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Press Release
June 01 2003
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
 
Sweetwater Helps MTV Make The Band
 
(Fort Wayne, IN) When MTV needed a professional audio production rig for the second season of their hit reality series "Making the Band," they turned to the music technology experts at Sweetwater for help.

A huge MTV hit, "Making the Band 2" follows the trials and tribulations of an aspiring hip-hop group as they strive to become the next big thing. P. Diddy, one of the most recognizable figures in the entertainment industry, developed the show and serves as the band's mastermind, helping the group build their sound and image and putting the young performers through what amounts to music industry boot camp.

For "Making the Band 2," MTV needed a professional audio production center for in front of the camera that would be used to record and produce all the music the performers create on the show. In other words, millions of television viewers were going to see music being made via this studio. The system had to be versatile and powerful enough to deliver every facet of fully professional recording, editing, mixing, and mastering.

Sweetwater coordinated the donation of music equipment from many of today's top manufacturers, including Apple, Digidesign, Tascam, Roland, Neumann, Mackie, Crown, HHB, Focusrite, Tannoy, Furman, Glyph, Sennheiser, Whisper Room and more, and put together a system based on the needs of the people involved with the show. Nika Aldrich, one of Sweetwater's Senior Sales Engineers, traveled to New York to install, configure, and test the set-up.

The system features a state-of-the-art Pro Tools HD2 hard disk recording system running on an Apple dual processor G4. Monitoring was accomplished using Mackie's extremely popular HR624 with HRS120 subwoofers, and Tannoy System1200 midfields. In addition to the Pro Tools rig, the production center also includes a Tascam DA20mkII DAT machine, a Mackie analog mixing console, Crown's K1 Power Amp, several powerful Roland synthesizers like the XV-5080 and the Fantom, and more. Sweetwater even helped arrange the racks and stands from Raxxess for the equipment, and the acoustic treatment from Auralex.

With an audience of millions tuning-in week after week to check out the progress of P. Diddy's protégées, it was essential that the show's audio production rig reflect the industry's current state of the art, while also providing both the performers and audio engineers with equipment that they were familiar with. The core of the system used on the show was based on the essentials of P. Diddy's own production facility. A number of other issues had to be taken into account, such as the camera crew's ability to maneuver around the facilities and capture the action. As experts in professional audio gear, MIDI, and computer-based audio production for over two decades, Sweetwater was uniquely qualified to handle the task.

P. Diddy and the producers who make up the team behind the band had definite ideas on about half of the audio equipment they wanted to work on. For the rest of the gear, Sweetwater served as a consultant, helping with decisions on things like microphones, speakers, and other items based on the producers' requirements.

Creating such a huge system, coordinating delivery, and meeting the needs of all the people involved was an enormous task, yet the whole process went without a hitch from start to finish.

Sweetwater's customers include some of the biggest names in professional audio, so working with a client on this scale wasn't unusual for the company. However, Sweetwater's involvement is usually behind the scenes. With the "Making the Band 2" project, the results were literally in front of the camera. "We're flattered that MTV came to us to help them with this project," says Chuck Surack, president of Sweetwater. "Obviously, the stakes are very high in putting together such a popular show, and the fact that they came to us is a testament to our reputation in the industry."

Surack sees another benefit to featuring some of the world's leading music technology equipment on the show. "Seeing this kind of gear in action, being able to watch the recording and production process, and then hear the actual results can inspire others to pursue music as a career or a hobby," Surack says.

You can see the results this collaboration when MTV's "Making the Band 2" begins June 18th on MTV at 10 PM.

A complete list of manufacturers and donated equipment can be found at http://www.sweetwater.com/mtv. For more information on Sweetwater, call (800) 222-4700, or visit us online at http://www.sweetwater.com/.

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