Pro audio’s role in Obama’s success20 January 2009
US: Equipment from Telex/Bosch and Harman Pro has been deployed on the long road to the White House, writes David Davies. Barack Obama – soon to inherit the most intimidatingly overburdened in-tray in the world – will officially become the 44th President of the United States during a ceremony to be held at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. later today (January 20th).
Notable campaign events staged along Obama’s epic journey to Washington included the Stand For Change rally at Arizona’s Phoenix Veterans Memorial Stadium. The JBL VerTec audio system specified by locally-based On Cue Systems comprised a left-right arrangement of 12 VT4889 full-size line array elements per side, accompanied by a grand total of 20 VT4880 full-size arrayable subwoofers per side. Additional VT4889 elements were specified for two outfill side hangs – six per side.
Meanwhile, another campaign event – staged at the Bangor Auditorium in Maine – saw Obama making use of an MIPRO wireless microphone system. Event sound contractor Bronson Audio Visual & Event Services deployed two MIPRO ACT-707HM PLL synthesised handheld transmitters in conjunction with a pair of MIPRO ACT-707D dual-channel receivers.
Key suppliers for the Presidential Debates that peppered the election campaign included HME, which was designated exclusive wireless intercom and onsite paging solutions provider. Three HME DMX200 professional digital audio systems and approximately 24 belt-pacs facilitated multi-channel communication between campaign and event staff. Separate intercom systems were configured for the Democratic and Republican Party management crews, as well for the debate producer, enabling her/her to talk to either stage management group without its opposite number hearing the conversation.
More recently, the sound system for Obama’s acceptance speech at Chicago’s Grant Park in November (pictured) was provided by CLAIR Chicago and featured an Electro-Voice X-Line PA and Midas mixing consoles. Two main hangs of 12 X-Line line array loudspeakers provided the main output, augmented with one delay hang of eight Xvls. Two further arrays of four Xvls were used as screen hangs, 12 ground-stacked Xsubs provided low-end support, and eight X-Array boxes covered stage fill and delays. EV Xw12 floor monitors and P3000 amplifiers were also part of the system.
Console-wise, CLAIR specified a Midas Heritage 3000 for FOH and a Midas Venice 320 to monitor each of the 700-plus returning press feeds. Each console worked alongside Klark Teknik DN3600 EQs, while CLAIR also used two Midas XL42 preamps beneath the podium to split feeds to FOH, the press system and broadcaster ABC-TV.
“Everyone was extremely happy with the performance of the EV and Midas systems,” commented Ian Hunt, director of event management for CLAIR Chicago. “We got great feedback from everyone – from the people who monitored the television side of the rally to people who were out there in the field; they all thought the sound was excellent. It was a great show. And, because of the nature of the event, it was an inspiring show to actually attend. The sound, the speech, the crowd – it was a truly memorable night.”