Kudos to John Meyer–and Team–at Meyer Sound

Wonderful to see John Meyer has just received PLASA’s 2012 Gottelier Award. John has been such a huge figure in pro audio, it’s hard to know where to start to reflect on his contributions.

We now take the technical innovations behind self-powered loudspeakers, and steerable line arrays, and a variety of other sound advances for granted, so it’s easy to forget that the industry was once driven by passionate scientists/entrepreneurs who just holed up somewhere and created things, knowing the market would follow–or so it seemed in a more freewheeling era.

I’ll never forget my trip to the Montreux Jazz Festival about ten years ago (OK, more). John Meyer was one of the founding drivers of Montreux in terms of upping the technical ante and contributing to the decade-after-decade success of that event on the shores of Lake Geneva. 1999 it must have been (who could forget that year?) and John and Helen Meyer hosted some of the visiting press at Montreux, at a lingering dinner overlooking the lake. I learned then that John Meyer’s early career involved a stint as a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Montreux, Switzerland, and how John became attracted to the Montreux Jazz Festival. As John often does, he held forth that evening on a variety of topics from audio engineering to the culture of invention and innovation.

This news report also gives recognition to two other people of great importance. Of course the entire industry knows that Helen Meyer, executive vice president of Meyer Sound, has been, from day one, pivotal to success of the company. “Pivotal” is not a good word. Let’s say, equally responsible for its success, by helping to nudge along the market, so to speak, to recognize John’s innovations. (Last year, Helen was recognized with the 2011 InfoComm International Women in AV Award.)

The other person in all of this: the award’s namesake: Tony Gottelier, lighting designer, inventor, and writer extraordinaire who died in 2006. Tony wrote his long, in-depth No Comment column in Lighting & Sound International about the live event industry when I was starting in this business, and he made a huge impression on me. He was a keen journalist– because he was not so much a journalist as a passionate professional who just happened to write.

Great roundup of Kudos to three of the best in this industry. Congratulations John, with a bow to others.

John Meyer Receives PLASA’s 2012 Gottelier Award; Attributes Company’s Success to Teamwork

Meyer Sound co-founder and CEO John Meyer is honored to be the recipient of the 2012 Gottelier Award at the PLASA Show Awards Ceremony in London on September 10. This significant award is voted for by industry professionals and recognizes exceptional individuals and innovators who enable entertainment technology practitioners to push the boundaries of event production, presentation, and installation.

"For those who grew up in the industry, John Meyer is a true icon, not just in audio but also for those who work in different aspects of live entertainment,” says Matthew Griffiths, CEO and director of events for PLASA. “My background happens to be in theatre, and we've been looking up to John Meyer and Meyer Sound technology for many years.

“The Gottelier Award is named in honor of Tony Gottelier, who was a well-respected industry innovator and writer, and he would be very pleased to see this year's award given to John Meyer,” continues Griffiths.

John Meyer’s career in professional audio spans over 40 years but the majority of his technological achievements and advances have taken place since founding Meyer Sound in 1979 with his wife Helen Meyer. In receiving the award, Meyer acknowledged the importance of collaboration and credited his team for their contributions.

“It’s like a play, where everybody has to do their part,” said Meyer. “I’d like to thank my wife, Helen, who has played a tremendous role in the success of the business, and all the people who support the products that we make. It’s a huge team effort, and I gratefully accept this award on behalf of everybody at Meyer Sound.”

John Meyer launched his career in professional audio in the 1960s by developing custom loudspeaker systems used by the rock luminaries of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Steve Miller Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the Grateful Dead. After embarking on extensive research into audio transducer linearity at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Montreux, Switzerland, he and Helen Meyer returned to the Bay Area in 1979 to establish Meyer Sound. Over the following decades, John Meyer has led an engineering team that has set new benchmarks for performance and reliability and revolutionized sound reinforcement. He was made a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society in 1985, and was awarded the AES Silver Medal in 2007.

Family owned and operated since 1979, Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. designs and manufactures high-quality, self-powered sound reinforcement loudspeakers, digital audio systems, active acoustic systems, cinema sound systems, and sound measurement tools for the professional audio industry. Founded by John and Helen Meyer, the company has grown to become a leading worldwide supplier of systems for theatres, arenas, stadiums, theme parks, convention centers, houses of worship, and touring concert sound rental operations. Meyer Sound’s main office and manufacturing facility are located in Berkeley, California, with field offices and authorized distributors located throughout the USA and around the world. Meyer Sound is a registered trademark of Meyer Sound Laboratories, Inc. Allrights reserved.

David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.