Springfield, MO (December 2, 2003)–SLS International Inc. recently announced that the NBC Today Show has selected and is utilizing multiple SLS RLA Line Array and Professional Series loudspeakers for its primary system for the ongoing concert series which is performed outside the NBC Studios located in Rockefeller Center. The selection of the speakers represents another high-profile installation for the company as it prepares for a national marketing launch early next year.
After first auditioning the highly acclaimed and innovative SLS LS8695 Compact Line Array at the 2002 AES Convention in Los Angeles, Paul Bevan, front-of-house audio engineer for the Today Show, approached SLS with his intention of implementing a similar yet larger system for the nationally broadcast show.
Bevan, a former tour manager and engineer for Queen and The Eurythmics, has mixed the Today Show Concert Series for over eight years and has engineered audio for such NBC guests as Elton John, REM, and Paul Simon, as well as the seasonal Rockefeller Center tree lighting.
“It’s guerrilla mixing out here,” said Bevan. “Get it done well, and get it done quickly. You have to realize that due to the nature and location of our show, we have to begin setting up on the street at 1 a.m., do a line check by 5 a.m. and be ready to sound check by 5:30.”
According to Bevan, he can get a pretty good sound out of almost any system, provided he has plenty of time for repetitive adjusting and fine tuning. However, the big attraction of the SLS gear is the lack of preparation needed to achieve such great results. “The focus is always on the vocals,” he noted. “Unintelligible vocals are by far the chief complaint that is presented to an audio engineer. The SLS ribbon drivers are not only amazingly clear but offer a nice warmth not heard in other speakers.”
Bevan also contended that due to the extremely wide coverage of the SLS LS8695’s he is able to place the enclosures further away from the camera and sight lines, thereby achieving sound system transparency, a primary goal of the Today Show production crew.
“We use the line arrays for coverage from the stage to the audience,” Bevan explained. “The multiple 115RTs are placed above the foyer as fills and the T3Rs for long throws down through Rockefeller Plaza and 49th Street. I mix without headphones and depend solely on the foyer-mounted 115RTs for all my levels and equalization, while remaining in constant communication with the broadcast engineers who are receiving my mix in the studio for television broadcast. My challenge exists in providing a concert level experience out on the street, while not allowing the high energy to travel back through the microphones, thereby degrading the broadcast. The coverage of the SLS speakers allows just that.”
The 3 hour NBC Today Show airs daily to over four million viewers and will feature such artists as The Dixie Chicks, Enrique Eglasis, Chicago, and Brooks and Dunn in the coming weeks.
SLS International, Inc.