This year’s Super Bowl again included a number of Shure products to help bring quality audio to the more than 100 million viewers worldwide. And with fewer fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions, viewers might have heard more of the game audio than in the past. Shure played a key role in the entire Super Bowl Sunday lineup of activities.
The Super Bowl TikTok Tailgate featured a live concert performance by Miley Cyrus, who used the Shure 565SD Classic Unisphere Vocal Microphone. This dual-impedance, unidirectional dynamic microphone was made famous for its use at Woodstock. She shared the pre-game stage with guests Billy Idol and Joan Jett, who used KSM9 capsules and were on the Axient Digital Wireless System.
Poet Amanda Gorman, who was the country’s first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, recited an original poem before the game in front of Shure’s iconic Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone.
Gorman’s poem, “Chorus of the Captains,” celebrated and introduced the three honorary captains who were specially invited to the game by the NFL based on their exceptional service.
For the game itself, head referee Carl Cheffers wore a redundant system custom built by ATK/Audiotek, using a pair of the TwinPlex TL47 Subminiature Lavalier Microphones, and two Axient Digital Wireless bodypacks with receivers setup for both Quadversity and Frequency Diversity. They were deployed for the game by Professional Wireless Systems (PWS).
Quadversity is a patented technology that leverages four simultaneous RF inputs to feed a single channel. In hostile RF environments like the Super Bowl, Quadversity increases signal stability and can extend the coverage area of a microphone. Frequency Diversity is a feature that utilizes a simultaneous secondary frequency as back-up in case the primary frequency is compromised — giving even more protection in mission critical applications.
Jack Bowling, Super Bowl game stadium FOH engineer for ATK/Audiotek, has specified TwinPlex TL47 lavaliers for the referees for the past three Super Bowls, as well as on the L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers games.
“The sound quality on the TwinPlex is exactly what we need and has the durability needed for sports,” said Bowling. “It has reliably worked for all the seasons I’ve worked with them.”
Both Eric Church and H.E.R. sported Axient Digital Frequency Diversity handhelds for the “National Anthem” and “America The Beautiful,” respectively.
“ATK/Audiotek has long partnered with Professional Wireless Systems to design and deploy these wireless systems at the Super Bowl,” said Gary Trenda, lead RF technician for PWS. “PWS has been specifying Axient Digital Systems since they became available and, given our prior experiences using this equipment, it was an easy decision to deploy it again for this year’s Big Game. We’re confident in the performance of Axient Digital in unpredictable RF environments. Frequency Diversity and Quadversity give us the reliability we need for show critical wireless audio systems.”
Axient Digital also played a key support role for Walter Payton Man of the Year presentation. The wireless provider for entertainment was ATK and the subcontractor was PWS.
CP Communications supplied CBS Sports with Axient Digital Frequency Diversity handheld microphones with KSM8 capsules and AD1 bodypack transmitters with TwinPlex mic capsules as well as headworn mics for the CBS Pre-Game Studio Shows. CP also supported the CBS Sports game broadcast by providing additional TwinPlex mics in parabolic dishes to capture on-field audio. The natural sound quality, low handling noise, and medical-grade cable construction are just some of the reasons why TwinPlex is featured for the most important NFL game of the year.
“We exploited Shure’s Axient Digital system Quadversity feature, that other companies don’t have, by deploying an RF over fiber (RFoF) system to enhance coverage so that on-air talent can move from set to set without changing hardware,” said Michael Mason, president of CP Communications. “During these COVID challenged times, it was important to CBS Sports to minimize touch and person-to-person contact. Using the Quadversity and a multizone approach accomplished just that.”
The Super Bowl public address announcer, Alan Roach, used Shure’s SM7B microphone, one of the most popular broadcast microphones on the market for delivering smooth, warm vocals.
For wireless mics used for game activities, Shure Wireless Workbench software was implemented to monitor all of the gear. With challenging and dynamic RF environments like the Super Bowl, Wireless Workbench provides the flexibility to coordinate frequencies over time and space for the highest sound quality possible.
“It’s always an honor for our products to perform on one of the biggest world stages,” said Rick Renner, director, U.S. pro audio sales, Shure. “From the pre-game show, to the game itself, to even many of the commercials in between, Shure provides various audio components to bring the sounds of one of the biggest nights in sports to fans worldwide.”