New York, NY (August 9, 2006)–Manhattan’s Smash Studios hosted an open call and auditions in mid-July for bands and solo artists hoping to appear on NBC’s new StarTomorrow interactive talent competition. The facility turned over one of its large showcase rooms to the production, miking up the steady succession of aspiring stars with the studio’s own collection of Sennheiser evolution series microphones, as well as three Neumann KMS 105 wired vocal mics brought in especially for the event.
Clay Sheff, owner of Smash Studios, NYC, chose a variety of Sennheiser and Neumann mics for NBC’s “StarTomorrow” auditions.”The Neumann KMS 105s were being used as a live mic to the PA, but at the same time we were sending a split signal to a Pro Tools rig,” explained Smash Studios owner, Clay Sheff. “That was then sent to the cameras.” The high-end Neumann handheld condenser vocal microphones insured that the best possible audio quality was heard during the live performance and was also being sent to the recorder for eventual broadcast and webcast. “They were hugely successful,” said Sheff of the KMS 105 microphones.
“We ended up using a couple of Sennheiser evolution e935 vocal mics, also,” continued Sheff. In fact, he said, in addition to a large diaphragm Neumann U 87 for room ambience, “We miked nearly everything with Sennheiser mics including e609s on all the guitar amps.”
Following a nationwide audition process to select the initial one hundred or so artists, StarTomorrow launched with a one-hour NBC prime time TV special on July 31. The series then moves to NBC.com, where 14-time Grammy-winning producer and songwriter David Foster, with the help of online voters, will chose who moves on to the next round. For the second half of the 16-week series, artists will be evaluated on their covers of pop favorites and, increasingly as the series progresses, original material.
The Smash Studios recording/rehearsal complex hosted the New York auditions for nearly a week, according to Sheff. “They were here for five days. They did an open call, with people waiting on the street, which they also filmed. The showcase room was made up as a set and they used many of our other rooms for interviews with the bands before and after they performed.”
Sheff’s 10,000 square-foot facility, located in Chelsea, comprises over a dozen showcase and rehearsal rooms, plus an extensive Pro Tools|HD-equipped recording facility.