Washington, DC (March 1, 2011)—The Obamas were on-hand for a performance of Motown music taped for the series, In Performance at the White House, which airs tonight on PBS. EAW loudspeakers were used for the event.
On Thursday, February 24, 2011, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked Black History Month at the White House with a celebration of Motown music. The event took place in the East Room at the White House, and Chris Anderson, of Harrisburg, PA-based Anderson Audio, was asked to spec the project.
The Motown event is the latest in the music series, In Performance at the White House. Performers included Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, Seal and John Legend, among others, and several Motown legends were in attendance. The event will be broadcast on PBS tonight (Tuesday, March 1, 2011) at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. The night was also streamed live on whitehouse.gov and pbs.org, and will air to service members around the world on March 11 via the American Forces Network.
Anderson stated, “The East Room is approximately 80 feet by 40 feet, and all the speakers need to hang from trusses ringing the room at about 16-18 feet. The room has some sound issues, and to complicate things even further, there are three huge crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.”
Anderson looked to EAW, who recommended an NTL720 self-powered line array system and NTS250 large format flyable subwoofer. Anderson Audio assembled arrays of NTL720s, four per side, with four NTS250s, two per side, in the front of the room. Other EAW products used included JF60z compact full-range loudspeakers for front fills and NT29 self-powered full-range loudspeakers for out fills.
Anderson noted, “I needed low profile, high output boxes with a wide horizontal dispersion pattern, and EAW provided a solution. There are many challenges involved in an event like this – we are shooting a TV show, and the sound system has to be effective in translating the energy and excitement of the show while not getting into any of the camera shots. Frequency response must be smooth and accurate to not interfere with the broadcast mix audio.”
He continued, “By all accounts, the system performed very well. I received many compliments about the audio for this show in particular. From the smiles we got from my staff when we hung the NTL720s in our shop, to the finale of the Motown show, with the VIP audience on their feet singing and clapping, our decision to go with EAWs for this event was confirmed as a good one. These excellent tools from EAW allowed us to deliver at one of the most high-profile events around.”