Mixing music at MTV Awards


From an audio production perspective
MTV Networks’ Remote Unit 8
mobile recording truck was at the heart
of the recent MTV Video Music
Awards (VMA) ceremony held in Los
Angeles. Remote Unit 8 is equipped
with two Lawo mc²66 digital
productions consoles. Handling the
main music mix on the show, the larger
of the two desks has 48 main faders
plus eight additional faders for the
master section and is stocked with 8 DSP
cards in the system’s core. Additionally,
the console is setup for use with Lawo’s
plug-in server.

Designed as a dedicated environment
for VST-type audio processing plug-ins,
the server facilitates seamless integration
with the mc²66 while providing greater
flexibility in the use and routing of
processed signals, all while freeing the
host recording platform from the system
overhead typically associated with
numerous plug-in processors.

Remote Unit 8’s second mc²66 console
is configured with 16 main faders plus 8
additional faders plus 3 DSP cards in the
system’s core. On this year’s VMAs, the
smaller of the two consoles was used to
mix the house band and whatever other
live music was used going in and out of

MTV audio engineers Marc Repp and
Browning McCollum, along with Jay
Vicari and Paul Sandweiss, mixed this
year’s event.

Said Repp: “The Lawo mc²66 is,
without a doubt, one of the most intuitive,
user friendly mixing consoles available
anywhere. This makes it easy for guest
engineers, like Paul Sandweiss, to get up
to speed quickly.’

In addition to its intuitive operation,
the mc²66 console’s snapshot automation
is a huge feature that was used extensively
during the VMA Awards.

Repp continued: “We took one to two
snapshots for each and every musical act
on the show. This made it very quick and
easy to recall the right mix settings for
every change of act. Everything was
recorded to multitrack, which for us,
involves two 144 channel Pro Tools
systems, one for redundancy. When you
take the ease of operation, the snapshot
automation, and Lawo’s AMBIT
processing power, you have an unbeatable

Lawo’s AMBIT upmix tool is a new
DSP module available on surround
channels. It features algorithms such as
Lawo’s auto centering function, a special
front processing algorithm designed to
achieve a stable front image, and Lawo’s
rear processing.

SCREENAFRICA Print Magazine – October 2011 (view here)


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