See how the Staples Center gets set up for the biggest night in music
Click here to see a photo gallery of Backstage at the Grammys
Premier Guitar had a chance to crawl around in the belly of the beast— the Staples Center, as it was configured for the 52nd Grammy Awards show—in order to report on the gear involved and the behind-the-scenes effort that makes Music’s Biggest Night happen. Here’s what we found…
The evening involved a handpicked crew of 38 audio engineers and technicians, 160 stagehands, 150 event technicians and 26 stage managers. It took 40 riggers 7 days to hang 130 tons of lighting, sound equipment and set pieces from the ceiling. 300 chain motors hoisted it all to 260 anchor points and 70 fall protection points. 3000 feet of trussing was involved. More than 450 mics were used, (80 were wireless). The 100,000-watt house sound system involved four Yamaha PM1D consoles, 94 speaker cabinets flown from the grid, with a cluster of 12 subs in the middle, 9 delay clusters to solve timing issues throughout the venue, and 14 fill speakers under the stage so that the celebs in the first few rows could hear a good mix.
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A. The Stage is wide enough to act as two stages (left and right) so that one side can be set up/ struck while the other hosts a live performance.
B. Stage platforms on wheels allow bands to have individual rigs set up and ready to go. They are wheeled on stage and locked together for a performance, then unlocked and wheeled off afterwards. Each stage platform houses a mini snake that can route all the musician’s signals to the boards via one connection.
C. This ramp is a high traffic area during the broadcast, with stage platforms full of backline gear and sets being wheeled on and off after each performance.
D. Splitsville is where transformer splits send audio signals from the stage platforms to 4 places: FOH, the monitor mixing station (not pictured), the mixing trucks outside the Staples Center, and the broadcast mixing board (as a backup). The signals for the mixing trucks are converted to digital and sent via fiber optic lines.
E. Two audio mixing trucks outside the Staples Center, operated by co-music mixers Eric Schilling and John Harris, are used to mix the audio for the performances. Both are equipped with identical Digidesign ICON boards so that presets for each channel of audio for each act can be dialed up immediately. The signals from these trucks is sent to the broadcast mixing board.
F. A broadcast mixing board, operated by Tom Holmes, combines lines from the music mix with other presentation elements like presenter mics, video playback, and audience hot spots into the broadcast’s 5.1 surround sound mix. Broadcast audio supervisor Phil Ramone is stationed in this truck, too. The other half of this truck houses the broadcast’s video team.
G. The graphics team is housed in this truck. Broadcast graphics include nominee and winner names and titles, “Coming up next…” slates before commercials, final credits, etc.
H. The playback booth is where audio techs control the rare pre-recorded elements of a Grammy performance, such as string sections and hip hop samples. The Recording Academy takes great pride in the fact that very few canned elements are used these days. It’s not unusual for large string sections to be mic’d and used live on stage for a single performance.
I. The wireless station is where signals from wireless mics and body packs for guitarists are received.
J. The FOH mixing boards, operated by Ron Reaves and Mikael Stewart, control the mix for the live audience.
K. This mic’d hot spot of audience activity is named as such because true fans, rather than industry executives, are sitting here reacting to the performances, which makes for better live audio during the broadcast. Many hot spot tickets are given away via radio station contests.
L. The center platform allows presenters and performers to have a presence in the middle of the audience. This year it had a removable top that concealed a hot tub inside it. Pink was lowered into it during her acrobatic performance of “Glitter in the Air.”
M. The main camera platform was the central focal point for most presenters and performers, supporting broadcast cameras and prompter screens.
N. 14 video screens were used in conjunction with the evening’s presentations and performances
O. The last stop booth is the last place an artist goes before walking up the stairs to go onstage. Inside this booth are refreshments, lounge chairs, make-up stations and color-corrected mirrors.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.