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Passion 2013 Conference, Part 2

Apr 18, 2013 10:39 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.

Passion 2013, a religious gathering reaching out to students and young adults brought 60,000 people to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome and TNDV Television was also there to provide 23 cameras, live web coverage, and big screen feeds. TNDV Technical Manager Nic Dugger is here to continue his story on how it all got done, coming right up on the SVC Podcast.

Nic it’s great to have you back for part two on the SVC Podcast from TNDV Television in Nashville and we’re talking about the Passion 2013 Conference held recently in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. You had two of your biggest remote trucks there doing web coverage, feeding live LED and ribbon displays, and recording it all. You had to have communications for a huge crew. How was all of the comm system set up?

Yeah, you know it’s really tricky and something we’ve used and established over the years is that more ports is better. In the early days when our trucks were small and we did not have as complicated of an intercom system, we would take a single RTS port, identify it as a camera channel, and through a party line power supply distribute that same camera channel to every camera. We found out really quick that gets noisy and that gets crowded, so what we’ve done on all of our trucks is make sure we have a big enough intercom frame to supply as many ports as are appropriate for the show. So every camera gets a dedicated RTS port, every key panel gets a dedicated RTS port, every IFB channel gets its own half of an RTS port, and every party line channel that has a power supply gets its own port. So for Passion we were in the range of between 115 and 120 ports on our ADAM frame. These not only took care of all the KP user panels inside the trucks, but it also fit all 23 cameras that are on dedicated port and we extended a number of ports, almost 1,000ft., over cooper telco cable with RJ-12 connector fan outs to the KP user stations at front of house for our producers, our graphics engineers, and even our high-res switcher operators. So everybody had a KP, and on each of those KP’s we were able to program what party line channels they have access to, what point-to-point access they have, and can make changes on the fly, which is important. If somebody needs a channel updated or a channel added or deleted, we’re able to do that quickly and efficiently. And if there is a problem, if a camera can’t hear or a side tone is low, we only have that one port to address and try to determine what the problem is without taking large party line channels offline. So the RTS ADAM frame really made the Passion 2013 intercom system possible. [Timestamp: 3:06]

And there had to be a lot of wireless stuff that you had to deal with both on program sound and communications as well.

You know there was. We were not primarily responsible for stage audio, but the gentleman at Rat Sound did a fabulous job. The rumor was they had over 100 channels of RF microphones. We were, however, responsible for wireless intercom and on an average day we had around eight wireless RF beltpacks for the various stage managers to move freely throughout the venue. I think at a maximum we had a total of 12 because we didn’t have wireless cameras. We had three different wireless cameras—full-sized, configurable cameras—that were on steady cams and handheld mounted and they also used one of our wireless intercom beltpacks for their truck communication. [Timestamp: 3:53]

On the sound, did they send you a mix or did you have mic splits or how did that work?

For audio, they had a broadcast mix room where they were doing an entirely separate mix just for the webcast that we took as our primary tune mix out to the truck and that’s what the audience at home was able to hear and on the web was able to hear, and that’s what went to our record machines. Now we did also multitrack record every input, so after the event they then went into audio post and to heavy audio sweetening into the remix. But the tune mix we received in the truck that we put to all of our 26 record machines was more than enough for our team to hear and be able to know what was going on and enjoy the music and be able to direct to that music. It sounded fabulous. [Timestamp: 4:36]

There was a lot of music involved in this thing, a lot of different bands and all of their monitoring setups.

There was, and I think at the forefront of that, I think really the music for Passion has really come under the leadership of performing artist Chris Tomlin. And while there’s a number of special guests, including LeCrae and David Crowder and some of these folks, Chris Tomlin has really moved almost to the bandleader role and I think all the attendees really identify with him and his music. He really does a great job of setting the mood and the tone for the event, not only with the exciting and uplifting music, but also the appropriate music when it’s a quieter event. But the Passion team really does a great job of selecting music, making sure it’s appropriate for the mood and feel, and then our video team is responsible for making sure the imagery matches with that music and they do a great job as well. [Timestamp: 5:24]

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