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Audio Networks for TV Shows, Part 1

Jun 14, 2010 12:00 PM

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OK, take me through the setup for Ultimate Fighter. I have seen the show a couple of times, and one thing is for sure: You don't want anything that breaks easily anywhere near what I guess you would call the performing area.
Yeah, the setup itself is—it's quite basic. We have microphones placed throughout the gym and the house that the fighters live in during the taping. And we bring all of those sources into RockNet, and then I use the LS9s and the O1Vs as individual producers stations. Then I feed every single microphone—whether it's a surveillance microphone that's planted within the property or a personal microphone that the cast members are wearing. In addition to that, we also feed camera return off of our digital microwave system so that the producers can hear what our ENG mixers are mixing. We bring all of those sources into RockNet, and then I distribute them in the producers' control room so they can hear every single audio source that we have through those three consoles. [Timestamp: 7:24]

So they don't have to be patching anything; every source they need is available everywhere.
That's the beautiful thing about RockNet is the signal doesn't have to necessarily come from me. Where before, we would have to have a rack of DAs and a lot of copper to achieve essentially the same thing. I am programming one LS9. and then I am copying and pasting that scene essentially into their other consoles and RockNet. For this application is essentially working as a gigantic DA for me. I take my feed, and I record what I need to record. I drop whatever the producers need to listen to into those LS9s, so I've got 64 faders for them to listen to via the two RockNet carts in the back. And then I have a station for an executive producer—he has the O1V. I wanted to give him a smaller footprint; I didn't want to put a big 32-channel mixer in front of him. So he has an O1V, and I have that set up so that all of the important stuff is on the top layer for him but everything is coming in via RockNet. [Timestamp: 8:29]

And I guess you've got the effects mics and all that kind of stuff? I mean these guys are duking it out in the sort of steel cage environment around the ring?
Yes, and all of those microphones—I bring those to me. And during the fights, I have two channels set up on the executive producers' station that just says "program mix." So everybody in the control room can bring everything down except for the program mix, and during the fight they'll hear my program mix. [Timestamp: 8:55]

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Audio Networks for TV Shows, Part 2
Screaming chefs and tumbling 500lb. cakes might seem an odd mix with the audio networking, but the mayhem in the kitchen on TLC's Ultimate Cake Off is captured by Stickman Sound with RockNet. Fernando Delgado takes us through a day of taping this show...

On the RockNet 101 input boxes you actually have, I believe, it's the status of each channel with three LED's with things like mute, signal presence, clip, and so on.
Yeah, they're great. There's a signal light, a clip light, 48 bulbs, and a mute light. [Timestamp: 9:12]

And you can remote-control all of the mic preamps and so forth from the Yamaha board through the MY cards.
Yes, it's great. The 101 boxes are great because (a) they don't get hot, so I can put them in places like a hot attic or a closet with my wireless rack. And it's small and compact, and you can put them just about anywhere just because of the size. They're great. And then having remote head amp controllers—fantastic. I assigned my DM2000s as the head amp control, and I set all the producer consoles to be the slave so they can't mess with anything. [Timestamp: 9:52]

And what do you do for power on those? If you have a power outage, do they come right back up when you get the power restored?
Yes, I've never had to go back and re-patch something within RockNet because of a power loss. [Timestamp: 10:03]

Well, that sure helps.
Yeah, it's great. It really is.

Because with doing remotes and stuff, you never know about the power.
That's true. And also on the back of the 101 boxes, it has a 4-pin—it's 24V from what I understand. I didn't look into it that much, but we're going to try to come up with a battery system that'll support it that way if we do lose power during prodcution, we can keep rolling. [Timestamp: 10:25]

All right, Fernando Delgado of Stickman Sound, talking about using a RockNet on Ultimate Fighter and in part two we'll go behind the technical scenes of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off and we'll see how you do the set up on that. Thanks for being here for part one.

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