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More World Cup winning audio

Dave Robinson 6 July 2010

Further details of audio systems used at events directly and indirectly related to the 2010 World Cup continue to emerge, writes David Davies. Following a previous round-up, PSN-e has filleted another selection of releases regarding equipment utilised during the South African football extravaganza.

Working under the auspices of ARD and as a customer of HBS, German broadcaster SWR (Südwestrundfunk) is renting a total of six Lawo crystal consoles and one mc256 desk from Audio Broadcast Services (ABS). The equipment is being used in ARD’s radio studio control room.

Notwithstanding material produced by SWR, HBS sends all relevant feeds from the stadia to SWR’s HD Core via ARD and ZDF’s master control room using a MADI link. SWR then distributes these feeds to various other studios, again via MADI.

"The cooperation with our colleagues from ABS covers far more than just the rental business. For the system integration, for example, we needed to cooperate very closely," commented Gerhard Rieber, head of technology for ARD radio in South Africa. [Much more on Lawo systems at the World Cup in the July issue of PSNE].

ESPN is among those organisations to be employing DTS Neural Surround technology. Hardware integrated on-site includes the DTS Neural Surround Sound Encoders and Decoders, as well as the Mono2Stereo 4-channel stereo synthesizer built by hardware partner and licensee DaySequerra. Both solutions allow mixers to create a dynamic surround mix while maintaining strong voice clarity from the announcers.

MAYAH technology has also been used by major broadcasters at the World Cup. Approximately 30 of the company’s C11 codecs have been deployed for traditional ISDN communication between the various footballing locations and broadcasters’ HQs, including Alfacam Deutschland’s provision of five C11-equipped HD OB vehicles.

Elsewhere, a number of FIFA Fan Fest outdoor fan parks are in operation to help satisfy the requirements of football-lovers unable to get tickets for the big matches. The Sound Corporation is providing audio at four sites, for which it has selected Lab.gruppen FP+ and fP Series power amplifiers supplied by South Africa-based Surgesound. Racks of FP 10000Q (4 x 2500W) devices power EAW KF760/761 and KF730 line array systems, while a combination of fP 6400 and fP 2600 units are deployed in conjunction with EAW SM12 monitors.

Lab.gruppen communications manager Mark Flanagan tells PSN-e: "Lab.gruppen’s involvement in a major event like this is as much about having strong relationships with the right distribution partner and consequently, the big player end-users in the market who’ve put their faith in our product – and for good reason. The systems deployed for the FIFA Fan Fests, through The Sound Corporation, are good examples of the logical product relationship between Lab.gruppen and key loudspeaker manufacturers, specifically in this case EAW – perhaps emphasising the significance of the announcement made at last month’s InfoComm show regarding co-operation between the two companies."

Meanwhile, a studio used to produce opening ceremony music for the World Cup was recently equipped with a full surround ADAM Audio system comprising P33as, A7s and Sub 8s. The facility in question – Mastermax Studios – is located in Midrand in the province of Gauteng.

Johan van der Colff from MMX Studios commented: "Since buying our first pair of ADAMs in 2006, we have never looked back. Tonal balance and imaging on the ADAM monitors is outstanding and

I just fell in love with the natural sound of the ribbon tweeters and the fact that ADAM does not use digital processing in the monitors to make up for imperfections in the design. I have also enjoyed the smooth true representation the monitors give at both low and high SPL levels."

The opening concert at Orlando Stadium entailed a collaboration between audio rental companies Britannia Row (UK) and Gearhouse (South Africa) to provide a massive audio spec that featured no fewer than eight Avid consoles: a D-Show and two Profiles at FOH, two Profiles at monitors, and a D-Show, Profile and SC48 for broadcast. In addition, four Pro Tools rigs were employed for recording and virtual soundcheck.

From my perspective, the relationship between Gearhouse and Brit Row seemed very smooth," Avid’s Robb Allan tells PSN-e. "[Both sets of] crew worked together as if they were one company. The client was delighted and so they should be: to pull off all those changeovers without missing a single channel at FOH, mons or broadcast was an incredible feat."

See the July issue of Pro Sound News Europe for a comprehensive round-up of audio systems at the World Cup. More on Britannia Row, Gearhouse and the world of international touring in the forthcoming 2010 edition of PSNLive.

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