Presidential Sound At Debates

The presidential and vice-presidential debates, which take place in the run-up to the US presidential election, have given a selection of sound equipment a chance to shine. The presidential debates took place at the University of Denver on 4 October, Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on 16 October, and Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida on 22 October. The vice presidential debate took place on 11 October at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. The PA system for each event remained consistent across the different locations, with JBL VRX932LA portable line arrays arranged in clusters of two each in left-centre-right configurations, with two additional delay fills of two VRX932LA loudspeakers each. Crown I-Tech 4x3500HD amplifiers powered the system, with processing handled by a dbx SC32.

Larry Estrin, of Best Audio in Studio City, California, who serves as Audio and Production Communications Director for the Commission on Presidential Debates, chose Audio-Technica microphones for each of the four debates in the series. Products used included A-Ts 5000 Series wireless with AEW-T5400a condenser handheld transmitters and AEW-R5200 receivers for President Obama and Governor Romney, which allowed the candidates to freely roam while answering questions. Moderator Candy Crowley used an AT898cW subminiature cardioid condenser lavalier microphone with AEW-T1000a body packs – doubled for redundancy. Audience members asking questions of the candidates were given AE6100 hypercardioid dynamic handheld wired microphones connected to Audio-Technica’s AT-MX351a SmartMixer five-channel mixers.

Integrated communications solutions for co-ordinating the production elements within the venues were provided by Clear-Com, with an Eclipse Median digital matrix and HelixNet Partyline intercom systems in use, as well as the Tempest 2400 digital wireless intercom with the new Seamless Roaming feature.