For the King of All Media, a Birthday Bash Gets a Royal Production

Howar at MC

(DGIwire) — When you’re the King of All Media, your birthday party is a royal event. So when Howard Stern chose to celebrate his 60th Birthday Bash at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom—part of Manhattan Center, located at 311 West 34th Street—on the night of January 31, an array of topnotch production staff went into action to ensure a good time was had by all.

The crowd inside the Hammerstein Ballroom—and those listening to the live broadcast on SiriusXM Satellite Radio—were delighted with Howard, his cast of regulars, and a galaxy of guests ranging from Ron Zombie to George Takei to Jimmy Kimmel, The Black Keys, Joan Rivers, Jon Bon Jovi, Adam Levine, and dozens more.

But behind the scenes, the quality of the production was just as brilliant. This was impressive given the scale of the event, which involved an unusually complex mix of musical performances, interviews by Howard, and comedy. Topping it all off, the production staff had only two days to pull it off: one setup day and the show day.

Key to producing the show was Manhattan Center Productions’ state-of-the-art TV 2 Studio, which is fully connected to the Hammerstein Ballroom. From TV 2, production staff controlled the dozens of high-definition video monitors arrayed around the Ballroom and the bar areas for the benefit of the audience, along with four server channels In addition to three green rooms for the performers, TV 2 provided eight Ikegami cameras that recorded all the action for future use. (SiriusXM staff prepared a “best moments” reel for the E! cable network.) All the stage lighting was also controlled from TV 2, as well as the intercom system. TV 2 also handled the manipulation (or “switching”) of the sophisticated LED screens involved in the show.

A separate facility at Manhattan Center Productions, known as Studio 7, was also instrumental to the event’s success. Connected to the Hammerstein Ballroom as well, Studio 7 houses a unique custom-modified Neve VR 96-channel console recording to 5.1 surround on a Pro Tools HD Accel system. Inside this facility, engineers recorded the sound for the entire event, and mixed the musical performances.

Thanks to all of this technical wizardry and the wizards who operated it, Howard Stern’s 60th birthday was an occasion to be fondly remembered by participants and audiences alike.

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