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Sixth Annual MOBO Awards A Sound Success

This star-studded occasion with performances from R. Kelly, Mis-Teeq, Usher, Beverly Knight and Dionne Warwick, sounded great thanks to the work of Britannia Row and Telex/EVI.

Sixth Annual MOBO Awards A Sound Success

Jan 10, 2002 12:00 PM

The sixth annual Music of Black Origin Awards were hosted by RadioOne’s Trevor Nelson and R&B songstress, Kelis, at the London Arena.Britannia Row was the sound contractor, who decided to take the unusualstep of trialing a new system at the event. With the help ofTelex/EVI’s Bob Doyle and Paul Barretta from UK EV distributorShuttlesound, Brit Row put Electro-Voice’s new line array system,X-Line through its paces on its first major UK gig. Other equipment inthe system included two Heritage 3000s, each on both FOH and monitors;untouched graphics from BSS, and system processing from Klark Teknikwith teh new DN9848.

Sound designer and FOH engineer, Derrick Sieba, who has vastexperience of such events (having worked on teh Brits for the last ninyears, as well as teh MOBOs) confessesed to a certain reticence whenplans to use X-Line were announced. “I’ve used line array systemsbefore, and although I thought it was wonderful for classical work interms of ease of use and that hi-fi audio quality, in my opinion, itwas not appropriate for rock and roll [because] it was imossible to getthe necessary level and punch out of the bottom end. And here we areproposing to use a line array system for the MOBOs? You can’t get muchmore seriously demanding bottom end than that!”

However, after a series of conversations with Britrow’s Bryan Grand,who had been running X-Line on a number of large Radio One events overthe summer, and who assured Zieba that the system was man enough forthe job, Zieba allowed himself to be persuaded to use X-Line for theMOBOs.

As it turned out, Zieba’s fears were calmed. The system provided acoverage level that was virtually even from front to back; and the basswas “as good as anything I’ve ever heard,” said Zieba. X-Line proved tohave a smooth frequence response across the entire range.

The podium mics, though sometimes a trouble area with awards shows,were a hit, too. “It’s always a problem on awards shows of thisnature,” Zieba explained, “With the best will in the world, thosepresenting the awards are rarely professional speakers. And, let’s faceit, with everything else that’s going on, plus a healthy dose ofnerves, mic technique is usually the last thing on their minds! So weoften have problems with both level and occasionally feedback, butX-Line gave us so much level we could both equal the hosts’ handheldsand project right to the back of the room with no problem at all.”

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