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Rob Wolifson – TCN Audio Supervisor – Nine Network – Australia Fred Aldous – Sports A1 – Freelance – USA (FOX Sports – Superbowl, Datona 500 NASCAR) have to be confi gured, mixed and distributed from the OB, and the number of mix busses available on modern consoles simplifi es this. The communications requirements also increase for every destination we need to feed, and audio distribution from site becomes more complicated. This means the role of the OB guarantee engineer is now one of the most demanding at site; they are the real unsung heroes in the OB audio world! Vaughan Rogers – Former Head of Audio at Sky now Freelance Audio Engineer - UK Michael Abbott – A1- Freelance – USA (The Voice, Shark Tank and The Grammys) Randy Flick – A1 – WWE & HBO Boxing - U SA Michael Couto – A1 – NBC Nightly News - USA Tony Williams – Sound Engineer - Freelance – UK (Million Pound Drop, Ejector Seat, Mastermind, Question of Sport, The Fanatics) Andy James – Sound supervisor – BBC – UK (Golden and Diamond Jubilee, Wimbledon, London Marathon, Boat Race, Open Golf) What are the biggest changes have you encountered during your career? Rob Wolifson When I started, audio was still done in mono, and we were just experimenting with stereo. To go from mono to stereo was quite something. We didn’t have the equipment or knowledge to do it properly at fi rst, so we worked it out as we went along. Another big change was to 5.1 audio. In our studios, we’re still honing our surround skills. At fi rst it was fashionable to do everything in surround. Eventually we decided to take our time and get it right, because most of us agree that with surround sound, less is more. Fred Aldous I don’t think you can narrow it down to a single event. From an audio perspective it was moving from stereo to 5.1. Not only did we need to learn how to mix in 5.1, but we also had to identify the compromise between a 5.1 mix and a stereo downmix that was being derived from the 5.1 mix. At FOX Sports we only deliver 5.1 to the affi liates, they do a downmix for their SD feeds themselves. Michael Abbott I started working on the Grammys back in the 1990’s, providing the performers with multiple stage mixes, working on a single analogue 40 input / 16 output console. Multi-coloured china-graph grease pencils were my analogue recall! The Grammys today has 10 audio mix positions and another 30 technicians for 20+ live performances that are engineered on a variety of digital consoles. IP-managed data transport has become a mission critical element, requiring the engineers to have IT skillsets. Randy Flick Two big changes: moving from analogue to digital, and the move to fi bre. I started mixing on analogue Q2s and S2s. When we moved to Sigma and Alpha digital consoles I realised you can set up one fader and copy and paste the next fi fteen down the line instead of setting each one up individually. That’s one thing I love about the transition. I also like the idea you’re using fi bre to get audio into the console instead of copper. I covered a lot of golf, and was using long 25 pair cable runs to get the effects mics from the holes, outfi eld and announcing towers because it was too much to run multi-core cable. It could get very complicated. Plus, in wet conditions everything would sound like it was on fi re, crackling away! Incorporating fi bre right into the consoles has been a godsend. Sports that cover a lot of area such as racing and the Olympics benefi t immensely from fi bre operation. Tony Williams Fibre technology has come a long way in helping clean up signals – gone are the days of earth lifts and frying multicores. The connectivity between systems has become a lot easier, and if planned correctly, patch bays and brasso could become a thing of the past! The biggest change was the arrival of 5.1, and the compromise to deliver a mix that’s also suitable for the majority of viewers listening in mono/stereo. KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 107 NOVEMBER 2015 | 55