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OSA and SES Give Assist to “Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular” with Yamaha and NEXO Audio Support

BUENA PARK, Calif.—With joint production support from Special Event Services (SES) and On Stage Audio (OSA), "Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular" (Harpo Productions) aired May 23 and 24 bringing together some of the biggest names in movies, music and television in the one-time-only gathering to celebrate the 25-year legacy of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

As part of audio system, SES and OSA provided two 96-input Yamaha PM1Ds (cascaded together for 200+ inputs), an M7CL-32 digital console, DME64N digital mix engine, and MSP101 reference monitors. Monitor world consisted of dual 96-input Yamaha PM1Ds, seven NEXO NXAMP 4x4s, and 12 of the new NEXO 45 N-12 line monitors.

“The Yamaha PM1Ds at both FOH and Monitors were chosen by Harpo's mixers due mostly to familiarity with the control surface,” states Jim Risgin, OSA Vice President.

“In conjunction with our Audio Director, JR Chappell, FOH mixers Jimmy Ostrom and Scott Ragsdale, and Monitor Engineers Brad Galvin and Ian Kuhn, we all decided early on that the Yamaha PM1D platform was by far the best choice for this event,” states Gerry Formicola, Audio Production Manager, Harpo Studios. “Its ultimate reliability and versatility allowed for us to make changes on the fly as the ‘oh by the ways’ came up in our tremendously tight time frame from load in to load out.” Harpo Productions also has a Yamaha PM1D installed in their primary studio.

Risgin said the Yamaha M7CL was used as an on-line backup console fed with splits on all production mics, and full mixes from the broadcast trucks. “We took advantage of the MY card platform implementing Rocknet MY141 cards for all signals to and from the M7CL,” says Risgin. The Rocknet 100 series stage racks fed all inputs, and all the outputs were routed to the Yamaha DME64N matrix device (“chosen for its rock solid design and ability to take multiple sources via its MY slots” Risgin added) through the same MY141 cards. The DME64 was outfitted with MY16AES cards to receive all signals for the main PA and then used as the system processing for all PA zones. These zones were fed out of the DME via Rocknet keeping all signals native to Rocket for the long haul up to the catwalks for distribution. All consoles, DME and Rocknet were fed Master Word Clock from an Apogee Big Ben, keeping all signals synchronized. The DME was the matrix for combining all signals and allowing redundant console operation.

Harpo’s audio production team chose NEXO 45 N-12 line monitors for two reasons: audio quality and sensible industrial design. “Yamaha District Manager Mike Eiseman had been talking to me about the 45 N-12s for months,” says Formicola. “When this event came up, it seemed a natural fit to take advantage of its low profile for television as well as the exceptional sound of the units.”

Risgin said he found the NEXO wedges stable and more than able to handle all the requests from the various artists using them during show taping. They were able to scale coverage by adding more segments without making significant tonal changes, and not having to chase EQ's regardless of the quantity of cabinets deployed at any position. Some of the guests that appeared on the broadcast and received the added benefit of the new NEXO line monitors included Rascal Flatts, Kristin Chenoweth, Rosie O’Donnell, Dr. Phil McGraw, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Nate Berkus, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Josh Groban, Jackie Evancho, Jamie Foxx and Stevie Wonder.

The United Center, which hosts over 200 events per year and is home to the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls, welcomed 13,000 “OPRAH” fans for the taping.


About Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc.:

Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. (YCAS) provides a full line of integrated professional audio products offering complete systems solutions for the broadcast, sound reinforcement/installed sound, touring, commercial recording, and post production markets. With the addition of NEXO to the product line, the company remains the official U.S. and Canadian distributor for all NEXO speaker models. YCAS offers comprehensive in-house and field product training for its customers, a dedicated dealer network, and 24/7 technical support.