Total Production

Over 100 Powersoft K10’s for 43rd Annual American Music Awards

December 2015

At the 43rd annual American Music Awards, held at Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles on November 22nd, amplifier manufacturer Powersoft made its presence known with over 100 K10 DSP+AESOP amplifiers on site.


With approximately 7,000 people in attendance, the programme was broadcast to over 10 million viewers. The show was highlighted with a performance of Hymne à l'amour by Celine Dion, which eulogised victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.


Over 100 Powersoft K10 DSP+AESOP amplifiers, located in racks situated throughout the facility, drove audio for the entire awards show performance. ATK Audiotek, which has been providing audio services for the AMA Awards for 25 years, handled sound services for the event, including equipment specification, set up, FOH and monitor engineering. Sean Prickett, Audio Engineer for ATK Audiotek, commented: "For all the large shows we deploy, we depend on Powersoft for the main PA, monitors and subs."


The AMA Awards is characterised by several musical performances throughout the evening, in addition to th epresentation of awards. For production staff, this means constant changes in both stages and performers. Prickett said: "There is dialogue, but it is standard for us to have to go A Stage to B stage after a [video] right into another performance. It was certainly a case of ‘all hands on deck’ for everyone in the audio department."


In such a high-profile, live broadcast environment, equipment dependability is key: "We have so many amps out there and with Powersoft, I was not concerned about reliability at all."


At a show such as the AMAs, reputation and credibility is always on the line when it comes to delivering audio services. "It is considered one of the top three music shows in the country, so there is a certain amount of prestige when the artists come in and they have certain expectations," Mikael Stewart, VP Special Events, ATK Audiotek, said. "We are doing a lot of show in a relatively short amount of time, so everything has to go in, work right away, and be flexible."


Having done so many shows in the Microsoft Theater, ATK has its audio system 'dialled in'.


"Our system for Microsoft Theater consists primarily of four main hang arrays, four delay arrays, three balcony hung delays as well as under balconies and two different versions of front fills for FOH," explained Prickett. "Typically, for these awards shows, we do a split up distributed drive system, unlike what we might do for typical touring situations."


For the main PA and main delays, ATK specified JBL VerTec 4089 line arrays and 4886 balcony delays, all powered by Powersoft K10’s. Prickett elaborated: "We deploy a distributed system to give us more flexible set up for music and dialogue, and it means we do not have to drive the PA as hard because there are many zones to create a nice even coverage pattern throughout the whole house."


Whether it is for an awards show or a touring installation, preparation is key for ATK. No matter where the performance, the company relies on Powersoft's Armonia software to catalogue and recall key DSP settings so the production team doesn't have to start from scratch when it comes to set up and room-tuning.


Stewart commented: "These venues are very much the same, and the show hasn’t really changed its physical structure over the last five years. We just load the pre-sets from the Armonia software, which gives us a really good starting point so we don’t have to spend hours re-tuning the room."


Prickett added: "We use Powersoft Armonia exclusively for our DSP, and there is no other system controller in front of it. We rely very heavily on this to tune the system, as well as facilitate EQ and level changes. The pre-set capability is a key feature for us, since time is always of the essence in these shows."


The Powersoft K10's have been reported to deliver a range of efficiencies in a range of other areas. Prickett said: "The main reason we use K10 DSP+AESOPs at ATK Audiotek is because they allow us to operate in a reduced physical footprint, which is essential in the rack world when it comes to amplifiers.


"Since each K10 takes up just 1U, we are able to have a spare amplifier at each location without tying up a prohibitive amount of rack space. So in case one of the signals goes away, we have a backup at every single amplifier."


For the AMAs, where every second of live programming counts, the Powersoft K10’s were reported to sustain an efficient level of reliabilitiy. "There were absolutely no issues with any of the 100 amplifiers on our network," concluded Prickett. "Everything went smoothly and without incident: this is the kind of performance we rely on."


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