Iconic British metal band Iron Maiden is relying on a Meyer Sound LEO Family loudspeaker system to power its successful "Book of Souls World Tour." The band's high-octane performances have been filling arenas around the world since the six-month, 35-country tour began in February. FOH engineer Martin Walker chose the LEO Family to ensure maximum power and clarity for Iron Maiden after mixing Judas Priest's 2014-2015 world tour on the system.
"LEO's clarity and headroom help out a great deal when it comes to balancing the mix," reports Walker. "Iron Maiden has three guitars, vocals, and occasional keyboards all vying for the same frequency bands in the mix. With LEO, the clarity cuts right through. That also allows me to mix louder than before."
Walker notes that the band has been pleased with audience reactions to the sound, and appreciates the directed sound of the 1100-LFC low-frequency control elements. "The band doesn't like to be soaked by sub-bass bleed back on the stage, and the low-end control I get from the 1100s takes care of that neatly," he says. "Out front, management has also noticed a difference this time out. They recently remarked to me, 'I don't know what this new rig is, but I love it.'"
For North American shows in "A-level" arenas of 15,000–20,000, a typical system configuration comprises dual hangs of 14 LEO-M over four LYON linear line array loudspeakers, 18 1100-LFC elements in a cardioid configuration, and a center stack of four 700-HP subwoofers. Outfill hangs are 15 LYON loudspeakers each, and twin arrays of six-each LEOPARD line array loudspeakers cover the rear stage. Various fills of UPA-1P, MSL-4, and JM-1P arrayable loudspeakers are often included to suit the venue. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with one Galileo Callisto 616 AES and six Galileo Callisto 616 array processors supplies drive and optimization.
This marks the first time Iron Maiden has toured with a LEO Family system. Daily setup is supervised by systems tech Richard Trow. The system is supplied by UK-based Major Tom, Ltd., with additional equipment support from Atkinson, N.H.-based Rainbow Production Services.
Walker adds that Iron Maiden's rider specifies a LEO Family system as top preference worldwide, but on other legs of the tour the actual system used may be determined by availability, promoter preference, or a festival system already in place.
"The Book of Souls World Tour" travels on "Ed Force One," a custom-painted Boeing 747 flown by band frontman and licensed commercial airline pilot Bruce Dickinson.