This year’s Canadian Country Music Awards once again marked a celebration of the very best talent in the genre at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario.
A two-hour, star-studded CBC broadcast of the CCMA seen by an audience of nearly three-quarters of a million viewers capped off a busy day that included a Gala Dinner Awards and the All-Star Band Awards and Jam Session.
P.A. Plus Productions was in charge of audio production for the event. Asked about the particular challenges they faced during this live broadcast, Monitor Engineer Adrian Sterling replies, “With 14 bands on a one-band stage, we had very short change over times between sets and one set of gear had to be acceptable to all of the different bands.”
With that in mind, the choice of stage monitors was critical. Explaining why P.A. Plus uses Martin Audio, Adrian points out, “The Martin wedge is very smooth and has a surprisingly high output for such a low profile box. At only 46 lbs., the LE1200S was the ideal choice for a show consisting of that many band performances on one stage.
“As it turned out, everybody was pleased with the Martin Audio wedges,” Adrian adds. “They consistently cut through in an environment where you have the PA unusually close to the stage with a lot of low frequencies coming off the back of the system.
“Their low visual profile also kept our producers and the bands happy. It was especially important where the ability to have a Steadicam or dolly operator in front of the stage easily shoot up over the monitors is a really big deal. And, sonically, we had more than enough headroom for all the different acts on the bill.”
P.A. Plus came up with a space-efficient monitoring setup combining a Yamaha PM5D and DSP5D to contend with the large number of acts without taking up too much space.
As Adrian describes it, “We’d use 48 channels for one band, then switch to 48 for the next band. So we had one control surface because we had less space due to all of the television equipment and even though the stage was wider than most rock shows, we were pushed to the sides.”
In addition to Adrian, the P.A. Plus crew for the CCMA included System Tech John Lacina, RF Engineer John Sulek and PA System Tech Neal McDonald.
Asked how their client felt about the monitors’ performance at the event, Adrian adds, “the staff at CCMA was most definitely happy.”
Expanding on Martin Audio monitors, P.A. Plus Systems Engineer Mark Radu concludes, “I’ve always been a big fan of Martin Audio. When we were looking for monitors, we evaluated everything and they were the clear winner. It was the perfect opportunity for us to get on board with them.
“They’re just better in terms of the sound, aesthetics and performance of the box. And the horn is asymmetrical so you can move further back from the box and you’re still in the path of the horn, which is a big advantage. It’s like they sent a gun to a knife fight.”