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Personal Mixers Used as Communications System for Game Show

HOLLYWOOD, DECEMBER 12, 2008 —As contestants on Fox’s “Don’t Forget the Lyrics” are tested on their musical knowledge in front of the camera, ATK Audiotek, a leading sound reinforcement provider for the professional audio and broadcast industry, has its own set of audio challenges to contend with behind the camera. Audiotek needed a system that was able to provide multiple customized solutions for communication between the show’s musical director, band, and show director. They turned to Aviom’s Pro16® Monitor Mixing System to provide flawless audio to all involved.

Having used the company’s Pro16 system in the past for monitor mixing on such high-profile reality broadcasts as “American Idol,” Audiotek’s Staff Engineer, Andres Arango, knew that the Aviom system would be able to accommodate the customized audio mixes that the show’s Musical Director Ricky Minor and his band members required. “The setup for ‘Don’t Forget the Lyrics’ is very similar to the setup used for ‘American Idol,’ using the same musical director (Minor) and ‘Idol’ band,” Arango explains. “Before switching to the Aviom Pro16 system we only had three mixes to work with. However, the string section would only want to hear themselves, Minor only wanted to hear the production and not the other stems, some guys only wanted drums and bass and nothing else, so three channels wasn’t cutting it. With the Aviom system, we’re now sending out 16 stems and they can pick and choose what they want. We don’t have to worry so much about creating 12 mixes for each band member.”

In addition to the Aviom gear, Minor uses a Studio Technologies Model 233 Announcer’s Console as the main intercom interface, providing a straightforward means of communicating with the production team and band. The emcee, contestant, and show director’s console outputs are fed into the Aviom Pro16 system along with mix stems from the main console for the band’s monitor system. Each musician has an Aviom A-16II Personal Mixer with wireless and headphone connections through Tweecomm OB-1 headset boxes that offer level control and two headphone connections. Using the Personal Mixers, each band member can create a unique mix of the stems, click track, and production audio, and save up to 16 preset mixes for easy recall. This makes it easy for the musicians to adjust volume, pan, treble, and bass for themselves on stage. Using the presets allows the musicians’ monitor mixes to be recalled instantly, simplifying the process of recreating the blend used during rehearsals. With Minor and each musician able to create the monitor mix they require, Arango is able to focus on the other audio elements required for the show.

“With Aviom I can concentrate a little more on what’s actually happening downstage with the artist and the contestants and not so much on what the band’s monitoring needs are,” Arango continues. “On these shows now it has become almost two stages. You have your contestant and your host playing a game, and you have an entire other section on a different stage with your band and all of their requests. Now I don’t have to worry about turning the click on here and there, I just leave it on and the band members deal with it accordingly. Things like that have made shows like ‘Don’t’ Forget the Lyrics’ a lot easier.”

“Don’t Forget the Lyrics” airs on Fridays at 9:00PM EST on the FOX network.

Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom’s innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA.