Starmania 21 Makes a Spectacular Comeback With Dynamic and Expressive Lighting from Martin Professional

September 23, 2021

VIENNA, Austria—To give the reimagined Starmania 21 a fresh and exciting look, lighting designer Roland Greil designed a dynamic and versatile lighting rig using Martin Professional LED lighting fixtures and creative video solutions.

Starmania is an Austrian televised musical competition that was originally broadcast from 2002 to 2009 on channel ORF 1. This year, ORF decided to bring the show back as Starmania 21, with a fresh cast of contestants and a new panel of judges. Taking the opportunity to give the revived show a fresh look, Starmania producers hired lighting designer Roland Greil, who designed a dynamic lighting rig using a variety of Martin LED fixtures and creative video elements.

“The young talents on Starmania performed all kinds of music, from early 20th-century Austrian folk music to the newest chart hits and everything in between,” said Greil. “You want to give every song the right look and feel. Your fixtures need to be versatile enough to do this, because you’re still dealing with budget constraints. You can’t have 300 lights for rock and roll and 300 lights for modern hits.”

Greil’s lighting design included 48 Martin MAC Aura PXL wash lights, chosen for their high-intensity illumination, rich colors and silent tilt, pan and zoom capabilities. To supplement the MAC Aura PXLs, Greil added 35 MAC Viper Wash DX fixtures for additional wash illumination. To highlight the performers, Greil selected 68 MAC Viper Performance fixtures, taking advantage of an innovative “Follow Me” system, which automatically follows the performers’ movements like a traditional follow spot. Featuring 26,000-lumen intensity, fast 1:4 zoom with auto-linked focus and four versatile shutter blades for framing, the MAC Viper Performance is the ideal tool for illuminating the stars of Starmania 21.

To produce exciting synchronized effects, Florian Wieder, the production’s set designer, and Greil created a dynamic, illuminated background for the stage using 134 VDO Sceptron 20 and 132 VDO Sceptron 10 LED battens, accompanied by 264 Martin VC-Grid LED pixel tiles. For the more intense moments of the show, Greil incorporated Martin VDO Atomic Dot CLD hybrid fixtures, which combine a compact strobe, small blinder, video pixel and small spotlight into one versatile element. All Martin LED video fixtures feature precisely-calibrated pixels for extremely consistent performance, as well as a range of versatile diffuser options for achieving a wide variety of looks.

To control the show’s large and complex lighting rig, Greil used the Martin P3-300 System Controller. Capable of driving more than two million pixels, the P3-300 supports Martin’s proprietary P3 platform for sophisticated programming, as well as standard DMX and Art-Net protocols for seamless integration and compatibility with any system. A straightforward user interface makes it easy to design, program and orchestrate fixtures.

“For Starmania, we wanted something that offered a greater level of control,” said Greil. “The P3-300 enabled us to easily use the VDO Sceptron 20 and 10 as classic light fixtures, and instantly switch to a video mapping mode when needed. The video integration was really helpful for the whole show process.”

An estimated 530,000 people tuned into the semi-final of Starmania 21, thanks in part to the allure of Greil’s dynamic lighting design using Martin LED fixtures and creative video elements.

Charles Moniz and Chris Rabold Bring JBL 708P Monitors On Tour With Bruno Mars For Live Mixing and Backstage Recording

Charles Moniz and Chris Rabold Bring JBL 708P Monitors On Tour With Bruno Mars For Live Mixing and Backstage Recording

September 17, 2021

LOS ANGELES—While on the road with Bruno Mars, Grammy award-winning recording engineer Charles Moniz and live sound engineer Chris Rabold rely on JBL Professional 708P master reference monitors to deliver crystal-clear sound for front-of-house mixing as well as recording backstage.

With three multi-platinum albums and more than 7 billion streams on Spotify, Bruno Mars is one of the most beloved and successful artists of the past decade. A talented singer, dancer and multi-instrumentalist, Mars is known for riveting and tightly-rehearsed live shows with his backing band the Hooligans, and most recently, with Anderson .Paak as the R&B duo Silk Sonic. Mars and the band frequently work on new songs while on the road and needed a high-quality mobile recording setup that could be easily assembled in any setting. Moniz, who worked with Mars on his 2012 album Unorthodox Jukebox and 2016’s 24k Magic, selected JBL Professional 708P reference monitors for their studio-grade sound quality, high output and balanced coverage. Additionally, front-of-house engineer Chris Rabold uses them to dial in a consistent live mix in any venue.

“We often record in dressing rooms, locker rooms, kitchens, workout rooms—I had a setup in a bullfighting ring in Spain one time,” said Moniz. “The 708P monitors have a lot of onboard processing to help you tame unruly spaces. A few tweaks with the built-in EQ can help you avoid overcompensating for those frequencies in your mix, as well as enhance the listening experience for everyone in the room.”

Featuring an eight-inch Differential Drive low-frequency transducer and a next-generation 2409H high-frequency compression driver, the 708P delivers pristine sound with an output range several times greater than comparably-sized studio monitors. The built-in LCD display and rear-panel controls make it easy to dial in the right settings for recording and mixing in less-than-ideal spaces. Plus, their compact form factor makes them easy to take on the road. Moniz added that he most enjoys the wide “sweet spot” created by the patent-pending Image Control Waveguide. 

“The first time I heard the 708P monitors, I was sitting in front of the console and thought they sounded great,” explained Moniz. “But what really impressed me was when I walked across the room, it still sounded like I was sitting right in front of the console. That’s a huge deal—having things sound balanced throughout the space is such a benefit.”

Chris Rabold, Mars’ front-of-house mixer, uses 708P monitors for pre-show mixes due to their “honest and true” frequency response, which translates seamlessly to live PA systems of any make, model and size.

“The 708P monitors never deceive me and always make my mix sound bigger,” said Rabold. “The low end is thick and punchy, the midrange is honest and intact, and the highs are not overly bright or deceptively sparkly. There's no hype or coloration to them, and because of this, I know that what I'm hearing will translate to any environment.”

Moniz and Rabold both agree that the 708P Master Reference Monitors have the sonic range and versatility needed to provide pristine audio and reliable mixes amid the changing environments and unpredictability of touring. Most importantly, the monitors are what Mars needs to feel inspired and focus on making great music while on the road.

“Everyone is always excited with what we’re creating when they hear it on the 708P monitors,” added Rabold. “Between their SPL capabilities and wide sweet spot, people always have fun listening to them. I don't know how the JBL engineers pulled it off, but my hat goes off to them.”

AKG by HARMAN Introduces the Ara Two-Pattern USB Microphone

AKG by HARMAN Introduces the Ara Two-Pattern USB Microphone

September 15, 2021

NORTHRIDGE, Calif.— HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control technologies, today introduced the AKG Ara, a two-pattern USB condenser microphone.

Ara lets content creators and musicians effortlessly capture studio-quality, 24-bit, 96kHz audio for superior speech clarity and stunning vocal and instrument tracks. Two pickup patterns focus on a single source or everyone in the room. The directional Front (cardioid) pattern captures sound directly in front of the mic while rejecting sound from other sides, making it perfect for podcast hosts, bloggers, gamers, videoconferencing and for recording voice and instruments. The Front + Back (omni) pattern picks up sound evenly from all sides, making it ideal for recording interviews with multiple speakers.

“What’s really great about Ara is that it can accomplish so many goals for a variety of users. It’s perfect for elevating interviews and video blogs with its crystal-clear sonic quality and sleek looks,” says Chris Hansen, Director of Recording and Broadcast, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “But it’s also great for gamers who really get to step up their in-game vocal delivery with a mic that sounds phenomenal. And Ara’s selectable patterns and the ability to handle up to 120 dB max SPL give musicians plenty of headroom to record everyone in the band. The best part is that Ara is plug-and-play simple, thanks to USB connectivity and class-compliant drivers.”

Ara’s essential functions, including pattern selection, mic mute and a headphone volume knob, are located on the front of the mic for easy access; a 3.5mm headphone jack allows latency-free monitoring.

Ara’s compact footprint and versatile mounting options make it ideal for both desktop use and studio scenarios. Set Ara on a desktop using the included yoke and base stand or attach to a boom or standard mic stand; record on the go with a mobile device and optional adapter.

Included accessories include a 2m USB-C to USB-A cable, a 3/8-inch to 5/8-inch threaded mic stand adapter and a free registration card for Ableton Live 11 Lite recording software. Ara works seamlessly with all major live-streaming, video conferencing and music-recording applications.

The Eastern Gears Up For Visually Stunning Live Performances With Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

The Eastern Gears Up For Visually Stunning Live Performances With Martin Professional Lighting Solutions

September 15, 2021

ATLANTA—To equip the Eastern with a visually stunning and adaptable lighting rig, Music Matters Productions, a division of M2EventsGroup, recently installed the latest cutting-edge Martin Professional lighting solutions ahead of the venue’s highly anticipated opening this fall.

Part of the Atlanta Dairies redevelopment complex in Atlanta’s historic Reynoldstown neighborhood, the Eastern is a 37,000 square-foot performance venue with a multi-tiered, 2,300-person capacity main stage as well as a rooftop performance area. An inaugural show featuring hometown legend Big Boi took place early in September. Being Zero Mile Presents’ largest venue to date and first co-operation with AEG Presents, The Eastern required a lighting rig that was visually striking but also cost-effective and adaptable to any genre or event. After many trials and A/B tests with numerous brands, Music Matters Productions (MMP) built the Eastern a rig featuring Martin ERA, MAC and RUSH Series lighting fixtures.

“The request from Zero Mile was to make it adaptable, but also visually stunning without the need to sub rent additional lighting fixtures,” said Nauman Lalani, Director of Special Projects, Music Matters Productions. “When we started the process, there was a lot of internal debate over which lighting fixtures to go with. It got to the point where we started joking about doing a lighting shootout because we own a lot of these fixtures already, and eventually we said, ‘That's actually not a bad idea.’ We put fixtures from different manufacturers side by side and Martin came out on top with the best combination of pricing and quality.”

For the indoor stage, the lighting rig includes several Martin ERA 800 Profile and ERA 600 Performance fixtures. Featuring ultra-bright LED engines, full CMY color mixing and 1:8 zoom within a light and compact design, the ERA 800s offer precise framing and striking profile beams upstage and midstage, while the ERA 600s spotlight performers downstage. MMP noted that the ERAs’ clarity and brightness easily stood out compared to lamp-based fixtures in the running, making them a natural choice for the Eastern’s lighting rig.

Additionally, MMP installed 22 Martin MAC Aura PXL multi-source wash lights throughout the main stage’s rig. Set to Extended Mode, each MAC Aura offers control and mapping down to a single pixel across 89 DMX channels, allowing for bold colors and intense washes. Rounded out by six Martin RUSH static LED audience blinders located downstage, the resulting rig is an immersive and visually stunning showcase of some of the most impressive lighting technology on the market today.

On the rooftop, the 250-capacity outdoor bar features a stage equipped with 12 Martin RUSH PAR 2 static LED washes with 10-60º zoom control and 33 color presets, providing a small but dynamic fixture well-suited for lively outdoor performances. All Martin systems installed at the venue are compatible with Martin’s P3 control platform, which MMP hopes to install in the coming months to maximize flexibility and creative programming within a user-friendly software interface. MMP also intends to add Martin VDO Sceptron 10 and Fatron 20 LED video panels to the main stage to further elevate the visual possibilities during live shows.

Throughout the construction process, MMP reached out to live lighting designers and technicians throughout the Atlanta area for feedback on the Eastern’s rig, resulting in a highly accessible and comprehensive system that is ready to welcome audiences this fall.

“We saw the full rig turn on for the first time recently; it was visually a sight to see with your own eyes,” said Lalani. “Martin has been a brand that we have trusted and kept in our inventory since the inception of Music Matters. We work with these fixtures all the time and think that they are an optimal fit in this venue.”

Historic Reduta Theatre Expands Its Rich Performance Legacy With HARMAN Professional Solutions

Historic Reduta Theatre Expands Its Rich Performance Legacy With HARMAN Professional Solutions

September 09, 2021

BRNO, Czech Republic—AudioMaster CZ recently upgraded the historic Reduta Theatre with a Soundcraft Vi2000 digital mixing console to complement the existing Vi3000 mixing system.

Originally constructed during the Renaissance, the Reduta Theatre is the oldest theater building in Central Europe and has continuously hosted concerts and productions since 1620. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Béla Bartók and Thomas Adès are just a few names in the rich history of concerts that have been performed in the Reduta Theatre. In addition to dramatic performances and concerts ranging from jazz and classical to modern pop and rock, the Reduta Theatre hosts a wide range of events, such as TEDx conferences, Opera Europa conventions and corporate events.

In 2016, the Reduta Theatre found itself in need of a new front-of-house console literally overnight when their previous analog console caught on fire in the middle of a show. In order to replace the console in time for the next performance, Director of Stage Operations Jan Vrbka and the theater’s two audio engineers—Jirka Pochvalovsky and Standa Mitana—tested a Soundcraft Vi3000 digital mixing system against two consoles from other brands. The engineers ultimately selected the Soundcraft Vi3000 console for its user-friendly mixing interface and maneuverability.

“The main purpose was to create a good working environment for staff and guest sound engineers working in our building,” related Vrbka. “On the day that the Vi3000 was installed, our engineer Standa Mitana was able to mix that evening’s performance with no issues, despite having limited experience with digital consoles. It is sometimes said that the Vi is a console for roadies. To me, that means it is easy to learn to work on for sound engineers regardless of their console of choice. This comes in handy when other theater companies are performing at our venue with their own staff.”

When funding made it possible for the Reduta Theatre to purchase a second digital console, they quickly elected to expand their Soundcraft Vi ecosystem with a Vi2000 digital console supplied by AudioMaster CZ. Reduta Theatre’s Vi2000 console enables the staff to utilize the second mixing desk in a variety of configurations, including as a backup for the main Vi3000 FOH console, onstage as a monitor console in conjunction with the Vi3000, as a remote workstation closer to the stage during rehearsals, and as a portable console for events outside the building. The staff also installed a Soundcraft Vi Stagebox to ensure maximum flexibility for different scenarios.

“It’s important to select products with high operational stability and good support that allow future expansion of the system,” continued Vrbka. “All components are compatible with each other, which allows for mutual expansion. The Soundcraft Vi2000 is the perfect compromise between size and performance, which makes it an ideal backup to our main Vi3000 console, but also enables us to use it for applications outside the theater that require a mobile console.”

Soundcraft Vi Series consoles come equipped with advanced capabilities like RealTime Rack plugin support and integrated MADI and Dante connectivity, which give Reduta Theatre engineers a high degree of control over shaping their distinctive mixing styles while ensuring latency-free operation.

“Each of our sound engineers prefer different plugins,” added Vrbka. “Jirka likes the Neve preamps and bx-masterdesk finalizer, while Honza Konzal likes the SSL 4000E channel strip and EMT250 plate reverb. Every engineer on the staff is a big fan of the Lexicon time-based effects. The RealTime Rack plugins allow us to ‘own’ devices that otherwise would be unavailable to us. They take the level up a notch. We also use the Vi3000’s MADI and Dante capabilities to push signals through the system with as little latency as possible.”

In addition to the Soundcraft Vi2000 and Vi3000 consoles, Reduta Theatre also utilizes BSS Soundweb London and BLU Link processors to control the main speaker system, including emergency announcements and other general building communications.

Onstage, the Reduta audio staff uses BSS AR133 direct boxes, along with AKG C451, C414 and C214 microphones. For monitoring, they rely on their trusted JBL EON15 and EON10 powered loudspeakers.

“The Vi Series consoles are simple and intuitive, allowing engineers to devote more time to the sound quality of the production,” concluded Vrbka. “HARMAN staff has always been great at staying in touch and notifying us of important firmware updates for all equipment. And of course, AudioMaster CZ’s technical support has been excellent as always.”

HARMAN Professional expands its JBL® Commercial offering for India Market with the launch of JBL CSSM100 Studio Condenser Microphone

HARMAN Professional expands its JBL® Commercial offering for India Market with the launch of JBL CSSM100 Studio Condenser Microphone

September 01, 2021

BENGALURU, INDIA, AUGUST 28, 2021: HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today launched JBL Commercial CSSM100 studio condenser microphone in India.  The microphone is engineered to ‘Sound Your Best’ while incorporating a handy design with JBL sound input technology at a pocket-friendly price. JBL Commercial CSSM100 is available on Flipkart at a launch price of Rs 4,999.

This new studio microphone is a one-size-fit for all solution, be it for professionals, prosumers or amateurs. It delivers crystal clear and undistorted sound to ensure unmatched sound quality for audience to enjoy thoroughly. The microphone is designed for audio inputs for both vocal and instrument sound. JBL CSSM100 is a high-sensitivity microphone suitable for both studio recording and for on-stage performances.  

Speaking on the launch, Senior Director, Sales and Marketing, HARMAN Professional Solutions in India and SAARC,  Aditya Todi, said “The industry is  witnessing a surge in content creation and consumption, which has given rise to at home and smaller studio set ups. This affordable range of studio condenser microphone is the go-to audio device for upcoming singers, instrument players, public speakers or just anyone looking for a quality sturdy microphone. With its pro audio quality, JBL CSSM100 brings out a pristine sound, making sure that users sound their best always.”

JBL Commercial CSSM100 has an all metal rugged body with sturdy front grille allowing for unrestrained use and lively spirited performances. While the design enables a care-free use, the high sensitivity condenser capsule captures sound scrupulously. The primary sensitivity in-front of the microphone is ensured by the hyper cardioid pick-up pattern.

For clear voice and instrument recording, the microphone has a wide frequency response, along with a high headroom which diminishes any distortion. With convenient features like a 3-pin XLR connector and a stand adapter, JBL CSSM100 proves to be a functional, easy to use microphone.

Manish Kumar, Senior Vice President – BGMH, Furniture and Grocery, Flipkart said, “At Flipkart, we are constantly striving to ensure that we deliver products that best reflect our customers’ interests. Microphones are one of the fastest-growing verticals within the musical instrument category, and this collaboration with JBL which has been among the favorite brands on our platform will bolster our selection on the platform. We look forward to a continued association with JBL to offer new and exciting products for our customers."  

iHeartRadio Music Awards Return to a Live Setting for 2021 Show With Crowd-Pleasing Sound from JBL Professional

iHeartRadio Music Awards Return to a Live Setting for 2021 Show With Crowd-Pleasing Sound from JBL Professional

August 30, 2021

LOS ANGELES—ATK Audiotek recently deployed a JBL Professional sound reinforcement system at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards, bringing dynamic, high-energy sound to one of the first indoor live award shows of the year.

Now in its eighth year, the iHeartRadio Music Awards honors popular artists across 41 categories, ranging from Song of the Year to the prestigious Icon Award. The 2021 ceremony, which was hosted by Usher, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in front of a crowd of 1,500. Performers included The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Dan + Shay, Silk Sonic, Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato, H.E.R., Doja Cat and Usher.

With content ranging from acceptance speeches to high-energy musical performances, the event demanded a sound system with excellent dynamic range. And, with only the venue’s main floor and first of three balconies open, the event required a more focused sound system than a full-capacity show. To meet these challenges, ATK Audiotek deployed a JBL Professional line array system consisting of VTX A12 loudspeakers and S28 subwoofers.

“Our shows go from quiet dialogue on a podium mic to a loud rock band at 115 dB, so we need the whole dynamic range to be pristine and clear,” said Jeff Peterson, Front of House Engineer, ATK Audiotek. “That's something that the JBL products have done well for us.”

ATK Audiotek deployed a line array system consisting of 16 JBL VTX A12 loudspeakers in clusters of eight on each side. Featuring two 12-inch Differential Drive woofers, four 5.5-inch mid-frequency drivers and three 2-inch annular diaphragm compression drivers, the JBL A12 delivers full-range sound with massive power for music and excellent clarity for speech. A patented Radiation Boundary Integrator (RBI) waveguide provides 90-degree coverage down to 250 Hz with smooth, linear response across a wide area.

“The A12 rigs fast and weighs less than a comparable 4889 or something powered, so we're usually able to hang more in the same space where we would be limited with something heavier,” said Peterson. “The sound quality is pretty top-notch; they’re transparent and pleasant to mix on.”

To supplement the line arrays with powerful low-frequency reinforcement, ATK Audiotek deployed four JBL VTX S28 subwoofers in clusters of two per side. With two 18-inch Differential Drive woofers, the VTX S28 delivers extended low-frequency performance with high peak-to-peak excursion for powerful output with extremely low distortion.

Additionally, ATK Audiotek used AKG C414 large-diaphragm condenser microphones as drum kit overhead mics on stage. Used on countless studio and live recordings, the C414 delivers classic tone and features a variety of polar patterns for rejecting stage bleed in a live setting.

The 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards was ATK Audiotek’s first in-person show in an indoor venue since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and according to ATK’s Kirk Powell, the energy in the theater was palpable.

“I think that was actually the first real indoor audience, elbow to elbow,” said Kirk Powell, PA Designer and System Tech, ATK Audiotek. “There was a lot of energy in the room because the performers were really enjoying being in front of a crowd and the fans were really enjoying being in front of the performers. At times, Jeff had to goose it a little bit to get over the crowd, which is normal, but it's been so long since we've had to do that.”

The 2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards Host an Intimate Live Ceremony With Cinematic Sound by JBL Professional

The 2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards Host an Intimate Live Ceremony With Cinematic Sound by JBL Professional

August 25, 2021

LOS ANGELES—To accommodate the MTV Movie and TV Awards’ unique stage layout and the inherent acoustical challenges of the venue, ATK Audiotek creatively implemented JBL Professional loudspeakers to provide clear audio and even coverage.

After having no show in 2020, the MTV Movie and TV Awards welcomed a small audience back to the Hollywood Palladium for its 29th edition this past May. Hosted by comedian Leslie Jones, This year’s show featured an intimate, lounge-style layout, with the stage branching out to a center platform surrounded by the 50-person audience. With Snoop Dogg as the DJ and sole musical act, the show primarily consisted of speeches and film clips, which required a versatile sound system with high dynamic range. However, the venue’s shape, low ceiling height and unusual stage layout created the potential for acoustical issues and left minimal room for speaker installation. To overcome these challenges, ATK Audiotek selected JBL VRX932LA-1 and VT4886 loudspeakers to deliver clear, high-quality audio that complemented the ceremony’s setting and avoided unwanted sound reflection and feedback.

“The Palladium is a challenging venue,” said Kirk Powell, PA Designer and System Tech, ATK Audiotek. “The back wall is a big parabola, so you've got to be careful with how you aim things because you can excite that room in ways that you don’t want. The real challenge of that room is the low ceiling, and when you hang a full lighting grid down, the ceiling gets even lower. If we got really loud in a room like that, you would hear feedback on the presentation microphones. We were trying to keep the volume low and have a nice distributed system for even coverage so everybody could hear everything––the VRX932 is a good box for that.”

Powell and the ATK team installed 22 JBL VRX932LA-1 speakers in single units spaced around the ceiling and circling out from the center, leaving a cone of free space above the center stage section to avoid feedback.  Featuring 2408J Annular Ring Diaphragm HF drivers and neodymium magnet Differential Drive® woofers, the VRX932LA-1 delivers pristine and coherent audio even at the low volumes required for the MTV awards stage. Additionally, the constant curvature design with a dual-angle pole socket allows for both wide coverage and precise angling to avoid sound reflection and evenly distribute sound to audiences. To provide stereo sound and additional impact for cinematic playback, ATK supplemented the system with JBL VT4886 line array loudspeakers positioned on either side of the main stage.

The result was two successful nights featuring some of the biggest names in movies and TV, including Elizabeth Olsen, RuPaul, Leslie Jones and more. Both presenters and winners made their speeches on the center stage with coherent, consistent and feedback-free audio.

“We made it work the best we could,” added Powell. “Everybody could hear everything, and so it worked out well.”

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards Show Brings Live Music Back to Hollywood With HARMAN Professional Solutions

The 2021 Billboard Music Awards Show Brings Live Music Back to Hollywood With HARMAN Professional Solutions

August 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES—To provide top-notch sound for the high-profile 2021 Billboard Music Awards, ATK Audiotek recently deployed a range of HARMAN Professional sound reinforcement solutions for indoor and outdoor stages at the Microsoft Theater.

Since 1990, the Billboard Music Awards show (BBMAs) has honored the music industry’s highest-charting artists, with this year featuring live performances by the Weeknd, Doja Cat, P!nk and Twenty One Pilots among many others. Following an audience-free ceremony in 2020, this year’s BBMAs welcomed a crowd of more than 500 in the plaza outside of the Microsoft Theater––one of the largest awards show audiences of the year thus far. Musical acts performed on a stage in front of the crowd, while nominees sat by the main awards stage nearby. Additionally, several performances took place inside the theater.

Dick Clark Productions wanted an impactful live audio system that did not require additional infrastructure and remained unseen on camera. ATK Audiotek expertly worked within these limitations, using innovative installation techniques and solutions by JBL Professional, Crown Audio and AKG Microphones to create a memorable show for both artists and fans.

“Our challenge outside was the fact that they didn't want to put up any structures to hang speakers and lights from,” said Jeff Peterson, PA Designer, Project Manager and Front of House Mixer, ATK Audiotek. “We had to use the existing lighting towers that are already in the plaza, which limited the amount of weight that we could hang and how high we could hang it. The award stage was a 20-by-40’ rectangular platform with eight arches made of trusses. They didn't want to see speakers hanging down in this really clean, artsy-looking space.”

For the outdoor stage, Peterson and the ATK installation team hung clusters of JBL VTX A8 loudspeakers on the lighting towers. The speakers’ lightweight design and high output allowed the team to place them high and far enough from the stage to stay out of the cameras’ view while still producing full, powerful sound with excellent coverage. JBL VTX S28 subwoofers provided crucial low-end support, while JBL VT4886 compact line array loudspeakers, featuring high directivity and optimized horizontal coverage, reinforced the sound for the first several rows in front of the stage. The result was a streamlined but dynamic system that reached the entire audience and delivered high-impact sound for a variety of genres.

Installing speakers for the award stage area required exceptional ingenuity due to the structural limitations and aesthetic requirements. Peterson decided that JBL AC26 two-way speakers were the best choice for the area due to their ultra-compact design, high output, and optimized frequency and phase response. To ensure that the sound system remained heard but unseen by the audience and cameras, the installation team mounted 12 AC26 speakers inside the trusses, which they wrapped in black fabric for concealment. 

For the indoor performances with a small audience inside the Microsoft Theater, ATK used the venue’s house PA system featuring JBL Vertec 4889 speakers, a staple of many mid-size and large concert venues. Constructed with cutting-edge technology and outfitted with three-inch diaphragm high-frequency compression drivers, these lightweight speakers provide reliably strong output in any kind of venue.

ATK powered the system with CrownVRack Series amplifiers, a highly customizable and user-friendly portable amplifier rack ideal for outdoor or live events. These amplifiers are also compatible with JBL’s Performance Manager software, which configures speaker networks and provides all the tools needed for calibration, running diagnostics and more in a simple and intuitive workflow. Finally, ATK provided AKG C414 condenser microphones for the overheads on the drums.

“The AC26 is a really good multipurpose box,” added Peterson. “It'll throw 30 feet, it's small and it'll fit into a truss. And you don't buy A8s without buying the VRacks; it all works together as a system. In general, it was a good show. Everything worked the way we wanted it to work.”

British School Jakarta Delivers Enriched Performing Arts Experiences With HARMAN Professional Solutions

British School Jakarta Delivers Enriched Performing Arts Experiences With HARMAN Professional Solutions

August 23, 2021

JAKARTA, Indonesia—To provide premium sound for the performing arts, PT Inti Megah Swara recently equipped British School Jakarta’s theater with a comprehensive array of HARMAN Professional audio solutions.

Established by the British Embassy in 1973, the British School Jakarta (BSJ) is an international school in Greater Jakarta that educates children from around the world. BSJ is one of the best-equipped schools in Asia for sports and other extracurricular activities. Because the performing arts are an important part of the school’s culture, BSJ required a dedicated audio system for its theater. To deliver exceptional sound quality and coverage during performances, BSJ hired PT Inti Megah Swara (IMS) to install a complete HARMAN Professional Solutions sound reinforcement system.

For sound reinforcement in the school’s main theater, IMS outfitted the left and right sides of the stage with JBL JRX215 loudspeakers to deliver high-quality music and speech. IMS equipped the stage with JBL IRX112BT powered speakers to provide clear and accurate monitoring for performers. Additionally, IMS installed JBL Control 16C/T ceiling speakers and Control 19CST in-ceiling subwoofers to ensure balanced full-range coverage throughout the space. IMS powered the JBL loudspeakers with Crown XTi 2002 and CDi 1000 amplifiers. To enable staff to easily achieve professional-sounding mixes, IMS outfitted the theater with Soundcraft Ui12 remote-controlled mixing consoles.

Officials from British School Jakarta reported that the theater required an exceptional sound system capable of adapting to a wide range of events and performances. They expressed gratitude to IMS and HARMAN Professional for the excellent execution of the project, stating that the new audio solutions surpassed their expectations and enhanced theater performances.

“We were thrilled to receive such positive feedback from the customer,” said G. Amar Subash, Director of Channel Management & Audio Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions. “Theater brings students together to experience new perspectives and explore creativity. To provide students with these opportunities, British School Jakarta required sophisticated audio systems to produce remarkable performances in its theater. We would like to thank our partner PT Inti Megah Swara for maintaining a standard of excellence in all aspects of the installation, and for using our products to deliver superior audio experiences for the school and its patrons.”

TechDataPS Showroom Lets Consumers Experience the Latest Cutting-Edge HARMAN Professional Audio Solutions

TechDataPS Showroom Lets Consumers Experience the Latest Cutting-Edge HARMAN Professional Audio Solutions

August 20, 2021

SEOUL, S. Korea—To create a world-class experience center, TechDataPS Co., Ltd. installed industry-leading audio systems from HARMAN Professional Solutions to showcase the latest in audio technology to customers and visitors.

TechDataPS is a leading provider of professional audio solutions in South Korea. To demonstrate how HARMAN Professional’s cutting-edge audio technologies meet the needs of various spaces and events, from bars to major concert venues, TechDataPS decided to create a dedicated Showroom facility. Opened on November 25, 2020, the Showroom offers an immersive tour of HARMAN's prestigious audio, video and control brands such as AKG, JBL and AMX. With more than 200 products on display, including loudspeakers, microphones, audio mixers and more, the center houses the largest collection of audio technology products in South Korea.

The Showroom is divided into several zones, each highlighting a different range of solutions. TechDataPS equipped the Performing Zone with JBL Intellivox Series, VTX A Series, VTX F Series, VTX M Series, VLA Compact Series and VP Series loudspeakers, all of which provide consistent coverage throughout the space. The team powered all speakers with Crown VRack amplifiers, and the Control Zone features a Soundcraft VI2000 professional audio mixer for customers to experience first-hand its premium sound quality and user-friendly mixing interface.

In the Display Zone, TechDataPS installed JBL CBT series column speakers and an array of AMX networked AV and control devices, including SVSI N2400 4K Series encoders and decoders, Acendo Vibe soundbars, Massio control and keypads, and Modero G5 touch panels. The Install Zone features JBL’s impressive line up of permanent installation speaker solutions including AE series, AWC compact, AW series, Control 23-1, Control 25-1, Control 28-1L and CWT128 loudspeakers.

The Portable Zone showcases JBL’s plethora of portable self-powered speakers, including BRX300 Series, EON One Series, IRX100 Series, EON208P, PRX800 Series, SRX800 Series and PD500 Series loudspeakers. In the Recording Zone, listeners can compare the reference-quality sound provided by JBL One Series, 7 Series and 3 Series MKII reference monitors. Customers can also test out AKG’s iconic lineup of microphones including DMS300 Series, WMS470 Wireless, Lyra USB, C414 XLII, C214, D5, K872 and K275 microphones.

TechDataPS outfitted the Table Zone with AKG conference microphones including PCC160, PZM30D and DAM Series models. They also included Soundcraft’s lineup of compact mixers, including Notepad Series, Si Series and Ui Series consoles. TechDataPS used the Café Zone to showcase JBL Control 10 Series, Control 40 Series, Control 60 Series, Control 300 Series, VMA Series, CSMA series, Control HST, CRV and CSS8018 loudspeakers.

To power all speakers in the showroom, TechDataPS equipped the Rack Zone with Crown CDi DriveCore Series, ComTech DriveCore Series, DCi Network Series amplifiers and BSS Soundweb London Series, Soundweb Contrio Series. Additionally, AMX touch panels operate all the speakers across the showroom, making it easy for visitors to select the music and speakers they want to audition. TechDataPS staff reported that their customers are particularly impressed with the direct AV-over-IP experience provided by the AMX interfaces.

“For an ambitious project like this, creating an impactful audio experience is essential and game-changing,” said Amar Subash, VP & GM, HARMAN Professional Solutions, APAC. "We would like to thank TechDataPS for using our solutions to create this world-class showroom and give customers a one-of-a-kind experience.”