A-T mics capture ‘country music’s biggest night’ once again

Audio-Technica supplied more than 150 vocal and instrument microphones for the 49th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards, presented on 4 November at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

The annual presentation is recognised as country music’s biggest night and represents the pinnacle of achievement for those involved in the genre. Broadcast live in 5.1-channel surround sound on the ABC Television Network in the USA, the show featured a selection of Audio-Technica wired microphones, wireless systems and handheld microphone/transmitters. The 2015 event also marked the 22nd year of the brand’s involvement with the Awards.

Audio-Technica’s Artist Elite 5000 Series UHF Wireless System with the AEW-T6100a hypercardioid dynamic handheld microphone/transmitter was used for lead vocals by Jason Aldean; Thomas Rhett, who a performed with Fall Out Boy; Justin Timberlake (pictured), who guested with Chris Stapleton; and Hank Williams Jr., who sang with Eric Church. The 5000 Series wireless was also used by Maddie & Tae, who performed using the AEW-T5400a Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone/Transmitter.

The backline mic complement of Audio-Technica wired microphones included the AT4080 phantom-powered bidirectional ribbon microphone on guitars; AT4050 multi-pattern condenser on overheads; AT4040 cardioid condenser microphone on guitars; AE2500 dual-element cardioid on kick drum; AE5100 cardioid condenser on hi-hat and ride cymbals; ATM650 hypercardioid dynamic on snare; and ATM350 cardioid condenser clip-on microphone and ATM250 hypercardioid dynamic on toms.

The team of industry veterans responsible for the audio at this year’s CMA’s again included a who’s-who of broadcast audio. Serving as co-audio producers were Tom Davis and Paul Sandweiss; ATK/Audiotek provided the sound system with FOH mixers Patrick Baltzell and Rick Shimer; the broadcast music mix was handled by New Jersey/California-based M3’s (Music Mix Mobile’s) John Harris and Jay Vicari; J. Mark King served as broadcast production mixer. Stage monitoring was handled by Tom Pesa and Jason Spence, and James Stoffo served as RF co-ordinator/microphone tech.

“Audio-Technica is a vital supporter of our technical team during the CMA Awards,” stated Davis. “Their artist relations and on-site technical support are both superior. And of course, their wired and wireless mics sound great, and are consistently reliable. Having Audio-Technica in our corner makes our lives a whole lot easier!”

Stoffo echoed Davis’ sentiments: “We love the support we receive from Audio-Technica, and we have never had any problems with interference, drifting or audio quality of their wireless systems. The A-T 5000 series wireless that we have used, not only on this show but others, has been flawless. I’m always happy to see A-T on the show.”