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Axient® Digital Dominates The Stage At 2018 ACM Awards

Telecast technical team again chooses latest Shure RF technology for microphone and in-ear systems

Broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the 2018 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards featured themes of return and remembrance. Host Reba McEntire made her return to the podium after several years away, flashback performance pairings recalled country hits of 25 years ago, and the event returned to Las Vegas just six months after the mass shooting at last year’s Route 91 Harvest Festival.

As always, dick clark productions assembled a superb audio team to deliver the live event to the packed house and the CBS national television audience. ATK Audiotek was the primary supplier of backline and wireless equipment, while Soundtronics provided wireless antenna system design and infrastructure. Wireless for the telecast included 24 channels of Shure Axient® Digital, 10 channels of UHF-R®, and 22 channels of PSM®1000, as the team’s default RF systems for microphones and in-ear monitors.

The broadcast mix featured returning music mix engineers Eric Schilling and Biff Dawes sending live performance mixes to broadcast Production Mixer J. Mark King. Inside the arena, the FOH mix was handled by Jeff Peterson, with Steve Anderson as house announce mixer. On stage, artists received their personal mixes from monitor engineers Mike Parker and Tom Pesa.

Steve Vaughn of Soundtronics handled the role of RF Coordinator in the notoriously difficult Las Vegas environment. As always, artists were encouraged to use their preferred wireless microphones, with many choosing Shure’s new Axient Digital. In-ear mixes were delivered by nearly 100 PSM 1000 bodypacks, with Vaughn using Shure Wireless Workbench® to keep track of it all.

“Axient Digital is a vital tool for the new wireless landscape,” notes Vaughn. “It allowed me to use more systems in a hostile RF environment in conjunction with analog wireless systems. Using my laptop, I was able to monitor and make changes, on the fly, to any of the units connected to Shure’s Wireless Workbench software. Overall, Axient Digital performed at a very high level, in a hostile RF environment, for some of the top country artists in the business.”

Among the notable performances powered by Axient Digital were throwback duets by Reba McEntire—in her original and notorious red dress from 1993—singing “Does He Love You” with Kelly Clarkson, as well as Alan Jackson doing “Chattahoochee” with Jon Pardi. Toby Keith used Axient Digital for his “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” throwback with Blake Shelton. Shure UHF-R systems were selected for Carrie Underwood’s highly anticipated return to the stage, and for Maren Morris’ performance of “Rich.”

But for everyone else, it was a wireless night, with Axient Digital used for live performances by Keith Urban with Julia Michaels, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Dan + Shay, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, Kenny Chesney, Chris Young, Thomas Rhett, and Kane Brown with Lauren Alaina.

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About Shure Incorporated 

Founded in 1925, Shure Incorporated (www.shure.com) is widely acknowledged as the world's leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics. Over the years, the Company has designed and produced many high-quality professional and consumer audio products that have become legendary for performance, reliability, and value. Shure’s diverse product line includes world-class wired microphones, wireless microphone systems, in-ear personal monitoring systems, conferencing and discussion systems, networked audio systems, award-winning earphones and headphones, and top-rated phonograph cartridges. Today, Shure products are the first choice whenever audio performance is a top priority.

Shure Incorporated is headquartered in Niles, Illinois, in the United States. The Company also has regional sales and marketing headquarters in Eppingen, Germany, and Hong Kong, China, with more than 30 additional manufacturing facilities and regional sales offices throughout the Americas, EMEA, and Asia.

About Shure Asia Limited

Shure Asia Limited (www.shure.com/asia)is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shure Incorporated. Established in Hong Kong in 1999, the company’s regional presence is an extension of the head office providing sales, marketing and technical support for its channel partners within the Asia-Pacific region.