US: There was no denying the remarkable variety of audio technology in use on inauguration day, writes David Davies. As previously reported on PSN-e, numerous manufacturers’ equipment was deployed at events during the long electoral campaign, but now the full extent of the pro-audio technology employed on inauguration day has become clear.
Audio production for the ceremony – which took place at the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. on January 20th – was handled by Baltimore-based Maryland Sound Industries (MSI). Harman Pro equipment played a vital role in proceedings. With management from the HiQnet System Architect software, the principal loudspeaker system paired Crown Audio I-Tech amplifiers with JBL Professional VerTec VT4889 large-format line array speakers. Each loudspeaker tower featured up to 14 VT4889 speakers, while other JBL units – specifically VP315DPs, VRX932s and Control 25AVs – were also used during the ceremony.
“President Obama’s speech and swearing-in ceremony were watched and heard around the globe, and at Harman we are very proud to have helped bring that experience to the millions attending the event in Washington D.C.,” commented Harman International’s chairman and ceo, Dinesh C. Paliwal.
Other key elements of the inauguration ceremony audio configuration included a pair of Yamaha PM5D consoles, OPTOCORE digital fiber-based network technology and, at the all-important podium, Shure SM57s mounted with the VIP Dual Microphone Kit.
Dennis Harburn, managing director of Shure Distribution UK, tells PSN-e: “Having our SM microphones used at such an important and historic event is a fantastic achievement and one we are very proud of. We have a long history of supplying audio equipment for high-profile events, and it’s not the first time a US president has stood in front of an SM model. Over 80 years ago Shure mics were used during the national conventions, and the SM57 was used 40 years ago in the 1968 Democratic National Convention. We’re very proud of our heritage and it’s a real boost to see it continue with President Obama’s inauguration.”
Shure mics were also very much in evidence at one of the many events that preceded the inauguration. ‘We Are One: The Obama Inauguration Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial’ featured performers including Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder and U2. Audio systems were provided by Clair Global and included 16 channels of Shure UR4D systems using various combinations of bodypack and handheld transmitters, many of which sported SM58 capsules. Clair Brothers i5 and i3 enclosures were specified for the main PA and delay towers, while a Yamaha PM1D provided control.