Just 10 days after the terrorist attacks on September 11, Hollywood’s stars came out to raise funds for the victims of the attacks in a nationally televised show that aired on over 30 networks in 210 countries.
The advanced technology and instant recall of Innovason’s all-digital Grand Live monitor console helped play a part to pull off the unprecedented event without a hitch. Nearly 60 million Americans watched “America: A Tribute To Heroes,” which raised over $150 million in donations.
The show was simultaneously telecast from Sony Music Studios in New York and CBS-TV in L.A. ATK (Burbank, Calif.) provided all of the audio equipment, aside from a few items from the Westwood One truck. On the L.A. set, gear included the ATK M2 and M5 stage monitors, two Innovason Grand Live monitoring consoles, and a variety of outboard effects and mics, plus a dedicated staff to run it all. Firehouse Productions of New York provided all equipment for the East Coast. All equipment was donated. Mics used included Tom Petty on a Neumann KMS 150, Faith Hill using a KMS 105 and the Dixie Chicks using a Neumann U87.
The show came together in less than a week, testing the logistical skills and professionalism of everyone involved. Tom Pesa, audio engineer and technician for ATK Audiotek Corp., said that last-minute impromptu changes were the rule in an effort to make the show as moving and heartfelt as possible. For example, the time between load-in and the actual telecast was a mere 36 hours.
“There was no dress rehearsal,” said Pesa. “During soundcheck, each artist played through their song three or four times. I just built my monitor mixes on the Innovason and hit Save repeatedly. I was able to dispense with any rack processors, except for special effects, and instead relied on the Innovason’s in-line processing. The beauty of it is that everything, including the EQ and dynamics parameters, is saved with a mix. When it was time for the actual show, I relied on those saved mixes — as distant as they seemed, given the hectic pace of everything.”
For more on the Innovson console used for the telethon, visit www.innovason.com.