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MONITORING Monitoring What elements of modern console technology has made a large impact on your craft? Rob Wolifson Historically, shows were set up differently, you had more time to prepare. For example, if a show was on at noon in one studio, the breakfast show would be done in a different studio, so transitioning from one show to the next was fairly easy. We don’t have that luxury anymore, these shows are done in one studio, back to back. Whereas before we had to use lots of patch cords and make manual connections to go from one show to the next — and then continue to patch throughout the show — now we can recall templates at the push of a button. You can get things done quickly and still maintain quality and reliability. That’s a huge gain. Michael Couto A board that’s designed for the job I do is critical. My focus is always on the integrity of the broadcast, and the ability to react fast to a breaking story is a big part of that. Once we’re on the air I don’t have time to scroll through menus to solve a problem. With the Artemis in particular, I’ve got everything I need laid out in front of me. It’s tactile and immediately in sight, just the way I need it. Everyone who works in broadcast audio has one thing in common: a need to easily access critical functionality, and to do it fast. Tony Williams Calrec’s built in automixer has been a godsend for shows like Question of Sport where it’s a free for all between the host and teams, whose dynamics can range from a whisper to a scream at the drop of a hat! There is no audio dub, so having this feature helps free up fingers and cleans the general mix without too much coloration between open channels. The ability to use variable delays on multitrack outputs is also useful. I’ve used this to supply clean feeds to a multi-channel Skype setup that’s prevalent on many shows. Combining these and the automixer facility virtually eliminates the awkward audio dips from contributors on the incoming Skype lines when they talk over each other. We were able to have 16 channels of Skype interaction without any noticeable dropout! Michael Abbott File management is important. I am fortunate to work almost exclusively on Calrec consoles. I use the offline editor for the Alpha series desks and this capability allows me to arrive on 54 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015 a production ESU with a snapshot that has the majority of programming already done. I use the GPI options for triggering fade in/out of camera mics and play-out of SFX. Plug-in servers have given me a palette of processing that I could only dream of in the past. Snapshot Recall provides for dynamic scene changes. Replay is an important element that allows me to go from live production to post production with a minimum of programming. Randy Flick The tight spacing of the faders on Calrec consoles make them easier to use. There are different points in the broadcast where you have to fade some music up, fade another track away, and get rid of something else; four or five fader movements at one time. Calrec’s tight faders allow that to be done, on one hand sometimes, so that’s one thing I love. Others’ channel strip spacing make that more difficult, and mixers with smaller hands are really at a disadvantage. I also love the headroom of the console. In sports, you never know where something is going to happen that has a really high SPL (sound pressure level). A handheld guy with a camera mic spins around, and all of a sudden he’s shooting the crowd and someone’s screaming at the mic because their team scored a goal - the console can handle that extra SPL, even if it’s louder than you guessed it would be! What differences have come about due to the many ways content is delivered in recent times? Michael Couto NBC News is very much focused on mobile. Presently, however, my mix is geared for a 5.1 television broadcast. There are some folks downstream of us re-purposing content for mobile and the web, and there is no doubt that the way we consume news is changing, be it via the web, social media, or direct to our phones. It is something we will all be dealing with soon. Andy James There is now a huge range of different ways we can now offer content to the audience: online, social media as well as the more traditional methods. This means we need to be able to offer a variety of different formats and mixes to the intended audience. On many sports programmes the viewer can choose the audio mix they want to listen to: full mix, ref’s mic, clean effects, radio or TV commentary. All these different audio mixes