Superstar III Television Series Takes Center Stage with JBL

FOH Staff • International News • February 13, 2008

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA Demonstrating the far-reaching, worldwide adoption of JBL VerTec line arrays for high-profile staging events, Amex Audio recently provided the live sound reinforcement system for the televised broadcast of “Superstar III.” The third season of Slovakia’s popular live music television series, the show is similar in format to “American Idol” in the United States.

“Superstar” features many of Slovakia’s emerging entertainers and aspiring pop stars. The performances for “Superstar III” were televised live from the 4,500-seat Incheba Expo Arena in Bratislava, Slovakia. In addition to the competing performers, the production featured a full-live band on stage, with one segment including a 40-piece symphony orchestra. Amex Audio deployed a JBL VerTec line array system that included 28 VT4889 full-size line array elements for the main clusters, supplemented by four VT4887 compact line array elements used for in-fill coverage.

Supporting subwoofer arrays powered by Crown MA-5002VZ power amplifiers. System signal processing was handled with three BSS Omnidrive Loudspeaker Management Systems. Amex Audio’s project started with pre-installation in the Incheba Expo Arena on Oct. 15. With television lighting brought in for the production, and numerous scenic set pieces to support different acts, very close cooperation was required with the venue's temporary stage builder. The VerTec VT4889 system was set up as three separate arrays, each independently processed and equalized. The center array included four additional VT4889's to cover upper balcony seating areas in the center of the venue due to the building’s architecture. Supporting subwoofers were hidden beneath the audience's seating risers.

"We had one week for setup and fine-tuning the system," noted Ladislav Demcak, president of Amex Audio. "Adjusting the signal delay time between the main clusters and the subwoofer arrays is very important in this venue. Complete synchronization of all elements in the system was especially critical, including stage monitors and special fill speakers for the jury that would be judging the talent. It is only thanks to the predictable coverage and precision directivity of the VT4889 arrays that we could achieve the best possible results for both the studio audience and the talent judges."

Demcak noted that during rehearsals, the audio team played back crowd noise from a CD to help train the aspiring entertainers onstage, so they would have some experience and be ready for the first on-air live performances with a live audience.  

"At the last minute, the show's Chief of Production Jana Lamosova confirmed that tickets were selling out quickly and they needed to expand the seating areas on the sides of the stage to allow maximum space in the left and right audience areas," recalled Demcak. "So, to accommodate this we reconfigured part of the system with only one day before the show was to open. VerTec's simple, flexible suspension system made this process go smoothly."

"All in all this was a very good challenge for our live audio crew," noted Demcak. "The audience was quite excited and therefore, very loud. And though much of the talent on stage included aspiring artists, some of the best players were quite demanding and difficult to accommodate under these conditions. So there really was no room for error, with a live televised production. Everyone involved felt that this turned out to be an excellent show with very good results."

David Scheirman, vice president, Tour Sound for JBL Professional, noted that live-televised concert events require a unique set of advanced system design capabilities and real-time operating skills. "’Superstar III’ is representative of a growing style of entertainment that blends the excitement of live concert performances with the precision scheduling needed for broadcast," he observed. "The team at Amex Audio did an exceptional job of meeting their client's needs in this demanding application."

For information, please visit www.jblpro.com.

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