Demi Lovato performs onstage during the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/AMA2015/Getty Images for dcp
The 43rd Annual American Music Awards (AMA) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles were broadcast on ABC on Sunday night, November 22. Hosted by Jennifer Lopez, the program presented the honors voted on by fans along with a series of high-profile performances, including a vocal interpretation of the classic John Williams theme to Star Wars by Pentatonix, and a water-soaked closing medley by Justin Bieber. Both Pentatonix and Bieber used Shure UHF-R wireless microphones.
Throughout the show, the AMA telecast relied on wireless microphones and in-ear monitors to ensure quick, smooth transitions between acts. All major brands were on hand to accommodate artist preferences, and Shure reports that a majority of the RF mics used were Shure systems.
Handling the challenge of making more than 100 RF channels work flawlessly in the crowded RF environment of downtown Los Angeles was a crack production crew of audio experts, led by production mixer Mark King and broadcast music mixers Paul Sandweiss and Biff Dawes. Mikael Stewart (production) and Jim Ebdon (music) mixed front of house sound inside the venue, while monitor mixes for the artists were supplied by Mike Parker and Tom Pesa.
AMA-winning artists performing with Shure wireless mics included Artist of the Year winner One Direction and both Favorite Country Artist honorees, Luke Bryan and Carrie Underwood. The UR2 transmitters used throughout the evening were topped by a variety of Shure microphone capsules. Rapper Macklemore and vocal-only sensations Pentatonix opted for premium KSM series mic elements, while the Beta 58 was used by both One Direction and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, the latter opting for a Shure Axient wireless system.
Luke Bryan, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Nick Jonas, Alanis Morissette, and Walk the Moon all selected a Shure SM58 wireless microphone. The production crew’s choice wireless systems for in-ear monitors was ATK Audiotek bringing 24 channels of Shure PSM 1000, split evenly between the two stages.
"Once again faced with interference from LED walls and the latest and greatest lighting instruments, the PSM 1000 continues to be the preferred in-ear system, as always providing strong RF and great sound under the most adverse conditions," says Pesa.
The racks of wireless microphones and in-ear systems were supplied by ATK Audiotek of Valencia, Calif., while the RF experts from Burbank- and Las Vegas-based Soundtronics were brought in for the complex frequency coordination and custom antenna system.
“When coordinating the RF microphone and IEM portions of a large show such as the AMAs, it’s always reassuring to see Shure equipment being requested,” says Stephen Vaughn of Soundtronics. “The reliability of Shure’s RF equipment is critical in today’s world of dwindling RF spectrum. It always puts my mind at ease.”