Skip to main content

Inside Look at the Mics Used by Jon Batiste, Bruno Mars, Lil Nas X, María Becerra, and J Balvin at the Grammys

64th Annual GRAMMY Awards
(Left to right) Lil Nas X, Jon Batiste, María Becerra and J Balvin, and Bruno Mars of Silk Sonic perform onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Image credit: Top L/R: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy; Top L/R: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

On Sunday, April 3, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards (opens in new tab) show was broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Behind any live broadcast, the highest quality audio is paramount. But a broadcast that honors the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals represented by The Recording Academy (opens in new tab) on Grammys night—the audio needs to be flawless. 

As in years prior, the majority of the night’s performances featured Shure (opens in new tab) Axient Digital wireless microphones used by the industry’s most iconic names and innovative artists, including Jon Batiste, winner of Album of the Year.

Kicking Off with a Bang

: Bruno Mars of Silk Sonic performs onstage during the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Bruno Mars of Silk Sonic performs onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards. (Image credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The evening kicked off with a foot stomping performance from Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak of Silk Sonic. The retro soul-funk artists relied on Shure wireless microphones as they performed their hit, “777.” Later that evening, Silk Sonic won four Grammys. Behind the scenes, Chris Rabold, FOH mixer for Silk Sonic, was overseeing their performance with the support of Shure Axient Digital. 

“Having Bruno and Anderson and the whole Silk Sonic gang on Axient Digital for not only the Grammys, but for their Las Vegas residency is just such a no brainer,” Rabold said. “There are things you do, decisions you make, from a live audio perspective that are done out of preference and then there are the things you do because it’s simply the smart move. For us, Axient is the latter of the two. It’s the most stable, most reliable, best supported and, most importantly, best sounding option available. Period, bottom line. And it has been for a while. Bruno, specifically, is too smart, too aware and too involved of an artist for us to use anything less than the very best. I mean that.”

[ Inside Scoop on Snoop Dogg's Gold-Plated Microphone During Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show (opens in new tab) ]

Audio Production

María Becerra and J Balvin perform onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

María Becerra and J Balvin perform onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.   (Image credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The live broadcast of the 64th Grammy Awards show was overseen by audio producer, Michael Abbott and his longtime team of accomplished audio engineers and sound technicians. “Our team knows we can depend on Shure gear to capture the high-quality sound of the Grammy Awards,” Abbott said. “Shure consistently provides a reliable frequency coordination solution for in-ear monitors and wireless microphones for the artists performing on the broadcast.”

[ Shure Adds ADX5D Portable Receiver to Axient Digital Wireless Line (opens in new tab) ]

Jon Batiste performs onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

Jon Batiste performs onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards  (Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Jon Batiste, who performed on Sunday evening and won five of his 11 Grammy nominations, relied on a Shure BETA 58 (opens in new tab) wireless microphone for his performance of “Freedom.” J Balvin and Maria Becerra’s “Qué Más Pues?” was delivered on a Shure BETA 58 and KSM8 (opens in new tab) wireless microphone, respectively. Lil Nas X performed with a Shure KSM9HS (opens in new tab) alongside Jack Harlow, who was using an SM58 wireless microphone (opens in new tab), to absolutely crush a live routine of their collaboration, “Industry Baby.”

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of his record God’s Son, the rapper and songwriter Nas received a standing ovation during the show after delivering a montage of his career hits via an SM58 wireless mic. Brothers Osborne, who claimed the award for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, both sang into Shure BETA 58’s for the performance of their hit, “Dead Man’s Curve,” to close out the award show. 

Lil Nas X performs onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

All these performances relied on the clarity and flexibility of Shure Axient Digital Wireless (opens in new tab). Key supplier ATK Audiotek made this possible by providing the sound system design and implementation for the show. Overall, the Grammys relied on 28 channels of Shure Axient Digital. The production handheld microphones were all Shure KSM9 (opens in new tab)’s and the lavalier microphones were Shure TwinPlex TL47 (opens in new tab). Nearly every performance the entire evening depended on the Shure PSM 1000 in-ear monitoring system (opens in new tab), totaling 34 channels. Notably, 250 Shure hand-wired microphones were orchestrated throughout the event on the many instruments that graced the Grammy stage. Shure Beta 181’s were used to mic the piano throughout the show. “Once again, the Beta 181’s provided perfect piano sound for our needs,” said Ron Reeves, FOH.

Shure Axient Digital Wireless

Shure Axient Digital Wireless (Image credit: Shure)

Given the sheer amount of wireless used throughout the show, frequency coordination was pivotal to creating a seamless production for those in-person and tuning in from home. Managing the frequencies was Soundtronic’s RF Coordinator, Steve Vaughn. “For another year, Shure Axient Digital and Wireless Workbench (opens in new tab) have proven the most reliable, quality solution at the Grammys for managing and maximizing every frequency in a completely saturated RF spectrum in Las Vegas,” said Vaughn. “This level of dependability is exactly what we have come to expect from our Shure gear.”

Even in the busy RF environment of Las Vegas, Shure brought flawless wireless audio solutions to the professionals overseeing the entire broadcast. Shure Artist and Entertainment Relations Specialist, Jenn Liang-Chaboud remarked, “Each year, Shure is proud to have our gear play an important role in helping cutting-edge artists bring their music to the world at the Grammy Awards. Congratulations to all the musicians, engineers, and technicians involved.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.