“The challenges with awards shows increase significantly compared to normal live music shows,” said Raphael "Raphie" Alkins, FOH production mixer, N & N. Audio Inc.
“You not only have all the ergonomic and logistical demands – it must be lightweight, extremely high fidelity, very quiet or very powerful – you also need to make sure that the system sounds the same in every audience seat. When you think you have it all covered, you’re told you’re in a camera shot or blocking a light or LED screen, and it is back to the drawing board to find a compromise.”
“Weight capacity is always an issue at awards shows, since the biggest limitation is always that the show’s producers don’t want to see speakers in the shots, especially for a broadcast with so many visual production elements,” added JC Aguila, Network technical manager, engineering and tech field ops, Telemundo Network.
“Luckily, JBL speakers and especially the VTX Series provide great SPL and an ergonomic banana curve design, which lets us raise the points way high and out of the shots and curve the line array. They’re just so flexible.”
The Latin Billboards team utilised the A12 and smaller VTX A8 line array with 110-degree dispersion, as both speakers share the same high-frequency drivers, a newly redesigned Radiation Boundary Integrator and streamlined rigging system among other features.
When used together, both line arrays provided the frequency range and dynamics needed for the many genres of music performed on the night, as well as the precise coverage and clarity required for presenters speaking at podiums or from the audience, all while staying out of the camera’s view.
“The JBL A-12 system is just an awesome sounding PA that requires little to none as far as tweaking,” said Alkins. “The intelligibility was just outstanding and it sounded so rich and so full. Being able to go from a host at a podium to a live performance, and then back to the podium while keeping vocal intelligibility is not always easy to achieve, but the A12 system makes it all so seamless.
“As for the A8, when I demoed it at a convention, I asked the guy, ‘Could you turn the sub off so I could hear the speaker by itself?’ He said, ‘There's no sub.’ I was blown away that this tiny box could produce so much low frequency and still keep the intelligibility. I didn’t even think you needed a sub with the A8.”