All In The Family: Shure Audio Products Play Key Roles In ABC’s Live Performance Of Norman Lear’s Classic TV Sitcoms

June 13, 2019

CHICAGO, June 13, 2019—"Those were the days.”

The line from the iconic song that opened ABC’s live version of Norman Lear’s top 1970s sitcoms, “All in the Family” and its spin-off “The Jeffersons” harkened back to how shows were produced more than 40 years ago. However, the live rendition of TV shows originally broadcast in 1975 used some of the newest technology available in broadcast audio today.

Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear, producers of the special, opened the broadcast to viewers nationwide using Shure’s newest performance microphone, TwinPlex.

“I was offered the job to be the production mixer for ‘Live in Front of a Studio Audience’ only a few weeks before it was to air live and, even though elated at the opportunity, I also knew I had some challenges to overcome,” said Paul Wittman, production mixer for the Kimmel and Lear portions of the ABC special. “I made the choice early on to use both Shure TwinPlex lavalier microphones and Shure Axient® Digital for the very clean, dynamic sound and also for absolute reliability.”

Kimmel and Lear, along with Jennifer Hudson, who performed a rousing live version of the “The Jeffersons” theme song “Movin’ On Up,” were on Axient Digital, the Shure wireless solution for some of the biggest events in broadcast -- major award shows, halftime performances, music festivals, and Broadway productions. Kimmel and Lear were outfitted with TwinPlex lavalier mics.

“TwinPlex is a very natural sounding mic to me,” he said. “It has a rich warmth to it that doesn’t sound muddy and doesn’t require much equalization no matter where it is located on the actor. I knew that I would only get one chance to hear both Jimmy and Norman, and that would be at dress rehearsal, so I didn’t have time to mess around to find a solution, I had to know it would work no matter where the mic was pinned. Jimmy and Norman couldn’t have more different sounding voices and, as I suspected, I didn’t need to make many adjustments to make them sound how I would like.”

TwinPlex, the Company’s new line of premium subminiature (5 mm) omnidirectional lavalier and headset microphones, provides natural audio at high and low frequency when professional vocal performance is a must. The new patent-pending capsule technology offers best-in-class sound in an easy-to-conceal package, ideal for quick costume changes or discreetly placed under wardrobe with no impact on sound quality. Developed with input from leading audio professionals, TwinPlex supports the diverse needs of theater, broadcast, film and television, and corporate presentations to produce high-quality audio production with superior dependability.

“As Shure has been in developing audio products for 94 years, we love to see how classics of the past are reintroduced to new audiences,” said Neil Shah, Global Marketing Director at Shure. “We’re proud that our products were chosen to be part of this fantastic evening with such great performers and producers.”

The wireless systems for the Kimmel and Lear portions were provided by ATK, with Andres Arango handling monitors and Ian Gutierrez as the RF tech.