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Fergie and Jack Harlow perform onstage at the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center in August in Newark, NJ. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global)

Shure Out In Force At 2022 MTV Video Music Awards

Firehouse Productions deploys a host of Shure microphones joined by Axient Digital Wireless technology, the Wireless Workbench platform for monitoring and management, and more.

The 2022 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in late August, broadcast live from Prudential Center in Newark, saw Red Hook, NY-based Firehouse Productions deploy a host of Shure microphones joined by the company’s Axient Digital Wireless technology, the Wireless Workbench platform for monitoring and management, and more.

“The VMA’s is a large, fast-moving show. The audio team is continuously adapting to changing creative decisions. Wireless Workbench is a critical tool in us being able to deploy a system this large, quickly,” says Firehouse audio coordinator Mark Dittmar. “The amazing sound quality of Axient and PSM make them the industry standard that they are. Our wireless team, led by Cameron Stuckey, did an incredible job again.”

The production included 12 of the new Shure KSM11 cardioid condenser microphone capsules. “The KSM11’s off-axis rejection and excellent vocal presentation simplify the mixing process by eliminating the need for excessive processing, allowing me to focus on capturing the performance,” states Mark King, broadcast production mixer at the MTV Video Music Awards. “Paired with Axient Digital wireless, the audio clarity is incredible.”

A customized gold version of the KSM11 was center stage capturing the sound of Brendon Urie, frontman of Panic! At the Disco, during the band’s performance of “Don’t Let the Lights Go Out.” Rappers Nicki Minaj, LL Cool J, and Jack Harlow emceed the show, with Harlow teaming up with Fergie to co-perform a medley of “First Class” and “Glamorous.” Both artists employed Shure BETA 58A wireless microphones, while Fergie employed a jewel-covered version of the mic.

Overall, Firehouse employed 52 channels of Axient Digital and 8 channels UHF-R dedicated to the North and South stages. BlackPink’s choreographed dance performance of “Pink Venom” required two BETA 54 headworn vocal microphones and four UR1 bodypack transmitters, while J Balvin and Ryan Castro’s live collab of “Nivel De Perreo” was performed with a KSM9 and BETA 58A mic capsule, respectively. Conan Gray’s performance of the single “Disaster” was delivered on a BETA 58A and Lauren Spencer sang into a KSM9.

Each of these artists, also including Lizzo, Khlalid, and Kane Brown, were using Shure AD2 wireless microphone transmitters. Further, every artist on-stage was outfitted with Shure PSM 1000 in-ear personal monitoring systems, and overall, the VMA’s leveraged 34 channels of PSM 1000 with 120 bodypacks in use throughout the show.

Firehouse Productions

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