The 2011 BRIT Awards will be live in stereo on UK commercial broadcaster ITV1 next Tuesday (15th February), with all performances going up on iTunes the same evening, writes Kevin Hilton.
This year's music industry love-in will be the 17th time Toby Alington of Richmond Studios Productions has mixed the music for the broadcast. In recent years the event has been shown live, after a long period of being pre-recorded for later transmission.
Alington says digital has made his job a lot easier as the live aspects of the BRITs show have increased. "Analogue was not good for snapshots and recalls but digital has all that and there is only one audio desk for TV music mixing, one for front of house and one for presentation," he comments.
Alington now uses the Floating Earth mobile studio for mixing. The truck is equipped with a SSL C200 digital console, with 144 microphone inputs and 128 channel strips. Alington says he will be using all 128-channels continuously, with 96-channels coming from the stage through splitters. Approximately 20 audience mics will be placed around the O2 Arena in east London to capture the atmosphere.
Floating Earth's truck is capable of 5.1 mixing but, as in previous years, the BRITs will be broadcast in stereo because ITV is not ready for surround sound transmission yet.
Richard Anstead will mix presentation audio, including mics for host James Corden and the celebrities handing out the Awards, in a CTV OBs video scanner.
This year's show includes live performances from Mumford and Sons, Arcade Fire (pictured), Adele, Cee Lo Green, Tinie Tempah and Rihanna. As each song is performed it will be edited to add audience effects on the front and back to cover where introductions would have been, packaged and sent for distribution to iTunes.
The 48kHz feed from the desk will be converted into 44.1 16-bit and sent to a laptop where Joe Adams will prepare the material. Each finished track will be then be uploaded to iTunes by staff from digital media agency Barney Wragg Associates. Alington says the plan is to have songs up on iTunes as the BRITS show continues, with everything available that evening.