BUENA PARK, Calif.âŽ¯While Slumdog Millionaire took home eight Oscars including Best Picture on Sunday, February 22, 2009 when the 81st Academy Awards Ceremony was held at the Kodak Theater and broadcast live on ABC, there were three behind-the-scenes winners that evening: Yamaha digital audio consoles. PA designer and front of house engineer, Pat Baltzell, received a helping hand from ATK Audiotek supplying both a Yamaha PM1D 128-input/64-output Dual Engine system and PM5D digital console to outfit front of house. A Yamaha PM1D-128 input/64-output Dual Engine system was also used and manned by monitor mixer Michael Parker supported by monitor tech Tom Pesa.
â€œDigital recall consoles have increased the detail of a mix by an order of magnitude for multiple performance television shows such as The Academy Awards,â€? states Patrick Baltzell. â€œIn the analog days, I was always â€˜splitting the differenceâ€™ and making compromises, knowing I would only be able to restore certain settings but not all. I now can confidently program and recall the subtlest details in an orchestra balance for each performance. The Yamaha PM1D and PM5D consoles have a proven reliability and are widely accepted by artist engineers.â€? Baltzell was also the PA system designer and front of house mixer for the 44th Presidential Inauguration and Super Bowl XLIII. â€œFor the Inauguration of President Obama, I used a pair of Yamaha PM5Dâ€™s cascaded. Several alternative digital consoles were offered to me, but I had the most confidence in the Yamaha consoles to work outdoors for three weeks in sub zero temperatures.â€?
Michael Parker, who was also the monitor mixer for the â€œBâ€? stage at The 51st GRAMMYÂ® Awards notes that digital mixing in general has been a major step in offering quickly accessible processing, which is very important in live television shows. â€œThe engineer is now able to create a consistent, personal starting point for the Yamaha PM1D that is well developed from other shows. Of high importance is the layout of PM1D, which allows for quick fader accessibility on only two layers. The console offers pure digital sound that is dynamically true and clean. With a proper approach, the engineer can achieve extremely full sounding mixes which is especially important when creating in-ear mixes.â€?
Monitor tech Tom Pesa said that individual scene recalling has become a standard on multi-act television shows. Pesa was also the monitor mixer for Super Bowl XLIII and the â€œAâ€? stage at the GRAMMY Awards. â€œPerformers and guest engineers traveling into a show expect to be able to have their own scene, fully customizable to their performance and recalled exactly for the live show,â€? says Pesa. â€œYamaha pioneered this on a large-scale console early on with PM1D.â€? This yearâ€™s 51st Annual Grammy Awards had 24 live performances on two stages. While Parker and Pesa split the duties with two separate PM1D monitor systems at the GRAMMY Awards, Ron Reaves at front of house was responsible for mixing every act and relied solely on a single PM1D system.
A fourth PM5D was used for the orchestra distributed Aviom ear monitor mixes, engineered by Mike Cooper.
For more information on Yamaha PM1D and PM5D digital mixing consoles, visit www.yamahaca.com.
About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the recent purchase of NEXO loudspeakers by Yamaha Corporation Japan, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.