Shure Wireless at the 68th Tony Awards
Monday, 23 June 2014
Shure Wireless at the 68th Tony AwardsHost Hugh Jackman onstage during the 68th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall
USA - The CBS broadcast of the 2014 Tony Awards, which aired 8 June, was one of the most complex in the event's history. From host Hugh Jackman's sprawling, bouncing, opening number to the on-stage gathering of all winners for a closing rendition of On Broadway viewers were treated to a fast-paced production that included a record 17 musical acts and a live orchestra in Radio City Music Hall.

Managing RF system design and frequency coordination for Firehouse Productions was Vinny Siniscal. "With so much real estate to cover, so many frequencies to manage and so many live bands, I specified Shure UHF-R systems again this year," he states. "When I'm doing a live network broadcast, that's my preference. Even though the product has been around ten years or so, I know there's nothing else out there that I trust to be robust enough to survive in such a crowded RF environment."

This year's production used almost 250 channels of wireless, 64 of which were for microphones. In addition, all eight channels of in-ear monitors on the Tony stage were Shure PSM 1000 systems. The production also used wireless intercom systems, effects cues, and ENG cameras - most notably the Steadicam following Jackman from the red carpet to the stage on the opening number. "Producers design these shows assuming that whatever wireless is required can be accommodated," notes Siniscal. "If that means more channels in less available spectrum, then so be it. It's our job to make it happen."

All but eight of the wireless mics were Shure UHF-R-the only exceptions were a handful of costumes with other transmitters already sewn inside. Most of the 56 Shure channels were bodypacks, including 32 UR1M micro-packs. Twelve channels were UR2 handheld transmitters, with an SM58 capsule for Hugh Jackman and Beta 58 elements for most other artists, including Carole King, LL Cool J, and Sting's choir. "Firehouse provided full combo systems, and, of course, we had all Shure capsules available," says Siniscal. "At the Tony Awards, you have to be ready for anything."

(Jim Evans)


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