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ClairShowco Handles Sound for CMA Music Festival, Nashville with Yamaha Consoles and DSP5Ds

June, 2008

No longer just a festival, it's now a stadium show and TV special (airing Sept. 8th on ABC).

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For over three decades, it was known as Fan Fair. Held at the Tennessee State Fair Grounds (Nashville), the festival was country music's way of giving back to its fan base, with a four-day celebration of music, autograph sessions and photo opportunities.

The festival held June 5-8 moved from the Fair Grounds to downtown Nashville in 2001 and was officially renamed the CMA Music Festival in 2004. No longer just a festival, it's now a stadium show and TV special (airing Sept. 8th on ABC). With 100 hours of concerts featuring the biggest names in country music as well as up-and-coming acts, the event has grown to attract nearly 200,000 fans from around the world. Simultaneously, the event raises money for "Keep the Music Playing," a music education initiative in local public schools through a partnership with the Nashville Alliance for Public Education. Since 2006, the CMA Music Festival has donated more than $1.1 million to the cause on behalf of the artists who participate in the Festival.

For the past nine years, ClairShowco (Nashville) has supplied sound and production support for the Festival, both for the night-time LP Field (home of the NFL's Nashville Titans) performances and the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages at Riverfront Park, on and directly across the Cumberland River from LP Field. Front of house mixing, as well as monitors, for both venues was dominated by Yamaha consoles: for LP Field FOH, two PM5D-RH's and two PM5000 48-channel analog consoles, plus two PM5D-RH's and two PM1D's for monitors; and for Daytime Stages FOH, two PM5D-RH's and a DM2000, plus two PM5D-RH's for monitors.

Additionally, two Yamaha DSP5D Expanders were on hand to supplement the 48-channel PM5D's for LP Field. A stand-alone rack unit, the DSP5D doubles the mixer's I/O channels to 96 mono and 16 stereo channels. It can reside next to the PM5D or remotely by using an optional digital cabling unit for communication up to 120 meters away over standard Cat-5 cable.

"Engineers are so familiar with the PM5D," says ClairShowco Account Manager, Robert "Koz" Kosloskie, "that it's now become the logical choice for both FOH and monitors. For guest engineers who may not be that familiar with the console, we're there to support them. And we also have the [Yamaha] analog consoles going as well."

Space for three additional guest consoles at the FOH position, plus one more spot on the grass just off the front of the platform, allowed for a total of nine FOH consoles. Many of the guest consoles turning up for the show were also Yamahas, as well as belonging to ClairShowco clients: Carrie Underwood brought in her own PM1D to accommodate the nearly 100 inputs her act requires; Rascal Flats brought their PM1D; Sugarland used their PM5D and DSP5D Expander; Little Big House brought their PM5D; and Alan Jackson brought his own 5D with a PM5000 for monitors. Clair i-4 line arrays were used at the main stage and Showco Prism for the Riverfront Stage, powered by Crown and QSC amps.

Audio and video for the ABC-TV special was handled by All Mobile Video’s Titan video truck (Tom Davis of SeisMic Sound, Nashville, audio mixing) and The Record Plant’s Yamaha-outfitted (two DM2000’s) RV-based mobile unit, The Lounge, with Kooster McAllister and Paul Special mixing.

Staging setups for the stadium were split into two full-splitter systems, as if there were literally two stages (an A and a B stage) handled by two FOH consoleswith two monitor consoles, and two audio trucks (the audio in the All Mobile Video truck being one, Record Plant being the other). In reality, the "B-stage" was a designation in front of main stage where solo acts performed during change-overs for the main or A-stage. Additionally, numerous guest consoles were coming and going, but only three FOH consoles were alive at one time.

The audio remix for the ABC special will be 5.1 in HD.

For more information on these products, contact Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc., 6600 Orangethorpe Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90620; telephone 714-522-9011; or e-mail casales@yamaha.com.

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