iHeartRadio Music Awards returns with JBL
Friday, 27 August 2021
iheart-radio-gettyimages-2021The 2021 ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
USA - ATK Audiotek recently deployed a JBL Professional sound reinforcement system at the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards, one of the first indoor live awards shows of the year.
Now in its eighth year, the iHeartRadio Music Awards honours popular artists across 41 categories, ranging from Song of the Year to the Icon Award. The 2021 ceremony, which was hosted by Usher, was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles in front of a crowd of 1,500. Performers included The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Dan + Shay, Silk Sonic, Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato, H.E.R., Doja Cat and Usher.
With content ranging from acceptance speeches to high-energy musical performances, the event demanded a sound system with excellent dynamic range. And, with only the venue’s main floor and first of three balconies open, the event required a more focused sound system than a full-capacity show. To meet these challenges, ATK Audiotek deployed a JBL Professional line array system consisting of VTX A12 loudspeakers and S28 subwoofers.
“Our shows go from quiet dialogue on a podium mic to a loud rock band at 115 dB, so we need the whole dynamic range to be pristine and clear,” said Jeff Peterson, Front of House Engineer, ATK Audiotek. “That's something that the JBL products have done well for us.”
ATK Audiotek deployed a line array system consisting of 16 JBL VTX A12 loudspeakers in clusters of eight on each side.
“The A12 rigs fast and weighs less than a comparable 4889 or something powered, so we're usually able to hang more in the same space where we would be limited with something heavier,” said Peterson. “The sound quality is pretty top-notch; they’re transparent and pleasant to mix on.”
To supplement the line arrays with powerful low-frequency reinforcement, ATK Audiotek deployed four JBL VTX S28 subwoofers in clusters of two per side. With two 18-inch Differential Drive woofers, the VTX S28 delivers extended low-frequency performance with high peak-to-peak excursion for powerful output with low distortion.
Additionally, ATK Audiotek used AKG C414 large-diaphragm condenser microphones as drum kit overhead mics on stage.
The 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards was ATK Audiotek’s first in-person show in an indoor venue since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“I think that was actually the first real indoor audience, elbow to elbow,” said Kirk Powell, PA designer and system tech, ATK Audiotek. “There was a lot of energy in the room because the performers were really enjoying being in front of a crowd and the fans were really enjoying being in front of the performers. At times, Jeff had to goose it a little bit to get over the crowd, which is normal, but it's been so long since we've had to do that.”

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