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EAW and ESS Coordinate White House Event

EAW and ESS Coordinate White House Event

Whitinsville, MA--On Thursday, February 24, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked Black History Month at the White House with a celebration of Motown music.

  • Setup for the latest concert for the “In Performance at the White House” series in the East Room of the White House. The event was a celebration of Motown commemorating Black History Month. Chris Anderson of Anderson Audio selected EAW NTL720 Self-Powered Line Array modules and other EAW products for the event’s live sound reinforcement.
  • The Motown event is the latest in the music series, “In Performance at the White House.” Performers included Smokey Robinson, Sheryl Crow, Seal and John Legend, among others, and several Motown legends were in attendance. The event will be broadcast on PBS on Tuesday, March 1, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
  • The event took place in the East Room at the White House, and Chris Anderson, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Anderson Audio, was asked to spec the project.
  • Anderson looked to EAW, who recommended their NTL720 Self-Powered Line Array System and NTS250 Large Format Flyable Subwoofer. Anderson Audio assembled arrays of NTL720’s, four per side, with four NTS250’s, two per side, in the front of the room. Other EAW products used included JF60z Compact Full-Range Loudspeakers for front fills and NT29 Self-Powered Full-Range Loudspeakers for out fills.
  • “I needed low profile, high output boxes with a wide horizontal dispersion pattern, and EAW provided a solution," said Anderson. "There are many challenges involved in an event like this—we are shooting a TV show, and the sound system has to be effective in translating the energy and excitement of the show while not getting into any of the camera shots. Frequency response must be smooth and accurate to not interfere with the broadcast mix audio.”
  • East Shore Sound was contacted in the early planning phase of the production to coordinate the house audio and RF systems for the show.
  • "We have worked on several events at the White House over the last decade," said Bill Saltzer of ESS. "The East Room is not your typical performance venue. The room is only 40' x 80' and there is no offstage space to house the traditional amount of equipment that goes into making a one hour TV show. The stage is only 14'x32', so with 8 musicians on stage, space is at a premium. Adding to the complexity of the logistics, since the event is being shot for television broadcast, it is not feasible to have a monitor engineer on the side of the stage where he can easily communicate with the musicians. Also, since there will be a separate recording and broadcast mix, controlling the ambient sound from the monitor mix becomes even more critical."
  • “By all accounts, the system performed very well," Anderson said. "I received many compliments about the audio for this show in particular. From the smiles we got from my staff when we hung the NTL720s in our shop, to the finale of the Motown show, with the VIP audience on their feet singing and clapping, our decision to go with EAW’s for this event was confirmed as a good one. These excellent tools from EAW allowed us to deliver at one of the most high-profile events around.”