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Shure Dominates CMA Awards

NILES, Ill., November 11, 2013— Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena was host to the 2013 CMA Awards, known as “country music’s biggest night,” with a live ABC telecast and a venue packed with fans.


For the sixth straight year, artists Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley co-hosted the awards, which honored both youth and experience, with a three-hour string of hit songs and unusual collaborations.


Staging a live televised event like this requires the best equipment, expertise, and experience. With the show’s fast pace and multiple stages, most vocal mics and in-ear monitor systems were wireless, provided by ATK Audiotek.


Using an artist-friendly approach, performers were free to use their preferred brand of products. According to Ryan Smith with Shure Artist Relations, that resulted in significant use of Shure UR Series Wireless Microphone Systems throughout the evening.


Shure’s premium condenser microphone, the KSM9, was used in performances by Vocal Group award winner Little Big Town, The Band Perry, and Keith Urban.


The classic SM58® capsule was selected by Brad Paisley, opening act Luke Bryan, New Artist winner Kacey Musgraves, double winner Florida Georgia Line (Best Duo, Single of the Year), as well as Rascal Flatts and Hunter Hayes.


During the performance of Pinnacle Award winner Taylor Swift, the all-star band behind her included country legends Alison Krauss (SM58) and Vince Gill (UR2/KSM9). “I can always count on the sound quality of Shure. Having so many artists choose the KSM9 capsule was refreshing. It made my life much easier at front of house,” reports FOH engineer Rick Shimer.


Throughout the show, most artists wore their own custom earphones for monitoring, with the PSM® 1000 wireless system handling all in-ear wireless duties.


One major test of Shure wireless reliability was the collaboration by Hunter Hayes (U2/SM58) and Jason Mraz (U2/SM86), which started in the dressing rooms backstage and moved all the way through the audience and up to the main stage, all with flawless audio.


Florida Georgia Line 111213

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 06: Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line perform onstage during the 47th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 6, 2013 in Nashville, United States. (Photo by Larry Busacca/WireImage)


Again acting as RF coordinator for the event was James Stoffo, Chief Technology Officer of Radio Active Designs. “With 20 channels of UHF-R® and 20 channels of PSM 1000 in use on this show, I continue to be pleased with the RF stability of Shure products.


The ability to infrared sync artists’ custom transmitters on the spot was easy. Throughout several performances on satellite stages, plus Hunter Hayes and Jason Mraz walking the hallways, our Shure systems remained solid.”


Head audio producer for the show was Tom Davis, with Paul Sandweiss of Hollywood-based Sound Design Corporation taking the role of audio coordinator.


The broadcast production mixes were handled by Mark King. Remote audio facilities were provided by the Music Mix Mobile (M3) truck, with Jay Vicari and John Harris swapping music mixes.


Little Big Town 111213

NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 06: Little Big Town perform onstage during the 47th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 6, 2013 in Nashville, United States. (Photo by Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images)


Inside the arena, Rick Shimer of Blackhawk Audio (White House, TN) performed the music mixes, with Pat Baltzell covering the production mix. Monitor mixing was another team event, with veterans Tom Pesa and Jason Spence manning the consoles.


With an array of challenging production requirements and unique collaborations that included a tribute to the legendary George Jones and a lifetime achievement award to Kenny Rogers, the 2013 CMA Awards telecast was a huge technical challenge that was met and mastered by the best musical and technical talent that country music has to offer.


“It was a special evening. Everything sounded great, and it was very gratifying to see Shure products once again playing such a prominent role,” says Shure’s Nashville-based artist relations manager, Ryan Smith. “Shure congratulates all the nominees and winners, with special thanks to the sound engineers and techs who help make it all happen.”


Visit Shure’s official website.







About the author

Tim Hemingway

I want to be a rockstar when I grow up, at least that is what I have been putting down as my career goal ever since I was first introduced to the Beatles at 11 or 12 years old. Shortly after my introduction to the Fab Four, I picked up an old classical guitar and started learning every Beatles song I could. It was right around that time that the nickname "GuitarGuy" Tim originated. While I don't remember the exact origin, it was basically how kids at school differentiated me from the other 4 or 5 Tims in our class. Starting in Jr. High, with an arsenal of Weezer and Green Day covers, my friends and I began "performing". Over the next 10 years I played guitar or bass in various alternative, punk and acoustic bands. Somewhere mid-way through college I realized that although I had the desire to be a rockstar, maybe I didn't have the songwriting abilities, so I moved my passion for music behind the console. I then spent several years working in a studio by day, and at night running everything from local concerts to community musicals. Without all of the boring details, my studio work eventually led me into advertising and marketing which is what I now do during the day. But when I come home at night, I still pull out my guitar and put on concerts for my kiddos (I’m raising up the next generation of Guitar Gods). I met up with the Rev while I was in grad school and was working on my thesis: Turn it up to Eleven: A Study of Guitar Hero and Rockband gamers. Why they play and how marketers can use this information. Yes, it is true. I have several academic publications about Guitar Hero. At that time in my life I had decided to pursue a career in marketing within the music industry, but the Rev had a better idea. He gave me a shot at reviewing gear, and ever since then I have been a regular here as part of the Live2playNetwork dysfunctional-family. When it comes to music, I'm a jack of all trades. While I'm not an expert at anything, in a pinch I can play guitar, bass, drums, sing, or I can mic up the drum kit, edit in Pro Tools, or solder up a new patch cable.

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