Self contained and expandable commentary systems


Chris Collings TV-Bay Magazine
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Adopting innovative technologies and techniques is always fundamental to the control of capital and operational costs - the key to broadcast facilities or technology providers gaining competitive advantage.

Sports commentary has continually suffered from high operational costs, whether at the sports venue itself or "off-glass", due to the need for high levels of operational and technical support.

However, the Junger Audio's D*AP4 VAP EDITION presents a real opportunity for sports programming technology providers to make a dent in these costs.

For simple single-commentary events, the VAP (Voice Audio Processor) EDITION can provide all the necessary connections, audio processing and mixing, to deliver or embed commentary to a sports program transmission.

The highly adaptive processing and mixing of the VAP EDITION virtually guarantees the highest level of voice and program quality; responding to changes in tone, levels or even the commentator to deliver consistently high quality and intelligible commentary.

The wide range of multi-channel input/output modules for this platform also makes the VAP EDITION cost-effectively scalable, to deliver multiple simultaneous commentaries for a single event or multiple commentaries for many events.

The Junger Audio range comprises two hardware platforms. The D*AP4 offers 4 channels of processing with a single IO expansion slot while the D*AP8 offers 8 channels of processing with two IO slots.

The VAP EDITION, based on the D*AP4 platform, comprises two voice-processing channels and two program channels:

The VAP EDITION's voice channels provide:

Dynamics control - compressor, upwards compressor, expander/gate and soft-limiter

Spectral Signature - automated dynamic filters to maintain voice-tone consistency

EQ - static 4-band parametric equaliser

De-esser - sibilance control and removal

Leveller - voice loudness controller - matches voice levels to target programme loudness

Phase Rotator -corrects the asymmetry common with voice signals preventing unnecessary dynamics processing

The Program channels are free of processing except for a voiceover module that mixes the voice channels to the program with control over pan position, mix level and program ducking to give the required prominence to the commentary on the voice channels.

Plus, the optional Programme loudness control using Junger Audio's Level Magic II process.

However, there are three key components in the VAP EDITION processing kit that sets it apart for this application:

Dynamics - the Junger upwards compressor The compressor section includes, in addition to the traditional downwards compressor, an upwards compressor that raises the level of lower level signals that fall below the Reference Level (see right). A more subtle process that avoids the often obvious artefacts of traditional downwards compression.

Spectral Signature - multi-band dynamic filtering The VAP EDITION Spectral Signature captures a target "tonal template" from a reference piece of audio. Spectral Signature compares the incoming audio and template and dynamically matches the tonal balance of the source to the template. The beauty of Spectral Signature is if the incoming audio, as a whole or in part, already matches the tonal template, no processing is applied.

Spectral Signature delivers voices with consistent timbre, high levels of intelligibility and consistency and will also compensate for fluctuating proximity effect and head-turns when using tie-clip microphones.

Level Magic II - Programme Loudness control The final (optional) component is Junger Audio's renowned Level Magic II loudness management.

Level Magic II - three processes that control peak levels, loudness range and overall loudness; seamlessly guaranteeing the final program output has consistent loudness and conforms to the loudness specification required.

Hardware

Hardware Input and Output options
included modular cards for:

SDI
MADI
AES3
Analogue
Dante Audio-over-IP
Dual-channel mic/line pre-amp - VAP only

Deployment

The most common scenario is the provision of a single SDI stream with embedded CleanFX or International Sound.

The local commentator's microphone(s) connects directly to the VAP EDITION fitted with the optional dual microphone pre-amps, or via a desk-top commentator's station.

The de-embedded CleanFX connects to the Program audio path of the VAP EDITION to which is mixed the locally created commentary using the voice-over mixing module. The mixed final transmission program audio undergoes loudness control processing to ensure consistency and conformity to the loudness specification, before it is re-embedded to the outgoing SDI stream. Using the on-board routing, the original source CleanFX can also be remapped to other outgoing embedder channels, alongside the individual commentary channels.

The two on-board monitor mixers can be employed to generate feeds of the CleanFX for the commentator's headphones - fed directly or via a commentator's station.

Control

The VAP EDITION is available as a plain 1u rackmounting unit that is configured and operated via a web-browser.

There is also the Mobile interface that allows commentators to load their own presets, operate Mic-mutes and apply or set pre-defined processing parameters.

To these you can add a 1u control panel with displays of parameter settings, metering, loudness measurements and hot-keys for loading presets or selecting parameters to be adjusted.

The Junger Audio 1u rackmount range uses the open Ember+ control protocol making it simple to create a customised control panel for the VAP EDITION commentary channels.

Consequently, the VAP EDITION, fitted with Mic/Line Pre-amps and SDI IO and controlled directly, via tablet or a broadcast control system, provides all the connections, functions and facilities required to generate final program audio for almost any sports programming. A scalable and expandable system that automatically adapts and responds to changes in level, balance and tone to deliver consistently high quality program to national and international broadcasters; without the need for costly technical support intervention.


Tags: iss117 | commentary | cleanfx | vap edition | junger | Chris Collings
Contributing Author Chris Collings

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