An entertainment juggernaut of incomparable size, the Super Bowl has grown considerably from its humble beginnings to America’s most-watched sporting event. To keep pace with the increasing prestige of the pre-game and halftime shows, ATK AudioTek Corp. pulled out the big guns this year and used all-digital consoles for the first time. Frontand center in the technological revolution was a 48-input Innova Son Grand Live, fully recallable, fully digital console.
The Innova Son mixed the FOH entertainment for the fans in attendance, with ATK’s flown JBL VerTec speaker system and its portable, VDOSC on-field cart speaker system delivering the sound. Mariah Carey joined the Boston Pops to perform the National Anthem, and R&B soulstress Mary J. Blige and pop/salsa sensation Marc Anthony sang “America the Beautiful” with the venerable orchestra. Paul McCartney’s “Freedom” in the pre-game show and U2’s songfest during the halftime show were standouts. The Louisiana Superdome’s in-house system handled announcements during the game and music. ATK’s Andrew Waterman hunkered down in the Westwood One truck to roll all of the tracks and mix for FOX and their TV audience. The entire event required a massive amount of preparation and coordination.
Because the Innova Son Grand Live is considerably smaller than its analog forebears and contains almost all of the processing traditionally relegated to rack equipment, ATK consumed a much smaller footprint. “With the Super Bowl, seat-kill is always an issue,” commented Tom Pesa, audio engineer and technician with ATK. Everyone was happy that our footprint was so small, and we have the Innova Son to thank.”
The other items that joined the Innova Son at FOH were a few Lexicon and TC Electronic special effects units (for U2) and a QSControl system for fiber optic remote control of flown QSC amplifiers. In all, the Super Bowl entertainment was a huge success (the game was pretty good, too), and ATK will use digital consoles for these types of evnets from here on out.