J o u r n a l o f t h e I n s t i t u t e o f Br o a d c a s t S o u n d

SPRI NG 2009
worki ng on l ocati on
21st Anniversary
Edition
lineup
101034_FC:COVER TO USE 11/3/09 15:25 Page 1
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A
101034_IFC 11/3/09 15:29 Page 1
Line Up celebrates its coming of age in this issue with a smart
new logo and a revised format. Also starting with this edition,
a publically accessible ‘lite’ version of the online magazine will
be published with ‘teaser’ portions of articles. The current full
online edition will remain accessible to IBS members, with
back issues in the archives. The IBS website will also be over-
hauled and greatly expanded later this year, raising the
Institute’s profile and paving the way to lots more integration,
interactive content and training materials.
To help celebrate 21 years of Line Up I commissioned an
article from Roger Derry, one of the founders of the Institute
and the originator of this magazine’s title, amongst many
other good IBS deeds. On the day he submitted his article he
was taken into hospital and died a few days later, to every-
one’s immense surprise and shock. Paul Newis shares his
recollections of Roger on page 18, but I’d like to devote the
rest of this column to an obituary provided by Barry Cobden.
Rest in peace, Roger.
Hugh Robjohns
Roger Derry passed away in February following several bouts
of ill health. He was a founder member of the Institute and
took over the editorship of IBS News from Antony Askew in
1982 until Line Up was launched six years later. He was
made a Life Member of the Institute in 1996.
Roger was educated to A-level at Bristol Grammar School
but didn’t attend university – his heart was set on the BBC,
which he joined in 1964. After four years in the Control Room
as a continuity operator, Roger became a Studio Manager in
1968 and later a Senior Studio Manager. Although working
mainly in news and current affairs, he also maintained an
interest in music, contributing his talents to Radio 3, and he
served on the technical committee that developed the GP
Mk3 and Mk4 sound desks. During the seventies he became
an instructor in Radio Training and a lecturer at BBC Wood
Norton.
In 1984 Roger was appointed as Assistant Organiser,
Production Facilities, working to ‘Dusty’ Miller who recalled
“Roger had a great love of high quality sound and was instru-
mental in the early simulcasts between Radio 3 and both
BBCTelevision and Channel 4. He cared about radio and
never gave up trying to improve the sound we broadcast.”
Three years later Roger applied to be Assistant Audio
Manager, BBC Wales and – to his own astonishment – got
the job. Mike Bracey said, “Roger was a very practical, helpful
person who always supported his staff. He also had a wry
sense of humour – often, if getting a little bored in a meeting,
he would utter a gentle “Yee-ee-es!”
Unfortunately, shortly after moving to Wales Roger was
made redundant – but typical of the man, he continued pass-
ing his experience on to others by teaching Music Technology
at the City of Bristol College. In 2000 he wrote PC Audio
Editing which, after several editions, is still relevant and very
popular today. Roger wasn’t averse to employing somewhat
over-the-top solutions to domestic problems. Mike Stace
recalled the industrial wiring frame in Roger’s flat intercon-
necting his audio system!
I found Roger ebullient, mischievous, incredibly knowl-
edgeable and helpful, and always ready with an amusing,
illustrative story. We became friends and my sympathy goes
to his widow Rosemarie, the anchor of calm whom Roger
married in July 2002 and with whom he found happiness.
Barry Cobden
LINE UP Spring 2009 3
www.lineup.biz
Spring 2009 no 119
Editor
Hugh Robjohns MIBS
Line Up, PO Box 208,
Havant, Hampshire, PO9 9BQ
Tel: +44 (0)300 400 8427 (Option 7)
Direct Line/Fax: +44 (0)1905 381 725
editor@lineup.biz
Advertising Manager
Phil Guy
Tel: +44 (0)1295 812 737
Fax: +44 (0)1295 812 434
adverts@lineup.biz
Design and Production
Philippa Foley BA(Hons)
adcopy@lineup.biz
Publisher
Malcolm Nelson MIBS
Tel: +44 (0)300 400 8427 (Option 2)
Fax: +44 (0)870 762 1557
publisher@lineup.biz
Line Up is published by Line Up
Publications Limited for and on behalf of
the Institute of Broadcast Sound (Est
1977). The journal provides information,
debate and comment about the art and
science of broadcast sound and related
topics. Opinions expressed are those of
the author and not necessarily those of the
editor, the IBS, or Line Up Publications
Limited.
Line Up is distributed free of charge to IBS
members at an address in the UK, Eire or
continental Europe. In these areas it is also
distributed free on a strictly controlled
basis to senior operational and
management staff with responsibility for
audio in broadcast organisations and
facilities companies.
Line Up is also available on paid
subscription in the rest of the World and to
those who do not qualify for free copies.
Rates for 2009
UK £50 Europe £60 World £70
Subscription enquiries
Line Up, PO Box 208,
Havant, Hampshire, PO9 9BQ
subs@lineup.biz
www.ibs.org.uk
Membership details page 39
IBS Secretariat
Contact: Malcolm Johnson MIBS
Institute of Broadcast Sound
PO Box 208, Havant,
Hampshire, PO9 9BQ
Tel: +44 (0)300 400 8427 (Option 1)
IBSnet
IBSnet is the mailing list discussion forum
of the IBS, for members and invited guests
only. To join, send a brief CV to:
ibsnet@ibs.org.uk
© Copyright 2009
Institute of Broadcast Sound
No part of this publication may be
reproduced without the editor’s prior
permission.
ISSN 0953-6124
LEADER
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101034_P03_Leader:LEADER TO USE/ 11/3/09 15:39 Page 1
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101034_P04_IBS_Ad 11/3/09 15:45 Page 1
LINE UP Spring 2009 5
JUNIOR 6
EUROVISION
Julian Gough MIBS describes
working on an EBU extravaganza.
SWISS PRECISION 11
IN AUDIO
Stefani Renner of
Medientechnik Presseservice
explains how Switzerland’s
very first HD-enabled studio
was designed.
LOUDNESS 14
METERING LOOKED
AT FROM
A DISTANCE
Edward de Bono and John
Emmett MIBS discuss some
of the issues involved in
loudness metering.
THE CRUNCH BUNCH
27
Calrec’s Kevin Emmott describes the
televising of American Football at the
home of British Soccer.
QE2: DOCUMENTING
30
THE FINAL VOYAGE
Paul Miller describes how he met the
challenges of filming the end of an era.
CONTENTS
TALKI NG POI NTS
NEWS
33
G 40 NeumannWorkshops at
Prolight+Sound 2009
G Sound Devices Wins Technical
Achievement Award
G IBS Teams with EuphonixArtist
Series
G Calrec and Snell &WilcoxAnnounce
Joint Initiative
G SpotOn Steps Up
G Acoustic Energy Launches Compact
Monitoring System
G JoeCo Launches Blackbox Recorder
G Coloured Visions From Rycote
G SBES2009 Meets the Recession
Challenge
G Orbital Sound’s European Debut for
HME Digital Intercom
G Glensound Floats High
INDEX OF FEATURES
39
AND REVIEWS 2008
wor ki ng on l ocat i on
I BS NEWS
OBITUARIES
18
Tim Field MIBS (1960-2008),
and Roger Derry MIBS (1946-2009).
IBS MEMBER PROFILE
19
Malcolm Nelson MIBS talks with
Louise Willcox MIBS.
TWENTY ONE YEARS
20
OF LINE UP
After scouring the archives, IBS
President Adrian Bishop-Laggett
provides the definitive history of
the IBS Journal, while Fellow of the
Institute Ron Godwyn reflects on his
tenure as the longest serving editor of
Line Up, and Roger Derry MIBS
recounts how it all started.
SOUNDING BOARD
22
John Sullivan MIBS explains
why your Institute needs you.
IBSNET REPORT
23
John Grove MIBS, IBSnet
Administrator, summarises some recent
IBS email forum threads.
IBS CODE OF CONDUCT
24
The IBS Code of Conduct has been
drawn up by the members on behalf of
the members, and will be reviewed
annually by the Executive Committee.
21ST CENTURY
25
TRANSCRIPTION
Sound Recordist Ben Livingstone
AMIBS describes a modern way to
handle the transcription requirements
of a fast turnaround shoot.
RØDE NTG-3
26
SHOTGUN
MICROPHONE
Hugh Robjohns MIBS takes a
look at Røde’s 416-killer.
I NSI DE TRACK
101034_P05_Contents:CONTENTS TO USE 11/3/09 15:49 Page 5
6 LINE UP Spring 2009
I
t was autumn 2007 and the BBC Proms
season had just finished when I took
a call from the office asking if I could
just pop over to Cyprus for a couple of
days. An unusual request and details were
scarce – all I knew was that the client had
booked a ticket for me. In my line of
business in Outside Broadcasts I am used to
strange instructions, but even so I didn’t
fully believe it until I was asked if I wanted
an aisle or window seat as I checked in at
Heathrow’s Terminal 1. The client turned
out to be CyBC, the Cypriot state
broadcaster, and they were staging their
national final to decide the country’s entry
for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest
2007. The big event itself was to be held in
Rotterdam at the end of the year.
The Junior Eurovision Song Contest
(JESC) started in 2003 and has been held
every year since. It doesn’t have semi-finals
and all the singer/song writers are aged
between 10 and 15, but other than that the
format and all the razzmatazz are exactly the
same as the ‘grown up’ version. One other
big difference is that the host nation is
decided by a bidding process (instead of
being determined by the previous year’s
winner), to reduce the pressure on the
young performers. The JESC is not really
known about in the UK, mainly because no
UK broadcaster currently chooses to enter
or screen the contest. ITV did enter in the
first year, 2003, but they pulled out the
following year and the event has not been
seen on British screens since (unless you go
online to watch it).
It’s All in the Planning
The reason I was asked to go to Cyprus was
that they had just won the bid to host the
2008 JESC. It would be staged in Limassol
and shot in HD with 5.1 sound, and it was
destined to be the largest television
production ever held on the island. CyBC
had contracted BBC Outside Broadcasts to
provide the television facilities – although
between the deal being done and the event
itself, the BBC sold its TV outside broadcast
operation to Satellite Information Services
and the former BBC OBs is now trading as
SIS LIVE. The show’s producer had
requested a Sound Supervisor be sent to
Cyprus on a fact-finding mission, and to
assist his local sound team on the 2007
national final. So after an early morning
journey down the motorway to see the JESC
venue I found myself in the Nicosia studios
of CyBC.
With over a year to go, the planning for
2008 was still at an early stage, but even
then the team was starting to form. We had
a Director, Set Designer and the other major
contractor, Procon Event Engineering,
which was providing the lights and PA.
I was keen that I had a PA engineer on the
desk who I knew, and the line of
demarcation was later defined so that
Procon would provide the Front of House
PA system, and SIS LIVE all the on-stage
sound systems and sound crew. Procon
provided a Meyer M-series line array system
with main and spare Yamaha M7CL desks.
SIS LIVE provided a combination of EAW
SM12 wedges on stage and EAW JFX590
speakers for side and front fills. The monitor
desk was a Yamaha PM5D – all hired from
the UK firm, Green-i ltd.
My visit to CyBC had enabled me to
open a dialogue with George Papadopoulos
the Set Designer to ensure our requirements
were included into his set. George was
equally keen and kept me constantly
updated with design changes over the
following year. He even made a full size
model of an SM12 wedge in polystyrene,
using CAD files downloaded off the EAW
website, to ensure they would fit in the
monitor trough on the main stage.
RF systems were also a concern. I knew
I was going to need quite a number of radio
mic and in-ear monitor (IEM) channels, but
the exact requirement would not be known
until two months before the event (which
was the deadline for entries to submit their
technical requirements). I missed the help
Junior Eurovision
The Belarus act rehearsal
Julian Gough MIBS
describes working
on an EBU extravaganza.
101034_P06_To_10_Junior_Eurovision:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 18:45 Page 6
LINE UP Spring 2009 7
of a co-ordinating organisation such as the
UK’s JFMG. As there was going to be quite a
lot of interest from news teams and
delegations wandering around with their
own crews and RF mics I was a little
concerned that our event could grind to a
halt due to a ‘piece to camera’ elsewhere in
the building. So I wanted to avoid all the
usual frequencies.
Radio Spectrum
We were fortunate that this was a major
national event for the country, and although
the Cypriot Government wanted to know
the frequencies and power outputs we
would be using, they gave us a fairly free
reign over the spectrum we wanted to use.
The location of the venue was a few miles
into the hills overlooking Limassol, so I did
not anticipate a crowded spectrum, but the
geographical location of Cyprus, close to
the Middle East, made the island an ideal
military base and this made me wary of
military use of radio frequencies. The IBS
‘Wiki’ was a useful start for my research and
various websites linked from the Wiki
alerted me to a couple of no-go frequencies.
Fortunately we were still left with a large
amount of spectrum with which to work,
and the precise frequency plan was
calculated by our radio mic provider, Hand
Held Audio.
Our radio mic systems were 15
Sennheiser SKM5200 nickel-coloured
handheld mics with Neumann capsules, and
five DPA 4066 head-worn mics into
Sennheiser SK3063 body-pack transmitters.
In addition, we had eight channels of
Sennheiser EW300 in-ear monitoring with an
AC3000 RF combiner, 12 communication
channels, and 60 Motorola GP340 mobiles.
Despite the extensive research, I was
still concerned that we would arrive on site
and find our chosen frequencies occupied.
So the radio receivers were rigged as top
priority to listen in to what we hoped were
empty channels. Fortunately our hard work
and careful planning had paid off and the
channels were all clear.
The Truck
The scanner in which I was based was SIS
LIVE’s Unit 12, equipped with a Calrec
Sigma Bluefin 48-fader console and
Dynaudio Acoustics BM-series 5.1
monitoring. My main outboard toy was a TC
Electronic M2000 reverb. I also had two
Lexicon PCM91s and a Yamaha SPX2000.
Before the start of each song, a 35
second ‘postcard’ would be screened – a
video clip showing scenes from around
Cyprus, followed by an introduction from
the singers themselves, recorded earlier in
the week. These postcards hid the process
of changeover between the acts when the
next set of young performers was
shepherded onto the stage, along with mic
stands and props and, in one case, a baby
grand piano. At the same time in the
scanner, I was recalling the next snapshot
memory from the desk and for the M2000.
The fast memory recall system was the
main reason I chose the M2000 as my main
effects machine. It has two DSP engines
which I worked in parallel, using engine
one as a vocal plate and engine two as a
delay – although a couple of typical
Eurovision off-the-wall songs called for
some more esoteric treatments.
All the songs were sung live to a
backing track, and those tracks, the voice-
overs and the sound effects for the
obligatory pyros were played from a PC
using SpotOn software with a duplicate
system for backup. Triggered
simultaneously and played from a dedicated
output of the SpotOn, a WAV file of pre-
recorded timecode was fed to the lighting
control desks at the back of the arena to
drive animations projected on a huge
screen making up the entire rear of the set.
One of the requirements that had sat at
the back of my mind throughout the
planning process was 5.1. When I think
about 5.1 coverage on a programme of this
scale I imagine the big in-your-face, blown-
away surround experience... and then
I wake up and accept the reality of the
limitations, and the issues of Dolby E,
metadata, and stereo fold-down. Since the
vast majority of viewers would be hearing
this in mono or stereo, I decided that
I should concentrate on getting that right,
and that the simultaneous 5.1 mix would
effectively be a bolt-on, and would largely
have to look after itself.
So I opted for the simple approach and
placed the surround listener in the arena.
The main programme appeared on the
front speakers. All the music, vocals, VT
replay on front left and front right.
Speaking, such as the presenters, originally
went in the centre only, but as the
rehearsals progressed I became increasing
uncomfortable with the speech from the
centre speaker. The event was being held in
a sports arena, and having the voices
coming from just the single source was too
intimate for me, so I diverged the dialogue
into the front left and right a little.
I placed two Sennheiser MKH816 rifle
microphones high in the lighting rig, over
the front of the stage, pointed them toward
the back wall of the arena, and fed them
only to the rear speakers. This was my basis
for the surround sound. However, during
rehearsals I became aware of a distracting
slap-back off the rear seating. In fact, the
performers on stage were also commenting
on it too, so I was obviously reproducing
“That grand
piano and
those mic
stands really
do have to be
on stage in 30
seconds”
Julian in front of
Unit 12’s Calrec
Sigma, making
sure the line-up
procedure is
followed correctly
101034_P06_To_10_Junior_Eurovision:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 18:45 Page 7
real life. Initially, I hoped that when the
seating filled up on the night this unwanted
effect would go away, but just in case
I decided to reduce the level of those mics
in the rear channels, with the consequence
that the surround ended up being a lot
more subtle.
With the live coverage taken care of, my
attention turned to the pre-recorded stereo
VT inserts. I wanted the sound to leave the
arena completely but still keep a surround
feel to the programme. My solution was to
feed the VT replay to one of my Lexicon
PCM91s set to simulate an arena type space,
and fed the reverb return only to the rear
speakers. The result was very effective;
sadly, too effective as it gave the impression
of listening to a PA in an empty sports hall.
So once again I wound everything down to
create a more subtle but still spacious feel.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the best
surround is the type that the listener
doesn’t really know is there until it is taken
away.
Having settled on a
mix with all of the
main programme
elements in the front
speakers and just
atmosphere (real or
simulated) in the rear,
I was then able to set
the metadata for
stereo fold-down.
I included the centre
channel at -3dB, but
set the rear channel
contribution to Off;
there was nothing
behind me that
I wanted to hear in the
front in a stereo mix.
Competition
Even though this is a junior event and
consequently the emphasis is placed on the
taking part, not the winning, each
participating country still takes the
competition very seriously and is keen to
see its song shown in the best possible
light. A strict timetable of rehearsals is laid
out, and after their performance the
delegation from each country goes to a
viewing area to review a recording of the
TV coverage. They are able to make
comments about the TV direction, the
lighting and the sound, which are
documented and passed to the relevant
people. The producer told me that I could
ignore any requests if I didn’t agree with
them, but on the whole the feedback was
helpful.
However, in spite of these clearly laid
out procedures, there are always some who
try to short circuit the system. One
country’s sound engineer made it through
the defences and managed to talk to me,
but when he tried it again after the second
rehearsal security were on to him and he
was politely asked to go away. This wasn’t
EBU bureaucracy gone mad, it was really to
enable us to get on with the job without
distractions from producers, managers and
engineers, all wanting to have their input.
The rehearsal schedule allowed each
country to have 40 minutes on stage, the
first ten minutes of which was a sound
check. When I was happy I handed control
over to the director to rehearse with
cameras. We then had a ten minute
changeover before the next country came
on. After two days we had seen and heard
all 15 countries. The whole process was
then repeated, but this time with just 20
minutes for each act and a five minute
changeover – getting through everyone in a
single day. By then we were humming the
tunes and hearing them in our sleep – so we
imposed a €1 fine on anyone caught
singing the songs when off-duty.
We had our first full run through on the
Friday afternoon, the day before
transmission. This brought the realisation of
just how little time there was between each
item. Yes, that grand piano and those mic
stands really do have to be on stage and on
their marks in 30 seconds! Friday evening
was the official dress run – all performed
strictly to time – and the songs were
recorded as backup in case something
happened to prevent the real programme
being transmitted live as planned. This dress
run was also transmitted to all the
participating countries and the voting
system was tried out with young
spokespersons in each country reading out
fictitious score points.
Nil Points
The EBU decided to use the JESC 08 to trial
an alternative voting system. In an attempt
to answer the criticisms of geographical
voting that has dogged the grown up
version, there was a return to voting juries.
‘Musical experts’ from each country
contributed 50% of the awarded points with
the rest being derived from the traditional
tele-voting.
However, the juries’ decisions were
made based on those dress run
performances, so when the monitor desk
memory recall didn’t happen properly for
one act and one of the singers didn’t hear
the correct sound in their IEM for a few
seconds, an official complaint was made.
We were treating the dress run as another
rehearsal, specifically to iron out these sorts
of bugs in the system – so that’s an issue
8 LINE UP Spring 2009
Following the EBU
party the night before
the rehearsals, Tim is
convinced someone
spiked his jelly and
ice cream
Christos, Adonis and Joy getting
the stage RF mics and IEMs ready
for the contest
101034_P06_To_10_Junior_Eurovision:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 18:45 Page 8
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101034_P06_To_10_Junior_Eurovision:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 18:46 Page 9
that would have to be
taken into account if this
method of voting is to
work on the grown up
version.
Friday was also the first
appearance of Dima Bilan, the Russian
winner from the last grown up Eurovision.
He was there to sing in the interval before
the voting started. Unfortunately, he had
missed his flight and didn’t appear for a
sound check – the first time we heard him
was when he walked on stage during the
evening dress run. The timetable didn’t
allow time for any other sound checks, so
we only heard him once more during the
final run through on Saturday afternoon.
After that, we were on air.
The timetable for line up from 45
minutes before transmission was laid out by
the EBU. We used GLITS on the stereo feeds
and BLITS on the Dolby E encoded
surround feeds, both embedded into the
HD pictures. Also embedded were
cleanfeeds and an outgoing coordination
circuit for use during the voting. As part of
the line up, we also offered sound/picture
synchronisation tests and an on-screen
digital clock with counting seconds. The
purpose of the clock was for the foreign
commentators to read the time they saw on
their monitors down their ISDN lines. The
receiving countries could then delay the
(faster) commentary circuits until the
satellite-linked pictures arrived. This
ensured that the commentators talked
about the same pictures that everyone else
was seeing in their home countries!
The last minute before transmission
consisted of arena effects until five seconds
to go, then silence until the programme and
the familiar strains of Charpentier’s prelude
to Te Deum, the Eurovision theme
(downloaded as a .wav file off the EBU
website).
All Right on the Night
After months of preparations, the
programme was over in a little over two
hours, and Georgia won. All the mics and
IEMs worked and were placed into the right
hands and the right ears; the right tracks
were played, and the desk memories
changed correctly. However, there were a
couple of minor hiccups with the incoming
voting contributions. One young lady was
so excited that she shouted the scores at
the top of her voice but we could only just
hear her even after winding the gain up to
the maximum available on the channel!
Both before and after our trip to Cyprus,
many people I spoke to echoed what is
generally held to be the opinion in the UK:
that Eurovision is a bit of a non event, that
the music is not much to speak about, and
quite frankly it’s all a bit silly. Consequently,
they thought the junior version would be
even more so. However, many people in
Europe hold these contests in high esteem.
The production values are high and only the
very best is expected. You don’t have to
like the songs, but the work is challenging,
particularly so far from home. I enjoyed it
and I was proud of what the whole SIS LIVE
team produced.
10 LINE UP Spring 2009
Team Effort
As with any event of this scale it is a team
effort and I should give credit for
everyone’s hard work. From CyBC, the
stage crew comprised Niki, Martha,
Christos, and Adonis. My team from the
UK were Tim Davies (fellow Sound
Supervisor on PA), Miles Marchment
(stage monitoring), Mark Ellis (SIS LIVE
Unit 12 Guarantee Engineer and on-site
comms), Tim Adamson (‘Grams’
Operator), Steve Locking (radio mic
engineer) and Joy Parsons (stage crew
leader). It was noted that myself, both
the Tims, Steve and Mark were veterans
of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998,
which was the last time that event was
held in the UK.
While Miles is on stage counting up
to two, Tim takes the controls of the
monitor desk
The SIS LIVE crew
“Line Up brings me old friends
and new ideas in every issue.”
John Emmett – Broadcast Project Research
21
101034_P06_To_10_Junior_Eurovision:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 18:46 Page 10
LINE UP Spring 2009 11
T
PC (TV Production Center Zurich)
supplies the technical facilities for
the Swiss German-language public
TV broadcaster, SF. TPC has always been an
early adopter of new technologies and in
1996 they began the changeover to digital
production systems. As early as 2002/2003
they relied exclusively on optical cabling for
audio and video when they acted as host
broadcaster of the Skiing World Cup and
the Skiing World Championships. They
were also among the first to try out CWDM
(Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplex) in
order to reduce cabling requirements for
outside broadcasts. In Switzerland,
innovation has always been driven
principally by OB technology since OB-
truck based productions on location play a
prominent role there. Examples of
assignments range from mountain biking
and live coverage of ascents of the north
face of the Eiger, to alpine sporting events.
Other production areas covered include
cultural events such as the live broadcasting
of a play performed on four different stages
at the same time (Expo ’02) and the staging
of La Traviata at the Zurich central station.
These posed a real challenge to the OB
crew and their kit.
Great importance is attached to the
continuing development of production
technologies. The switchover to HD
systems with surround sound had been
planned for years. Once again, the outside
broadcast department blazed the trail with a
large HD-enabled OB truck, while a second
HD facility was installed in a studio
designed for big sports events at the Zurich
headquarters. This modernisation was
driven largely by a change of operating
methods within the sports division at TPC
in which all sports programmes are now
produced and transmitted out of the same
studio and control rooms. Short walks and
close teamwork were the main
considerations, so all of the editorial offices
are in the same corridor, while the cutting
rooms are concentrated on the floor right
above the editorial department. The
background colour design of the studio sets
varies according to programme type,
enabling each programme format to be
identified at a glance.
Local Audio Network
I met Alfio Di Fazio, audio-systems project
manager at TPC Zurich and the man in
charge of the audio control room, and he
described the special features of the HD
studio to me. This new HD studio and the
audio system of the new control room was
completely designed, installed, and
implemented by the staff of TPC, and the
whole installation is entirely cabled with
optical fibres. There are considerable
financial benefits resulting from the fact that
optical cables are much cheaper when
compared with copper cabling in terms of
acquisition, installation, and construction.
Quite apart from the cost savings, optical
signals are impervious to noise and
interference – hum and ground-loops are a
thing of the past. So this is a real win-win
situation.
The optical audio-cabling concept is a
perfect fit with a new Lawo Nexus digital
router, a system that has been in use at TPC
for many years. Individual Nexus
components – so-called ‘Base Devices’ – are
placed as close to signal sources and
destinations as possible, and when
combined with a generously specified core
router (a Nexus Star) they form a star-
topology audio network. This means that
networked audio I/Os are available exactly
where and when they are needed. For
example, in the audio control room the
network I/Os handle all external FX units,
the monitoring systems in the audio and
video and production control rooms, the
audio PC’s and CD players, the Dolby
Encoders and the equipment for
multichannel recordings. As the Base
Devices are fan-less, no specific sound-
absorbing racks were required.
Dolby E – and yet in Sync
Further Base Devices were accommodated
in the machine room on the ground floor,
using SDI cabling for combined audio/video
with Dolby E multichannel audio
distribution. The installed audio network
offers a total of 33 HD-enabled SDI cards,
each providing the de-embedding of all the
audio channels from an SDI or HD-SDI
signal, processing them on the audio router
or units connected to it, and re-embedding
them into the SDI stream.
The big benefits of this strategy are that
one signal format is used for both video and
audio, only one consistent type of physical
cabling is necessary at the studio, and that
transit-time differences between audio and
video are eliminated.
However, TPC doesn’t only use the
native audio channels in the SDI signal
stream. In fact, this is the first installation in
Swiss Precision in Audio
Stefani Renner of Medientechnik Presseservice describes how Switzerland’s very first
HD-enabled studio was designed.
A football programme panel discussion in the new TPC HD studio
101034_P11_To_13_Stagetec2:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:15 Page 11
12 LINE UP Spring 2009
Switzerland to use Dolby E decoding and
encoding of multichannel audio
consistently. Dolby E encoded multichannel
audio can either be transparently forwarded
on the Nexus audio network, or be split
out, using Dolby E decoders, into separate
audio channels for individual processing.
The deployment of Dolby E becomes
particularly important when producing a
sports event that includes several external
sources. As just one example, this might be
a teleconference with correspondents
reporting from multiple football stadia at
the same time. The incoming signals are
contained in a Dolby E encoded SDI
multichannel signal. To crossfade between
stadia, the Dolby E signals are fed as
‘re-entries’ over the Dolby E decoder into
the audio router. The central studio
controller, a BFE KSC Controller, not only
provides audio-follows-video functionality
but also inserts a 40ms video latency to
ensure the audio and video remain in sync
regardless of Dolby E decoding/re-encoding
latencies. At present there are no
programmes in production where this
application would be needed, but the
option was included to cater for future
programme formats.
The central studio-control unit is
particularly interesting and deserves a
closer look. The KSC Controller handles the
video and audio routers and provides, for
example, simple monitoring-source
selection in the video control room. Since it
can also accommodate bundling of separate
signals, it handles the assignments to the
quad-split screens for the producer. This
allows a video stream to be routed
automatically along with the accompanying
audio which may be mono, stereo or even
multichannel.
Total Networking Versus Islands
I’ve already mentioned that the core of the
audio network at the new HD studio is the
Nexus Star central router. Together with
the Nexus Base Devices, it forms the audio
network that interconnects the control
rooms and the studio, and is the heart of the
star topology. TPC has relied on this
technology for some time and there are
already quite a few similar audio networks
on the premises. Certainly, interconnecting
all of them would be possible to allow
access to every source from anywhere on
the campus. However, experience has
shown that this is not really practicable.
Access to microphones in the HD studio
from a different control room would rarely
be required, and if it were, problems such
as who on the network has the rights to set
parameters such as the microphone gain
would need to be sorted out. Therefore,
TPC decided against the concept of a single
large network, and instead the individual
studio complexes and their control rooms
form separate digital islands. Each of these
islands connects to the main switching
room over MADI lines, that is, over a purely
audio connection. This enables lossless
exchange of in-house as well as external
audio signals while avoiding the drawbacks
of a big overall network.
Audio Network and Console
Co-ordinated
TPC tends to use the same standard
building blocks in many of its installations.
For example, it generally relies on an
intercom system from Swiss manufacturer
Hugentobler. This system, which is almost
unknown outside Switzerland, enables
extra locations to be integrated into an
intercom conference in a very handy way.
Selecting the target person on the intercom
system is incredibly simple and requires
very few set-up steps. In my opinion the
true strength of this system is that virtually
everybody in Swiss productions uses it;
certainly all TPC personnel know about its
operation, its strengths and its weaknesses.
Apart from a very small number of
subsystems, no other intercom is in use
there.
However, one exception to this rule
can be found in the HD studio where a
small Delec Oratis intercom system is
installed. This is used exclusively for talking
into the mix-minus matrix for signals from
external locations, as well as for summing
the incoming signals from these external
locations to provide a combined talkback
listen signal.
Sticking with standard kit can be
beneficial in other areas of audio
engineering and in engineering generally.
This applies not only to the Nexus audio
networks but also to the Stagetec mixing
consoles employed by TPC. Older studios
are home to Cantus consoles while large
Aurus systems are installed on the new HD-
enabled OB truck and in the new sportscast
studio’s HD control room. Both types of
console integrate closely with the audio
network. The DSP mixing cards required by
the Aurus, as well as the console’s
CPU/controller board, are hosted in the
Nexus Star mainframe, and the only thing
required beyond that is the actual console
control surface which connects to the
processing farm via optical fibres.
TPC opted for a large 48-fader Aurus
console in the Sports studio control room.
This gives the engineer instant access to the
faders for all crucial sources. Less critical
signals are assigned to another of the total
of eight fader layers, which still provide
very fast – albeit not instantaneous – access.
Fortunately, the audio control room is
rather spacious, with sufficient room for the
mixing console and a decent surround-
monitoring system.
Stereo for All – Surround for
the Few
Today, TPC routinely creates its
productions in SD quality with stereo audio.
However, some live events have been
produced in HD with surround sound, and
examples include the live broadcast from a
UEFA Champions League match from Basel
that took place in September 2008 which
was the first HD / surround production
made in the new sports studio complex.
The Stagetec Aurus console in the audio control room
101034_P11_To_13_Stagetec2:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:15 Page 12
Since then, TPC has produced around one HD / surround
programme per month from the new sports complex. In future
however, all of the control rooms at TPC will be converted to HD
and surround audio, with the new sports studio acting as a pilot
scheme for those updates.
Even so, although productions will be made with surround
sound in future, a majority of viewers will still receive only stereo
sound. At the moment there are only around 30,000 households
with surround-capable TV in Switzerland. This creates an
unsatisfactory situation where surround audio is mixed optimally
for only a small audience, while the majority of viewers consume
just a by-product which is far from perfect. The intelligibility of a
stereo mix is frequently affected when a down-mix is generated
automatically from the surround signal. TPC plans to resolve this
dilemma by making use of a very special feature of the Aurus
console: unlike other consoles, it does not compute the pan
setting at the channel output, but only once the signal arrives at
the bus input. Thus, by defining multiple buses (for example a
stereo bus plus a 5.1 surround bus), it is possible to produce both
surround and stereo mixes in parallel with completely
independent panning. Both versions are then processed
separately by the console and can be tweaked independently by
the engineer.
For the future
The European football championship in 2008, hosted in Austria
and Switzerland, was the first really big event produced in the
new HD control room. This acted as a final production-control
facility since SF, the Swiss German-speaking public TV
broadcaster, and ORF in Austria, held the exclusive rights for the
event in their respective countries. Besides transmitting the
matches through the control room, the sports studio was also
used for producing interview and talks shows with a studio
audience.
Even for this major event, TPC has not yet tapped into the full
technological potential afforded by the manifold possibilities of
the new studio and its control rooms. There is a considerable
scope for the development of new production methods in the
future. Above all, the Swiss TV Production Center has equipped
the facilities in anticipation of increased use of Dolby E.
LINE UP Spring 2009 13
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101034_P11_To_13_Stagetec2:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:15 Page 13
14 LINE UP Spring 2009
F
rom the introduction, fifty years ago,
of the second television channel in
the UK there have been complaints
about the loudness of commercials. At the
time a viewing public, familiar with a single
channel without commercial breaks, was
split in its reaction to the new service.
Certainly, a significant proportion disliked
the interruptions to continuous
programming and considered the
commercial breaks to be a rude intrusion
into their viewing and listening. To a certain
extent these attitudes are still present today,
but criticism has been extended to cover
promotional material and certain types of
light entertainment programming, whilst a
new problem of digital peak levels in the all-
digital home has crept in to complicate
matters further.
Audience Research
A survey carried out at the end of 1993 by
the British Audience Research Board
(BARB) considered sixteen attitude
statements on the subject of television
advertising, using a panel size of around
3,000. Four items relevant to sound levels
asked respondents to agree or disagree that
television advertisements:
1. ‘Are louder than programmes, or are
broadcast with excessive sound levels’:
more than 40% agreed, and more than
20% disagreed.
2. ‘Make me turn the sound down’:
nearly 40% agreed, and a similar
proportion disagreed.
3. ‘Are too noisy’:
around 33% agreed, 25% disagreed.
So there was clear evidence that substantial
numbers of viewers were aware of sound
levels in advertisements and that these were
seen by many to be excessive.
Having established that there is a
problem, which the viewers have described
as excessive loudness, we need to be sure
that this means the same as that which we
understand by the term in the scientific
sense. If we provisionally define the
problem as one of differential sensory
loudness between short programme
segments, the assumption can be tested
subjectively. As it turned out, the subjective
test described below did much more than
just confirm this assumption, so to see how
this came about it is worth analysing some
of the opinions aired over the many years
that the loudness problem had existed.
Foremost among these was that
production houses used vast amounts of
dynamic range compression in order to
produce high levels of effective loudness on
commercials, whilst maintaining the
recommended peak modulation levels. Two
factors soon killed this theory: firstly,
independent sound operators could often
confirm that no compression had been used
on problem items. Secondly, excessive
loudness of promotional materials had been
found on the excerpts produced by in-
house teams. Clearly, dynamic range, like
peak modulation levels, contributed to the
apparent loudness but was by no means the
full story. A second opinion, which was
widely held, was that the loudness factor
was purely perceptual – ie, in the mind of
the individual. This idea should have been
discounted by the complaints statistics, but
it was nevertheless a vital item for the
subjective test, because only sensory
loudness can be metered. Any significant
perceptual element will therefore reduce
the effective value of loudness metering.
Although the most likely reason for
commercials and promotion material being
perceptually louder is that both genres have
more money and effort spent on them per
second of output.
The Subjective Tests
As far as the 40 families who took part in
the 1990 Thames TV tests knew, the
videotape they were offered consisted of
five bands of five 30 second promotions
and commercials. Each group of excerpts
was interspersed with programme material
representing a wide range of interests and
each family member, of which there were
just over 120, filled in a form using a CCIR
five-point scale of loudness for each of the
25 numbered sections.
In reality there were two tapes with
different assembly orders, thus producing
two different perceptual conditions. There
were also two items numbered 23 in order
to test attentiveness. The results,
summarised in Figure 1, were quite
encouraging – the results for both tapes
identified the same three statistically quiet
Loudness Metering Looked
at from a Distance
Edward de Bono and John
Emmett MIBS discuss some of
the issues involved in loudness
metering.
A combined AB and LKFS meter set
101034_P14_To_17_EDU:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 16:24 Page 14
items and the same four statistically loud
items (albeit one which was marginally so).
Sensory loudness, then, had won by a large
statistical margin over perceptual, so in
theory it should be possible to build a meter
to measure loudness.
The Proof of the Pudding
All the current DVB, digital satellite and
cable systems take an essentially transparent
digital audio chain right through into the
home, and consistent comparisons of
loudness can therefore be made at any
point in that signal chain, (and accurately
across both strands and strains on all
channels).
The availability of radio channels on
these sources appears to make the loudness
variation situation worse for television, as
each radio station tends to have its own
well-controlled ‘themed’ loudness profile.
This is illustrated by the one-hour sample of
a log overleaf showing a popular music
radio channel (dark blue), a talk radio
channel (magenta), and a typical television
channel (yellow). The ‘permitted maximum
levels’ of all three programmes are aligned
(all three peaking to six and a quarter
(+9dBu) on an IEC type IIA (BBC) PPM.
The gated dialogue loudness traces are
shown in LeqA form, and the zero on the
dB scale has no special significance. The
ITU LKFS loudness measurement would
follow a similar line, but could be
numerically reported as averaging so many
dBs below full scale, once you have defined
the integration time and the gating level.
After a number of tests, it was found by
EBU’s Audio Advisory Group (P/AGA)
members that all loudness profiles lie in a
band encompassing no more than 8dB,
regardless of the measurement algorithm.
First reactions to this plot may well be
that the television results show the best that
can be done, as the television content will
vary between the two illustrative radio
genres and then add some that do not exist
in radio – long periods of silence for
instance. Note the television loudness
variations occur not just between
LINE UP Spring 2009 15
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Subjective loudness grades of test material
101034_P14_To_17_EDU:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 16:24 Page 15
programmes, but also within shorter-term
inserts, promotions and commercial breaks.
This only goes to exacerbate the apparent
differences.
How We Got Here
The actual sound level heard by the viewer
is ultimately determined by the setting of
the receiver’s volume control. The ratio of
levels as measured on a PPM is maintained
but the scale is magnified by a factor
determined by the volume control setting.
It is important that a fairly constant average
sound level is maintained so that the viewer
does not have to keep adjusting the volume
control. This should also be the
requirement when changing between
channels. Over forty years ago, in an effort
to maintain this fairly constant average
sound level, UK broadcast companies drew
up a table of recommended IEC Type IIA
(BBC) PPM levels for different types of
programme material. This was published in
the Technical Regulations, to ensure that
the subjective volume is consistent with the
transmitted material whilst at the same time
preventing excessive loudness changes, and
is summarised in the table opposite.
Listening Levels in the Home
Many hearing-related phenomenon are non-
linear, and to get some idea of standardised
home listening conditions, the EBU
published Tech 3276 Listening conditions
for the assessment of sound programme
material. (All EBU Recommendations, Tech
docs, and even test audio samples are freely
downloadable without registration from
www.ebu.ch). This document essentially
fixes the reference SPL for listening to both
two-channel and 5.1 programmes at 78dB
SPL alignment level per channel. This is 7dB
below cinema practice and recognises an
important difference between high
monitoring levels and a somewhat lower
home listening level, which usually lies
between an equivalent of 60 to 75 dB at
alignment level.
Any form of loudness constraint at the
capture stage may be undesirable for three
main reasons. First, it is not desirable during
capture to use too much signal processing,
as it cannot be undone at a later stage.
Clean capture at the correct signal levels is
therefore most desirable aim. Second,
different outlet channels will probably want
to impose different loudness ‘profiles’ on
the programme anyway. And third,
changing the recording techniques and
hence the artistic intentions of any existing
show would also create the practical
problem of matching earlier episodes and
archive material in any interim period.
Similar cinema audio problems during
the late 1990s led to the use of Dolby
Digital’s ‘dialnorm’ value being recorded in
DVD metadata, and where sections of audio
material from different sources need to be
butted together (as is the case in any
television channel), one consistent dialogue
based loudness level should be considered
desirable. Experience using metadata-based
loudness correction at US cable head-ends,
has shown that the use of metadata for
control can make matters much worse than
where none exists, especially in the case
when the post-production metadata is
wrong.
The next stage in a typical television
programme chain at which loudness
control might be employed is dubbing.
However, in the UK, the programme ingest
stage would appear to be the best point to
impress a loudness ‘profile’ to suit a
particular Channel. Any later in the
transmission stage and the correction will
have to be automated.
Loudness metering used as a ‘guide’
rather than a statute should be considered
at all stages of the production process. This
would produce a more accurate approach
than the old practice of listening off-air on
the control room monitors just before going
live.
Just When We Thought the
Problem was Solved
The peak modulation level on the analogue
broadcast transmitters is limited by
legislation in order to control the co-
channel interference that would have
resulted from over-modulation. However, in
the case of digital services the carrier audio
modulation constraints do not exist, and so
the ‘Permitted Maximum Level’ (PML) is
translated using ITU-R BS645 and the EBU
recommendation R68, into a PML 9dB
below digital maximum (0dBFS).
While this leaves adequate headroom
for live broadcast programme and transient
variations, in the digital home it will have to
co-exist with DVD and CD material which is
typically modulated to within a decibel of
0dBFS (and is frequently highly processed
as well). For this engineering reason alone,
broadcast material will appear at least 9dB
quieter than pre-recorded consumer
formats.
As if this was not enough, tests made off
air (radio and television) a year ago exposed
PML variations of only 3dB within any one
channel, but of 12dB between broadcasters.
It was especially noticeable that those
broadcasters using the severest processing
for increased loudness also seemed to use
the highest peak modulation levels. Overall
therefore, apparent loudness variations on
digital services now seem to encompass
18dB, compared to 8dB on analogue
services.
16 LINE UP Spring 2009
Comparative loudness between music and talks radio and TV
A table of recommended peak levels and dynamic ranges
Material Normal Peaks Dynamic Range
Speech, Talks, News, Drama, Documentaries,
Panel Games, Quiz Shows, Announcements
5 1 – 6
Music, Variety, Dance Music 4.5 2 – 6
Brass bands, Military Bands 4 2 – 5
Orchestral Concerts 6 1 – 6
Light Music 5.5 1 – 6
Pop Music 5 2 – 5
Programmes conatining a high degree of compression. 4 2 – 4
Commercials conatining a high degree of compression. 4 2 – 4
101034_P14_To_17_EDU:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 16:24 Page 16
Standardisation Effort
The EBU is only an advisory body and its
P/AGA Advisory Group has had loudness
under close study for years. As with all
digital audio related issues, though, there
are many larger user groups involved which
have loudness interests with vastly different
agendas to those in broadcasting. As an
example of this, one manufacturer can
show that more loudness meters are
currently purchased for maximisation of
loudness in recorded music production,
than for actual control in broadcasting.
The ITU-R is the internationally
recognised body for broadcast standards,
and it started work on the ‘question’ of the
measurement of programme loudness in
2001. Steve Lyman of Dolby leads this
project in Working Party 6C, and current
activity is centred on the loudness-metering
algorithm ITU-R BS 1770 and 1771, the
latter including suggested meter scales
based on the VU meter. Loudness
measurements based on the basic 1770
algorithm are designated as ‘LKFS’
(Loudness, K scale, (with respect to) Full
Scale). A single-issue group (P/LOUD
chaired by IBS member Florian Camerer)
was set up by the EBU in 2008, working on
this basic data set.
The most important point about any
algorithm is that once standardised,
loudness can be objectively quoted in the
form of numerical LKFS (or whatever)
measurements with respect to full scale
digital peak level. This should give an
absolute fix to what were essentially
comparative measurements in the past and
to clarify this, current discussion centres
around the integration time and details of
the gating function, as well as 5.1 channel
weightings. However, within any particular
user sector (and broadcasters form quite a
small one), the drafting of operational
practices is almost as important as the
technical details themselves.
Displaying the Results
Given that the general trend in broadcast is
for server-based systems it would seem
reasonable and cost effective to control
loudness prior to playout. This could be
automated and could therefore look ahead
through the schedule to assign appropriate
level control to defined elements. It would
of course be helpful to have a loudness
meter in control rooms both as a means of
dealing with live output and as a safety
check.
If we do require a physical meter, it will
need to work in real-time for live
programme production. Digital audio is a
global entity, yet we use VU meters and at
least three common forms of PPM just
within Europe, along with an additional
number of contradicting needle/bar colour
conventions. Therefore the EBU choice of a
cyan colour for the LKFS meter, although
seeming trivial, actually goes some way to
harmonising the overall process. As for an
‘Aunt Sally’ appearance, for UK based
members the one pictured above should be
reasonably easy to understand.
However, a couple of notes may help to
illustrate the sort of detail that is still under
discussion. (1) Regardless of how many
channels of audio are involved, there will be
one loudness meter reading, and the
summation factors will be defined in the
algorithm for two channel and 5.1 material.
(2) The 1770 algorithm is essentially an
RMS B-weighted response with a 12dB per
octave high-pass at 60Hz, and a 4dB shelf
above 2kHz. Unfortunately this HF shelf
leaves a residual value of 0.6dB at 1kHz, and
so a ‘fiddle factor’ has been applied in BS
1770 so that a 1kHz continuous tone at
-18dBFS on either channel of a two-channel
system will produce an LKFS value of -21dB.
This equates to a reading of -18 dB for two
channels both carrying continuous
alignment tone, independently of the phase.
Note also that if gating is correctly used,
interrupting the tone will not affect the
readings.
(3) Holding the loudness reading during
periods of silence requires the input signal
to be gated at a level below the lowest
dialogue level, but above the highest
background noise level (which can be quite
considerable, although rarely annoying).
(4) Both the BBC and Channel Four
performed tests to find the most
acceptable integration time for such a
meter. One test chose four seconds,
the other three to ten
seconds, so there is a fairly close
agreement there.
Meter types and Standards
For years there has been a view that moving
coil meters are inaccurate, fragile and
generally obsolete. Yet we inwardly yearn
for the simplicity of the needle angle, easily
read in a quick glance. Also, in any live
broadcasting studio in the UK you will be
presented with a familiar set of PPMs, and
this greatly eases the load on the
increasingly mobile and transient work
force. Fortunately, the IEC realised decades
ago that not all meters claiming to be (or
looking like) a VU or PPM are remotely
close to desirable or accurate in practice, so
the definitive meter specifications in IEC
60268-10; 1991, are still those that need to
be satisfied. In order to test that a meter
meets this specification, test pulses and
tone bursts are defined, and these are
easiest to find in the form of digital samples
(eg. International Broadcast Standards
Tests Disc sets from Canford Audio).
In the case of an LKFS meter, some of
the vital mechanical requirements for PPM
or VU will be eased, so making a virtual
meter easier to design without psycho-
visual impairments, but a minimal set of test
pulses will still be necessary in order to
build confidence, and compare different
implementations. One way or another, it is
a safe prediction for 2009 that this is
something that you will be seeing soon, and
hopefully, even appreciating.
LINE UP Spring 2009 17
An example of the EBU LKFS loudness meter
“Line Up has played a crucial role in helping
us promote our products to the broadcast audio
community. It’s a totally unique publication with a
clearly targeted audience.”
Howard Jones – Source Distribution
21
101034_P14_To_17_EDU:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 16:24 Page 17
18 LINE UP Spring 2009
Tim Field MIBS (1960-2008)
After a seven year battle with the
debilitating Motor Neurone Disease, Tim
Field passed away peacefully on 22 October
2008 after 48 years on this planet.
Tim was born in Auckland, New
Zealand, and his career in sound started at
the Stebbings Recording Centre in 1979; it
was always Tim’s dream to be the best
recording engineer in the world. Two years
later he had a brief excursion into the world
of pirate radio with Radio Hauraki before
joining Mandrill Recording Studios in
Auckland in 1983.
The music scene in NZ was rather
limited so in 1986 Tim relocated to England
to seek his fortune. On arrival Tim worked
briefly with record producer Tony Visconti,
but as much as he loved the music business
it wasn’t paying the bills, so he looked at
other sound-related opportunities. It was
during a short stint at LBC Radio in London
as a studio technical operator that Tim met
his future wife Therese Birch, a presenter at
the station. At the same time Tim was also
doing a few freelance shifts at TV-am in
their audio dubbing suite.
Early in 1989 came the offer of a
permanent position as a dubbing mixer at
the newly launched Sky Television, and it
was here that Tim made his mark on the
world of audio post-production. Working
closely with veteran BBC dubbing mixer
Tony Millier, Tim mastered his craft. His
drive was amazing and he would constantly
push the management at Sky for bigger and
better facilities. Tim’s ability to soak up
knowledge and information was stunning,
while his understanding of system and
equipment was second to none – but he
was also very happy to share that
knowledge with his team, and this provided
a solid foundation for the future of the
audio dubbing department at Sky.
Tim was diagnosed with MND early in
2000 but was determined to continue
working for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, the disease took hold very
quickly, initially confining Tim to a
motorised wheelchair and then to his bed.
However, this didn’t stop Tim being
actively involved with the dubbing
department at Sky – he was always willing
to offer advice to his colleagues on a wide
range of audio problems via email.
Towards the end of his illness Tim was
confined to his bed 24/7, but even though
he had no movement below his neck he
continued to communicate with his friends
and colleagues via his laptop controlled by
eye movements. Despite all this, his
determination never waned and he was still
contributing regularly to the IBSnet forum
and sending emails to his friends around the
world. He further amazed us all when he
announced that he had signed up to an
Open University course!
Tim cared passionately about his art, the
art of sound. He was an inspiration to
everybody who met him and especially to
those of us who were fortunate enough to
work with him. He will be greatly missed by
all his friends in the industry and especially
by his colleagues at Sky. Our condolences
go to his parents Chris and Elizabeth, his
sister Beth, and his wife Therese.
Vaughan Rogers
Roger Derry MIBS (1946-2009)
Roger was timeless, and as much a part of
the fabric of the audio world we inhabit as
sound itself. When I began working in
Programme Operations in Broadcasting
House in 1979, Roger was so far up (to the
left!) on the allocation sheets that I needed
a decent set of walking boots to go across
there to look at what the allocation was.
They were all ‘up there’ – the talented, the
temperamental, all the highly-skilled, slick
operators. Roger was none of these; he was
just Roger, totally unflappable, supremely
well organised and a constant reference and
knowledge-base for all of us to draw upon.
Working with Roger always felt ‘safe’ and
controlled, there were never any histrionics
or tantrums and somehow the unexpected
always seemed expected. What is really odd
is that given all the programmes I made
with Roger (and there must have been
hundreds) none of them stand out in my
memory. That says a lot for the calm and
organised way in which he managed the
studio.
Formal editing training in ‘Prog Ops’
was a two week stint in an edit channel
with a trainer, and in my case this was
Roger. Producers came along and you
edited. Of course, I knew how to edit! What
could I learn? After a few days of me editing
and Roger sitting at the back saying nothing
I wondered what it was all about. He would
fetch the tea and I would edit. Once in a
while I would ask an opinion and he would
ask me what I thought… To be honest
I was slightly confused! But gradually he got
inside my head and made me challenge
myself. Even when I thought it was good
enough, he would sit there and from the
look on his face I knew he thought I could
do it better. Roger never showed me how;
I suspect he realised how intimidating that
could be. Nor did he criticise. What Roger
taught me in his quiet and subtle but oh, so
effective, way is that you set your own
standards, and that you are the final arbiter
of quality in whatever it is you do.
I felt humbled that Roger asked me to
pre-read some of his books before
publication. Those books sit on my shelf
still, and are references for my students too.
Not a ‘how to do it’ reference, not an ‘I did
it this way’ reference, but as a ‘here is my
knowledge if it can be of help to you’
reference – and a remit for the readers to
set their own high standards. Roger had the
highest; he just never made a fuss about it…
Paul Newis
I BS NEWS
Obituaries
101034_P18_Obituaries:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:27 Page 18
What got you into sound?
“My late father showed me how to use his
two-track and four-track tape machines, and
when I was thirteen I saw a documentary
about Abbey Road Studios; I saw the sound
desk and thought ‘I want to play with one
of those.’”
So where did you begin your career?
“The school’s careers bloke couldn’t tell me
what qualifications I needed to be a sound
engineer, and I took all the wrong A levels.
After a year’s evening classes in Physics
I applied for a job as an Audio Assistant with
the BBC, joining the Audio Unit at Pebble
Mill in 1980. After ten years I was a Senior
Audio Supervisor and TV studio specialist.
Following the BBC’s move to The Mailbox
I was made redundant in April 2006.”
What sort of work do you do now?
“I work freelance, and TV OB companies
book me as a sound assistant and DSS. I’m
hired directly by the
BBC’s Natural History
Unit to sound
supervise their live OB
output and BBC
Training employs me
to help train
cameramen, vision
mixers and directors
(sadly, no TV sound
people). I’ve also
worked on some
Radio 2 shows for the
BBC in Birmingham, on
The Archers and as a
dubbing mixer in post-
production. All this is
interspersed with the
odd corporate.”
What do you enjoy most about working in
sound?
“Sound is what gives a programme its pace,
atmosphere and emotion. Music can make
the hairs on the back of your neck stand up,
and no two actors say the same line with
the same intonation. Sound effects and
incidental music dubbed on to a TV drama
can manipulate the mood of an audience.
I’m not really interested in the bells and
whistles of equipment; I’m motivated by
sound as an emotionally fulfilling
experience. I feel huge waves of
disappointment when it is done badly or
not deemed important.”
Where do you get information and help?
“Chats with fellow professionals are what
I miss most about not working for the BBC,
so now I turn to the IBS. Last year’s
Residential Weekend was a revelation;
I talked to so many people, discussed best
practice and asked for advice. Few others in
broadcasting notice ‘good sound,’ so it’s
great to receive praise and encouragement
from your peers.”
What is your greatest professional
achievement so far?
“Working as sound supervisor for Pebble
Mill, a programme transmitted on BBC
ONE, weekday lunchtimes in the 1990s.
With a resident band, two further live bands
per programme and celebrity interviews in
between, we had full front of house and
monitoring rigs, mixers on the studio floor
and a 96-channel broadcast desk (not quite
big enough!). It was a huge challenge but
I learned a lot very quickly – it’s the most
stressed, but the most satisfied, I’ve
ever been.”
Where would you like to be in ten years?
“I need variety and it would be good to
write and record some of my own music
before I’m too old to do it; to have a chance
to be sound recordist on a high budget TV
drama, or have something to do with the
2012 Olympics. A career development
attachment to Countryfile a couple of years
ago whetted my appetite for production;
but I’ve had a very interesting career in
sound and more of the same would be
fine!”
LINE UP Spring 2009 19
I BS NEWS
Louise Willcox
DWR Associates
www.dwrassociates.co.uk
IBS Member Profile: Louise Willcox
101034_P19_Member_Page:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:33 Page 19
Twenty One Years of Line Up
After scouring the archives, IBS President Adrian Bishop-Laggett provides the definitive history
of the IBS Journal, Fellow of the Institute Ron Godwyn reflects on his tenure as the longest
serving editor of Line Up, and Roger Derry MIBS recounts how it all started.
20 LINE UP Spring 2009
A Potted History
Where would we be in life without
serendipity? Line Up magazine certainly
owes its success and longevity in some
part to that! In the mid 1980s the IBS
committee had been discussing the
possibility of a glossy magazine to
replace IBS News; it was a chance
meeting at AES in London which
presented the opportunity.
IBS News was the Institute’s first
magazine – in A5 format and edited and
produced initially by the late Antony
Askew (IBS member 001) and then for
six years by Roger Derry MIBS. In 1987
Roger was unable to continue as editor,
and so the opportunity was taken to
look at the idea of producing the
magazine commercially. Fergal Ringrose,
then editor of International
Broadcasting published by BSO
Publications, met Roger and Richard
Cobourne on the
IBS
stand
at the 1987
AES Convention in London. Fergal was
impressed with the content of IBS News
and together with his publisher Mike
Crimp (now Chief Operating Officer of
IBC) felt that they could turn it into the
high quality, glossy journal that the IBS
was aiming for. Production, design, and
advertising sales expertise were supplied
by BSO Publications, while the IBS
would supply the editorial material and
the magazine’s editor. Agreement was
reached and the first four issues of
Line Up were produced with guest
editors Richard Lamont (issue 1), Fergal
(issues 2 and 3) and Roger (issue 4),
while the search for a permanent editor
went on. Eventually we were lucky
enough to obtain the services of Ron
Godwyn FIBS, at that time an editor with
Link House Magazines and highly
regarded in the audio industry. He was
to edit 69 issues of the magazine before
handing over to Hugh Robjohns MIBS at
the end of 2000.
BSO Publications were taken over by
International Thomson Business
Publishing in 1989, and after a short
period with them it was eventually
decided that the IBS should publish the
magazine itself. It was serendipitous that
the excellent Jo Pearson became
available just as we were looking for an
advertising manager. Ron and Jo already
knew each other as they had worked
together at Link House.
The production side was taken over
by Jeff Liddiatt of Linden Services in
Bristol, but after eleven issues ill health
forced him to stop work. Fortunately,
Richard Foley of Parallel Marketing in
Bristol was able to take his place as our
production manager, a job that he has
done superbly and with enormous
patience, for the last 88 issues – quite a
record!
I became involved in the
Spring of 1992 and found the
experience of publishing a
magazine a more pleasant one
than I had expected. It helped
that I was working with an
efficient team who were very easy
to get on with! At the end of that
year, Philippa Purshouse took over from
Hugo Lamb, who had designed Line Up
from the beginning, and she continues to
design the magazine today. Not long
after joining the team, romance was in
the air and she married our production
manager to become Pip Foley.
The team continued to work very
well over the following ten years or so,
but I was increasingly aware that
I should be on the lookout for a
successor. Once again, serendipity
played a part as Malcolm Nelson MIBS
was about to cease his full time
involvement with BBC Training at Wood
Norton. I had great respect for his
managerial abilities and he and Hugh
already knew each other from Hugh’s
days as a BBC instructor. Malcolm took
over as publisher in 2004.
Romance wasn’t confined to the
production side either. Jo Pearson had
also married and now had a young son.
After successfully balancing family and
ad sales for three years, she decided to
take a career break in order to spend
more time with her family, so in 2004 the
search was now on for a new advertising
manager. Once again, we were lucky to
obtain the services of Phil Guy, who
took over the advertising book at the
end of that year.
And that brings us up to date. As this
is Line Up’s 21st Anniversary, I have
deliberately concentrated on the people
who were directly involved with the
magazine, rather than the IBS folk who
played a huge part in its formation. But it
would be unfair if I didn’t specifically
mention the hard work put in by Peter
Dorey and Richard West as Financial
Directors of Line Up Publications Ltd
(LUPL), particularly in the early days
when the IBS took independent control
of the magazine.
To all the others who were involved
with LUPL [See the website version of
this article for more on who they were
and what they did! – Ed], to our many
contributors, and to all those (past and
present) who have worked on the
magazine – on behalf of the members of
the Institute and the wider readership,
our heartfelt thanks for all that you have
done to make Line Up the huge success
it is today.
Adrian Bishop-Laggett
Satisfaction
It is hard to believe that the hardy IBS
journal is 21 years old this issue. It seems
only a year or so ago that our (even
more) esteemed editor was inviting some
of us to have a look back over our
shoulders on the occasion of the 100th
edition of Line Up. In fact, it was in the
April/May
I BS NEWS
“Written by professionals for
professionals, Line Up has to be the most
interesting read in the broadcast audio industry,
and it doesn’t come any better than that. Simply an
essential resource. Congratulations on 21 years!”
Steve Angel – HHB
“Line Up has always been a great
source of unbiased reviews from professionals
actually working with equipment at the sharp end.
Sharing knowledge is what this business is all about,
and Line Up is a great way to do that.”
Vaughan Rogers – Sky Television
21
21
101034_P20_To_21_Anniversary:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 19:35 Page 20
LINE UP Spring 2009 21
issue of 2005 that I was invited to have
that nostalgic trawl through some
favourite articles. In the same issue
Roger Derry outlined how he produced
the first IBS News, precursor to Line Up,
launched by member number one,
Antony Askew – and John Andrews
explained the reason for the journal and
how it worked.
I was lucky enough to turn up after
the first four issues of the new, shiny
magazine had taken shape and had the
relatively easier task of just keeping it
going. I remembered being quite
nervous and more than a little pleased
when my first issue appeared and I was
not asked to leave. Little did I realise that
I was to be at the editorial desk for
69 issues!
During that time I learned a lot, met
a lot of very interesting people and had
some fun along the way. I particularly
enjoyed the visits to the trade shows. It
gave me a chance to meet many of the
company and PR people I knew mainly
from phone calls. Although being
approached by literally dozens of,
perhaps unfamiliar, faces who all
seemed to know my name was a bit
daunting – who was this, can
I surreptitiously squint at his name-card?
The giant International Broadcast
Convention (IBC) in Amsterdam with its
five huge zeppelin hangers full of
products and stands was a special
challenge. Several weeks of marathon
training prior to the show would have
been useful. Covering the huge spread
of exhibitors’ stands involved walking,
possibly, some four or five kilometres a
day to fillet out the audio companies
dotted among the sea of video. A bonus,
of course, was working at the show with
Advertising Manager Jo Pearson who
was greeted on all sides by company
directors and sales managers as a long
lost friend – even though she was about
to divest them of considerable sums of
money. She was such a huge asset to
Line Up. Another favourite show was the
Sound Broadcasting Equipment Show
(SBES) in Birmingham. This was much
smaller and cosier, and it was easy to get
round and see everybody. The bar was
the hub of business transactions and
unofficial information exchange, of
course.
Probably the most satisfying part of
the job was receiving articles from IBS
members. After harrying some
unfortunate sound man who was in the
middle of a shoot, possibly on a wet
Welsh hillside, it was very gratifying to
receive a well written article, and on
time (mostly). I salute all those
contributors who somehow found it
possible, in spite of their busy schedules,
to pen an article for Line Up during my
tenure. I really hope that it will be
possible to keep our precious journal,
with its excellent production values and
interesting articles, in existence in some
form as we head into incredibly difficult
times ahead.
Ron Godwyn
Ambitions
“Bloody broadcasters!” exclaimed Fergal
Ringrose, Line Up’s first guest editor.
“When you ask for an article BY a
certain time, they think you mean AT
that time!”
The IBS always had a magazine.
Home-made and A5; it was called IBS
News – a title sounding like one of the
guest magazines on Have I Got News for
You. It was started by the late Antony
Askew and was a neat amalgam of a golf
ball typewriter (with a choice of
typefaces) and the movable type
provided by sticking down the text with
cow gum – a rubber glue that stuck to
everything.
When Tony gave up the magazine he
buttonholed me in the radio studio
managers’ office and negotiated a
transfer of power. I didn’t have the
patience for a typewriter and so the early
and ugly Epson dot-matrix became the
font of choice. By 1987 it had evolved to
proper computer typeset text, although
king cow gum still mastered the layout.
The Executive Committee of the IBS
had long had an ambition to have a
proper glossy A4 magazine, and
I suppose it was BBC Wales’ fault that
caused us to get one. Much to
everyone’s surprise, especially mine,
I was appointed Assistant Audio
Manager (remember those) at
Cardiff. Moving countries and
a year of being ‘that gonzo
from London’ made it
impractical to carry on
producing IBS News, so ambition
fulfilment time had come. Mark
Yonge, Richard Cobourne and I became
involved in a lot of negotiation (and
mysterious things called ‘Heads of
Agreement’) with BSO Publications
which led to the experimental publishing
of Line Up – a title I had dreamt up
while driving from London to Cardiff.
The first edition was under the
editorship of Richard Lamont and two
more editions came along under the
guest editorship of BSO’s Fergal
Ringrose. I edited Line Up 4 and we
were then able to appoint our first
permanent editor Ron Godwyn. Ron had
been editing Broadcast Systems
Engineering for Link House Publications,
but before that he had started the British
mixing console industry while he was
with Pye Records by asking a repair
engineer, Rupert Neve “Do you know
anyone who makes mixing desks?” To
which he got the reply “I could make
you one.”
Despite International Thomson
Business Publishing’s mantra of the
unique selling point, they never really
got the hang of Line Up’s ethos. I don’t
think that they gripped why there was
no equipment on the cover. Instead
there would be a scene from a
programme. My favourite was a young
lady pointing a gun out of the cover.
So it was that I found myself trudging
around the 1991 APRS exhibition
announcing “Good News – Line Up is
going independent.” I became the
magazine’s formal publisher, Jo Pearson
(a former colleague of Ron’s at Link
House) sold the ads, Jeff Liddiat looked
after the technical side, and Hugo Lamb
continued to design the magazine. Since
then the staffing has got tighter, and
I disappeared off the scene once my
spreadsheet record disclosed how much
more profitable Line Up would be
without me!
So twenty years on we are all very
proud of what we created, and delighted
that ‘what’s his name’ is making such a
good job as permanent editor.
Roger Derry
“Line Up is invaluable as a forum
to connect with our core marketplace and
does so in a very professional but personal way.
That’s probably a major reason for its past
and continued success.”
Mark Hosking – Euphonix UK
“Line Up is a must-read at PMC. A superbly
put together magazine that reflects the passion of its
readers for quality recorded and broadcast sound.”
Peter Thomas – PMC
21
21
101034_P20_To_21_Anniversary:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 19:35 Page 21
22 LINE UP Spring 2009
T
he New Year seems quite a while
back now. Did you keep to your
resolutions? How about one more?
Why not give some time to the IBS and
join the Executive Committee?
There are up to 15 full members of
the EC and under the rules of the Institute
one third of them stand down at each
year’s AGM. This allows new members to
serve whilst also giving stability and
continuity. Often members standing
down are happy to serve again, but they
also recognise that they may need to
stand aside to give others a chance to
influence the direction of the Institute.
Although this can only officially happen
at the AGM the EC has the ability to
co-opt members as necessary at any time
during the year.
You may not realise that the IBS was
set up as a ‘Company Limited by
Guarantee’ and is governed by rules
called the Articles of Association (they
make for quite dry reading, but you can
look at these in the members’ section of
the IBS web site). Each EC member
automatically becomes a Director of the
Company for legal purposes, but has no
financial risk other than £1 in the event of
the Institute being wound up – so no
worries about personal liability if that
happened. According to the Articles only
Full Members can be full Executive
members, and the Committee has the
power to co-opt anyone at any time as it
sees fit. Although co-opted members can’t
vote on any issues that might require it,
they certainly do get to express an
opinion and influence the running of the
Institute. The EC has a formal meeting
one evening a month, usually in west or
central London and lasting around 3
hours. However, you don’t have to be
based in the South East as we have a
telephone conference facility and you can
simply dial in – as some EC members
already do. Outside of meetings, the EC
uses an e-mail reflector facility, just like
IBSNet, to carry on with day to day
business. Where possible smaller groups
of people take tasks away to bring a
conclusion or report back to the main
Committee so that only those involved in
a project or issue need get directly
involved and everyone else isn’t swamped
under an avalanche of e-mail!
Since last year’s AGM several EC
members have needed to stand down
mid-term for various reasons, so we need
some new people to take up co-opted
places until the 2009 AGM and, ideally,
stand for formal election at that time. In
particular we urgently need someone
with some basic accounting skills to take
up the post of Treasurer.
There are some ‘official’ roles defined
in the Articles and the Institute needs
these to function. The Chairman chairs
and organises meetings, sets the agenda,
and issues meeting paperwork. He or she
has a casting vote in situations where this
is necessary, and acts as a public face and
external point of contact for the Institute.
They are also expected to attend as many
Members’ Meetings as possible and will
introduce speakers on such occasions.
The Chairman chairs the AGM, and is the
first point of contact for the Secretariat
and the Training Co-ordinator on day to
day matters. Tact and diplomacy are an
advantage! The Vice-Chairman has all the
same skills, and basically stands in for the
Chairman in the latter’s absence.
The Secretary takes the minutes of
meetings and keeps the minute book.
Consequently, he or she needs to attend
the majority of EC meetings in person
during the year. The Secretary will also
fully contribute to the EC in their own
right.
The Treasurer acts as the bookkeeper
of the Institute and will do a monthly
reconciliation of the finances for the EC’s
information. The Treasurer will also
prepare the end of year accounts and
supporting documentation to send to the
official Auditors. This process has been
carried out on spreadsheets up until now,
but we are looking at ways to get onto a
more automated, IT-based process in the
first quarter of 2009. The time
commitment for this post should be a
maximum of 10 hours per week (but
might be a little more at the end of
the year when the accounts are
due in).
The Membership Secretary works
with the Secretariat to ensure that
membership enquiries are dealt with
promptly. This person heads up the
membership sub-committee which looks
at membership applications and makes a
recommendation to the full EC.
The other members of the Executive
Committee all contribute by organising
meetings (either directly, or indirectly by
asking others), helping out at exhibitions,
generating and following up on publicity,
writing the odd article for Line Up,
keeping the web site up-to-date, and
ensuring that the Institute is providing
what its members want.
As you will be aware, the Institute has
a paid Secretariat (currently Malcolm
Johnson MIBS) which runs the day to day
business of the Institute (sorting out
exhibitions, first port of call for
membership enquiries, liaison with
OFCOM, postage and stationery,
membership renewals and so on) so the
EC can function without being
overwhelmed by the detail. It has been a
long-term goal to have each member of
the EC take on responsibility for a
particular area of its work (eg. meetings,
publicity, recruitment, etc). The intention
is not that such roles should be
responsible for providing or organising
these things directly, but rather that
someone is keeping a watchful eye on a
specific area and ensuring that people
who have volunteered to do such work
have the support to do so.
So, how about it? If you want to know
more please get in contact with any
member of the EC (their details are on the
website) or contact Malcolm Johnson
(details on page 3) and he will pass on the
message and get someone to contact you.
John Sullivan
I BS NEWS
Sounding Board
Your Institute Needs You
“Line Up is the most authoritative, informative,
trustworthy and educational publication I receive.”
Nick Roast – FEL Communications
21
101034_P22_Sounding_Board:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 16:48 Page 22
LINE UP Spring 2009 23
W
e have just under 500 subscribers
who read and contribute to the
IBS’s online forum, IBSnet. This
email-based discussion group has been
running nowfor thirteen years, covering a
vast range of topics...mostly about sound!
We have countless knowledgeable people in
our midst, many of whomappear to be
insomniacs. They are living or working in
different time-zones, answering fromhome
or business computers, using Wi-Fi in hotel
lobbies, or even hand-held devices standing
in the middle of a field!
As a lot of IBS members are freelance,
any ‘heads up’ on newtax schemes are of
interest, and we managed to sort out the
implications of the newUKVAT rates
quicker (and cheaper) than we might have
by using an accountant. A great many
problems relating to employment and
business finances have been resolved
through discussions on IBSnet including
contracts, cancellation fees, mileage claims,
tax planning – all the kind of things any self-
employed person might encounter, but with
help specifically fromthe point of viewof
someone working in our unique business.
IBSnet sees regular updates on the
availability of radio microphone frequencies
around the world, and there is an online
reference on the IBS website. However this
is no substitute for knowledge from
someone who’s actually been there recently.
In the past fewmonths we’ve had requests
and answers concerning the use of radio
microphones in Ghana, the Middle East, the
United States, Nigeria and Spain. Put a pin in
the map, and there’ll probably be an IBS
member who has been there! And the same
contributors can often pass on advice about
other local conditions such as customs and
security.
Equipment Experiences
Discussions on equipment are always very
helpful in the forum. Contributors will have
different interpretations and experiences of
newproducts and howthey might be used.
It’s not always good news either – like the
decision by Apple Mac not to incorporate
FireWire interfacing in their newMacBooks.
However, Ian Richardson confirmed that the
‘new’ MacBook Pro does have FireWire 800
– so you’ll just need an 800 to 400 cable.
Hugh Robjohns pointed out that Apple has
announced its intentions to release future
machines with the newUSB3.0 spec.
The problemof mains humon playback
equipment returned to the forum, in relation
to using laptops for playback. It was agreed
that feeding the output into the mixer via a
DI box with the earth lifted seems to be the
easiest way to solve this particular problem.
Numerous products were suggested – Nick
Ware strongly recommended the Edirol
FA-101 8in / 8out FireWire unit. Others
mentioned that CPC do a very cheap USB
device that’s reliable too. Chris Woolf was
very quick to mention his extensive article
on the causes of electrical humin this very
magazine entitled Ho Hum(April-May 2008
edition – available in the online archives at
www.lineup.biz).
The subject of workflowcrops up fairly
frequently. The journey to post varies
considerably, and sometimes even
production teams are not altogether clear
howit should be – so it’s reassuring to talk it
over with other members of this group
beforehand. One such case occurred in
November when a newmember was doing
his first 35mmjob, recording to a four-
channel Sound Devices 744T. He’d been
instructed that the rushes were being
delivered to the Avid editor on DVCAMtape.
The problemin his case was that his rushes
contained four tracks, and the DVCAM
rushes could only take two. Fortunately there
were several well-versed experts on the
forum– one fromlocation and two more
frompost – who managed to resolve the
matter online within one Sunday afternoon!
Another member got into a spot of
bother trying to re-record some vocals that
were originally tracked in Pro Tools. Not too
much of a problemnormally, except that he
nowonly had access to Logic 8. Within ten
minutes, Jerome O’Donohoe came along
with a solution – export the Pro Tools
session as an OMF (assuming the DVToolkit
or OMF options have been enabled) which
can then be imported into Logic.
Over the past fewmonths we’ve also
had discussions as far ranging as clicking
hard drives, mic stands, equipment for sale
(including two Fisher Booms!), a newCD
format fromSony called ‘Blu-spec,’
preferences for Loudness meter needle
colours, much discussion about the many
newflash card recorders on the market,
recording explosions, waterproofing radio
mics, and howto obtain a press pass. And at
the end of December we found ourselves
chatting to IBS member Julian Gough who
gave an insight into the fact that he would
actually be responsible for the bongs on New
Year’s Eve on BBC1 this year. Without doubt,
one of those ‘sound moments!’
I BS NEWS
IBSnet Report
John Grove MIBS, IBSnet Administrator, summarises some recent IBS email forum threads.
Bosch Communications Systems · Headquarter Europe, Africa & Middle-East · EVI Audio GmbH, Hirschberger Ring 45, 94315, Straubing, Germany · UK: Telex Communications (UK) Ltd, Phone: +44 1603 454555, Cell: +44 7798 651442, Fax: +44 1603 458374
©
E
V
I
A
U
D
I
O
G
m
b
H
101034_P23_IBSnet:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 17:28 Page 23
24 LINE UP Spring 2009
1. Members shall, at all times, conduct
themselves with integrity in such a way as
to bring credit to the Institute.
2. Members shall keep their knowledge and
skills up-to-date through continuous
professional development, and seek to
broaden and deepen that knowledge
throughout their working life. Members
shall also encourage those working under
their supervision to do the same.
3. Members shall not undertake professional
tasks and responsibilities that they do not
believe themselves competent to discharge.
4. Members shall accept personal
responsibility for all work done by them, or
under their supervision, or direction.
Members shall also take all reasonable steps
to ensure that persons working under their
authority are suitably equipped and
competent to carry out their assigned tasks.
5. Members whose professional advice is
not accepted shall take all reasonable steps:
(a) to ensure that the person overruling
or neglecting that advice is aware of
any danger or loss which may ensue;
(b) in appropriate cases, to inform that
person’s employers, supervisors or
client of the potential risks involved.
6. Members shall not, by any unfair or
unprofessional practice, injure the business,
reputation or interest of any other member
of the Institute.
7. Members shall at all times take reasonable
care to limit any danger of death, injury or
ill health to any person that may result from
their work.
8. Members convicted of a criminal offence
anywhere in the world are required to
inform the Chairman of the Executive
Committee promptly, and to provide such
information concerning the conviction as
the Institute may then require. This rule
does not apply to a conviction for a
motoring offence for which no term of
imprisonment (either immediate or
suspended) is imposed, or an offence
which is regarded as ‘spent’ within the
meaning of the UK Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act 1974 or equivalent legislation
elsewhere.
9. Members shall not use post nominals to
which they are not entitled. Neither shall
they use the IBS logo, post nominals to
which they are entitled, or other facilities
provided by the Institute to imply that they
are acting on behalf of, or with the
authority of, the Institute, except when
conducting IBS business as authorised by
the Executive Committee.
10. Members who are called upon to give
an opinion in their professional capacity
shall, to the best of their ability, give an
opinion that is objective and based upon
the best available knowledge and
information.
11. Members shall actively promote public
awareness of the best that can be offered in
broadcast and related media sound.
12. Members shall not make any public
statement in their professional
capacity without ensuring that:
(a) they are qualified to make such
a statement and
(b) any association that they may
have with any party who may benefit
from the statement is known to the
person or persons to whom it is
directed.
13. Members shall inform their employer or
client of any conflict or potential conflict
that may exist or arise between their
personal interests and the interests of their
employer or client.
14. Members shall not without proper
authority disclose any confidential
information concerning the business of
their employer, or any past employer, or
any client for whom they have acted.
15. Members shall not offer improper
inducement to secure work, either directly
or through an agent. Neither shall they
improperly pay any person, whether by
commission or otherwise, for the
introduction of such work.
In this Code of Practice and unless stated
to the contrary, ‘member’ means a
member of any category and, except
where inconsistent with the context, words
implying the singular shall include the
plural and vice versa, and references to
one gender shall include all genders.
I BS NEWS
IBS Code of Conduct
The IBS Code of Conduct has been drawn up by the members on behalf of the members, and will
be reviewed annually by the Executive Committee. ends of the sound production process.
“Studer and Soundcraft are pleased that
Line Up has truly ‘come of age’ and congratulates it
on 21 years of open debate, information and comment
on the ever-changing world of broadcast audio.”
AndrewHills – Studer
21
101034_P24_IBS_COP:FEATURE/IBS PAGE 11/3/09 17:32 Page 24
LINE UP Spring 2009 25
I
t is a minor point, but I think I’m not
alone in loathing audio cassettes and
the semi-domestic recorders that use
them, with their pop-out connectors, poor
channel isolation and insulting sound
quality. Unfortunately, transcription
services don’t seem to share this opinion,
and so I find myself using my tired tape
recorder all too often.
It is mainly the political shows I work
on that want transcripts, partly for their edit
sessions, and partly to feed to the press
before airing on their very quick turnaround
– sometimes limited to hours. Often there
is a motorcycle courier waiting to take the
cassette tapes as soon as we have cut at the
end of a scene, such is the pressure on time.
This annoys me as it is a waste of money on
couriers – money that could never find its
way to us – and an enforced use of flimsy
technology that can barely handle
timecode. It is clearly a grossly inefficient
workflow.
You’ve probably predicted how this
note ends, as the solution is so clear to all of
us – and you can imagine my delight (do
I get out enough?) when I learnt that it
would become a reality. Back in the
summer of 2007 I worked on a two week
shoot recording some 45, half-hour
interviews for a show called Iraq
Commission aired on Channel 4. Given a
head count of up to eight in each interview,
we decided it would be wise to record each
microphone separately on an Aaton Cantar,
while also sending the mix to the three
Digibeta camcorders plus a Sound Devices
744T. In the few minutes that separated
each interview I was able to drag a single
channel of the mix off the Sound Devices
recorder and onto my laptop, to be
uploaded over the Internet to the
transcription service (Take 1 Transcription).
Timecode Metadata
However, we quickly learnt that uploading
100MB .wav files was not realistic on any
internet connection we had access to, so
I first passed them through BWF Widget to
convert them to MP3 files of about 8MB in
size. BWF Widget places the metadata into
the MP3’s tag, so that the time stamp
appears in the ‘artist’ field which can be
viewed in any player (or by simply hovering
the mouse cursor over the file in MS
Windows). BWF Widget is very well setup
for transcribers, providing a player that can
display timecode (even for the MP3s that it
created), and automatically places that
timecode onto the clipboard whenever
playback is paused. This is a thoughtful
feature that I can only hope is exploited.
Back to the shoot, and once I had
converted the audio file to MP3, I uploaded
the track to the transcribers’ FTP site using
Cute FTP, and by the time we were 15
minutes into the next interview shoot, the
audio from the last interview had already
been delivered and they could start
transcribing down in Kent. Please, let’s not
challenge a motorcycle courier to beat that!
Clearly I’m not writing this to
tell you how to do it, but more to
reassure you that there is at least
one transcription service
working with 21st century
technology, and so perhaps we
really can forget about audio
cassettes at last. I think the main
thing stopping this approach
from working is the lack of
realisation, amongst producers,
that this way of working really is
a possibility. Surprising perhaps,
since it could save them time and
money. I’ve used the same
technique many times since that
Channel 4 shoot very
successfully, and I hope it saves
you from the dreaded audio
cassette.
21st Century Transcription
Sound Recordist Ben Livingstone AMIBS describes a modern way to handle the transcription
requirements of a fast turnaround shoot.
I NSI DE TRACK
Contacts
Ben Livingstone
Location Sound Recordist
Tel: +44 (0)7958 311 480
Take 1 Transcription
Tel: +44 (0) 1580 720 923
www.take1.tv
BWF Widget
www.bwfwidget.com
101034_P25_Audio_Transcription:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 16:58 Page 25
26 LINE UP Spring 2009
A
sk any sound recordist, anywhere in
the world, which single microphone
best defines their role and their art,
and it’s a safe bet that most will mention the
Sennheiser MKH 416. However, in the
current financial climate and where there is
increasing pressure to minimise costs, at
more than a thousand pounds the venerable
MKH416 (and its high-end competitors)
appears an expensive investment. There
are, of course, less costly alternatives from
the likes of AKG, Audio Technica,
Beyerdynamic, Røde, Sony, and others, but
none has offered the same all-weather
robustness of the classic 416... until now.
Mimicry
Røde has been making short rifle mics for
some time, and the NTG-2 was reviewed in
Line Up Nov/Dec 2006. However, the latest
addition, the NTG-3, is the first to employ
the RF capacitor operating principle outside
of Sennheiser’s MKH range. This brilliant
technology places the capsule in a low-
impedance RF tuning circuit, making it
virtually immune to the effects of humidity
which can cripple conventional high-
impedance AF capacitor capsule
configurations. Shockingly, the NTG-3
manages to do it at half the price of the
German standard-bearer.
The NTG-3 is supplied in a vinyl pouch
with a stand clip (and 3/8-inch adapter), a
foam windshield, an instruction leaflet, and
a registration card for the ten-year warranty.
But the mic itself is further protected in a
classy-looking (if rather over-engineered)
aluminium tube with screw caps and O-ring
gaskets! The NTG-3 looks and feels more
solid and well made than some previous
Røde mics, and I was intrigued to notice
that pin 1 of the integral XLR connector is
actually swaged into the mic chassis,
suggesting good attention to screening.
Indeed, I’m pleased to report that switching
on a mobile phone right next to the NTG-3
produced no nasty noises at all.
It’s not only the build quality that stands
comparison with the MKH416. This
Australian offering is almost identical in size
and weight, too with a 19mm barrel –
although for the pernickety, it is two grams
lighter and 5mm longer. The published
technical specifications are also remarkably
similar, with matched self-noise of 13dB-A
and maximum SPL of 130dB (for 1% THD).
Sensitivity is 2dB higher at 31.6mV/Pa
(compared to the 416’s 25mV/Pa), but the
penalty is a greater thirst for phantom
power, apparently requiring 4.3mA instead
of the Sennheiser’s more modest 2mA.
Frequency and polar responses are almost
identical, although the Rode is fractionally
less bright on axis, slightly more extended
at the bottom, and arguably a little more
‘pointy.’
Testing outdoors in the recent damp
weather, and indoors above a steaming
kettle (in lieu of a tropical rain forest)
demonstrated a consistent, reliable and very
creditable performance. Wideband sounds
moving off-axis (such as traffic) exhibited
the same kind of phasey colouration as the
MKH416, while on-axis discrimination (or
‘suck’) proved as good. In fact, I doubt few,
if any, recordists would be able to tell the
difference between the NTG-3 and an
MKH416 once it’s inside a windshield.
Dead Cats
Which brings me neatly to Røde’s
accessories. If the almost clone-like nature
of the NTG-3 raised an eyebrow, the
windshield accessories will positively make
you squirm! The PG2 Pistol Grip and WS7
Deluxe Windshield will look instantly
familiar as a ‘Softie’ look-alike, but they are
well made and proved effective. The pistol
grip feels comfortable to hold (if a little
heavy), incorporates a neat cable tidy/XLR
holder, and is provided with two rubber
suspensions to suit mics of 19-20 or
21-22.5mm diameter (swapping them
requires an Allen key which isn’t supplied).
Two cable clips at the base of the rubber
suspension are intended for 5mm (or
greater) cables.
The Blimp is a full ‘basket and furry’
windshield, featuring the same pistol grip
fitted with a 5mm cable and Switchcraft
AAA-series XLRs. The basket, which appears
to be larger than the equivalent Rycote
Modular system and has a much chunkier
mesh design, fits over the suspension via a
slot in the usual way before screwing on the
end caps. The suspension comprises two
100mm hoops clamped to a long
aluminium bar, with the mic clips
supported from four twisted neoprene
bands – very similar to the previous
generation Rycote windshields. The pistol
grip mounts to a lower aluminium bar (and
can be adjusted for balance), while two
levers clamp the blimp between these bars.
The removable outer fur feels coarser than
the Stroud version, but is fairly easy to fit
with elastic drawcords and toggle.
Overall, the system proved effective
without any creaks or rattles, although
I suspect the supplied thick cable
transmitted some handling noise. The large
suspension and chunky pistol grip made the
whole kit feel a tad heavy, too. Sonically,
the blimp had little effect on the HF
although adding the furry dulled things
more noticeably, but practical testing in
recent gales demonstrated the impressive
efficiency of the system, which was
comparable to the Rycote original.
Although many aspects of the NTG-3
and its accessories seem curiously familiar,
there is no denying that this is a good
quality, effective location microphone
system. It may not quite equal the
established benchmarks in all areas, but the
substantial price differential will negate
such concerns for most! It is a bargain,
undoubtedly, but I can’t help wonder if this
copycat approach will challenge the field
leaders to raise their game, or stifle
expensive R&D altogether.
I NSI DE TRACK
Details
Rode NTG3 £468.70
Blimp £199.13
Deluxe Windshield £43.47
PG2 Pistol Grip £52.17
(All prices ex-VAT)
Source Distribution
Tel: +44 (0)20 8962 5080
www.sourcedistribution.co.uk
Røde NTG-3 ShotGun
Microphone
Hugh Robjohns MIBS takes a look at
Røde’s 416-killer.
101034_P26_Rode:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:01 Page 26
LINE UP Spring 2009 27
C
runchier than a mouthful of gravel,
the NFL is high-octane, high-impact
entertainment. In sporting terms it’s
about as close to actual war as you can get,
except with pumping rock music and
cheerleaders. After the 2007 New York
Giants vs. Miami Dolphins game, the 2008
Wembley clash sold out within 24 hours to
a capacity crowd of 83,000 fans to see the
New Orleans Saints take on the San Diego
Chargers. Thankfully the rain also held off,
dispelling the myth to our American cousins
that London is the wettest place on earth.
But despite the relentless aggression
and enforced brutality, the television
coverage was planned down to the last
nosebleed. It was, in the words of CTV’s
Business Director Bill Morris, “an extremely
busy show; very well orchestrated, very
controlled. It’s absolutely awe-inspiring.”
When the teams trooped out in November
for last year’s international NFL League
game, CTV were again contracted by the
host broadcaster to facilitate the broadcast.
CTV is well versed in both sports and
light entertainment – covering the broadest
mix of programming of all the UK OB
companies. In addition to Sky cricket, Golf,
Sky Boxing, HBO Boxing, Tennis, Bowls,
Cross Country, Soccer, Equestrian and
Aquatic sports events, CTV also covers a
wide range of LE, accounting for 50% of
their annual workload with shows such as
the BRITS and the BAFTAs.
“CTV has used Calrec desks in various
versions for over 15 years,” said Morris. “We
own and operate practically every version
from our first S1 (serial number 001), to S2s,
Alphas and Sigma with Bluefin desks.
Reliability, ease of use and functionality are
consistent features throughout every
incarnation.” The glitz, the glamour and the
grunt of the NFL clash was captured on four
Calrec consoles, across four of the UK’s
leading OB facilities. CTV were present
with their flagship OB9 (with a 72-fader
Alpha), providing feeds for CBS and the NFL
in America, as well as for broadcasters in
Russia, Belgium and France, for Sky and the
BBC. Sky Sports, which broadcast over 125
live NFL games last season, contracted NEP
Visions’ HD2 unit (64-fader Sigma with
Bluefin) to cover the game, and Bow Tie
TV’s Unit 2 (48-fader Sigma) was contracted
to provide NFL Screens with in-game replay
coverage on Wembley’s pitch-side screen.
The BBC was also on-site with SIS OB’s
Unit 11 (Calrec S2).
NFL Switchback
The NFL switches network every season,
and while Fox was the host broadcaster in
2007, CBS took over for 2008. Extremely
experienced and impeccably organised,
CBS sent its own team of specialist staff to
ensure the game was produced and
distributed to the exacting high standards
demanded by American armchair fanatics.
“Covering the match in 2007 was an
enormous advantage; I would say it gave us
a 70% head start,” said Bill Morris. “We had
talks with CBS in the run up, and
understood all the jargon unique to the
NFL! It is unlike any other sport we cover.
One of the main differences is that it is
dominated by ad breaks – the TV
production gallery actually talks to the
referee who cues the play between the ads!
“CBS sent a whole team: announcers
and reporting staff, an A1 (Audio
Supervisor) and A2 assistant (to look after
the announcers and effects mix), four
cameramen (out of a total of 12), as well as
graphics and production personnel. CTV
supplied the rest – most of the crew having
worked on the game in 2007.” In the US,
every single NFL game is covered by a
Calrec console – independent research by
the Sports Video Group claims Calrec is
installed in 48% of US HD trucks. “The A1
was delighted to be using an Alpha as it is
the same desk he had used for the
Superbowl. In fact, he even used his own
standard desk setup from his USB stick.
US operators tend to use a lot of VCA
groups, and on this show the VCAs were
ridden pretty hard! The A1 also used a good
number of automatic cross-fades using the
desk’s GPIO functions, predominantly for
graphic stings. OB9 has more space than
the operator was used to with about twice
the area of any other OB unit on the road in
the UK, and is an excellent environment for
monitoring 5.1.”
The actual audio coverage easily met
the high benchmark created last year. The
physicality of the sport is conveyed with a
number of different mics and mixed to
maximise the impact – both the impact on
the viewers at home and the actual impact
of the players on the field! “The CBS Team
knew how to maximise the sound with a
tried and tested format,” said CTV’s Head of
Sound Ian Smith. “They relied on a lot of
parabolics with standard Sennheiser MKE 2
capsules to capture the crunches when
players collided. The CBS A2 sub-mixer
handled the pitch effects, seated with the
commentators and using a 16-channel desk.
Each of the parabolic operators covered a
wor ki ng on l ocat i on
THE CRUNCH
BUNCH
Calrec’s Kevin Emmott describes the televising of
American Football at the home of British Soccer.
101034_P27_28_NFL:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:35 Page 27
28 LINE UP Spring 2009
quarter of the pitch, so that the action
could be captured wherever it occurred.
Each operator had comprehensive in-ear
monitoring facilities, combing source
material and talkback from the A2 balancing
the game effects. An array of additional FX
mics included two radio mics worn by
referees which the A2 used to supplement
his effects mix. The referee is always at the
centre of the action, and his mic could
capture elements that might be missed by
the directional mics.” The final element of
the effects mix was the 5.1 crowd atmos.
Whereas Sky uses a SoundField mic within
the stadium to create a surround bed,
standard practice for all CBS American
football games is to derive the surround
mix from front and rear stereo coincident
pairs.
New for 2008, a directional mic was
added to the SkyCam. Devised by the chap
who patented the Steadycam, SkyCam is a
computer-controlled, gyroscopically
stabilized flying camera system suspended
on cables with four control motors. With
free reign over the field of play, the SkyCam
makes sports coverage look like an Xbox
360 demo. At Wembley, CBS attached a mic
to the SkyCam and used it to access any
conversation on the pitch. Players gone into
a huddle? No problem. Discussing tactics?
We know about them before the play.
(Thankfully it seemed not to affect the
performance of the Saints, who suffered a
stoppage almost exactly 12 months
previously in a game against Seattle
Seahawks, when the SkyCam made what
has been referred to as a ‘controlled
descent’ onto the field as a result of human
error. No-one was hurt.)
Multiple Mixes
In the CTV unit all the effects were mixed
with commentary, music stings, graphic
effects and audio beds to run under
announcers – all cued up using SpotOn, the
first time the American A1 had used it. Sky
took some of these audio sources directly
from the desk via MADI and AES discreet
feeds, but the BBC took the full 5.1 mix
from the Main Outputs.
CTV’s primary CBS mix was
Dolby E encoded and sent
to the US for distribution
with channels 7-8 carrying
mono programme and
mono clean effects. The 5.1
signal was downmixed in
the US for the majority of
viewers watching in stereo.
Sky’s mix was
completely independent of
the host broadcaster, using
a variety of different mixes
and component feeds from the CTV truck.
“We mix our sports for the UK differently”
said Sky Sport’s Operations Manager Keith
Lane. “We took a full mix as well as a clean
effects mix, plus the parabolics and the
referee mic.”
The mix on CTV’s Main Output 2 had a
more eclectic distribution. “This clean mix
was destined for NFL International, NFL
Production and NFL Presentations, who
sold it on to broadcasters all over the world
via the international distribution area built
for them,” said CTV’s Bill Morris. “All the
feeds were in SD, HD and PAL 4:3, with
stereo or embedded 5.1.”
The BBC, broadcasting the game live for
the first time after 2007’s edited highlights,
took the full 5.1 mix from the truck’s main
output for live transmission, and mixed that
with their own presentation, but also took a
clean effects mix, clean commentary, and
the PA feed and crowd mics from the Sky
truck. The Bow Tie truck just took the
clean effects feed, along with some
additional camera feeds for their contract
with NFL Screens. This was used locally for
replays on Wembley’s giant screens, mixed
with additional PA from the Stadium.
As Morris attests, NFL audio is acquired
in a completely different way to the staple
UK sports, and the NFL comms network
was also “the most comprehensive and
complex I have encountered in a sports
operation.” All audio networking used
Wembley’s substantial permanent copper
and fibre cable rig, but the pitch-side runs
had to be laid. On top of this, the teams had
their own substantial comms systems for
which CTV provided the infrastructure. In
addition to the 12 main cameras, each team
also had their own dedicated cameras
which they could access in private replay
booths to help develop strategies whilst the
game was in progress! This complex
rigging was achieved by CTV in two-days,
with the OB facilities up and running in just
one day – no mean feat, and testament to
the meticulous planning between CBS and
CTV in the months leading up to the game.
The NFL continues to push the
boundaries of what is possible in their quest
to place the viewer right in the centre of
the action. For example, the December NFL
clash between the San Diego Chargers and
Oakland Raiders was broadcast in 3D-HD,
and shown in movie theatres in New York,
Boston and Los Angeles. NFL UK claimed a
40% increase in British viewing of the sport
after 2007, and there are even whispers of
the NFL scheduling two London fixtures in
2009. However it is covered this year, the
increase in awareness is good news for Sky,
which already broadcasts most games, and
is good news for the NFL, too. But it is great
news for those of us who enjoy watching
innovative, exciting and superbly
orchestrated sports broadcasts, with or
without cheerleader routines.
The CBS NFL presentation team
The spacious sound gallery
in CTV’s OB9 truck
101034_P27_28_NFL:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:35 Page 28
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30 LINE UP Spring 2009
W
orking as a freelance sound
recordist is an amazing
experience. I’m sure we’ve all
endured the highs and lows of this rather
tempestuous lifestyle, and it is not always
easy to balance commitments, friends and
family. However, in my relatively short
experience I have always acknowledged
that the privileges we sometimes
experience far outweigh any negative
aspects; filming onboard the QE2 on its final
voyage from Southampton to Dubai for the
BBC’s Timewatch strand being one of them.
Thinking about the equipment setup
I would be using during the voyage,
I suggested to the director Mike Wadding
that being onboard a potentially pitching
and rolling ship with many passengers,
rooms and corridors, the use of separate
sound would be the preferred choice. He
agreed and I decided that the most suitable
product would be the ever-reliable Sound
Devices 744T hard disk recorder which I’d
used on many occasions. Turning my
attention to the radio link needed to
transmit audio from my mixer to the
camera, I was aware that many marine
vessels use VHF frequencies and was
concerned that my Audio Ltd 2000 diversity
radio mics that I normally use for this
purpose might encounter interference
problems. So I had a chat with Nigel
Woodford at Richmond Film Services who
suggested some new technology I could
take advantage of – a new stereo wireless
link using bluetooth technology (2.4 GHz
band) from an Australian company,
Ricsonix. Being relatively high in the
spectrum the wireless link would be more
directional and as a consequence I was
advised that it may not cope quite so well in
situations where the camera and wireless
receiver were in one room and the mixer
and transmitter were in another separated
by walls. However, bearing in mind it
would be well away from the normal
marine frequencies it was a compromise
I was willing to try. I was also attracted by
the fact that I could conveniently manage
the wireless link using just one stereo
transmitter and one stereo receiver, instead
of the mono pairs I normally have to use.
Post Preferences
The next thing to think about was the
timecode requirements, and I made
enquires about the post-production
preferences. I was quite happy to supply
the numbers they wanted and suggested the
common routes of Free-Run or Record-Run
timecode. Being essentially a single camera
shoot, production preferred record-run
timecode, and although I explained that
using record-run timecode via a radio link
might be prone to greater unreliability – due
to loss of transmission/drop out – they were
quite happy to take this into account. In the
end I used a Black Box timecode
transmitter/receiver kit courtesy of Ian
Coles of Visual Impact, who kindly loaned
me the kit and ‘saved my bacon’ whilst my
Ambient Timecode tx/rx kit was on order.
I was looking forward to taking advantage
of the 744T’s automatic Record-Run mode
which puts the drive into record when it
receives a timecode signal on its 5-pin Lemo
socket, and Ian took me through the
operation of this.
I also decided to take something that
I could use with Free-Run timecode if
necessary, and I opted for the Denecke SB-T
Tri-Level Sync generator box, which I’d
used before. I felt this would give more
flexibility on location if I ever needed the
hard drive operating on its own without a
stereo link to the camera, whilst also giving
me another timecode sync system should
one fail onboard in the middle of the ocean.
As for microphone choice, I had the
workhorse Sennheiser MKH416 as my main
mic, but decided that in addition to having
another mic as a backup it would be
prudent to have a good stereo mic as well.
The Sennheiser MKH418 seemed perfect
because it was similar to the MKH 416 if
I needed to use it as a backup, but could
also be used as a stereo mic which, of
course, I made full use of. The remainder of
my kit consisted of Audio Ltd 2020 radio
mics, Entel HT446 walkie-talkies, a Zoom
H4 handheld audio recorder, and an Apple
Macbook.
The whole lot fitted into two big Peli
cases: a 1620 and a 1650. It was the first
time I had ever taken the 1650 on a job that
involved flying and I was concerned that it
might not be accepted by the airline for the
flight home because it was too big. So
QE2: DOCUMENTING THE
FINAL VOYAGE
Paul Miller describes how he met the challenges of filming the end of an era.
101034_P30_To_32_QE2:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:41 Page 30
I sought special dispensation from British Airways who advised that
they will make exceptions for bulky media equipment, as long as
you let them know beforehand.
I had planned to capture and store audio on several different
machines so that there were plenty of backups. Firstly, I had the
stereo audio being transmitted from my mixer to the Sony 450
camcorder using DVCAM tape stock. If the link failed at any point
I had it all backed up on the 744T which recorded simultaneously
on both to the internal hard drive and an 8GB Compact Flash card.
In this way if the drive crashed for any reason or developed a file
corruption there was, perhaps, the chance to retrieve the audio
from the CF card (which has no moving parts to go wrong). All the
audio from the trip – 17 days in total – was stored comfortably on
the 744T’s 80GB internal hard disk, and every evening I transferred
the day’s audio rushes to the Apple Macbook., I also duplicated the
files to a separate Maxtor external hard drive. In total I had four
separate storage mediums/devices to call upon in the event of a
problem.
All Ashore Who’s Going Ashore
It wasn’t long before the 11 November final departure date was
upon us. This would be the last time the QE2 sailed away from
Southampton, the place it had called home for decades. As I awoke
that morning I heard the newsreader announce “The QE2 has run
aground on its final entrance to Southampton.” Michael Gallagher,
the QE2’s PR representative, very fondly interpreted this as the
ship’s way of letting us know she didn’t want to leave the UK!
LINE UP Spring 2009 31
MC Mix
MC Control
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101034_P30_To_32_QE2:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:41 Page 31
We set off from the dock and were
treated to a fantastic fireworks display, and
a flotilla of all manner of vessels following
alongside. I could witness the obvious
fondness the people in their little boats had
for the QE2. They all sounded their horns
and sang on deck, waving at us as we left
harbour, and the QE2 replied in
acknowledgement with the might of its
distinctive and very bassy horn. As the
flotilla disbanded, the QE2 gave one last
blast and we were officially ‘at sea.’
During the next few days we began to
become familiar with the ship and settled
into a sort of routine. One of the key things
I wanted to capture was any
communication between the bridge and
engineering, and any ‘tannoy’
announcements to the public. I spoke with
the Chief Electrician who agreed that I could
have a look in the Electricians Workshop
roomwhere many of the amplifiers for the
public address and communication systems
were kept. I discovered that I could connect
my Zoom H4 recorder using a standard
headphone output, and by powering the
machine froman AC power supply and
setting it to ‘auto record’ any
announcements triggered a recording. This
left me free to get on with the filming
elsewhere, safe in the knowledge that my
H4 was working its little socks off when
required. Initially, though, I had the auto
record threshold set too low which meant
that crackles were enough to trigger a
recording – the H4 tirelessly created many
files, of which most would be unnecessary.
However, after a little trial and error
I managed to set the threshold to an ideal
level such that it always began recording fast
enough to capture that first vital word,
whilst remaining insensitive enough to avoid
recording low level line activity.
All in all, the kit worked well together
and I was impressed with the Ricsonix
systemwhich provided trouble-free
operation throughout the trip. I particularly
liked the fact that the receiver has distinct
bargraph meters for each channel, giving
instant visual feedback as to whether a signal
is being received at the camera. One minor
criticismI would have is that the casing is
constructed fromplastic, as are the antennas
which I considered rather clumsy because
they were totally inflexible apart from the
one-way articulated joint at the base. As a
result, the rather long aerials couldn’t bend
easily and the plastic aerial casing was very
easily ripped off by on board security
scanners on entering and exiting the ship!
A makeshift aerial casing made from lighting
gel rolled in a cylindrical fashion solved the
problem.
Filming the Voyage
I had to be as flexible as possible with my kit
because, although there were
predetermined elements to film, there were
also many aspects of the QE2 that we could
only learn about whilst actually on the
voyage – so we could find ourselves
anywhere on the ship, with anyone, at any
moment. Michael Gallagher (ship’s PR)
would meet us every morning with new
leads, stories and a selection of possible
contributors, and along with Michael
Wadding (Director) and James Gray
(Assistant Producer), would devise a rough
schedule for the day – making sure there
was enough flexibility built in just in case
things changed rapidly (which they often
did).
For my part, I had to make sure that
I could capture the audio from various
places around the ship at a moment’s notice
without too much re-plugging and faffing
around. I’d already solved the requirement
of recording the ‘tannoy’ announcements
with the Zoom H4’s auto-record facility, but
there were also two other important PA
systems I needed to be able to tap into
without warning. These were in the Grand
Lounge and the Queen’s Room, where
speeches or bands could be heard – and we
often entered at a moment’s notice.
Amanda Wilson and Rodrigo Thomaz led
the Entertainments Team responsible for
these rooms, and they allowed me to plug a
cable into each mixer’s auxiliary master
output, one in the Queens Room, the other
in the Grand Lounge. I was also allowed to
create my own mixes on the appropriate
aux sends, and by leaving the cables
permanently connected throughout the
duration of the trip, I could walk into the
room, plug in an Audio 2020 radio mic
transmitter to the end of the cable, and set
the balance as I needed. This arrangement
allowed me full control with the ability to
fade the PA audio into the mix immediately
when called for, whilst also permitting me
to work closely with the camera, PSC style.
Once this setup was rigged and I knew the
radio frequencies were reliable I was much
happier at moving between the rooms,
knowing that I could just plug in and go.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t long before our
final day of the voyage came and we had
arrived at port Rashid, in Dubai. After
filming the handing over of the ship to its
new owners, and some GVs of the empty
decks, it was time for us also to leave and
make our way back to the UK.
We had experienced one of the last
great ocean liners, representing not only the
end of an era but the conclusion to many
very personal stories of both passengers and
crew. Here was a ship that was visualised,
designed and constructed to cater to
passengers with the height of luxury in
mind, unfaltering in its mission to achieve
this regardless of the often flaky economic
climate that it would survive and even
thrive in. There was no cost-cutting here,
no half-measures, no compromises and it
was reflected in a ship that stood the test of
time, not only physically but also
economically with a cheerful demeanour to
boot! Whilst I was saddened that we were
relinquishing a golden slice of history,
I could not help but feel privileged and
even proud that we were given the
opportunity to experience her grace and
style for one last time.
32 LINE UP Spring 2009
The Ricsonix stereo radio link transmitter
101034_P30_To_32_QE2:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 17:41 Page 32
LINE UP Spring 2009 33
NEWS
TALKI NG POI NTS
40 Neumann
Workshops at
Prolight+Sound
2009
The Berlin microphone manu-
facturer will be offering trade fair
visitors a program of 40 short
seminars focusing on ten differ-
ent topi cs, al l del i vered by
experts, at its stand (C30 in Hall
4.1). The Neumann workshops
will cover not only general ques-
tions concerning the use of
microphones in the studio and
on stage, but also specialist
topics such as the amplification
of choirs, the creation of band
demos, the use of digital micro-
phones i n home recordi ng
studios, voice training for vari-
ous musical styles, optimal
monitoring, and measures for
improving room acoustics. The
recording acoustic guitars and
guitar amps workshops given by
Peter Weihe, perhaps the best-
known st udi o gui t ar i st i n
Germany, promise to be particu-
larly interesting. Seminars will
be held on all four days of the
trade fair, from 0945 to 1800,
and the complete programme
can be f ound at www.
neumann.com. Participation is
free and no pre-registration is
required.
Appropriately, at this year’s
Prolight + Sound Neumann is
presenting the KMS 104 plus,
an enhanced stage microphone
that is especially optimised to
meet the requirements of rock
and pop performances.
Sennhesier UK
Tel: +44 (1494) 551 551
www.sennheiser.co.uk
Sound Devices
Wins Technical
Achievement
Award
The Sound Devices 788T digital
recorder has won the Cinema
Audi o Soci et y’ s ( CAS)
Technical Achievement Ard in
the producti on category: a
repeated honour as the 744T
won the same award back in
2006. These awards recognise
innovations in recording tech-
nologies, including both hard-
ware and software products that
are used by sound mixing pro-
f essi onal s. The 788T i s
designed specifically for multi-
track location productions and
features a significant expansion
of input and output capability:
eight full-featured microphone
inputs and twelve tracks of
recording – all in a design that is
compact and lightweight.
To accommodate the larger
data storage requirements of
multi-track recordings, the 788T
comes equipped with a 160GB
internal hard-disk drive. This
on-board storage provides up to
30 hours of 8-track, uncom-
pressed 24-bit audio recording
of industry-standard Broadcast
Wave files.
Sound Devices
www.sounddevices.com
Shure Distribution UK
Tel: +44 (0)1992 703 058
www.shure.co.uk
THE UK’S LEADING DISTRIBUTOR OF BROADCAST EQUIPMENT SUPPLY • INSTALLATION • SYSTEM DESIGN
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The new mc
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performance in daily operation, with well thought-out design and
intuitive user guidance. A console that features reduced control
density and, in particular, a compact frame construction.
Yet, with plenty of concentration on the ‘basics’, the new
2
56
console conforms fully to the proven mc
2
series in terms of quality
and performance. The mc
2
56 is based on current Lawo HD core
technology, and guarantees maximum reliability, functionality
and DSP power.
So it is hardly surprising that with these and many other
features, the mc
2
56 is rapidly establishing itself as the benchmark
mixing console for Outside Broadcasts and OB vehicles.
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101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 33
34 LINE UP Spring 2009
IBS Teams with
Euphonix Artist
Series
Euphoni x Eur ope has
announced a joint initiative with
the Institute of Broadcast Sound
(IBS), ai med at i ncreasi ng
awareness of the organisation
and the benefits it offers today’s
audio professionals.
Membership of the IBS is
widely recognised within the
broadcasting industry as a mark
of competence and profession-
alism, and its training initiatives
are increasingly highly regard-
ed. With the changing technolo-
gies and delivery media now
available, the IBS has grown to
become an important forum for
audio professionals working
within all aspects of sound pro-
duction and post production, not
just the broadcast environment.
The two-month long promo-
tion, running throughout March
and April, will provide all new
customers of the Euphonix Artist
Series with the opportunity to
join the IBS, free for a year,
representing a saving of up to
£75. New members will need to
register their Artist Series and
provide the IBS with proof of
purchase within the promotional
period.
“The IBS represents to me
the benchmark in dedication,
experience and professionalism
within the UKpro-audio market.
Euphonix has always been a
company to innovate and look to
the future, and to join with the
IBS to reach out to the future of
the industry is a privilege,”
stated Mark Hosking, Euphonix
Sales Manager. “The power and
flexibility of the Artist Series is
the perfect match for today’s
diverse workflow demands,
providing professionals with cut-
ting-edge media controllers that
can be used with virtually any
audio or video application, any
time, any place.”
The Artist Series uses the
high-speed EuCon control pro-
tocol, developed by Euphonix,
which enables simultaneous
control of multiple applications
and workstations over Ethernet.
This allows comprehensive con-
trol over Pro Tools, Logic Studio,
Nuendo and many more soft-
ware applications, providing
unmat ched f l exi bi l i t y and
enabling the instantaneous
switching between multiple Mac
workstations – perfect for pro-
jects involving dedicated audio
and vi deo wor kst at i ons.
Furthermore, the small footprint
of the MC Control and MC Mix
allows these media controllers
to be integrated easily into any
studio, fitting perfectly between
a comput er keyboard and
screen, or in a central location
on a larger console.
Institute of Broadcast Sound
Tel: +44 (0)300 400 8427
(Option 1)
www.ibs.org.uk
Euphonix Europe
Tel: +44 (0)20 8561 2566
www.euphonix.com
Calrec and
Snell & Wilcox
Announce
Joint Initiative
Snell & Wilcox has implemented
Calrec’s remote protocol to
enable remote control of fader
modules on any Calrec digital
NEWS
Shotgun Mics: The killer package
Exclusively distributed in the UK & Ireland by Source • www.sourcedistribution.co.uk/rode • T: 020 8962 5080
Users and reviewers agree, the Røde NTG-3 is an amazing shotgun mic at
an even more amazing price.
And with a full range of high quality, low cost accessories available, Røde
makes it easy to put together your own killer shotgun mic package.
NTG-3
“After just a few weeks of use, I’d rate the
NTG-3 as an essential bit of kit.” Audio Media
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price was not the determining factor.” Resolution
“The winner of these shotgun shoot-out tests is the NTG-3
and for its price it is an amazing piece of kit. Focus
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£539.00
All prices RRP including VAT

101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 34
console by its Kahuna SD/HD
mul t i - f or mat pr oduct i on
switcher. The protocol gives
Kahuna operators seamless
control of up to 192 faders on
the Calrec digital console to
select any number of audio
channels and provide individ-
ual control of faders, fade rates
and PFL. Thi s i nt egrat i on
allows a single operator to
control both the audi o and
video levels, which can min-
imise staffing for smaller pro-
ductions, significantly reducing
production costs. The develop-
ment follows Calrec’s 2008
collaboration with Ross Video,
which resulted in the integra-
tion of Calrec consoles with
the Ross Overdrive system.
Cal r ec Audi o has al so
secured an order for three 48-
fader Sigma with Bluefin con-
sol es f r om Spani sh st at e
broadcaster TVE (Televisión
Español a). The desks are
bound for three newsrooms
which are being rebuilt and re-
equipped at TVE’s broadcast
facility in Torrespaña, Madrid.
Al l t hr ee newsr ooms and
desks wi l l be l i nked by a
Calrec Hydra audio network.
Work on the three Torrespaña
newsrooms is due to be com-
pleted later in the Spring.
Calrec Audio
Tel: +44 (0) 1422 842 159
www.calrec.com
SpotOn
Steps Up
Sigma Broadcast is currently
beta-testing the next major
update for SpotOn which is due
to be released in a few weeks
time. The update will include
many new features, such as
microfades, a timecode genera-
tor and timecode trigger lists,
FLAC and Ogg file decoding,
auto topping and tailing of audio
when l oadi ng t r acks, 5. 1
surround panning control, and
direct CD burning.
Sigma Broadcast’s recent
sales of SpotOn include CBC in
Canada and UBF Media in the
Net her l ands. Gear house
Broadcast Rentals in the UK
and MNET television in South
Africa have both purchased sys-
t ems f i t t ed wi t h t he Audi o
Science ASI5044 soundcards
( pi ct ur ed) whi ch Si gma
Broadcast distributes. The 5000
series soundcards are proving
increasingly popular with broad-
casters, including Sky, 021,
Telegenic, Visions, CTV, and
the BBC due to the high perfor-
mance. Specifically, the 5044
interface card provides four
st er eo anal ogue out put s,
mirrored in AES or they can be
conf i gur ed f or 5. 1 or 7. 1
surround sound.
Sigma Broadcast
Tel: +44 (0)870 350 6820
www.sigmabroadcast.com
Acoustic
Energy
Launches
Compact
Monitoring
System
Acoust i c Ener gy Pr o has
expanded its product range by
introducing the ProSat and
ProSub professional compact
active monitoring system. The
Pro Sat and Pro Sub join the
existing AE22 and AE1 Classic
in using closed box bass load-
ing. With thermally bonded,
black anodised aluminium bass
and bass/mid driver cones, the
Pr oSub and Pr oSat ar e
designed to offer surround and
compact ‘desktop’ monitoring
users si mi l ar ti me domai n,
distortion, and compression-
optimised performance charac-
teristics to match the acclaimed
AE22 nearfield monitor.
The AE ProSat is a four litre
act i ve cl osed box moni t or
employing a 130mm bass/mid
driver and 25mm ring-radiator
high frequency driver with ampli-
fiers rated at 50 and 25 Watts,
r espect i vel y. Thi r d- or der
Bessel-function active filters
integrate the drivers at 2kHz.
The ProSat offers both balanced
and unbalanced inputs along
wi t h i nput sensi t i vi t y, l ow
frequency extension and high
frequency equalisation options.
The AE ProSub comprises two
250mm anodised aluminium
cone drivers in a 34 litre closed
box, powered by a 200 Watt
ampl i f i er and mount ed i n
mechanical opposition to min-
imise vibration. The ProSub
offers low frequency extension
to 25Hz and incorporates both
bal anced and unbal anced
inputs along with 70Hz or 100Hz
second-order high pass filtering.
The ProSub is also suitable for
use wi t h t he AE22 or AE1
Classic monitors.
The ProSub and ProSat will
be available through Acoustic
Energy Pro’s worldwide distribu-
tion network during the first
quarter of 2009. The suggested
UK retail prices are £375 for the
ProSat and £625 for the ProSub
(prices exclude VAT).
AEPro
Tel: +44 (0)1285 654 432
www.acousticenergypro.com
LINE UP Spring 2009 35
NEWS
Features
• 5.1 Surround Sound Channel Identication
• OBTruck, MCR & Studio applications
• BLITS can run continuously or just once
• Conforms to conventional meter layout
The BLITS tones are available in the latest release of software from
DK-Technologies, software issue 5.3 and above and is compatible
with all MSD600M++.
“Solutions in Audio &Video”
Email: info.uk@dk-technologies.com• Web: www.dk-technologies.com• Tel: +44 23 92 59 61 00 • Fax: +44 23 92 59 61 20
DK-Technologies (UK) Ltd, Coles Yard Barn, North Lane, Claneld, Hants., PO8 0RN
101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 35
36 LINE UP Spring 2009
JoeCo
Launches
Blackbox
Recorder
Almost a year after relinquishing
the reins at SADiE, the company
he founded two decades ago,
Joe Bul l , former managi ng
director of Studio Audio & Video
Limited, is back in the music
scene. Hi s new company,
JoeCo Limited previewed its
new Blackbox Recorder at the
NAMM Show this January. The
new product is a high perfor-
mance multitrack capturing
device designed for the 21st
century and is aimed primarily at
the live music market. It records
24 channels of hi-res audio
directly to a USB2 drive and can
be plugged directly into the
insert points on any console,
enabling it also to provide virtual
sound checking facilities.
Recor di ng t o st andar d
external USB2 disks formatted
with FAT32 in Broadcast WAV
file format, the material can be
used immediately in any digital
audio workstation (DAW) with-
out needing time-consuming file
conversions or transfers. In
addi ti on to 24 channel s of
24bit/96kHz recording in a 1U
box, the Blackbox Recorder also
has extensive synchronisation
facilities and a keyboard inter-
face to enable file renaming.
Clocks can be synchronised to
an incoming AES3 or S/PDIF
signal, whilst LTC provides time
stamping of recorded files. A
MIDI input supports both MTC
synchroni sat i on and MI DI
machine control (MMC), and the
unit can also accept standard
Sony PII protocol 9-pin com-
mands. A footswitch facility can
be used to mark the intervals
between songs in a live set, cre-
ating separate files for each
song. There is also a head-
phone output for individual mon-
itoring of each input, as well as
to provide a rough ‘mixed’ output
for confidence checking. Eight of
the analogue inputs are looped
through to auxillary insert points
allowing external equipment to
be placed into the live signal
chain.
The user interface has been
designed for ultimate simplicity
allowing the engineer to concen-
trate on the live mix secure in the
knowledge that the Blackbox
Recorder is capturing the perfor-
mance. Following extensive
f i el d t est s t he Bl ackbox
Recorder is expected to be
available from April 09.
JoeCo Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1223 911 000
www.capturingperformance.com
Coloured
Visions From
Rycote
UK Out si de Br oadcast
specialists NEP Visions had a
problem: at many of the large
sporting events they were cov-
ering for Sky and other broad-
casters, their beautiful wide
shots of pitches, stadia and
track events were being marred
by an abundance of shaggy
grey shapes: Rycote wi nd-
shields, to be precise.
“We couldn’t do without our
Rycote windshields, but at some
events, there seemed to be an
awful lot of them on camera,
especially in our wide-angle
shots” explains NEP Visions’
Deputy Head of Sound Neville
Hooper. “So we wondered if
Rycote might be able to custom-
produce them in colours that
would blend in a bit better.”
Not only were Rycote happy
to custom-manufacture some
Windjammers in a different
colour, they suggested supply-
ing NEP Visions with a variety of
tones. “We then realised we
could potentially match colours
to sui t the sponsors at our
events,” continues Hooper. “We
now use white windjammers
near Sony adverts, green near
Heineken ads, red for Vodafone
ads (pictured), and blue for
Ford. The results look great, and
the event sponsors love them,
as there are more objects on
screen harmonising with their
corporate colours, not detracting
from them.”
Rycote has now supplied
NEP Visions with two sets of
coloured windjammers, each for
use in one of Visions’ various
large-scale HD OB vehicles.
“Just because our windjammers
are supplied in standard-issue
Rycote grey by default, doesn’t
mean they all have to be that
way,” explains Gabby Davies,
Rycote’s Sales and Marketing
Manager. “If you could benefit
from a special run in different
colours, contact us.”
Rycote Microphone
Windshields
Tel: +44 (0) 1453 759 338
www.rycote.com
SBES2009
Meets the
Recession
Challenge
To meet the challenge of these
difficult times SBES2009 will
NEWS
101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 36
become a one-day event, taking
place on Tuesday 3 November
2009, at the NEC Pavilion,
between 1000 and 1800. This
will be a welcome change for
many, as exhibitors and visitors
alike will once again be able to
meet and greet friends old and
new on the same day at this
specialist niche event. Point
Promot i ons, organi sers of
SBES2009, has made this deci-
sion against the background of
slow markets and difficulties for
many busi nesses i n our
industry.
Holding SBES on just one
day has advantages for visitors
and exhibitors. Visitors can be
sure that all their old friends and
colleagues will be there on the
same day. For exhibitors it
means reduced costs and this
too may attract some who have
found the cost of a two-day
show too high, thus making the
event even more exciting for vis-
itors. Point Promotions has also
ensured that draught beer will
be back in the bar at SBES2009.
With sterling weak against the
dollar and the euro, travelling to
the bigger overseas shows can
be a costly exercise. Based in
the centre of the UK the SBES
has become the ‘ not to be
missed’ event in the sound
broadcast industry’s calendar,
and will have all the major man-
ufacturers and suppliers repre-
sented under one roof. Visitors
will be able to see, hear and
touch equipment and services
for all types of sound broadcast-
ing: radio, TV sound, post-
production, internet radio and
audio streaming, community
and hospital radio, student and
school radio and, of course,
sound recordists.
SBES2009
www.sbes.com
Orbital Sound’s
European
Debut for HME
Digital
Intercom
Orbi tal Sound, the l eadi ng
sound and communication sys-
tems specialist for the broad-
cast, event and theatre markets,
unveiled the new DX121 One-
to-One digital wireless intercom
from HM Electronics (HME), at
the Broadcast Video Expo 2009.
Orbital is the exclusive UK
distributor for HME’s entertain-
ment-sector products, and this
first European showing for the
compact DX121 fol l ows i ts
wor l dwi de l aunch at t he
beginning of February.
Comprising a BS121 base
station and a charger for a
BAT41 battery pack, the DX121
systemis designed for maximum
flexibility, with applications in pro-
duction studios and control room
operations, as well as for live-
event cr ews. The syst em
exhibits the same clear-thinking
design and bullet-proof technolo-
gy as the rest of HME products,
and features an integral charger
for remote Communicator batter-
ies to allowthe unit to continue to
operate during a power outage.
In addition, its compatibility with
HME’s DX200 and DX100 digital
wireless ranges provides an
extremely cost-effective route for
expandi ng the system and
enables customers to get the
maximum from their comms
inventory.
LINE UP Spring 2009 37
NEWS
101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 37
NEWS
The DX121 provides flexible
wireless connectivity for studio
or OB environments, simply
plugging into a standard inter-
comstation or belt-pack headset
jack, or connected to a matrix
intercom system via its four-wire
interface. It enables wireless
intercom links to be established
quickly and easily, extending an
operator’s range by up to 300
metres. An assignable relay clo-
sure offers further versatility,
allowing the appropriate matrix
channel to be selected from a
belt-pack. A single DX121 can
support up to four HME remote
Communi cat or Bel t pac or
Headsets, while the system’s
FHSS Spectrum Friendly tech-
nology offers partial-band selec-
tion, enabling up to eight DX121
wireless intercoms to be used
simultaneously for multi-channel
applications. The DX121 can be
packaged with any of HME’s
remote communicators, such as
the BP200 Beltpac, the WH200
All-In-One Wireless Headset, or
the WS200 Wireless Speaker
Station.
Orbital Sound
Tel: +44 (0)20 7501 6868
www.orbitalsound.co.uk
Glensound
Floats High
Glensound is buoyant at the
moment with recent expansion
of the company’s key staff, of
purchasi ng a further 2000
square feet of land for new
offices and manufacturing, and
launching two new product
ranges wi t h t he T3 Audi o
Console, and the GDC 6432
Digital Commentary System
(pictured). Marc Wilson looks
f or war d t o a good 2009,
“Product and customer aware-
ness is developing superbly well
with Glensound at the moment,
and we believe the broadcast
market is still buying equipment
i n t he ar eas i n whi ch we
operate. The addition of
Swi ss company
Defitechnique
a n d
Concilium
i n Sout h
Af r i ca t o
our distrib-
utor network is indicative of
broadcasters’ desire worldwide
to have Glensound’s products
available and supported locally.
I expect to be able to make
announcements of further distri-
bution deals this year as the
increase in world broadcasters’
interest will mean that local dis-
tri butors wi l l want to offer
Glensound’s products.”
Glensound
Tel: +44 (0)1622 753 662
www.glensound.co.uk
38 LINE UP Spring 2009
“Congratulations
Line Up on coming of age. You have
been such a wonderful source of expert
information and entertainment. Let’s hope the next
generation will continue the tradition and maintain the
integrity. Happy Birthday.”
Ralph Dunlop and Pete Wandless – Sound Network
21
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HAND HELD AUDIO.............. 36
HARBETH ................................ 37
HHB ............................. 9, 34 & 38
IBC ............................................. 4
ME GEITHAIN ......................... 37
PRECO................................... 33
RICHMOND FILM
SERVICES .............................. 13
SONIFEX ............................... 31
SOUNDKIT ............................. 13
STAGETEC ............................ 29
TELEX ..................................... 23
VORTEX ... ............................. 24
WAVE ...................................... 38
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101034_P33_To_38_News:NEWS/TALKING POINTS PAGE 11/3/09 18:18 Page 38
Features
A CONSOLE FOR ALL SEASONS Andrew Hills Nov/Dec p30
A NEWMEETING PLACE FOR THE IBS Bob Conduct Sep/Oct p41
A VERY BRITISH COUP Kevin Emmott Jun/Jul p26
AES AMSTERDAM REPORT John Willett Jun/Jul p18
AUDIO WAVEFORMS AND METERS Mark Yonge Apr/May p 30
DIALOGUE NOISE SUPPRESSION Peter Best Nov/Dec p18
DIGITAL MICROPHONES: RECORDING THE LSO AT ABBEY ROAD
Grant Bridgeman Sep/Oct p10
DK TECHNOLOGIES LOUDNESS METERING Hugh Robjohns Nov/Dec p32
DOLBY E Mark Pascoe Jun/Jul p14
DUBBING DOCTORS Louise Wilcox April/May p10
HO-HUM Chris Woolf April/May p26
HUSH THE ADS Chris Maclean Nov/Dec p34
IBS MEETING: DOLBY DIGITAL AND DOLBY E Bob Conduct Jun/Jul p36
IBS MEETING: What Happens to my Sound in Post?
Grant Bridgeman Apr/May p20
IBS MEMBER PROFILE: ALAN HILL Malcolm Nelson Apr/May p43
IBS MEMBER PROFILE: CHRIS MACLEAN Malcolm Nelson Sep/Oct p43
IBS MEMBER PROFILE: GRANT BRIDGEMAN Malcolm Nelson Feb/Mar p37
IBS MEMBER PROFILE: KEVIN DARBYSHIRE-BRYANT Malcolm Nelson Nov/Dec p37
IBS MEMBER PROFILE: PAM SMITH Malcolm Nelson Jun/July p35
IBS RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND Simon Jones Apr/May p15
INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL Alistair Owen Nov/Dec p10
IS THE EMPEROR IN THE ALL TOGETHER? Kevin Duff Feb/Mar p14
LOCAL RADIO AT THE RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOWJohn Reynolds Jun/Jul p9
MONITOR SPEAKERS: YOU GET WHAT YOU DESERVE Alan Shaw Sep/Oct p31
MORETON IN MARSH IBS RESIDENTIAL WEEKEND John Sullivan Nov/Dec p38
NOISE AT WORK REGULATIONS Gerry Langford Apr/May p36
PMSE TO LOSE CHANNEL 69 Malcolm Johnson Nov/Dec p14
RADIO 3 CHORAL EVENSONG Steve Swinden Feb/Mar p16
SCOTS SOUND Colin Macnab Feb/Mar p12
SONOSAX CELEBRATES 30 YEARS Terry Nelson Jun/Jul p12
SOUNDING BOARD: GETTING ON John Sullivan Jun/Jul p34
SOUNDING BOARD: INTERACTION John Sullivan Feb/Mar p36
SOUNDING BOARD: MODERNISING THE IBS Peter Almgill April/May p42
SOUNDING BOARD: MEMBERSHIP MATTERS John Sullivan Sep/Oct p42
SPACED MID AND SIDE PAIRS: WHAT THEY CAN OFFER Mike Skeet Sep/Oct p14
THE PETE THOMAS INTERVIEW PART 2 Hugh Robjohns Sep/Oct p38
THE SOUND OF DEMOCRACY Chris Maclean Feb/Mar p9
WAVE SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY Apr/May p25
Reviews
AMBIENT A-RAY Steve Swinden Nov/Dec p28
AUDIO SPROCKETS: A&D SYNCROGENIUS Chris Woolf Jun/Jul p23
BEL HD AUDIO MONITOR Hugh Robjohns Feb/Mar p20
BEYERDYNAMIC MC930 Gerry Fursden Feb/Mar p28
BLUE SKY’S BIG BLUE Hugh Robjohns Sep/Oct p36
BLUETOOTH LINKS FROM JK AUDIO Simon Jones Nov/Dec p24
COMPUTER UTILITIES Ian Sands Apr/May p39
DIGITAL SOUNDFIELD Hugh Robjohns Sep/Oct p20
DPA MICROPHONES Simon Jones Feb/Mar p30
FEL MICBOOSTERS Chris Woolf Jun/Jul p30
GENELEC DSP MONITORING SYSTEMS Gerry Fursden Sep/Oct p40
HOW TO BUILD A RADIO STATION Gerry Langford Apr/May p40
IZOTOPE RX Grant Bridgeman Feb/Mar p22
JK AUDIO PHONE INTERFACES Simon Jones Sep/Oct p16
ME GEITHAIN RL944K1 Hugh Robjohns Nov/Dec p27
MICROTECH GEFELL UM 930 Hugh Robjohns Feb/Mar p26
NAGRA VI LOCATION RECORDER John Willett Sep/Oct p25
NTI DIGIRATOR Terry Nelson Sep/Oct p22
NTI MR-PRO MINIRATOR Terry Nelson Jun/Jul p 21
RYCOTE LYRE SUSPENSIONS Hugh Robjohns Feb/Mar p32
SENNHEISER MKH 8040 Hugh Robjohns Feb/Mar p34
SOUNDFIELD ST350 IN ACTION Simon Jones Nov/Dec p22
TRINNOV OPTIMIZER Hugh Robjohns Apr/May p23
You can search the archive of Line Up articles online at www.lineup.biz. Copies of most
features and reviews, apart from those in the latest issue, are available to download as PDFs.
INDEX OF FEATURES
AND REVIEWS 2008
JOIN The Institute of Broadcast Sound!
Benefits of joining the Institute
 Membership of the ÌBS is increasingly recognised
within the broadcasting industry as a mark of
competence and professionalism.
 Keep up-to-date with developments in equipment
design and operational techniques.
 ÌBSnet e-mail conference provides a worldwide
forum for fast problem-solving, and the interchange
of ideas and technical know-how.
 Members enjoy regular meetings and discussions,
attend residential seminars, and gain special access
to manufacturers and studios.
 Line Up magazine delivered four times a year, free
to an address within Europe (rates for other areas
are available on request).
Membership is granted at the discretion of the Executive
Committee, which considers applications monthly. Please
contact us for an application form.
The IBS has four categories of membership
FuII Member (MIBS)
Full Members can demonstrate a depth and breadth of
experience, as well as responsibility in operational sound.
They shall uphold the Institute's Code of Practice.
Applicants to this category should ideally be nominated
by two existing Full Members, but appropriate references
will also be considered.
Associate Member (AMIBS)
Anyone with experience in operational sound but who
not qualify for admission as a Full Member.
Student
Open to individuals undergoing full or part-time education
whose studies, activities or interests are closely associated
operational sound. Student Members benefit from a
specially discounted membership fee.
AffiIiate
This category is open to those who would not otherwise be
elligible for membership. An Affiliate will typically be engaged
in manufacturing, research, or training associated with sound.
The Institute of Broadcast Sound
PO BOX 208, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 9BQ, UK.
Tel: +44 (0) 300 400 8427 www.ibs.org.uk
101034_P39_Review:FEATURE/TECHNICAL PAGE 11/3/09 18:23 Page 38
: :
Putting Sound in the Picture
WHEN THE CURTAIN GOES UP
TRUST CALREC AUDIO TO PERFORM
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All our consoles give you the flexibility to set up and handle multiple sources
instinctively, access pre-sets, network your i/o and control the whole mix without
missing a beat. And our Hydra network system enhances creativity for operators
and studio managers.
With automatic redundancy and incredibly intuitive control surfaces – Calrec has
everything you need to get on the air fast, and stay on the air.
Many broadcasters won’t entertain the idea of a live broadcast on any other
console. Find out why at calrec.com
101034_BC_Calrec_Ad 11/3/09 19:00 Page 1