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Spreading the Word with CBN, Part 1

Jun 16, 2011 12:46 PM, with Bennett Liles

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And your operating crew, like anywhere else, has people of different experience levels. So what was their first reaction to it overall when they came in and saw this thing? Was there fear or excitement?
One of my guys has pretty much been an analog guy throughout his career, so for him, he looked at it and was, at first glance, taken aback and it's turned out that he's actually the strongest operator on it. It's been a great thing to see someone that has a very traditional background and yet has been able to adapt the work surface and adapt to this…little bit different way of thinking and he's just become a whiz on the console. So in terms of actual installation, we set up the desk for about a month in another area of the building and through the same fiber optics that we would use on the permanent install, we hooked it up and actually started building our show with the actual mics, with the tapes sources, so when the changeover day came it was almost as simple as physically unplugging the old desk and moving the Artemis down the hall into its permanent home. [Timestamp: 8:22]

Well I know you don't have much down time there as busy a production schedule as you have going—obviously communication is a big part of that. So how does the production crew communicate when you have everything going on?
We use the Adam matrix intercom for our main production intercom and then in terms of communication with the talent we've got some Lectrosonics IFB and also some of the BTR800 wireless intercom as well. [Timestamp: 8:47] Always a big plus when you need people to be able to roam freely from one set to another.

And of course, IFB with all the news format production that you do with anchor desk arrangements.

I would expect that with CBN and all the production with that type of format you have a lot of things happening on very short notice.
The news in particular, it's really become more and more Skype lately where we'll take in Skype feeds as well as satellite and then we have our news bureau, in D.C. as I mentioned earlier, we bring them in via Vivix. So we've constant communication back and forth over the Adam back and forth to the news bureau and through Skype. Just the short turn around…we do have for instance, the incident in Joplin with the tornados, we've had a crew from our humanitarian outreach out there and so we're doing daily interview segments with them both offline where we will record it and do a quick turn edit and then bring that back out to air. [Timestamp: 9:47]

So do you have any live music or any of that type of production going on at CBN?
We do. We typically host a band or two a month and then individual singers will come in periodically as well but it's not anything, I would say, on a permanently scheduled basis. [Timestamp: 10:03]

And I guess with as sophisticated a mixing situation with the Artemis console you have some sort of multi-track recording situation with the music shows? We do. We use Nuendo, Steinberg's Nuendo, throughout our facility for all of our audio multi-track needs so each of the control rooms has a full rig as well as our post rooms and we'll multi-track whichever music guest comes in and then re-mix…if it's same day—we'll remix it same day and hopefully get a little better product than what we had going out live to air. [Timestamp: 10:34]

And your audio people have this new console. They've gone through the training and everything but I'm always curious to know exactly how you handle audio and video monitoring for the sound operators. Some places you would think that they've got top-of-the-line stuff and it's almost like tin cans and a string and other places you might expect just the basics and they have a very well thought out monitoring system. I figure your sound people can switch video monitoring to be able to see anybody on the set or doing field stand ups?
Yes, we use large plasmas in each of the control rooms. We use the Evertz multiviewer to switch incoming feeds and then some individual smaller monitors with just a little punch and crunch video switcher that we can call up an individual camera or another control room if we wanted to do that. [Timestamp: 11:21]

I always found that a handy thing to have is a TV audio guide because just being able to checkout something as simple as somebody out there having their mic on and their IFB earpiece in…you can do it in seconds.
Well and for us lip sync is another issue with the conversion to digital D…video and audio sometimes don't travel together as much as people hope they do, and so having some type of preview allows us to check lip sync before we put a individual guest on air. [Timestamp: 11:5]

All right, well this is great taking a look inside and behind the scenes at CBN and how you do things with the new Calrec Artemis console. And Phil Peters from CBN. Thanks very much for stopping by and doing Part 1 with us and in Part 2 we'll get more into the production details at CBN but thanks for taking time to be with us.

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