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A Sound System that Rocks for MTV Awards

ATK Audiotek installed JBL loudspeakers to overcome sound system challenges at MTV Movie and TV Awards to achieve high-quality sound.

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A Sound System that Rocks for MTV Awards

To accommodate the MTV Movie and TV Awards’ unique stage layout and the inherent acoustical challenges of the venue, ATK Audiotek creatively implemented JBL Professional loudspeakers to provide clear audio and even coverage.

After having no show in 2020, the MTV Movie and TV Awards welcomed a small audience back to the Hollywood Palladium for its 29th edition in May. Hosted by comedian Leslie Jones, the show featured an intimate, lounge-style layout, with the stage branching out to a center platform surrounded by the 50-person audience.

With Snoop Dogg as the DJ and sole musical act, the show primarily consisted of speeches and film clips, which required a versatile sound system with high dynamic range. However, the venue’s shape, low ceiling height and unusual stage layout created the potential for acoustical issues and left minimal room for speaker installation.

The Sound System Solution for MTV

To overcome these challenges, ATK Audiotek selected JBL VRX932LA-1 and VT4886 loudspeakers to deliver clear, high-quality audio that complemented the ceremony’s setting and avoided unwanted sound reflection and feedback.

See: Fluid Sound: THE LOT Entertainment Experience

“The Palladium is a challenging venue,” said Kirk Powell, PA Designer and System Tech, ATK Audiotek. “The back wall is a big parabola, so you’ve got to be careful with how you aim things because you can excite that room in ways that you don’t want. The real challenge of that room is the low ceiling, and when you hang a full lighting grid down, the ceiling gets even lower. If we got really loud in a room like that, you would hear feedback on the presentation microphones. We were trying to keep the volume low and have a nice distributed system for even coverage so everybody could hear everything––the VRX932 is a good box for that.”

The Sound System Installation for MTV

Powell and the ATK team installed 22 JBL VRX932LA-1 speakers in single units spaced around the ceiling and circling out from the center, leaving a cone of free space above the center stage section to avoid feedback.

Featuring 2408J Annular Ring Diaphragm HF drivers and neodymium magnet Differential Drive® woofers, the VRX932LA-1 delivers pristine and coherent audio even at the low volumes required for the MTV awards stage.

Additionally, the constant curvature design with a dual-angle pole socket allows for both wide coverage and precise angling to avoid sound reflection and evenly distribute sound to audiences.

To provide stereo sound and additional impact for cinematic playback, ATK supplemented the system with JBL VT4886 line array loudspeakers positioned on either side of the main stage.

The result was two successful nights featuring some of the biggest names in movies and TV, including Elizabeth Olsen, RuPaul, Leslie Jones and more. Both presenters and winners made their speeches on the center stage with coherent, consistent and feedback-free audio.

“We made it work the best we could,” added Powell. “Everybody could hear everything, and so it worked out well.”