Shure supports 45th Annual CMA Awards

November 9, 2011

Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN

Having been down in Nashville for 10 years now, it is always great to be able to attend this awards show.  It’s a reunion for both a lot of our Nashville contacts but also some of our East and West Coast based contacts as well.  I get to hang with Michael Abbott, one of the Audio Producers for this and many other TV shows and  J. Mark King, who does the production mix for the Academy of Country Music Awards also comes out to do this show.  There’s Steve Anderson, who swaps out the input boxes between each act as well as the engineers from Music Mix Mobile (John Harris, Jay Vicari and Joel Singer) who mix the music for the show.  The Nashville crews and the crews from each coast all dig in together to get over 20 performances on the air.  Once the show is on, it’s amazing to watch it all happen.  Even though most of this crew has been doing shows like this for years, they are always looking for ways to improve and present the best show for millions of viewers.

The same goes for Shure!

This year, Shure would play an even bigger role as we have a new series of personal monitor systems to present to artists.  The PSM1000 was about to make its appearance on this show for the first time.  Was I nervous? Not at all.  The system has been out there for a while now and been tested in some high profile settings.  Monitor engineer Jason Spence had just used it 3 weeks ago with Alabama and it passed with flying colors.  The system was ready and so were we!   Jason had been speaking with Shure about wanting to use this system on this show for months.  He told Mike Parker, also a monitor engineer for this and many other shows, that he planned to have units there.  Mike, also a beta tester, would not settle for anything less on his side as well.  When all was said and done, ATK Audiotek out of California shipped 14 channels for this show as well as sending a rack of systems out for the Latin Grammies that same week!

Are you as excited as we are??  Seeing our packs labeled up for use with names like Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, and Ms. Piggy is pretty exciting.

Jason commented on how beneficial it was for them to be able to adjust the output power of the transmitters so they could reach an artist clear across the arena, providing them with dropout free signal.  That is very important to an artist who is performing in front of a live audience and in turn to millions watching at home.  If their signal cuts out, it can be a real mood killer for an artist in the heat of the moment.  Having those 2 antenna’s on the beltpack makes an amazing difference!

As far as artists on this show, we are always delighted when the list of performers comes in and we see a great representation of Shure Artists.  Like Martina McBride who performed her new single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” on a wired SM58 and Luke Bryan, who worked the stage with his custom chromed UR2/SM58 wireless on “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”    We also saw a great Glen Campbell Tribute perfomed by endorsers Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, joined by Keith Urban – all on Shure wireless. Both Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins requested Shure to use on their performances!

New to the Shure family is The Band Perry, who performed on custom painted Super 55’s and went on to pick up 3 CMA Awards that night!   Sara Evans sang her most recent big hit “Stronger” on a UR2/Sm58. Taking home the coveted Entertainer of the Year award that night was Taylor Swift who sang on a UR2/Beta 58A.

Endorser Luke Bryan also co-hosted the red carpet with Ellen before the show.  His FOH engineer, Pete Healey, came by earlier that day to see if we could find him a Shure wired mic that Luke could use for that broacast.  We found an Sm58 and thanks to Pete, another TV spot!

During the show, I ran into many artists, engineers, and managers backstage.  It’s always a great time to catch up with them as they are usually out on the road or busy releasing a new record.  I was waiting  around backstage each time The Band Perry picked up an award to congratulate them.  I also talked with Rascal Flatts drummer and endorser Jim Riley, who was getting set to travel up to Indianapolis for the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) to do a drum clinic later in the week.  I would be traveling in the same direction right after this show.

After the awards show concluded, I went up to Jason Spense’s monitor “world” and talked with him and his techs about how the show went.  Thumbs UP all around.  One tech even commented that they received no complaints about dropouts or bad mixes, which he mentioned was very unusual for this show.   That brought a big smile to my face!

A BIG THANK YOU to Mike Abbott, Jason Spence, Mike Parker, J. Mark King, John Harris, Jay Vicari, Joel Singer, Steve Anderson, and so many more for an amazing job.  Thank you to the artists who continue to rely on Shure every night they step on stage.  Most of all, thank YOU for spending your time on our blog site and reading this blog.  Send it along to a friend !

Take care and keep coming back for more!  (If you want more RIGHT NOW, here’s our press release on the show and the amazing PSM1000 system.)

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Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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