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RF Venue CP Beam Antennas Fly during 2015 CMA Music Festival

Seven of RF Venue's CP Beam antennas on trussing flown above LP Field's main stage.

This year's four-day CMA Music Festival, hosted by Little Big Town, shattered attendance records and featured country music's biggest stars across 11 stages including Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and many others. The awards were held in July, and are set to broadcast on ABC Tuesday, August 4th. The premier venue, Tennessee Titan's LP Field, which hosted 28 star-studded acts during nightly concerts, used ten RF Venue collapsible CP Beam helical antennas for all performance audio and monitoring.

Jason Glass, principle at Clean Wireless Audio, which provides radio frequency engineering solutions for national and international production audio clients, provided RF design and coordination.

Clean Wireless Audio worked alongside veteran touring sound provider Sound Image, which supplied sound reinforcement design, L-Acoustics line arrays, and services. Sound Image's team included front-of-house mixer Roz Jones, monitor engineer James Burr, crew chief Dan Shipp, audio patching and broadcast liaison Billy Szocska, and account manager Bill Cracknell. The Country Music Association, with Tom Davis as audio supervisor and broadcast mixer, recorded the LP Field shows for broadcast. CP Communications was subcontracted for communications, with Tim Kepner as coordinator.

"This is my third year doing the LP Field show," says Glass. "The lighting rig that encompasses the stage is a veritable faraday cage. We deploy a number of antennas up in the trussing. This configuration is designed to give the best possible line-of-sight link between the performers on stage and the antennas."

Glass and Sound Image wanted to give guest artists the ability to use their own wireless equipment, but also recognized the positions of monitor world and front-of-house were less than ideal for reception. Each act would have struggled with their own antenna placement.

Seven CP Beams were above the main stage, and three more in front of the B stage, with each act patching in as required for maximum reliability. RF Venue CP Beams provide high-gain and dropout protection using circular polarization in a durable, folding enclosure, which allowed a far higher number of helical antennas to be used and stored in a much smaller space.

Additional wireless equipment deployed for the remote antenna rig included Sennheiser ASA-3000 Active Antenna Splitters, Mini-Circuits passive splitters, Belden 19913 and Times Microwave LMR-400 cable. The monitoring kit included Shure PSM-1000s and PA821A combiners. Microphones were a mix of Shure UHF-Rs and Sennheiser 3272s.

RF Venue designs a number of antennas besides the CP Beam, which are engineered to be compatible with and improve the performance of all brands of wireless audio microphones and in-ear monitors.

"Jason brought the CP Beam to our attention during the planning phase, and suggested we try it," says Cracknell, account manager for the CMA Fest. "For touring acts, where you have to move stuff around and pack stuff up, the folding CP Beam is much better than other helicals because it takes up less space and is less prone to damage. Jason was very impressed -- and he's not easily impressed."

Visit Clean Wireless Audio at: www.cleanwirelessaudio.com

Learn more about Sound Image at: www.sound-image.com



(3 August 2015)

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