ATK Audio boosts subwoofer complement for hip-hop halftime show

Audio will be neatly networked and distributed to more destinations

Super Bowl LVI, which takes place this Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., will mark an inflection point in the spectacular halftime of the event. It will be the first time that all of the performers are hip-hop artists, reflecting the shift that has taken place over the past decade as the genre dominates sales, charts and popular music culture. The headliners – Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar – will make up what halftime sponsor Pepsi says “could be the best 12 minutes of musical entertainment the world has ever had. views”. The event may be culturally significant, but it also has implications for the sound and live audio of the event.

In addition to the 14 custom wheeled carts loaded with six JBL VTX A12 speakers and two VTX S28 subs per cart that have been used for special halftime performances for the past two decades, there will be four more carts with four VTX S28 subwoofers each, plus four more carts carrying two 30-inch Powersoft M-Force. pilots each – all deployed in an elliptical array on the ground. With the room system’s 44 VTX 28s installed, SoFi is preparing to literally rumble.

The first Super Bowl hip-hop halftime show calls for a sub-heavy sound.

“We use a good part of the house system to reach the upper decks,” notes Kirk Powell, System Design Engineer, ATK Audiotek, which designed both the halftime cart system and SoFi’s installed audio system. “It’s a JBL VLA, and we also use all of the VLA subs in that system. Yeah, hip-hop means sub-heavy.

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A late addition to the lineup of Super Bowl halftime entertainment brings another dimension to its sound. According to Detroit Free Press, deaf rapper Sean Forbes will perform alongside Eminem, Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. This will be the first time the Super Bowl halftime show will feature ASL performers. Forbes and fellow deaf rapper Warren (WaWa) Snipe will perform the headliners’ music in sign language.

Networked at home and across the street

The field sound system will also be better interconnected than in previous years. It will deploy RedNet interfaces to the Powersoft K10 and X4 amplifier arsenal feeding the field sound system, using the dark fiber that was part of the original system installation, the audio elements of which were installed by ATK. This audio is also being more widely distributed this year, with the halftime field mix also being distributed to the Spanish Radio and Auxiliary Press endpoints.

“[Media destinations] that we haven’t fed normally in the past have been asking for things this year,” says Powell. “This year, we are relying more than ever on the fiber infrastructure of the installed system, instead of using our own cables just for the event. I participated in the commissioning of the system, so I know the stadium like the back of my hand.

Also new this year is that the audio of the halftime music will be sent across the street, via fiber, to the new NFL headquarters in Inglewood, from where the mix will be sent. to the NBC Sports truck in the broadcast compound. Music A1 Tom Holmes will be mixing the show on an SSL console from NFL studios.

Live sound mixing at the venue for halftime, opening ceremonies and the Lombardi ceremony will be done by Super Bowl veterans Alex Guessard for the front of the house and Tom Pessa on the monitors. Each will run on two DiGiCo SD5 consoles operating in mirror mode, with the second console as failover backup and close monitoring on JBL VRX 928 nearfield monitors.

“Because of the style of music, the sub is so important,” says Powell. “The rest – the vocals and everything else is like mixing any other artist. But, with hip-hop, you have to rise above all the bass. That’s the big difference .

“This should have happened a long time ago,” Dr. Dre told a news conference. “Hip-hop is the biggest genre of music on the planet right now, so it’s crazy that it’s taken all this time for us to be recognized. I think we’re going to keep going and put on a fantastic show, and we’re going to make it so big that they won’t be able to deny us in the future.

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