New York, NY (February 28, 2014)—Super Bowl XLVIII welcomed over 82,000 fans to the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, with a performance by Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers for the halftime show.
For both FOH and monitors, two DiGiCo SD5 desks were brought in by audio vendor ATK Audiotek, while a Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitter coupled with an MD 5235 dynamic microphone capsule was provided to capture Mars’ vocals.
The SD5 used for the FOH mix was positioned at one end of the Met Life Stadium. The monitor SD5 console, meanwhile, was located in field-level suites underneath the stage, which was built into one side of the stadium. Between them, the DiGiCo SD5s filled the stadium with live sound pumped through 66 JBL VerTec VT4889 speakers and 32 VerTec VT4880A subwoofers.
Patrick Baltzell, sound designer and FOH mixer for the halftime show, mixed the live show for the stadium audience with the SD5 FOH console connected to a Mini-SD Rack, which held all of the I/Os for the live and recorded elements of the show, as well as for several key pieces of outboard processing, including four Empirical Labs Distressors used on vocals, an isotope ANR-B adaptive real-time noise reduction hardware unit, a Dolby CAT-430 dialog processor and a Lexicon PCM 96 digital reverb. However, the rest of the processing used for the live sound for the entire show was from the SD5 console alone, including all of the EQ, compression and gating for all of the performers and instruments.
ATK Audiotek's DiGiCo SD5 console used to mix FOH for Super Bowl XLVIII's halftime performance by Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers (Photo By: Dave Rat)
"Anything that was outboard was something very specific for the show, like the Distressors, which Bruno likes because they give vocals a real vintage R&B edge," Baltzell explains. "But everything else was just the SD5, which made managing the mix much easier."
Working alongside ATK Audiotek, Bruno Mars’ production team—including monitor engineer James Berry and front-of-house engineer Derek Brener—specified Sennheiser SKM 5200 handheld transmitters and MD 5235 capsules for each of the three vocalists on stage, including Mars. In addition, all of Mars’ performers were equipped with Sennheiser 2000 Series wireless monitoring systems. “It was rock solid perfection, just as we expected,” says Berry. “Everything just worked, and we had no problems.”