Nominations and Winners 2016


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Helen & John Meyer

John and Helen Meyer co-founded Meyer Sound Laboratories in 1979 to make high-quality, professional sound systems that have since been used worldwide in Broadway and West End musicals, Cirque du Soleil productions, and by artists including Céline Dion, Metallica, Rod Stewart, and The Three Tenors. Meyer Sound products are also installed in prestigious venues around the world including the Berlin Philharmonie, Amway Center in Orlando, Nokia Concert Hall in Estonia, Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Dublin’s Vicar Street, and Zellerbach Hall in the Bay Area. Meyer Sound can also be heard on two of the world’s largest cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, and top-ranked nightclubs Berghain in Berlin and Sanctuary in Dubai.

John Meyer’s influence on the way audiences hear sound spans four decades, dating back to 1967 when he assembled a high-fidelity bass guitar amplification system for The Steve Miller Band’s appearance at the legendary Monterey Pop Festival. Since then, John Meyer and his company have introduced many innovations that have changed the face of sound reproduction, especially in the area of live sound, where he has brought loudspeaker linearity, consistency, and reliability to a whole new level.

When John Meyer entered the field of sound reinforcement, sound systems commonly failed before the end of performances, and the sound they presented was usually of poor quality, due to a combination of flaws in design, manufacturing, and deployment. John’s efforts, always centered on improving the audience experience, have significantly raised the standards in all of these areas. John is a proud recipient of the MIPA Lifetime Achievement Award, but recognition of his contributions goes beyond the bounds of the AV world, as illustrated by his receiving a coveted R&D 100 Award, which recognizes the 100 most technologically significant achievements of the year worldwide in a variety of disciplines.

John Meyer’s 1969 invention of the Glyph loudspeaker, a low-distortion system based on huge, fiberglass horns, attracted the attention of notable musicians and led to a position as in-house loudspeaker designer at San Francisco's McCune Sound Service, where he first began creating loudspeakers using integral control processors, a technology later fully developed at Meyer Sound into self-powered loudspeaker systems.

In the mid-70s, John Meyer was invited to help establish an acoustics laboratory at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland, where he advanced his research on low-distortion horns and integrated, large-scale loudspeaker systems. He continues his support of and involvement in advanced research to this day. Collaboration with universities, like the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), puts Meyer Sound at the forefront of audio innovation. John Meyer became a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in 1985 and received the AES Silver Medal in 2007.

Managing all aspects of sales and marketing for Meyer Sound is the responsibility of Helen Meyer, who received an AES Citation in 1999 and was named Woman of Distinction by California’s East Bay Business Times in 2008. Together with John Meyer, Helen has led the company from a startup to an international operation with more than 300 employees and offices across Mexico, Germany, and Canada. The business philosophy for the company has always focused on establishing long-term relationships with customers by providing high-quality and reliable audio technology and exceptional technical support and training.

To this end, Meyer Sound began a science-based education program in the 1980s, with the belief that knowledgeable and well-trained audio practitioners are as critical to the audience experience as high-performance tools. Today, Meyer Sound’s international sound reinforcement education program conducts more than 150 seminars and webinars annually all around the world for audio professionals with varying levels of expertise.

Helen Meyer has been personally involved with the performing arts, both in the U.S. and abroad. But since Berkeley is the Meyers’ home, Helen is particularly dedicated to the local arts community at both the individual and corporate levels, including actively supporting a variety of Bay Area performing arts groups like Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cal Performances at University of California, Berkeley, and American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Helen is also closely involved in international art programs such as the Mark Morris Dance Group, Bill Fontana’s sound sculptures, and the Gyuto Monks Tantric Choir.

By engaging directly with the arts community, Meyer Sound stays ahead of artists’ audio requirements as it creates new technology to break the barriers between the performers and audience, while equipping student artists with the right tools to be the musicians and actors of their dreams.

Meyer Sound is a pioneer in self-powered loudspeaker systems, introducing the HD-1 studio monitor, its first product with an enclosed amplifier, in 1990. Other Meyer Sound breakthroughs include the trapezoidal cabinet shape, dedicated loudspeaker processing, advanced phase correction circuits, SIM source independent measurement systems, wide bandwidth parabolic transducers, directional subwoofers, the REM emulation manifold, and Internet-enabled acoustical prediction. In 2005, Meyer Sound’s acquisition of LCS Audio led to the introduction of the Constellation acoustic system, which gives multipurpose venues the ability to control and enhance a room’s physical acoustics. The EXP line of cinema sound systems, debuted in 2009, further expanded Meyer Sound’s influence across all facets of audio technology.

Meyer Sound has garnered 40 U.S. and international patents and won numerous industry awards and honors, with five MIPA Awards given to its products: MILO line array loudspeaker in 2004, MICA line array loudspeaker in 2005, M’elodie line array loudspeaker in 2007, and the UPQ loudspeaker in 2009.