Personal Mixers Provide Monitor Mixing and Communications System for Show's Orchestra

LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 27, 2009 — The 81st Academy Awards moved away from the format style of recent years, its producers opting for a more classic Hollywood approach by adding a Big Band feel. Because the show's host, Hugh Jackman, performed in numerous musical numbers and much of the focus centered around music, communications between the broadcast crew, Musical Director Michael Giacchino, orchestra members, and the audio crew from ATK Audiotek was essential. Aviom's Pro16® monitor mixing system was at the hub of the communication and monitoring setup, helping make each number a showstopper.

"This year's orchestra setup was different than in years past so it called for a slightly different monitoring and communications configuration," says Andres Arango, staff engineer for Audiotek, a leading sound reinforcement provider for the professional audio and broadcast industry. "To achieve the look and feel of a Big Band from the '40s, the orchestra was situated on two risers on opposite sides of the stage. As a result, our monitor mixer, Michael Cooper, had to ensure that each riser was connected to the other as well as to the monitor console. Since the Aviom system is so flexible in how it can be set up, we were able to configure it so that each riser had its own A-16D A-Net® Distributor to bring audio stems to each location from the mixing console."

Each band member was fed audio stems from the music director as well as program elements from a live broadcast truck that was covering the event for the major networks. An on-air mix was also included so Giacchino could hear what the performance sounded like as well as communicate with the show's director, Roger Goodman. The Aviom Personal Mixers allowed Giacchino and his band members to select which stems they would like to hear, helping to keep everyone on cue.

In addition to the Aviom gear, Giacchino used a Studio Technologies Model 233 Announcer's Console as the main intercom interface for the ceremony. The Announcer Console's output was fed into the Aviom Pro16 system along with mix stems from the main console for the band's monitor system. Each riser had its own A-16D A-Net Distributor, which provides eight parallel outputs so that each instrument section had an Aviom A-16II Personal Mixer, which was able to drive wireless connections through Tweecomm OB-1 headset boxes that offered level control and a headset connection. The two A-16Ds were connected to each other via Cat-5 cable and run to the console.

"Though Audiotek has used Aviom's system as part of its monitoring and communications setup for many of the larger events we handle, this was the first time that Michael Cooper used the system," Arango continues. "After having much success with it on the Academy Awards, he said he would want to use it from here on out for all future projects such as these."

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.