After British broadcast facilities and uplink supplier SIS Live announced that it was pulling out of the outside broadcast market, speculation began as to what would happen to its trucks. The key audio vehicle was Mastersound, which had long been used on the BBC's coverage of The Proms (pictured, credit: Lewis Whyld/PA), as well as being involved in other major live events, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge of 2011.
It has now emerged that the Stagetec Cantus-equipped mobile has been bought by former SIS Live sound supervisors Andy Payne and Matthew Charles. The pair has formed a company, the Sound Alliance, which will continue to operate the truck and offer it for hire on big broadcasts requiring a dedicated mixing environment.
Payne said there had been no decision about what the unit would be called, although it was likely it would be known as "the Sound Truck", as that's what most people already call it. Payne and Charles acquired the mobile in early March and have already won the contract to provide audio facilities for this year's broadcasts from The Proms, sub-contracted to NEP Visions on the video side.
AIn addition to the 128-channel Cantus, Mastersound houses a Stagetec Nexus matrix connected to three stage boxes over fibre and a 64-track Merging Pyramix multitrack recorder–editor. Payne said no changes would be made to the technical aspects of the trucks, but in the run-up to the Sound Alliance's first job there would be some "refurbishment and TLC" made to the vehicle itself.
"We've got eight weeks at the Royal Albert Hall for The Proms, so we won't be looking to do anything with the market until after that," Payne commented. "The Sound Truck has a nice listening environment which you don't get in scanners and is necessary for balancing something like The Proms. As well as broadcast and big events, there are opportunities in non-traditional areas like digital cinema and live music, so we are hopeful something will come along."