NILES, Ill., June 13, 2013—When Country Music Television’s (CMT) Awards Show was broadcast live on Wednesday, June 5, there was little doubt as to the preferred equipment supplier to country music’s top performers. From the rocking opening number by Lenny Kravitz to the rap-flavored finale by Florida-Georgia Line assisted by Nelly, microphones, wireless microphone systems, and in-ear monitors from Shure dominated the stage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.
The primary audio equipment supplier for the event was Clair Global, with wireless frequency coordination by Jeff Briggette. Performances by Shure endorsers Little Big Town, Hunter Hayes, Luke Bryan, and Florida-Georgia Line all featured SM58® capsules atop Shure UR2 handheld transmitters, while Randy Houser and Lenny Kravitz each went with hardwired 58s. The evening’s house band, The Mavericks, also featured SM58 vocals. Performances by Cassadee Pope, last season’s winner of The Voice competition on NBC, and Kree Harrison from American Idol, both sang on wired SM58s for their performances. Singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves, on the other hand, opted for the KSM9 capsule on a UR2 transmitter.
Audio producer Tom Davis shared music mixing duties with Stan “Quack” Dacus, while production mixer Mark King handled the broadcast mix. Fans inside Bridgestone Arena heard the house mix provided by Rick Shimer of Blackhawk Audio, all veterans of this event. Davis is a big fan of using Shure wireless in high-pressure situations like the CMT Awards. “With 13 music performances, basically back-to-back on live TV, there’s no room for error,” says Davis. “Between microphones, in-ear systems, and intercom, we were running well over 150 RF channels, and the Shure UHF-R wireless mics and PSM®1000 in-ears gave us flawless RF and great sound.”
The wireless in-ear monitoring systems for all guest artists were Shure PSM 1000, which have proven to be very popular in the touring community due to their combination of diversity reception, reliability, and outstanding sound quality. Jason Spence, President of Nashville’s J Sound Services, handled the monitor mixes for all guest artists and reports that everything went very smoothly, despite the challenges inherent in working with interference sources like LED video walls. Country mixing veteran Bob Bussiere handled monitors for The Mavericks.
Spence notes, "With the number of RF channels in use on an award show like the CMT Awards, combined with the challenges of LED interference, the RF environment can be quite hostile to say the least. The Shure PSM 1000 has given me the ability to provide a great sounding wireless in-ear monitor system to the performers with the added peace of mind of uninterrupted RF performance."
Shure microphones were similarly dominant in instrument applications, with the classic SM57 seeing duty on snare drums and guitar amplifiers. The Beta98AMP/C miniature mic was seen on many toms, with the Beta 52A in kick drums, while the KSM137 saw duty on hi-hats, and KSM32s captured overhead cymbals.
“It was great to see so many artists opting for Shure at the CMT Awards, and what was interesting was that most of the requests were for the SM58, both wired and wireless,” says Shure’s Ryan Smith, Regional Manager, Artist Relations/Nashville, who was in attendance. "Artists and engineers are still so comfortable with the SM58 sound that it continues to be the first choice for vocals. There's a reason it's a classic."