioid capsule.
Albin concluded: “Personally, it hasn’t had any bearing on my day-to-day aims. The motivation is to deliver the best show as consistently as possible to every single fan in attendance, whether in an audience of 100 or 100,000.”