To accommodate a plethora of bands and solo artists hoping to appear on NBC's new "StarTomorrow" interactive talent competition, Smash Studios turned over one of its large showcase rooms to the production for nearly a full week in mid-July. The steady succession of aspiring stars were miked with the studio's own collection of Sennheiser evolution microphones, as well as three Neumann KMS 105 condenser vocal mics brought in especially for the event.
The high-end Neumann mics ensured that the best possible audio quality was heard during the live performance. In addition, a split signal was sent to a ProTools rig for eventual broadcast and Web cast. Studio owner Clay Sheff said that a large-diaphragm Neumann U87 was used to capture room ambience, while Sennheiser mics were used for virtually everything else.
"StarTomorrow" launched with a one-hour NBC prime-time TV special on July 31, and now moves to NBC.com, where Grammy-winning producer and songwriter David Foster, with the help of online voters, will choose who moves on to the next round. For the second half of the 16-week series, artists will be evaluated on their covers of pop favorites and, increasingly as the series progresses, original material.
The Smash Studios recording/rehearsal complex, a 10,000sq ft facility in Manhattan’s Chelsea district, boasts a client list that includes David Bowie, Kanye West and Lou Reed, along with soundtrack releases for a number of TV and motion picture releases.