From a new studio at Universal Studios Hollywood, Conan O’Brien recently made his debut as the new host of “The Tonight Show” on NBC Television, with Valencia, California-based ATK AudioTek supplying the sound reinforcement system serving the venue, including loudspeakers from several JBL Professional product series.
Jeff Peterson of Green Audio designed the system, which he notes had to be visually unobtrusive. “We designed a system to provide audio that met the standards of both live performance and television broadcast, configured to blend in seamlessly with the set design,” Peterson says.
The main sound system consists of left and right clusters that each contain four JBL VRX932LA-1 compact constant curvature array systems with one VRX918S subwoofer on top. A center cluster features three VRX932LA-1 loudspeakers.
The system is enhanced by a center array of two VERTEC VT4880A full-size arrayable subwoofers, and also includes two delay clusters flown 40 feet downstage from the main system, each containing two VRX932LA-1 loudspeakers.
Peterson’s system design features a unique approach to nearfield sound support, with a JBL Control 23 surface-mount speaker underneath every other audience seat in the theater for dialogue, creating an “under-seat” system of 178 individual speakers.
Each row in the under-seat system is treated as an individual zone for signal-delay purposes, time-aligned to the main PA so they can be used in tandem.
Onstage are 16 JBL SRX712M stage monitors for performers, four VRX915M stage monitors for drums, and two VT4881A compact arrayable subwoofer for the drum monitor system.
Crown I-Tech 4000 amplifiers power the PA system, with high-powered I-Tech 8000’s driving the subwoofers. Crown I-Tech 4000 amplifiers power the stage monitor system.
Signal processing for the entire audio system is accomplished via two BSS Soundweb London BLU 800’s, while the system is networked for remote control and monitoring with Harman HiQnet System Architect software.
Designed to meet the exacting needs of a leading television show while also providing a concert-quality experience for performers and audience alike, the system design and installation has won instant favor on the set. “The system sounds terrific,” Peterson said. “The JBL loudspeakers, from the line arrays to the under-seat models, were easy to install and configure, and provide reliability and consistency in this application.”