Rotterdam, Holland (December 12, 2016)—Rotterdam’s Ahoy was the site for this year’s annual MTV European Music Awards, and once again, Britannia Row Productions supplied audio services, marking its 20th year doing so.
Project Manager, Lez Dwight explains the set up: “This year we had three stages side by side, straddling the Ahoy at 40 degrees playing to two thirds of a full house. It was an overwhelmingly L-Acoustics K2 rig with four main hangs. We used Kara for a few fills and flew most of the KS28 subs; in fact, we only had four of the subs on the floor.
“For control, we had two DiGiCo SD5s at FOH, along with an SD10 for the presenters and two SD7s on stage for monitors. Two acts bought their own consoles as they had complex internal patch set-ups and they were integrated into our overall patch and splits system. Our team included Colin Pink who coordinated the essential ‘live to broadcast’ interface, while Dee Miller headed up the live sound team.”
Dwight noted that One Republic’s stage gag posed a unique challenge to the audio team: “The stage design meant they performed in what you might term a monsoon—yes, really, tons of water raining on the performers!”
This was not done without some careful planning by One Republic’s engineer, Zito: “Because it was a water gag, there were some specific challenges that we had to overcome. We knew that the performance would be vocal to track, but it was important to the band that the vocal was 100 percent live. I worked with Telefunken in advance to order some M80 capsules for this performance that would withstand the water. We weighed the options between going hardwired and the potential shock hazards it presented and going wireless and risking the extra electronics.
“In the end, we opted for hardwired and iso transformers in line to prevent any accidental deployment of phantom power to the mic and potential shock to the artist. When we went into the dress rehearsals, the very first time the water hit the capsule, it completely failed! The show producers did sort of freak out! The folks from Brit Row [TV Sound Interface Colin Pink drawing on his theatrical sound experience, to be specific] stepped right in with a solution: cellophane cling film inside the windscreen. I was very skeptical, but it worked. We expected the top end to be dull, but that wasn’t the case. We did however lose low end from the extra phasing, which we compensated for with EQ. The trick worked and the performance was a great success.”
Britannia Row Productions Ltd