LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 17, 2009 — The debut of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien was full of firsts, including Max Weinberg and the Tonight Show Band's initial use of Aviom's Pro16® Personal Mixers as the house band's monitor mixing system. Dave Winslow, monitor engineer for the band since 2005, first with Late Night with Conan O'Brien and now with the Tonight Show, is very familiar with the group's needs and how it interfaces with the other elements within the program and the production crew. During the interim, between the wrap of Late Night and Conan O'Brien preparing to take over the hosting duties of the Tonight Show, Winslow worked on another late night talk show where the house band was using Aviom's personal mixing system. Band leader Max Weinberg and the band's musical director and guitar player Jimmy Vivino came over and saw the system in action and agreed with Winslow that it was worth trying out.
"We've been using the Aviom system for the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien band since the debut," explains Winslow. "Having the musicians mix themselves has allowed me to focus more on the production elements and cues. From a monitor engineer's perspective, it's the Holy Grail."
Because the 40-plus inputs of the band couldn't be represented in only 16 stems, Winslow has configured a two-zone Aviom Pro16 system. On one system that is used for the rhythm section there are stereo submixes of horns and vocals. On the other (for the horn players and vocalists), he has individual channels for each horn and vocal. This gives Winslow the flexibility to give the musicians the stems they need to control most.
The setup for the Tonight Show includes two AN-16/i Analog Input Modules to interface the two separate Aviom Pro16 systems to the Yamaha PM1D console. Near the console, eight A-16R Rack-mount Mixers are daisy chained via Aviom's A-Net® digital audio protocol. A custom loom of Cat6 cable fans out to the monitor positions on the bandstand. Each band member has an Aviom A-16CS Control Surface that serves as a remote controller for his A-16R. With the control surface, each band member can customize his mix while playing. At each monitor position, a Rolls PM50 Personal Monitor Amp has been mounted to power the IEM's. Weinberg and Vivino each wear a lavaliere mic, which they operate with a foot switch, to communicate with Winslow and the rest of the band.
Various music sources are being sent to the 32 channels of the two Aviom Pro16 systems running on set. Winslow has also created a stereo submix of production elements and talkback that connect to the stereo aux mix inputs on the rear panels of all eight Aviom A-16R Rack-mount Mixers.
In addition to providing the musicians the ability to personalize their mix, Aviom's personal mixing system also provides Winslow with the ability to ensure that each band member is receiving a good mix. "One thing to keep in mind is that musicians often have no concept of proper gain structure, so I chose the A-16R/A-16CS combination, instead of the simpler A-16IIs, in anticipation of that," Winslow explains. "Having the A-16R rack mounts next to me in monitor world allows me to not only see each performer's mix and levels, but also allows me to take over momentarily to fix any gain structure problems. Having Aviom has made communications on the set, at least with the monitor engineer, less necessary."
Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom's innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested, and manufactured in the USA.