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Spreading the Word with CBN, Part 2

Jul 7, 2011 10:46 AM, with Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

At the studios of CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network, they are live news feeds, music shows, and fast technical turnarounds. They needed a digital audio console that was feature heavy and light on its feet for reconfiguration. They chose the Calrec Artemis and director of audio services Phil Peters is here to provide all the details on the new board’s installation next up on the SVC podcast.
Phil, thanks for being back with me for Part 2 of the SVC podcast from CBN, the Christian Broadcasting Network, where you have a new Calrec console. We talked a little about this in Part 1, what was the reaction from your production audio operators when you brought the Calrec in with all its features? I would think that some would take to it faster than others.
Yes, some do take to it faster than others. Overall it’s been extremely positive. There are things that its…obviously it does differently than the console that we had in there before and so the guys have had to adapt a little bit but everyone of them has expressed how much they’ve enjoyed working on it and the wow factor has been pretty large. [Timestamp: 1:26]

Right, and in that kind of an environment some things have to happen pretty fast and you don’t have time to twiddle around much, so being able to hit the ground running on this thing would be pretty important.
That’s true, and so we had several days of intensive training with the guys and then ongoing one on one sessions almost daily to just try to go over new features and we talk about different situations…things that may come up and make our own little mock problems and then work through how we would fix them. [Timestamp: 1:54]

And once you got the Calrec Artemis in and you got some people trained on it and got to use it on actual programming, were there any sort of surprises or changes or tweaks that you had to make since the first installation?
Not really, we were able to set it up for almost a month before, and through the MADI interface we were able to mimic and actually have the same mics and sources to build our shows in advance so it was a situation where we were really ahead of the game when change-over day came. We switched over on a Friday evening and Monday morning put it on air with really no issues to speak of. [Timestamp: 2:29]

Well, that’s a great way to have it happen. It doesn’t always turn out that way but I’m glad it went well for you. Now we talked about audio stuff, but I know people are curious about what you use for cameras and how you do video switching there too.
We use the Sony, the HDCU1000 cameras, and then we use the Snell & Wilcox Kahuna switchers in all of our control rooms. [Timestamp: 2:51]

And same situation there about getting people trained and rotated into the loop and getting them used to making things happen quickly.

So digital audio on twisted pair—is that what you got coming into there from the studios or do you handle everything on the multi-pair copper snakes or how do you get it from the studio?
We have actually a combination, the original wireworks wiring that they did in this building 30 some years ago, we still use every day and so the main production mics, the wireless—all of those are connected through the multi-pair copper. When we host bands we have a full Ether sound solution that we use for monitor mixes, ears, wedges, whatever the band may need and take a split from that for the production consoles. [Timestamp: 3:39]

And you’ve obviously got a lot of stuff coming in from outside and a lot of times feeds coming in on very short notice, so how do you do field shooting and editing and posting? I know some places have producers assigned to specific programs and in some they have people from outside operating independently. So what’s your situation there?
We use, for the most part, an in-house—what we call them, feature producers that will develop and put together the packages that run on air. They’ll go out with a small shooter/editor-type crew depending on whether it’s a news-oriented piece or a magazine-style piece will pretty much determine the timeline by which it’s shot and edited and then put to air. If it’s a news piece it can be shot, turned around in just a few hours and they will, in that case, laptop Final Cut Pro; edit the piece and in some cases FTP it back to us or if they’re able to get it to a place where they could send it out over satellite they will do that as well. The feature side of it when we do the magazine style shows they’ll go shoot, bring it back, end—some producers will edit at their desk on Final Cut or Adobe Premiere. In either case, they bring it to a finishing suite for color correction and then final editing and then most of those pieces come through audio post for suiting with Steinberg’s Nuendo and from there it goes to air. [Timestamp: 5:02]

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