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The Grammys in HD

The Flying Fingers of Fate….

A crucial component of the show is Don Worsham’s “And The Winner Is” room. That’s where Worsham spent two days pre-assembling the nominees’ musical packages, that, during the show, were hand triggered from five 360 Systems Instant Replays to provide, first the nominees’ announcements, then the walk-on music played as winners go up to receive their awards.

“We find out all together who the winner is,” says Worsham. “”They read the name and the fingers start to fly.”

A big part of the job is assembling cues, as Worsham has to be able to crossfade smoothly between musical genres, from John Mayer to Green Day to Alicia Keys, for example. “The Instant Replays have 50 hot keys on the work surface and 10 layers of presets,” he explains, “with all cuts assigned to the 50 hot keys on each selected layer simultaneously available. Each of the 12 on-air categories and five nominated songs, or artists, in each category had 60-second music sections transferred into a master Instant Replay, then level matched and head trimmed for a proper start.”

As an individual Replay unit doesn’t allow crossfades, multiple machines were required to create them live. “Timing from nominee to nominee is not fixed, or locked,” Worsham continues, “instead, it’s driven by the program pacing. Essentially, the Grammy telecast delivers, in real time, a complex nomination package that would normally be completed in a video edit bay and finished in an audio post production studio.”