Hollywood, CA (May 5, 2008)–Production sound company ATK Audiotek of Valencia, CA supplied an audio network for American Idol based on Aviom’s A-16II Personal Mixer. The new setup allows for communication between the house band MD Rickey Minor, the show director and the mixing engineer, as well as cues to the band.
This year, American Idol has a brand new, larger, multi-level set and, for the first time, Minor, also the bass player, is separated from the other musicians in a second-story balcony across from the band, making a communication network even more vital to the production. ATK Audiotek’s previous system, no longer manufactured or supported, began having technical difficulties, so the company drew on its experiences in designing audio networks for large venues hosting high-profile events.
“This system had long worked for us for events such as the Grammys and the Oscars,” says ATK Audiotek staff engineer Andres Arango. “Using control boxes and headsets, it creates a perfect communication network for large orchestras as well as for a band such as the one in American Idol. We knew we had to make it work, and the Aviom mixers made it possible. It also has the added benefit of allowing the musicians to have increased control over their own audio monitor levels, including the verbal cues.”
The system is arranged into two individual zones–one for the band and one for the drummer–to which Minor and the director can speak using Clear-Com Party-line AB-100 and Studio Technologies 233 announcer consoles as the main interfaces. The band zone is equipped with an Aviom A-16R rack mountable mixer controlled by the monitor engineer while the drummer uses a standalone Aviom A-16II mixer, which he can control himself. Tweecomm OB-1 headset box with headphones are powered by Clear-Com’s PS-464, a four-channel intercom power supply that features fail-safe design.
“The players have embraced the mixer and are enjoying the increased control it offers,” Arango says.