RF Management Hits the Right Note for Television’s Longest-Running Latin Music Awards
MIAMI, MARCH 5, 2012—When the Latin music world gathered to honor its biggest and brightest stars for the 24th annual “Premio Lo Nuestro” Music Awards this year at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS), a Masque Sound Company and experts in supplying and supporting wireless systems for live and broadcast events, was backstage coordinating wireless operations and working to resolve any possible interference issues during the gala.
Presented by television network Univision, “Premio Lo Nuestro” honors the year’s best Latin music. The awards show, which first aired in 1989, features famous Latino actors, musicians and show business personalities. The show is broadcast throughout the Americas, including to millions of viewers in the United States.
PWS has been working with Univision for 14 years to provide frequency coordination for its three annual awards shows, “Premio Lo Nuestro,” “Premio Juventud” and the “Latin GRAMMY® Awards.” For this year’s “Premio Lo Nuestro” show, PWS provided the wireless coordination for the main show as well as the red carpet and post-awards segments. Working side by side with Acoutech, the show’s PA provider, PWS ensured that close to 200 frequencies remained solid and interference-free throughout the evening.
“Univision approached us a while back and asked us to package up and sell two 10-packs of wireless mics exactly as we would use them,” says Jason Eskew, project manager, PWS. “We have been using their wireless mics for the main show, supplementing them with specialized gear for the racks they purchased a couple of years ago.”
Since all wireless technologies, including artist and band microphones and in-ear monitors and wireless radios, must be carefully coordinated so that frequencies won’t interfere with each other, PWS strategized its frequency coordination weeks before the actual event. Working with Louis Guerra from Shure, PWS utilized the Shure Axient™ systems wideband receivers, power management and remote control capabilities. Shure’s artist relations team provided chrome Axient handheld transmitters, using Shure PSM 1000 Personal Monitor Systems for all of artists. Comtek BST-25’s were used for the Host IFB’s. What’s more, wireless intercoms for this production were Telex BTR-800’s. Tying everything together, Frequency management was performed with PWS’s Intermodulation Analysis System (IAS). IAS made it quick and easy to coordinate new frequencies and to share information between the inside and outside portions of the show.
“The Axient system allowed us much more flexibility to handle special artist requests, specifically chrome and decorated mics that were brought in by the artists themselves,” adds Eskew. “We were able to land them onto the Axient receivers—the flexibility of the Axient system allowed us to do that without our needing to make a lot of changes to the racks and the rest of the infrastructure.”
The PSM 1000 Personal Monitor System is a full-rack, dual-channel, networkable transmitter ideally suited for the demands of professional touring and installation applications. The diversity body pack receiver delivers pristine RF signal and audio quality. According to Eskew, “The PSM 1000s afforded us the luxury to focus on all of the other things we needed to do. Knowing the PSM 1000 system was rock solid, low stress and maintenance-free is a huge weight off our backs. Even when the PSM 1000s get into a low-signal strength condition, they mute quietly and cleanly. It is much safer for the artist and makes our job a whole lot easier.”
When dealing with a live music show of this magnitude, there are bound to be some unique challenges. One of these that PWS faced was having to accommodate performers that brought their own decorated transmitters. As the Axient system is a wide receiver, and able to adjust to the specific frequency needed, it allowed PWS to quickly resolve any potential RF issues associated with the performers’ gear.
Another challenge the PWS crew handled was tracking down some interfering ENG crews that were shooting in the building and not coordinated. PWS’ ability to find these interfering sources and correct any potential issues quickly was another benefit of its RF service.
In addition to the Univision gear that was used, PWS utilized seven of its Domed Helical Antennas. Featuring a unique, new compact “domed” design, the Domed Helical Antenna provides robust multi-channel wireless microphone, in-ear and intercom wireless connectivity.
In all, the night was a huge success, with more than 10.8 million viewers tuning in to watch 21 musical acts perform—all without any RF issues.
For more information about Professional Wireless Systems, visit http://www.professionalwireless.com.
About Masque Sound
Founded in 1936 by a trio of Broadway stagehands, Masque Sound evolved into one of NYC’s most successful theatrical sound reinforcement, installation and design companies specializing in live concert, television broadcast, corporate, industrial, theatrical, house of worship and sports events. Celebrating more than 75 years in the industry, the company is lead by Geoff Shearing, the firm’s 3rd generation owner, and General Manager Stephanie Hansen. The company also operates Florida-based Professional Wireless Systems, a leader in the development and implementation of wireless technology. Credits range from major Broadway shows and tours including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mama Mia,” “Jersey Boys,” “Memphis,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Newsies,” and “Once” to yearly Super Bowl broadcasts and installations of varying sizes, including New York’s New Victory Theater, historic St. Bartholomew’s Church and NYU’s James L. Dolan Recording Studio. Masque Sound’s 70,000 sq. ft. corporate headquarters and main assembly facility is located at 21 East Union Ave., East Rutherford, NJ, 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. For more information, call (201) 939-8666 or visit www.MasqueSound.com.