Riedel and Firehouse Productions rock the music awards

Firehouse Productions selected an integrated solution of Riedel’s Artist digital intercom matrix and new Performer Digital Partyline (DPL) for use at the firm’s recent run of live broadcast assignments on the music award show circuit.

At the MTV Video Music Awards, the production company was faced with the challenge of coordinating setup for a pre-show performance on the roof of 30 Rockefeller Center, 80 stories up and with no roof access to analog or copper wires. Firehouse used Riedel’s Artist 64 and DPL to provide intercom communications. Using the building’s fiber-optic system, the Riedel system was plugged in on the ground floor and operated without limitation.

The Artist platform is a digital matrix design for intercoms as well as the distribution of analog and digital audio and TCP/IP data signals. The series provides three mainframe sizes with a maximum of 128 ports per frame. As many as 128 matrix mainframes can be connected by dual optical fiber rings to form a single large, full summing, non-blocking distributed matrix. The system is scalable from 8 x 8 to 1024 x 1024 ports, and the maximum distance between nodes is from 1650ft to 12mi, depending on setup. Coax, CAT 5 or fiber connects each control key panel, always providing AES3 broadcast quality audio on the panel. Riedel’s Performer digital party line series is the first integrated digital matrix and party line intercom. Though completely digital, it still maintains all the features found in a traditional analog party line system, including daisy chaining.

Another benefit of the Riedel system is its ease of installation. For the MTV Latin VMAs in Mexico City, Firehouse was able to complete setup in one day on a job that typically requires two days to finish. Rather than having to run substantial amounts of copper wire, Firehouse ran two fiber-optic cables, providing the crew with instant access to inputs and outputs for intercom connectivity. Along with streamlining the installation process, Riedel’s technology provides pristine sound quality, eliminating traditional intercom noise.

Firehouse also used Riedel intercom technology at the Latin Grammy Awards, employing four Artist 64 frames. Similar to the configuration at the Latin VMAs, two fiber-optic cables were run to the front of the house and backstage. The full Riedel setup was completed in about a day and a half, and had the flexibility to incorporate late changes as the needs of the production changed.

For more information, visit www.riedel.net.