MIAMI - When Univision presented its 27th annual star-studded spectacular, Premio Lo Nuestro, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Professional Wireless Systems (PWS) was on-hand to deliver its expert frequency management services to this year's Latin music awards show. In total, PWS coordinated and managed close to 200 frequencies for the entertainment program, including the red carpet festivities and main event.
For this year's production, the PWS team, led by James Stoffo, lead RF coordinator and Gary Trenda, wireless intercom technician, worked closely to ensure that the evening's performances remained free from interference. All parties were in constant communication with one another, particularly during the red carpet to main show transition, in which Stoffo allocated frequencies to the red carpet team for intermediary intercoms, wireless mics and IFBs.
During the main event, one of the challenges that PWS faced dealt with deflecting interference from the stage's many video and lighting walls throughout the night's performances. "Awards shows are continuing to use several large video and lighting walls to create enhanced effects while the talent is performing on-stage, which commonly transmits RF noise onto the in-ear monitors," says Jim Van Winkle, general manager, PWS. "This is problematic for live performances as the artist needs to be able to hear themselves clearly through the in-ear monitors."
To address this, PWS ran the in-ear transmit antennas under the stage, instead of backstage, in order to get as close to the artist as possible and successfully block out incoming interference from the video and lighting walls. "I chose the PWS Domed Helicals for this because I needed to be working with antennas that were circularly polarized and had a nice, wide pattern to cover the whole stage," says Stoffo. "Additionally, the Shure PSM(r) 1000 personal monitor systems have an automatically adjustable amp that, paired with the antenna, has the ability to push the noise from the video walls down, which is crucial in this application."
PWS supplied an equipment package that included Shure UHF-R(r) wireless microphone systems, as well as Sennheiser systems to accommodate those artists endorsed by Sennheiser. Two PWS Helical Antennas covered the wireless mics on stage, with one positioned stage-left and the other stage-right. 20 Telex BTR-800 beltpacks were used for the lighting department and producers, running through PWS DB-IC multicouplers and PWS GX-8 combiners. Additionally, the stage personnel relied on 30 Sennheiser in-ear transmitter receivers, operating on two channels, for monitoring.
All of the stage managers and audio team relied on Radio Active Designs UV-1G VHF Narrow Band(tm) Beltpacks. COMTEK BST-25s were utilized for the talent IFBs. Both of these systems operate in the VHF spectrum, which proved crucial during the main show performances. "It is important to free up as much space on the UHF spectrum as possible," Van Winkle says. "Having several comms and IFBs working in the VHF band allowed us to smoothly fit the audio mics and in-ear monitors on the UHF band, which need to be operating within that spectrum for its higher audio quality."
PWS managed the show's frequencies with its own Intermodulation Analysis System (IAS), as well as one of its 36-channel monitor listening stations. Stoffo used the station to monitor all the microphones, as well as select intercoms for the duration of the evening's array of performances.
"I would like to thank the PWS team for a job well done and another successful show," says Van Winkle. "On shows of this magnitude, there is always the potential for last-minute problems to arise with how congested the RF landscape has become. Our team has to react quickly, changing certain frequencies last-minute to keep everything operating smoothly. Thanks to all involved in this show's execution for another successful year."
As television's longest-running Latin music awards show, Premio Lo Nuestro has been entertaining audiences across the Americas since 1989, featuring dynamic performances and appearances from famous Latin American personalities, including Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin and Pitbull, among others.
For more information on the awards show, including for a full list of the night's winners, visit
For more information about Professional Wireless Systems, visit http://www.professionalwireless.com.