The 46th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast, held February 8, 2004, willbe remembered for highlighting some of the industry’s most notablemusicians, as well as for some unfortunate midshow production glitches.Audio patching difficulties aside, the event’s gear was bothfunctional, even innovative, and helped to earn a positive overallresponse from this year’s Grammy audience.
Among the manufacturers at the show this year were Lexicon, ADAMAudio, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser and Neumann. This was the second yearin a row that the Lexicon Pro™ 960L Multi-Channel Digital EffectsSystem was used for the Grammys, handling up to eight channels ofdiscrete digital audio simultaneously. CBS distributed HDTV’s1,080 lines of picture resolution and 5.1 channels of CD-qualitysurround sound in a number of major markets on its High-DefinitionTelevision Network.
The HDTV/5.1 broadcast was mixed and monitored by a combination oftop-tier professionals, including award-winning location recordingspecialists Effanel Music. The 5.1 mix was supervised by Phil Ramone,chairman of the Recording Academy’s Producers & EngineersWing, along with advisory council member Hank Neuberger and MurrayAllen for Cossette Productions.
Effanel president Randy Ezratty (pictured, right) was the official5.1 sound designer, and music mixers included John Harris and JayVicari. Effanel Music used an AMS-Neve Capricorn digital console thatallowed the audio teams to generate both a purpose-built stereo mix anda separate 5.1 mix simultaneously. Ezratty added other mono and stereoelements and “sweetened” the audio using the Lexicon960L.
In addition, Ezratty purchased a 5.1 system comprising five ADAMAudio S2-A two-way active near-field monitors, along with a Sub-Ppowered subwoofer. The system was installed in one of Effanel’smobile facilities at the Staples Center, and was used by Ezratty tomonitor and mix the 5.1 feed. Says Ezratty, “There were a lot ofgolden ears at the Grammys, and the ADAMs blew us all away!” The S2-Ahouses ADAM’s noted A.R.T. folded-ribbon tweeter and a 7.25-inchHexacone woofer, along with dual 150W discrete amplifiers. The Sub-Pcontains an 11-inch woofer, and is powered by a 200W amplifier.
The A-T Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System was used forfront-line vocals for The Beatles Tribute that featured Vince Gill,Dave Matthews and Sting; Alicia Keys (pictured); the Foo Fighters;George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic with members of OutKast andEarth, Wind & Fire; Robert Randolph & The Family Band; SeanPaul; and the Black Eyed Peas. In addition, three Audio-TechnicaAT4050s were used for vocals on the Warren Zevon Tribute that featuredJackson Browne, Dwight Yoakam, Billy Bob Thornton, The Eagles’Timothy B. Schmit, Jorge Calderón, and Zevon’s children,Jordan and Arial.
This year’s multiple Grammy-winner and standout performer,Beyoncé (pictured), took home five trophies and used asatin-nickel finish Sennheiser SKM 5000-N with Neumann KK 105-Scapsule. The singer ties Alicia Keys, Norah Jones and Lauryn Hill forthe most Grammys won by a female artist. Coincidently, all five-timeGrammy female artists used either Sennheiser or Neumann microphonesduring their Grammy performances: Alicia Keys (SK 5012), Norah Jones(KMS 105) and Lauren Hill (SKM 5000).
Celine Dion remained poised when an audio patching problemthreatened to spoil her tribute to Luther Vandross. Dion has been usingan SKM 5000 wireless for nearly a decade, but used the KK 105-S capsuledelivered her rendition of “Dance With My Father.”
Other performers who used a Neumann KMS 150 vocal mic onstageincluded Sting (pictured, bottom right), the White Stripes and SarahMcLachlan.
For more information about this year’s Grammy Awards, go to www.grammy.com. To checkout more about Sennheiser, click on www.sennheiserusa.com; ADAM Audio information can befound at www.adam-audio.com.
Beyoncé and Sting photo credits: Getty Images