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RTL France’s long-awaited renovation

The RTL Group is a European institution, an acronym carrying a degree of cachet comparable to that of America's NBC, ABC and CBS networks. Founded in 1924 when the Anen brothers, Francois and Marcel, installed their first transmitter in the attic of their Luxembourg house, the original Radio Luxembourg has grown into a powerhouse of 31 radio stations and 32 television channels in 11 countries across the European continent and beyond.

In France, RTL was the country’s first radio and television group, founded in September 1933. The French network produces some 30 radio and television programs. Their Paris-based headquarters is considered the heart, soul and nerve center of the French network, and its rue Bayard studios have recently undergone a massive renovation, adding artist and technical facilities and upgrading the in-house sound system.

The studios, which regularly play host to talk shows and live on-air performances, have hosted artists ranging from Lenny Kravitz and the Scorpions to Black Eyed Peas and Marcus Miller. While replacing the 17-year-old sound system was an easy decision, designing a system flexible enough to meet the station’s broad range of needs presented a challenge not easily addressed. After a lengthy series of auditions, the station selected a sound system from Berkeley, CA-based Meyer Sound.

The main studio system, installed by French providers Best Audio, comprises a main cluster of six UPM-1P wide coverage loudspeakers, two CQ-1 main speakers, and a center fill of three UPJ-1P compact variO units. A pair of 700-HP subs cover low frequency content, with eight MM-4 miniature cabinets covering the under-balcony area. Two more UPJ-1P’s are used as monitors at FOH mix position.

Several of the facility’s smaller studios were also equipped with systems based around Meyer’s ultra-compact UPM-1P speakers. In addition to sound, the Meyer’s self-powered aspect was cited as a major factor in the studio’s choice, as was the ability to plan out the installation using the MAPP Online software.

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