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Archive of the NAB Newslink Category

SYMETRIX INTRODUCES EXTERNAL CONTROL EXPANDER FOR SYMNET

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 2013: Symetrix announces release of the SymNet xControl, an external control expander for use with the SymNet Edge and Radius family of DSP products useful in conferencing and paging applications. For those installations where Edge and Radius’s eight onboard control inputs and eight logic outputs require expansion, xControl provides an additional sixteen inputs, sixteen outputs and two RS-232 ports.

In typical conferencing and paging applications, external control inputs accommodate closures from push to talk (PTT) microphone switches while control outputs directly drive LED indicators associated with the PTT mics. Additional output applications may include the triggering of external relays or camera switching devices.The xControl’s flexibility lends support to both everyday and ‘outside-the-box’ applications.

For serial communications with third party projectors, camera controls, routers, and lighting either of xControl’s two RS-232 ports may be configured to receive or transmit commands. An added bonus is Power over Ethernet (PoE) which means xControl may be mounted outside of a rack room and connected to the system with a single CAT5/6 cable via a PoE network switch. Occupying only a 1U, two of the half-rack devices can be mounted side-by-side or xControl may be surface mounted. For either type of mounting, all hardware is included. For direct powering, a PoE injector is included. SymNet Composer open architecture software provides comprehensive set-up and management of xControl.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix’ independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

PLEASE STOP AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #922

Markertek Releases a Full-Line of Fiber Optic Tactical Snakes

SAUGERTIES, NY – April 25, 2013Markertek, a global supplier of specialized products to all television and broadcast networks, today released a full-line of multichannel fiber optic tactical snakes for outside broadcast, sports production and pro-audio long distance applications.Fiber Optic Tactical Snake

Markertek’s complete line of fiber optic tactical snakes includes 2-Channel up to 12-Channel versions with ST, LC, SC or MPO connectors. All cables are assembled with OCC brand tac-fiber with internal aramid strength members for crush resistance in high traffic areas. Fiber optic tactical snakes are available with Schill reels featuring inner hub fanout storage and a latching protection door. All assemblies are multi-stage machine polished and tested for <-55dB RL with test results for each channel supplied with each cable. Built in-house at our state-of-the-art LEMO trained fiber shop with full repair services and custom lengths & configurations available.

“Whether you’re running a Blackmagic ATEM camera converter or a yellobrik transceiver, a fiber optic tactical snake from Markertek completes the system with a reliable interconnect you can drive a tank over, ” said Chris Fisher, VP of Engineering at Markertek. “The beauty of our Schill reel models is the ability to store your fanout inside the reel hub in a clean and safe environment. It is our goal to be the #1 supplier of custom fiber optic solutions to the broadcasting industry. Markertek has a LEMO trained staff and now offers SMPTE hybrid cables and breakout solutions for any application.”

To receive a free copy of the Markertek Fiber Edition Catalog visit www.markertek.com, email sales@markertek.com or call 800-522-2025. Digital versions are available for download either as a full PDF or in a ZIP file. Customers can also reach out to their existing Markertek sales contact for a quick quote or further details.

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About Markertek
Markertek is a highly specialized broadcast and pro-audio supply house serving the technical side of the media industry with over 60,000 unique solutions at reasonable prices – supported with dependable advice from actual pro-audio and broadcast video professionals. The Markertek catalog has achieved cult-like status among digital media professionals as the ultimate design tool for creating the electronic infrastructure required to produce the majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits, as well as all other areas in the audio and video industry.

Markertek is the #1 “Go-To” source in the industry for everything fiber optic including SMPTE Hybrid camera cables, 2-12 channel tactical fiber snakes, fiber rack mount solutions, fiber reels, fiber consumables and specialized tooling.

Visit www.markertek.com for more information.

SYMETRIX DEBUTS DEDICATED AEC PROCESSOR

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – APRIL 2013: Symetrix announces delivery of the SymNet Radius AEC, a core acoustic echo-cancelling device for deployment in teleconferencing installations of any size. The 1U rack unit contains eight mic/line wideband echo cancellers, eight line outputs, and four auxiliary line inputs. Application specific input or output expansion of a single Radius AEC is facilitated with a configurable slot supporting any SymNet I/O card including the recently released 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface.

As a building block in larger systems Radius AEC uses Dante for network audio connections to additional Radius or SymNet Edge DSPs, and to the cost-effective SymNet 12-channel I/O expanders.

Paul Roberts, Symetrix CEO was quick to point out, “We designed mega DSP into this box. In addition to the eight full-band, low-latency channels with direct outputs, we have a flexible general purpose DSP to handle all the other processing that is truly required to support high-intelligibility speech and effective communications. Corporate and educational end users are raising the bar every day. We purposefully designed Radius AEC to stay ahead of the curve.”

As with all SymNet DSP products using Composer open architecture software, Radius AEC supports an array of user controls including the ARC-WEB browser, ARC wall panels, SymVue custom user screens, and third party touchscreens.

ABOUT SYMETRIX Symetrix engineers high-end professional audio solutions, specializing in DSP hardware and software. Symetrix products are distributed worldwide, and designed and manufactured in the U.S. at the Seattle area headquarters. Since 1976, customers have enjoyed the benefits of Symetrix independent ownership and management. For more information on Symetrix professional audio products, please visit www.symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728.

STOP BY AND SEE US AT INFOCOMM BOOTH #922

Markertek Launches a Full Line of SMPTE Hybrid Cables

SAUGERTIES, NY – April 24, 2013Markertek, a global supplier of specialized products to all broadcast and television networks, today launched an entire line of SMPTE Hybrid Fiber cables featuring LEMO connectors and Furukawa or Belden SMPTE 311M cable. Markertek’s expanded in-house fiber optic production facility is now ready to serve its worldwide customer base with off-the-shelf SMPTE Hybrid cables.SMPTE Hybrid Cables

The Markertek Fiber Shop offers SMPTE Hybrid camera cables in three versions: Flexible studio, Riser-rated install and Outside Broadcast harsh environment. SMPTE hybrid to ST, LC and SC breakout cables are also available – with and without power options – for both internal rack and long distance distribution applications.

“Our LEMO trained fiber optic lab boasts the latest polishing and test equipment,” said Chris Fisher, VP of Engineering at Markertek. “We now have the ability to deliver the fastest turnaround time on both stock and custom fiber optic cable solutions. In true Markertek fashion, we have off-the-shelf solutions. You don’t have to get a quote or wait 3-4 weeks for a SMPTE Hybrid 311 cable.”

To receive a free copy of the Markertek Fiber Edition Catalog visit www.markertek.com, email sales@markertek.com or call 800-522-2025. Digital versions are available for download either as a full PDF or in a ZIP file. Customers can also reach out to their existing Markertek sales contact for a quick quote or further details.

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About Markertek
Markertek is a highly specialized broadcast and pro-audio supply house serving the technical side of the media industry with over 60,000 unique solutions at reasonable prices – supported with dependable advice from actual pro-audio and broadcast video professionals. The Markertek catalog has achieved cult-like status among digital media professionals as the ultimate design tool for creating the electronic infrastructure required to produce the majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits, as well as all other areas in the audio and video industry.

Markertek is the #1 “Go-To” source in the industry for everything fiber optic including SMPTE Hybrid camera cables, 2-12 channel tactical fiber snakes, fiber rack mount solutions, fiber reels, fiber consumables and specialized tooling.

Visit www.markertek.com for more information.

Markertek Unveils Complete Line of SMPTE Hybrid Fiber Optic Adapters

SAUGERTIES, NY – April 23, 2013Markertek, a global supplier of specialized products to all broadcast and television networks, today unveiled its HYDAP line of SMPTE hybrid fiber adapter solutions designed to lower the cost of outside broadcast and sports production.HYDAP Fiber Optic Adapters

The HYDAP provides a solution to running expensive long length SMPTE 311 hybrid camera cables by converting the SMPTE hybrid connector to conventional single mode ST connections or Neutrik opticalCON LC connections. These robust in-line adapters feature an extremely durable extruded aluminum housing for harsh production environments. Fiber connectors are recessed to prevent damaged ends and a square housing design prevents rolling. HYDAP units are available in both SMPTE hybrid male and female models breaking out to either ST fiber or Neutrik opticalCON connections. Standard models are passive but are also available with power options.

“Now you can use conventional ST fiber or Neutrik OpticalCON cables with your SMPTE hybrid cameras,” said Chris Fisher, VP of Engineering at Markertek. “These SMPTE hybrid breakout solutions lower your cabling costs and offer a simple inline solution. The housing is so rugged we drove a Jeep over them and they survived.” Continued Fisher, “It is our goal to be the #1 supplier of custom fiber optic solutions to the broadcasting industry. Markertek has a LEMO trained staff and now offers SMPTE hybrid cables and breakout solutions for any application.”

To receive a free copy of the Markertek Fiber Edition Catalog visit www.markertek.com, email sales@markertek.com or call 800-522-2025. Digital versions are available for download either as a full PDF or in a ZIP file. Customers can also reach out to their existing Markertek sales contact for a quick quote or further details.

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About Markertek
Markertek is a highly specialized broadcast and pro-audio supply house serving the technical side of the media industry with over 60,000 unique solutions at reasonable prices – supported with dependable advice from actual pro-audio and broadcast video professionals. The Markertek catalog has achieved cult-like status among digital media professionals as the ultimate design tool for creating the electronic infrastructure required to produce the majority of primetime television shows, feature films, commercials and chart-topping music hits, as well as all other areas in the audio and video industry.

Markertek is the #1 “Go-To” source in the industry for everything fiber optic including SMPTE Hybrid camera cables, 2-12 channel tactical fiber snakes, fiber rack mount solutions, fiber reels, fiber consumables and specialized tooling.

Visit www.markertek.com for more information.

RTW TM7 TOUCHMONITOR WINS 2013 iF PRODUCT DESIGN AWARD

International Forum Design Honors Plug-In Module Version of RTW’s TM7 TouchMonitor

COLOGNE, GERMANY, 22, APRIL, 2013 – RTW, a leading vendor of visual audio meters and monitoring devices for professional broadcast, production, post production and quality control, is happy to announce that the half 19-inch 20700VID plug-in module version of RTW’s TM7 TouchMonitor has won an iF Product Design Award. The iF (International Forum Design) jury, judging on behalf of a global organization dedicated to strengthening public awareness of design through awards, publications and exhibitions, chose the 19-inch model as a standout product in the audio and video category. This is the second iF Product Design Award for RTW. The company also won in 2011 for the TM7 and TM9 TouchMonitor series.

Known the world over as a “seal of outstanding design,” the iF product design award honors outstanding achievements in design. It covers all areas of product design and serves as a platform for design-relevant innovations around the globe. All of the 2013 iF product design award winners are available at www.ifdesign.de.

The half 19-inch 20700VID plug-in module version of RTW’s TM7 TouchMonitor is specifically designed for installation in waveform-monitor racks typically used in video studios, which are often difficult to fit. This version of the TM7 is technologically identical to the original TM7 model, providing ports for eight analog, eight digital (AES3 or AES3id) and 3G-SDI signals in different combinations (I/O options). Both versions feature a USB port that allows for preset import and export, license updates, and firmware upgrades. Featuring a 7-inch touch screen combined with unprecedented flexibility and modularity with an intuitive user interface, the TM7 is part of RTW’s innovative range of products that marks the next generation in professional audio-signal metering.

The operating concept behind the entire line of TouchMonitor audio meters, based on 16:9 touch-sensitive screens, is unique. It offers not only a built-in online help function, but also allows for monitoring separate signal groups and using multiple instruments at the same time. This way, up to 16 analog or digital signals (with 3G-SDI interface up to 32) can all be displayed. In addition, the clear-cut surface layout of the product’s housing gives it a distinctive look, which can be consistently transferred to other RTW ranges of products and also allows for variations.

“We are very proud that the International Forum Design has once again chosen RTW, this time for the design of the half 19-inch plug-in module version of our TM7 TouchMonitor,” says Andreas Tweitmann, CEO, RTW. “RTW is committed to providing the professional audio industry with the solutions it needs: devices that are both technologically advanced and well-designed. A lot of time and effort went into the design of this version of our TM7 and we are very proud our efforts have been recognized.”

Matrox Monarch HD Garners Four Prestigious Industry Awards at the 2013 NAB Show

New live streaming and recording appliance chosen for Best of NAB Award by StreamingMedia.com, Black Diamond Award by Digital Video magazine, STAR Award by TV Technology magazine and Video Innovation Award (VIA) by BCPVA.com

Matrox® Video today announced that Matrox Monarch HD™, a small, easy-to-use video streaming and recording appliance received four important industry awards at the 2013 NAB Show. Matrox Monarch HD is designed for professional video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing. At the breakthrough price of just $995, it provides these two independent delivery channels in an integrated unit.

Matrox Monarch HD streaming and recording appliance

Editors and writers at StreamingMedia.com selected the five new products they found most impressive, and that promised to do the most to push the online video industry forward in the year ahead.

The DV Black Diamond Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the advancement of video technology. A select panel of engineers, editors, and production and post professionals joined the magazine staff to judge the awards.

Now celebrating its 13th anniversary, the STAR Awards are designed to celebrate and showcase the preeminent technological innovations available to the media industry. A judging panel of broadcast industry experts reviewed a variety of products and services, examined the technical applications and their overall contribution to the industry.

The British Columbia Professional Videographers Association (BCPVA) is Canada’s oldest and largest professional video production association. Each year, delegates scour NAB for innovative content creation and shooting technologies and choose those products deemed most helpful to videographers looking to advance their businesses.

“The entire team at Matrox is thrilled that Matrox Monarch HD was recognized with these honors,” said Alberto Cieri, senior director of sales and marketing at Matrox. “This is the latest product that exemplifies what Matrox Video does best — provide high-quality, technologically-advanced tools for video professionals that combine multiple functions in a single cost-effective product.”

About Matrox Monarch HD
From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocol. While encoding the video at bitrates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 file to an SD card, a USB drive, or a network-mapped drive. Matrox Monarch HD is remotely controlled using any computer or mobile device with a web browser.

Price and availability
Priced at $995 US (€799, £750) not including local taxes and delivery, Matrox Monarch HD will be available in June 2013 through a worldwide network of authorized dealers.

About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a box systems and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

Turner Trucks Hit The Road With Cobalt Digital Terminal Gear

Urbana, IL – Cobalt Digital (www.CobaltDigital.com), manufacturer of award-winning 3G/HD/SD-SDI conversion gear for broadcast environments, recently installed a complement of terminal gear in Turner Studios’ latest mobile units. The announcement was made by Cobalt’s svp of sales, Bob McAlpine, from company headquarters in Urbana, IL.

The two trucks received identical equipment packages slated for video processing, signal conversion and distribution. The order comprised eleven frames including Cobalt’s new award-winning HPF-9000 high-power, high-density frames. The units are populated with nearly 200 cards including the Company’s 3G/HD/SD-SDI Fusion3G® 9901-UDX up/down/cross format converter, numerous DAs and color correctors. Cobalt also supplied multiple OGCP-9000 control panels, and numerous Mini-DIN rears ensure maximum density. Fabrication was accomplished by Beck Associates, a systems integrator located in Pflugerville, TX.

Turner Studios is the full service production division of Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. aligned under Turner’s Global Technology and Operations division. Turner Studios services include studio operations, live broadcast production operations, post production, visual effects and animation, design and creative services, digital media production, remote and outside broadcast production. Turner Studios services all of Turner’s Entertainment Networks including TBS, TNT, TCM, Cartoon Network and TruTV, as well as Turner’s news networks including CNN, and many of Turner’s International Networks such as TNT and Cartoon Latin America.
For information regarding the Turner Studios mobile units, please contact Susan O’Neal at susan.Oneal@turner.com.
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ABOUT COBALT DIGITAL INC.
Cobalt Digital Inc. designs and manufactures award-winning 3G/HD/SD conversion gear for the broadcast television environment. Distributed through a worldwide network of dealers, system integrators, and other partnerships, Cobalt products are backed with a 5-year warranty. For more information, visit http://www.cobaltdigital.com.

Company Contact: Chris Shaw, EVP of Sales and Marketing
+1-217-344-1243 / chris.shaw@cobaltdigital.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Communications / Harriet Diener
+1-845-512-8283 / harriet@desertmooncomm.com

BHV Broadcast Exhibits Award-Winning Battery Replacement System and Format Convertors at NAB 2013

Las Vegas, NV – BHV Broadcast, manufacturer of compact, cost-effective equipment for live and post-production, is exhibiting its award-winning Video Ghost phantom power system, the Proteus rate converter and the Syntax Essence, a low-cost version of its award-winning up-converter at NAB 2013 in Booth N 921.

Video Ghost
Through the medium of modern technology, BHV Broadcast brings you Video Ghost! Developed as a low-cost, reliable replacement for batteries, Video Ghost brings phantom power to the digital video world! The unit – recipient of TV Technology’s Mario Award, Broadcast Engineering’s Pick Hit AND IBC’s What Caught my Eye – now provides a hefty 65 watts of power at 12V for camera head-ends and remote monitors using the existing serial digital video coaxial cable. Equally at home with SD or HD signals, it can also be used to power composite to SDI converters at the camera, avoiding the signal degradation suffered by composite video over long distances.

Video Ghost is being shown for the first time in the USA using the V-lock universal mounting system and sporting a new, sleek design.

Syntax and Syntax Essence Up/Cross/Down-Converters
BHV Broadcast is also introducing the US market to Syntax Essence, an economical version of its popular and award-winning Syntax SDI up/cross/down converter. Based on advanced Super-Resolution Bandlet Technology like the original, Syntax Essence offers the same essential features and processing power while helping operators maintain their quality standards within the confines of limited budgets. Syntax and Syntax Essence bring the performance advantages of motion-compensated processing without the associated disadvantages of high cost and occasionally severe artefacts. The full Syntax model also features analogue video inputs and ARC facilities.

Proteus Multi-Format/Multi-Purpose Converter
The award-winning Proteus motion-adaptive rate converter will be shown in its rack-mount version. The fully-featured broadcast specification converter features 10-bit SDI, analogue video and digital/analogue audio. It employs an advanced rate conversion algorithm, comprehensive audio facilities and Aspect Ratio Conversion. Proteus also offers full format conversion, frame synchronizing, timebase correction, and full video and audio level control. Proteus addresses lip-sync errors with variable audio delay (up to 10 seconds) featuring both tracking and block delay, and also offers audio group switching.

BHV’s award-winning products are being demonstrated in Booth N 921. Click on harriet@desertmooncomm.com to schedule a visit!

About BHV Broadcast
BHV Broadcast is the manufacturer of award-winning compact and cost-effective equipment for production and post-production including a full range of rack-mount and portable digital switchers to accommodate any application where space is at a premium. The company also manufactures rate and format converters and video power systems. For further information: www.bhvbroadcast.com

BHV Broadcast contact: Martin Cook
+44 (0) 1962 777733 • sales@BHVBroadcast.com

Press contact: Harriet Diener / Desert Moon Communications
1-845-512-8283 • harriet@desertmooncomm.com

DiGiCo/Optocore System Streamlines Complex 2013 TED Conference

Leading thinkers and doers from around the globe recently gathered in Long Beach, California, for the annual TED Conference. The topical event, which was held February 25-March 1, 2013, was structured around a theme: “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.”

The fast-paced format of 50+ TED Talks and musical performances presented a dizzying array of talent exploring science, business, the arts and global issues facing our world, and introduced attendees to people who are collectively shaping the future. The production was recorded live, simulcast throughout the Long Beach Performing Arts Center and a satellite location in Palm Springs, and also mixed down for broadcast via webcast to a worldwide audience.

McCune Audio TED Crew: Pete Bender, project manager, McCune; Nick Malgieri, monitors/head of audio (SD10); Erik Sandberg, Front of House mixer/System Tech (2x SD10); Louis Adamo, assistant broadcast mixer/Pro Tools (SD5); Bill Knight, head broadcast mixer (Stage Tec Crescendo fed via MADI from SD5); Matt Chavez, grounds mixer (SD8-24); John Wolcott, Technical stage manager; Chris ("Crimson Avenger") de la Fuente, wireless mic wrangler; David Roth, RF/asst com; Mike Breckenridge, com/asst RF

McCune Audio/Video/Lighting, one of the oldest and largest rental/sound service companies in the country, has been handling TED’s production since the first Conference was held in 1984. McCune is responsible for cameras, live sound/broadcast mixes, amplification, graphics and video projection, and simulcast.

For the 2013 event, McCune’s Nick Malgieri, with cooperation (and console support) from Hi-Tech Audio’s Louis Adamo and freelance FOH engineer Erik Sandberg, undertook the massive task of retooling the audio footprint to handle the ever-growing demands of the multifaceted conference. The decision to go with an all-DiGiCo/Optocore network offered speed, flexibility and a streamlined infrastructure for the elaborate production. Preproduction alone for the event took nearly a week.

The overall audio system was comprised of two SD10s for FOH, an SD10 for monitors, an SD5 that handled live music mixes for broadcast, an SD8-24 for submixing/distribution, four D racks, and an SD-Rack for all I/O, complemented by an extensive, 12-zone Meyer PA and McCauley wedges.

“The TED Conference is the most technically challenging project that I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of,” says McCune Project Manager Pete Bender, who has been involved since TED3 back in 1992. “It has become the conference by which all others are measured, and every year they raise the expectations on content and quality. There is such a wide variety of content, and so many different audiences and recording needs that need to be managed, that it requires an extremely flexible audio system. The DiGiCo and Optocore system was an enormous improvement over previous years. The flexibility of the networked DiGiCo consoles, as well as the Stage Tec console in the TV truck, gave us the ability to route submixes and outputs to virtually any location on the stage or in the truck. This streamlined the system and allowed the engineers to respond to every last-minute request that we could possibly throw at them. And we threw them a lot. Additionally, the fiber network contributed to savings in time and manpower on both the install and strike days.”

At FOH, a pair of side-by-side DiGiCo SD10s helmed by Erik Sandberg handled the live audio mix—approximately 200 inputs, including 26 channels of wireless, 24 channels of stereo playback devices (primarily video sources), 48 inputs allotted for guest artists and bands as well as a number of submixes for the other consoles.

One SD10 was set up specifically for the corporate production inputs, while the other managed all the live music inputs. A third monitor SD10 console was housed in a rolling road case and wheeled on and offstage to accommodate six ear mixes and a dozen wedge monitor mixes, as well as backstage monitors and production monitors. At FOH, a D Rack handled all FOH inputs and outboard gear inserts, and an additional two D racks at the A2 position onstage handled production inputs such as wireless mics and outputs to the PA system or monitors. An SD-Rack in video world served all of the I/Os, and a fourth D rack was mounted in the thrust staging to manage on-the-fly presenter and artist inputs, mainly for the musical performers.

“As we started doing rehearsals, I was able to cover all my bases with this setup and jump between the two consoles,” says Sandberg, who has handled TED’s FOH for the past eight years. “I had the console split with mics on the left bank and playback devices on the right – with a show this fast-paced and complex, it’s important to keep the structure of the consoles as simple as possible. On the production console, I pretty much ran it from one snapshot and relied instead on presets for each presenter’s EQ. On the music console, every act had its own snapshot. Often bands will show up [at the conference] with their own engineer, and it made life easier to have a separate console so that they could check PFLs, and check channels before they went on. I had it set up like a typical nightclub system, simple and similar to what they’re all accustomed to: kick, snare, hat, rack, floor, right down the line, effects and delay. We had two foldback lines from FOH but a vast majority of onstage monitoring was done backstage by Nick [Malgieri].”

The show consisted of 26 channels of wireless; the first 12 were DPA 4088 headset mics. “TED is known for using the headset mics,” Sandberg explains, “and it’s become part of the look of the TED Talks. The DPAs worked well for that. We also had a series of handheld mics that floated around the audience for Q&As. Onstage, there were five rolling podiums with audio that presenters could plug into with their laptops, plus there was an incoming feed from Palm Springs via Polycom. A lot of playback originated at FOH and I was able to send that as a console send into the network. This made it really easy for everyone to customize their inputs based on what they needed. In the past when we’ve had analog splits, it’s been a challenge because I’d end up with more inputs at FOH and I’d have to do separate snake runs to all the other consoles so they could get what I was getting. It’s one of the reasons we decided to go with the DiGiCo/Optocore network—and it’s made a big difference. It sounds good and it’s easy to use and flexibility is key. Setup time was a fraction of what it used to be.

“The SD10 is a very easy console to navigate. The surface is extremely intuitive, so I was able to organize the desk the way that made sense to me from where I physically sat; I was able to put anything I wanted anywhere, which was invaluable. I was able to put all headset mics on the left side of the console near the Dugan auto mixers, which I inserted on all the channels for panel discussion or multiple mics. They helped to get a clean, lower noise floor. I used a WAVES server on the production console. The plugin was a WNS Noise Suppressor that I inserted into each of my headset mics. It’s a giant, wooden and very reverberant room; the plugin helped knock down reverb. I relied on those noise suppressors quite a bit and they certainly help with intelligibility.”

Backstage, Malgieri found that the Optocore network allowed his monitor console to be mobile and also cut down the amount of gear needed to do the gig. “All risers, band equipment, scenery, grand piano, and whatever else they decided to put onstage went in and out through there, so real estate was a really big deal on stage left,” he explains. “Not running copper snakes this year was huge, and was another benefit of the DiGiCo consoles because I got rid of three split racks and a rat’s nest of cable. We’ve shrunk the footprint from about 50 feet down to half that, to sharing mic pres, no splitters and a lot of fiber—and I was able to leave six to eight large boxes at our warehouse. Also, we used to have this enormous hod [bundle] of cables, and it was a 12-guy, eight-hour ordeal to pull it through the PVC conduit to FOH… This year, with just the two fiber cables and two guys, we were able to save a lot of labor and man-hours. And because I was able to keep the monitor desks tethered down to a loom, it was easy to roll on and offstage for soundchecks. We only had one-and-a-half hours between sessions and, in that time, we had to rehearse four speakers and soundcheck a band in 20 minutes.”

In addition to mixing wedges and in-ear monitors for all the bands and presenters, Malgieri handled Announce from the truck for monitors onstage and off. “I was like the production switchboard for anything around the stage,” he laughs. “Anyone that showed up and needed a temporary speaker, that was me. The stage Announce output from the trucks’ communication system came in and through some creative sidechain-ducking programming I built a Program Interrupt to the backstage monitors, which were time-aligned to the video monitors but fed from the FOH mix, not the broadcast mix. So when anyone was speaking from the truck it cut the monitoring to all the backstage monitors like a TV studio. The flexibility of the console allowed me to do that. I can’t think of any other console that’d allow me to do that in the same way. Another huge thing was that I was able to program a macro to undo that interrupt function without having to get back into my layers and figure out the complicated routing and processing I did. One button press undid it and I didn’t have to think about it on the fly. I just hit the button as an emergency bailout.”
Situated between the venue and the truck, an SD8-24, run by mixer Matt Chavez, with optics on optical loop, served as a distribution hub, routing to lobbies, tents, the plaza, the loge and the balcony. It also broadcast TED’s Walk-in Music at the beginning of each session, and controlled the announcement system that covered the entire venue.

Inside the mobile truck, an SD5 run by Adamo served as an interface between the venue’s audio consoles and truck, running more than 200 I/Os. All channels from the venue were routed over Optocore into the truck and were tied into the main broadcast console via MADI. Additionally, Adamo mixed the musical acts and sent them to the truck, and multitracked to a 128-channel Pro Tools rig via two MADI streams.

A few of the conference highlights were the Kinshasa Orchestre Symphonique (introduced by Ben Affleck), a choir that consisted of 100 members onstage and many more coming in via 32 live Skype feeds, Amanda Palmer and her punk rock ukulele, and Wang Li, the extraordinary master of the Jew’s harp. “The awesome DiGiCo EQ shined during the Jew’s harp performance,” Sandberg recalls, “as he was going for loud volume, which (surprisingly) really put my subs to work. There were lots of small notches under 80hz! The Optocore network was amazing. Because we used very little copper this year, we never had a problem with strange buzzes and hums that have popped up during install and rehearsals in years past. Also, the ability of all five consoles to grab any and all inputs was invaluable. All in all it was great, and DiGiCo shone as expected.”

“The system worked fantastically,” Malgieri adds. “We had no failures or issues; no hums or buzzes. This year was the easiest TED conference so far, due in large part to the DiGiCo/Optocore system. It was also the fastest load-out in the history of the show… by a lot! Every year TED gets a little bit bigger and they request a new technology or infrastructure. Every year, with new changes, we add more gear to our inventory to keep up with the changes, and it’s grown at just the right pace so that we can keep up. This gig ended up raising the expectations for our other clients because they see the benefits of the new gear and systems we’re adopting and implementing. This is the first time I’ve done more than two consoles on an Optocore network so anytime this scenario ever comes up again, it will become a new standard for a large McCune show.”

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