Firehouse Productions Brings Extensive Riedel Artist Intercom System to MTV Video Music Awards
Firehouse Productions used a substantial deployment of Riedel’s Artist digital matrix intercom systems to provide flexible broadcast-quality communications throughout the MTV Video Music Awards, Aug. 25 in Brooklyn, NY.
“The VMAs are a very fast and dynamic show,” said Mark Dittmar, vice president of design and engineering at Firehouse Productions, the Emmy® Award-winning provider of sound for some of the entertainment industry’s most popular live music and awards shows. “Seven separate shows are put together to create the entire experience, and each of these shows has its own communication needs, as well as the need to communicate with the larger group. These demands make the Artist system, with its inherent usability and flexibility, a perfect choice.”
This year’s VMAs once again brought the industry’s biggest names to the stage, with performers including Drake, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga. The show also featured the latest fashions as stars made their way down the red carpet at the host venue, the Barclays Center. During the show, the complement of Riedel equipment supporting communications included six Artist 64 frames, one Artist 128 frame, two Artist 32 frames, and 44 Artist control panels, along with 50 C3 beltpacks, and 49 BTR-800 beltpack systems.
Firehouse relies on the Artist intercom system, as well as the Riedel RockNet audio network, for nearly every live television show for which it provides sound and communications systems. The Artist digital matrix intercom system is based on a dual optical fiber ring to form a single large full-summing, non-blocking distributed matrix. While the system “feels” like a single unit, it has no limitations in the number of cross-points within or between the different nodes of the system. The Riedel solution allows for rapid setup of a flexible backbone that can be adapted easily to support each show’s unique communications requirements. During the VMAs, the communications crew accessed the Artist’s user-friendly yet powerful Director configuration and control software to make changes instantly, with the simple click of a mouse.
“At Firehouse we have been using the Riedel family of products for years, and they are an integral part of our operations,” added Dittmar. “In our opinion, working with the Artist intercom system is the only way to do a TV show. Its flexibility and reliability are unparalleled.”