Tag Archives: Post and Broadcast

How Four Podcasts Get It Done with Tight Workflows

A podcast is only as strong as the structure that enables writers, producers and audio engineers to communicate effectively and efficiently. No matter how straightforward or complex the production, establishing a sound workflow is crucial to pulling off a pro podcast.

We’ve pulled together behind-the-scenes stories of how four hit podcasts dealt with workflow disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic, manage dozens of audio sources and more. Read on for insights that can help you nail down your podcast workflow for good.

 

The Dave Ramsey Show

Each hour of The Dave Ramsey Show becomes an individual podcast episode that uploaded to YouTube and audio streaming platforms.

The podcast team at Ramsey Solutions, home of the widely syndicated radio program The Dave Ramsey Show, had a problem—or what the company’s can-do namesake would call an opportunity. After experiencing rapid growth over six years with its lineup of eight recurring programs and a serialized podcast, the production team was strong but siloed.

“We’re trying to standardize our audio,” says senior producer Eric Cieslewicz, including “creating a better template in Pro Tools [so] everything would funnel through the right plug-ins. We’ve learned a lot from needing to work across different shows where it’s not just one producer with their chosen software. We need producers to share the work [and] cover for each other.”

[Find out more in The Dave Ramsey Show Rethinks Its Podcast Workflow]

 

All American: Tiger Woods

All American: Tiger Woods
Writer, co-host and producer Jordan Bell (foreground) and co-host Albert Chen recorded numerous episodes of Stitcher’s ‘All American: Tiger Woods’ Podcast at Earwolf Studios before having to move to a remote workflow due to the pandemic.

Don’t underestimate the value of a solid workflow in the formula for what makes a compelling podcast. “At Stitcher, we have a pretty great system in terms of giving our shows the proper treatment they need from an engineering perspective,” says Jordan Bell, who created All American: Tiger Woods and serves as the podcast’s writer, co-host and producer.

Working with co-host Albert Chen, audio engineer Casey Holford and the engineering team, Bell says the podcast’s switch from a typical production arrangement of writing, face-to-face meetings and table reads to a virtual process due to COVID-19 was seamless.

[Find out more in Inside the Workflow of Stitcher’s ‘All American: Tiger Woods’ Podcast]

Inside Recording Robert Plant’s ‘Digging Deep’ Podcast

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Mogul: Mixtape

Matthew Nelson, lead producer on Gimlet’s hip-hop history podcast, Mogul, and its new spinoff, The Mogul Mixtapes, works with a Marantz PMD661 MK2 and Rode NTG2 microphone as part of his ‘work at home’ setup.
Matthew Nelson, lead producer on Gimlet’s hip-hop history podcast, Mogul, and its new spinoff, Mogul: Mixtape.

The production team behind Gimlet’s Mogul podcast faced a significant hurdle when it decamped to work at home in March. Instead of compromising the podcast’s meticulously sculpted sound design, they reinvented the entire show from scratch. Each episode of the bite-size Mogul: Mixtape podcast is produced in concert among the production team members, with real-time collaboration through a Google Hangout.

“Process is key,” says lead producer Matthew Nelson. “Whether we’re working on a six-part documentary or a one-off interview with Ludacris, everything is agonized over. Everything is very carefully edited [and] constructed. It was very important for us to set ourselves up in a way that could facilitate this collaborative editing process that every show does at Gimlet.”

[Find out more in Hit ‘Mogul’ Podcast Goes with the Workflow]

 

Story Pirates

In non-COVID times, Story Pirates is recorded 'cartoon style,' with the cast in a circle using Warm Audio WA87 and WA14 microphones in front of each actor.
In non-COVID times, Story Pirates is recorded ‘cartoon style,’ with the cast in a circle using Warm Audio WA87 and WA14 microphones in front of each actor.

There are complex podcast productions, and then there’s Story Pirates. For technical director Sam Bair, editing the acclaimed Gimlet podcast isn’t about simply picking the best content and shaping a narrative—it’s about finding the best takes from a half-dozen actors reading their lines from a script, and then filling the audio spectrum with sounds that advance the story and appeal to kids.

“It really is a true post-production compilation of recordings,” says Bair, whose role includes sound design, producing, and recording and mix engineer. “We’re recording all the takes and pulling specific lines from different takes. We’re also taking whole sections from different takes.”

[Find out more in Flexible Engineering Helps ‘Story Pirates’ Sail to 20M Downloads]

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Bosveld Stereo Installs South Africa’s First Calrec Type R

Community radio station Bosveld Stereo is the first station in South Africa to deploy Calrec’s IP-based Type R for Radio.
Community radio station Bosveld Stereo is the first station in South Africa to deploy Calrec’s IP-based Type R for Radio.

South Africa (November 20, 2020)—Community radio station Bosveld Stereo, which broadcasts in Afrikaans across South Africa’s North West Province, is the first station in the country to deploy Calrec’s IP-based Type R for Radio.

The installation was overseen by Calrec’s recently appointed South African partner, Wild and Marr. The company used Type R’s modular approach to create the system for Bosveld Stereo’s needs: A Type R for Radio core plus two hardware fader panels and one large soft panel. The system can be accessed remotely, which is crucial in today’s Covid-19 environment. The audio is transported to the transmitter via Dante.

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Graat Pelser, chairperson at Bosveld Stereo, says, “Our existing studio mixers were reaching end-of-life and we wanted to take the opportunity to upgrade and move into an IP future. Type R was the answer. We have found it very easy to adapt to and the configurability is a great help. We use it on a daily basis and we know that it’s easily expandable if required. We are grateful to Wild and Marr for their help through this process.”

Launched in 2008, Bosveld Stereo is a community-oriented radio station that uses local talent to entertain its listeners. Everyone who currently works at Bosveld Stereo lives within the broadcasting footprint of the station. They also take an active part in one or more of the community projects in which Bosveld Stereo is involved.

Anton van Wyk, Wild and Marr’s technical director, says, “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, myself and broadcast systems engineer Dwaine Schreuder pre-commissioned Bosveld Stereo’s Type-R system off-site in a safe environment with all precautions taken. By the time the unit was installed at Bosveld Stereo it was literally just plug and play. We believe that Type R for Radio has a very bright future across the African continent.”

Calrec • www.calrec.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Black News Channel HQ Goes Clear-Com

BNC’s Tallahassee, FL broadcast center is equipped with Clear-Com throughout
Black News Channel’s Tallahassee, FL broadcast center is equipped with Clear-Com throughout. Jeanine Zolczynski

Tallahassee, FL (November 19, 2020) — Black News Channel (BNC) launched in February, but nearly as soon as its brand-new headquarters facility went online, it had to shift to a remote production workflow due to COVID restrictions. The flexible, IP-based comms system from Clear-Com, which had been installed in the facility by BeckTV, was able to handle the production switch.

Kenneth Thomas, director of OTT/IT Operations for BNC said, “The comms system was a priority from the facility’s inception, and I knew it would include Clear-Com.”  BNC equipped its facility with Clear-Com’s Eclipse HX Digital Matrix with V-Series intercom panels throughout. Dante and MADI interface cards offered a variety of I/O to other audio, video, and routing equipment, and E-IPA IP interface cards enabled AES-67 for FreeSpeak II wireless. The E-IPA cards allow for flexibility by providing IVC IP connections for the Agent-IC Mobile Intercom App and LQ Series Interfaces hosting SIP telephony and remote site connection capabilities.

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In the Fall of 2019 and Winter of 2020, Black News Channel staff spent time with Clear-Com’s Applications Engineer, Jonathan Sorensen, to familiarize themselves with the system and to finalize custom integrations for their workflows. When it became time to rethink aspects of the system to accommodate remote workflows, BNC relied on prior training to make the changes.

“I can’t say enough about how Clear-Com was there when we needed them, whether it was Saturday night or first thing on Tuesday morning,” said William Bennett, sr. network engineer for BNC.  The Agent-IC Mobile App was used in the transition to much of BNC’s staff relocating into their homes. Agent-IC can integrate with traditional intercom systems, like the Eclipse HX digital matrix in BNC’s headquarters. The app can operate anywhere in the world over 3G, 4G, LTE and WiFi networks, allowing remote team members to connect with the core intercom system.

“The flexibility of the IP-based system, and the amazing support from Jonathan and the team at Clear-Com, allowed us to seamlessly transition to remote production without a hiccup,” concludes BNC’s director of Network Operations, Jefferson Walker.

Clear-Com • www.clearcom.com

Black News Channel • https://blacknewschannel.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Flexible Engineering Helps ‘Story Pirates’ Sail to 20M Downloads

In non-COVID times, Story Pirates is recorded 'cartoon style,' with the cast in a circle using Warm Audio WA87 and WA14 microphones in front of each actor.
In non-COVID times, Story Pirates is recorded ‘cartoon style,’ with the cast in a circle using Warm Audio WA87 and WA14 microphones in front of each actor.

New York, NY (November 19, 2020)—There are complex podcast productions, and then there’s Story Pirates. For technical director Sam Bair, editing the acclaimed Gimlet podcast isn’t about simply picking the best content and shaping a narrative—it’s about finding the best takes from a half-dozen actors reading their lines from a script, and then filling the audio spectrum with sounds that advance the story and appeal to kids.

Story Pirates is known for having guest actors, including David Schwimmer (center, left) and SNL's Bowen Yang (center, right).
Story Pirates is known for its guest stars, including David Schwimmer (center, left) and SNL‘s Bowen Yang (center, right).

“It really is a true post-production compilation of recordings,” says Bair, whose role includes sound design, producing, and recording and mix engineer. “We’re recording all the takes and pulling specific lines from different takes. We’re also taking whole sections from different takes.”

Sam Bair
Sam Bair, technical director for Story Pirates

The Story Pirates podcast—named the 2020 Best Kids and Family Podcast by iHeartRadio and with more than 20 million downloads to its credit—is brought to life by a collective of comedians, musicians, writers and teachers who interpret original stories written by kids into sketches with original songs in each episode. Two cast members, Lee Overtree and Peter McNerney, pull double duty as executive producer and co-producer, respectively.

“Peter is the main producer during recordings of stories,” Bair explains. “He and I work together to pick the best takes of each scene and then fine tune the pacing. Then, over the course of mixing and sound designing, we are still, by the millisecond, really pacing it out to get what we think is the best comedic effect.”

Under conventional circumstances, Bair records the cast live in a studio, with the actors standing in a circle “cartoon-style” around a Neumann U67 with Warm Audio WA87 and WA14 microphones in front of each actor. Since COVID-19 hit, however, they have recorded the podcast over Zoom with live reads as before, and each cast member records locally through a WA87 or WA14 into a Zoom H6 recorder.

For the show’s frequent guest actors—they’ve had 40 since the pandemic hit—Bair gets in touch in advance of the recording session to help them prepare. Some have nice home studios, while others have a simple USB microphone.

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“I have a little document for all the actors, [saying], ‘Hey, here is the recommended mic setup for you. Here’s the recommended room setup for you,’” Bair says. “A lot of these actors have no technical experience whatsoever, so we have them send some sample recordings. I critique that and we work together over email to get the best possible quality out of their home systems.”

Despite their efforts to get clean audio, occasionally an anomaly or two will sneak through the iron-clad system Bair and McNerney have established. In a recent episode, the actor playing the lead character, who had 80 percent of the dialogue in the story, “sounded like she was in a tin can” with a distracting buzz through the entire recording, Bair says. “We were kind of up against the wall. What we’ve found works really fast, considering the circumstances, is [to give the actor] an assembled take of the entire story with sound design and everything in it. They put that into, say, GarageBand and give us two or three takes, and we’ll massage those new takes in.”

Story PiratesStory Pirates also employs a live band with guitar, bass, drums and keys to perform a new original song for each episode, which Bair tracks in the 800-square-foot live room at his Chelsea (NYC) studio, The Relic Room. Bair builds out the fictional world of each episode with audio from sound libraries as well as a live piano underscore.

“When we’re tracking in the studio with the cast, there’s a live piano player,” he says. “Now that we’re not in the studio, I send [the pianist] an assembled version of each section of the episode and he’ll underscore the whole thing. It really helps with the actors at home [because] that piano underscore helps mask various room tone differences.”

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Inside Recording Robert Plant’s ‘Digging Deep’ Podcast

Episodes of the Digging Deep with Robert Plant podcast have been recorded in a variety of settings, including at Rough Trade record store in London.
Episodes of the ‘Digging Deep with Robert Plant’ podcast, co-hosted by Matt Everitt (right) have been recorded in a variety of settings, including at Rough Trade record store in London.

United Kingdom (November 12, 2020)—Where does a rock legend record his podcast? Anywhere he wants to. That’s certainly been the case with Digging Deep with Robert Plant, where the famed Led Zeppelin frontman and solo artist discusses his work across his long and storied career. Every podcast recording session is held in a different location with distinctive acoustics, such as Plant’s favorite pub, one of his homes or in front of an audience of 200 people at a London record store.

Faced with recording in such diverse environments, Matt Everitt, the producer and co-host of Digging Deep, sticks to hard-and-fast rules for microphone placement when tracking the music legend’s stories about songs he recorded with Led Zeppelin and his many post-Zep projects.

“When it comes to singing, obviously he’s got incredible microphone technique, but [for the podcast] we spend quite a bit of time beforehand making sure that wherever we’re going to be sitting, there’s a good kind of catchment area,” says Everitt. “You’ve got to keep an eye on the mic positioning—never handheld, always boom, always between the nose and the chin point.”

While the recording sites might occasionally pose a challenge, the reward, says Everitt, is that they foster engaging discussion. “We’re going to make sure the production standards are good, but it’s also about creating a space where Robert can really relax,” he says. “Part of the production is making it feel natural—not feel like you’re sitting in a chair under a spotlight being interrogated, because he’s not interested in that and neither are we. [We try] to make it a place where you feel like you are eavesdropping.”

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Achieving uniformity in such a range of spaces can be difficult, so Everitt records Plant with a Beyerdynamic M201 microphone that has a hypercardioid pattern. “They’re pretty directional, which means that sometimes people are a bit scared of using them because the catchment is quite narrow, but they sound so warm.”

Another mainstay of Everitt’s on-location setup is to use extra-thick cables: “The thicker the cable, the more reliable it is, the better it sounds—simple as that,” he says. He tracks to a Zoom H6 portable recorder for its ability to maintain separation between channels.

Robert Plant (center) and producer/co-host Matt Everitt (in blazer at left) with Rough Trade staff after the podcast recording session.
Robert Plant (center) and producer/co-host Matt Everitt (in blazer at left) with Rough Trade staff after the podcast recording session. Naz Stone

During post production, Everitt and the audio team work up a fairly completed product for Plant to review, even if it’s only a first cut. Everitt compiles the audio so the mastering and EQ pros can clean it up and take out any clicks and hisses, and then he assembles a “version one” edit, occasionally moving pieces around to maintain story pacing. Plant then listens and gives his input on what does and doesn’t work.

“He’s more knowledgeable than anyone about how he wants the show to sound,” Everitt says. “A lot of that’s worked out pre-interview. We don’t talk too much about what’s going to be in it because it takes away the spontaneity, but we’ll know why this song is really interesting.

“I think one of the reasons it works is that there’s a real honesty,” he adds. “He takes his music very seriously, but I don’t think he always takes the world around showbiz particularly seriously, so he’s happy to puncture some of the myths around the kind of ‘rock god’ world.”

While Robert Plant favors an old-school Shure SM58 mic in concert, he's been behind a Beyerdynamic M201 for his podcast.
While Robert Plant favors an old-school Shure SM58 mic in concert, he’s been using a Beyerdynamic M201 for his podcast.

While many podcasts are leaning into the limitations of COVID culture and adapting to audio recorded over a videoconferencing platform or iPhone, Everitt is playing a longer game with Digging Deep and creating a podcast that isn’t tied to a particular moment in time.

“It’s great doing podcasts over Zoom, it’s fantastic, but we’ve spent a lot of time and effort investing in microphones and audio equipment to get people sounding great because the ears deserve a really well-produced show,” he says.

“They’re all good, all those approaches. Sometimes you need to listen to Fugazi, sometimes you need to listen to Steely Dan. Whether it’s a garage band or a beautifully produced L.A. session thing, both are good depending on what you want. That’s the power of the format, isn’t it? The power of podcasting.”

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Sumo Digital Proves Game for PMC

Sumo Digital went big on PMC monitors in its new game audio development facility.
Sumo Digital went big on PMC monitors in its new game audio development facility.

Sheffield, U.K. (November 11, 2020)—Game developer Sumo Digital has expanded the audio facilities at its premises in Sheffield, England, with the addition of three 5.1 surround sound edit suites, a Dolby Atmos mix room and a Foley/ADR space.

The three 5.1 edit rooms feature PMC Twotwo.6 monitors for LCR channels, Twotwo.5 surround monitors and a Sub2 for the LFE channel. The new mix room, which is built to Dolby’s Atmos standard, has PMC IB1S monitors for the LCR channels, Wafer2 monitors for the surrounds, Wafer 1 for the height channels and two Sub2s for LFE.

Sumo Digital’s audio director Pat Phelan says, “We like the fact that the PMC’s remove any mystique from the sound that you are hearing, the sound feels surgically exposed. In a dynamic game environment where you have little control over what a player will do, being able to monitor and mix with confidence is a massive boost.”

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Part of Sumo Group plc, Sumo Digital is a game developer with eight U.K. studios in Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle, Leamington Spa, Warrington, The Chinese Room in Brighton, Red Kite Games in Leeds, and Lab42 in Leamington Spa. It also has facilities in Pune, India.

Sumo Digital has audio studios at four of its U.K. sites, but with an ever-increasing workload, the directors felt it was time to invest in additional facilities in Sheffield. Acousticians White Mark Ltd were given the task of designing the new studios, while the build and fit-out was handled by Nottingham-based principal contractor Confetti Media Group under the direction of Joe Duckhouse and Greg Marshall.

“By using a mixture of PMC IB1S and wafer monitors in this room, White Mark was able to come up with a very sleek design that maximized all available space,” says Duckhouse.

Sumo Group’s portfolio of games includes titles for major publishers Microsoft, Sega and Sony. Since its formation 17 years ago, it has worked on major franchises such as Sonic the Hedgehog, LittleBigPlanet, Forza, Hitman and Dr Who.

PMC • www.pmc-speakers.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

How to Choose a Voiceover Microphone

Neumann TLM 102 voiceover microphone
The Neumann TLM 102 is a popular voiceover microphone. Georg Neumann GmbH
Frank Verderosa
Frank Verderosa

What do you do if you’re a working voice actor in a big city, and all of the studios you visit to do your work are temporarily closed? While some actors already had solid home setups at the start of 2020’s lockdown, most had cheap USB mics which had previously been just for auditions. Bad-sounding audio has never served anyone well, even at the audition level, but it was forgivable since on the day of the job, the actor would be in the studio in front of a professional voiceover microphone. With that scenario off the table, however, VO artists were suddenly scrambling to get “broadcast quality” from home. The question on everyone’s mind was “How do I create a home studio that’s solid but won’t leave me with a pile of expensive gear I may not need again when studios reopen?”

The truth is, a dependable voiceover microphone is a great thing to have around, regardless of whether there’s a worldwide pandemic on or not. There are wonderful mics at every price-point that will serve you well into the future. Not only can you affordably provide broadcast quality from home, but you will also forever have better-sounding auditions. Quality is now more important than ever, since it has to be assumed that what is heard in the audition is what should be expected for the actual session. Quality matters.

How To Choose Your Next Studio Microphone – The Complete Guide

There are a couple of voiceover microphones you see in every professional VO booth. They are the well-known, large diaphragm condenser microphones that cost a few thousand dollars, or the shotgun mic you see in film sets and ADR studios that happen to sound excellent for voiceover work, running around a thousand dollars. That’s great for the big studios, but for the working actor or VO artist, that kind of money for a mic might be a stretch—especially when you factor in treating a space to record in (which in many ways is more important than the mic itself), plus a decent interface and other peripherals.

So how do you sound big on a budget? If you want to stay with the brand you know from the studios you’ve worked in—and if your budget allows—you might consider the Neumann TLM 103, which retails for around $1,300. You can save even more by looking at the very popular Neumann TLM 102, which sells for $699.  Both of these mics skip the selectable polar patterns of the larger U 87 (which you don’t need as a voice actor anyway), as well as the roll-off switch. Neither of those things are critical for recording voiceovers at home, and help lower the cost of the mic.

Røde NT1A voiceover microphone
Røde NT1A Røde

Low-cost large diaphragm condenser microphones are nothing new, but their quality and competitiveness has grown steadily over the years. Røde has been a hero for voice actors recording from home. Both the NT1 (which retails for $269) and the NT1A (which sells for $229) come with a shock mount and a pop-filter attached. The NT1 typically comes with a metal mesh pop-shield, but lately has been popping up with the more traditional round, nylon pop-filter. These both give an impressively warm and rich tone for the cost. Critics will point out that there is a harshness on the high frequencies, but as an NT1A owner, I have not found that to be the case for my voice. Both mics can deliver a wonderful proximity-effect bass boost when needed. In fact, in a recent national radio spot, knowing that the actor was using an NT1A, I directed her for one particular line to lean-in and talk directly into a corner of the mic to take advantage of that sound. These microphones were so popular at the start of the 2020 lockdown that for a time, they were hard to find!

TZ Audio Stellar X2 voiceover microphone
TZ Audio Stellar X2 TZ Audio

Having heard a demonstration in a YouTube video, I was very curious about the Stellar X2 mic from TZ Audio. This led me to reach out to the company via its website, and they assured me that they had plenty of inventory and were open for business. The Stellar X2 costs $199.99, and includes a sturdy carrying case, shock mount, wind screen (not a pop-filter) and a pouch.  I am truly impressed with the sound coming from the actors that have it. It is comparable to the Rode NT1 in terms of smoothness. It is less bright, but still shimmers—and has a little less proximity effect than the Rode NT1 or NT1A. It is a solid little mic with a big sound!

Synco Mic D2 Shotgun microphone
Synco Mic D2 Synco

The Synco Mic D2 is an impressive shotgun-style mic, weighing in at $249. This has been a hero for actors that do more than just voice recording at home. Given that it’s designed for distance and focus, it’s perfect for self-taping for on-camera and keeping the mic out of the frame. Because of its hyper-cardioid directional condenser design, it does a great job at rejecting background noise and reflections. For many actors converting small city closets into voiceover booths, this can really help minimize reflections that cause comb filtering. Obviously, there is more to that issue than just the microphone, but the shotgun mic helps tremendously. As a point of reference, during lockdown, I recorded several national TV spots with well-known actors who sat in their cars in my driveway while the clients listened in via Source Connect and/or Zoom. With some careful placement in the vehicle, we got booth-quality sound while working in everything from Toyotas to Teslas—all thanks to the nature of a shotgun mic!

As previously mentioned, the right voiceover microphone is only one part of the equation. Your voice and recording space play a major role in the overall sound coming from your home to the world, but the mics mentioned are proven winners when used properly. With a price range from $199.99 up to $1,399; there is something for everyone, and you will sound excellent.

Frank Verderosa • www.frankverderosa.com

Frank Verderosa is a 30-year veteran of the New York audio industry, fighting the good fight for film studios, ad agencies and production companies, but secretly loves mixing music most of all. These days, he plies his trade at Digital Arts in NYC, and is also a noted podcast engineer.

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Actors Walk and Talk with DPA 4097

DPA Microphones’ 4097 micro shotgun and MMA-A digital audio interface.
A DPA 4097 micro shotgun and MMA-A digital audio interface.

Burbank, CA (November 11, 2020)—Gene Martin, owner of Audio Department and Sound Guy Solutions, found a solution for a challenging commercial shoot during the coronavirus pandemic: the just-released DPA 4097 micro shotgun and MMA-A digital audio interface.

“The commercial was shot as a series of video chats from mobile devices and laptops, so we needed something where the actors could be walking around with their phones and not have a large recording device with them,” says Martin. With scenes being shot in separate areas around the U.S., Martin had to juggle as many as 10 different drop kit audio packages at a time. As he was on-location with the main crew in California, he also had to account for remote workflows as well as social distancing protocols.

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“The client was happy with the video from the devices, but was looking to drastically improve the audio. I was originally going to use the DPA 4060 because its higher sensitivity would benefit us being able to have the mic further from actors’ faces. Then, the 4097 was introduced and it was the perfect little microphone for this application; everything from the design to the sound was exactly what we needed.”

The size of the setup played a big role in Martin choosing DPA. “Our first point of business was to find an interface or recorder that was small enough to mount to the mobile device,” he explains. “The DPA MMA-A gave us the ability to easily switch between the phone and computer interfaces. Add to that the fact that we could thread the DPA 4097 directly onto the MMA-A and attach it all right to the back of the phone, and we had the perfect little microphone positioned right above the camera.”

The DPA system also worked well when the actors switched to scenes in which they were using laptops. “This small, lightweight microphone and audio interface combination attached directly to the back of the computer,” adds Martin. “What we ended up with was audio from a high-end, broadcast-quality directional microphone that was much better than the internal microphone on the devices. This helped us capture exactly what we needed to focus on — not a lot of the background ambiance, but rather really just single-in on our talent.”

DPA Microphones • www.dpamicrophones.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Game Creek Trucks Connect with Riedel

Game Creek Video has launched four new mobile units in the last year that use Riedel Communications' MediorNet FusioN IP gateway solutions.
Game Creek Video has launched four new mobile units in the last year that use Riedel Communications’ MediorNet FusioN IP gateway solutions.

Santa Clarita, CA (November 9, 2020)—Remote television production facilities company Game Creek Video has launched four new mobile units in the last year, with a fifth nearing completion, that all use Riedel Communications’ MediorNet FusioN IP gateway solutions for inter-truck connectivity.

All five of the new Game Creek mobile facilities are 53-foot expandable systems and deploy an entire remote IP facility into a single truck, therefore eliminating the need for a secondary B unit for onsite support. Bravo and Columbia, the first two Game Creek Video mobile facilities to feature the Riedel IP infrastructure solutions, were launched in late 2019, with Gridiron A, Gridiron B and Celtic following earlier this year.

Bravo and Gridiron are dedicated to FOX Sports’ NFL and college football coverage, while CBS Sports has reserved Columbia and Celtic for its NFL and college basketball broadcasts. Gotham, the truck currently in development, will enable MSG Networks’ coverage of New York Rangers hockey and New York Knicks basketball games.

d&b audiotechnik, Autograph Launch d&b Fanblock

“With Bravo, we were taking a significant new direction in our facility design by trying to achieve full IP workflows within the footprint of a single mobile unit. Naturally, that meant finding robust and effective solutions that could also run as cool as possible and meet the space constraints and weight restrictions of a 53-foot truck,” says Keith Martin, engineering project manager, Game Creek Video.

Deployed on board each truck are 16 high-density Riedel MediorNet FusioN 6 gateways and two 2-RU MediorNet MBR 18 chassis, which work in combination to create a pair of truck-to-truck interfaces, known as Game Creek Video’s T2T, each enabling support of up to 32 x 32 optical video paths. This Riedel equipment effectively reduces up to 128 strands of fiber cable to only eight, simplifying each production and reducing points of failure.

Riedel • www.riedel.net

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com

Using Immersive Audio in Podcast Production

London, UK (November 5, 2020)—Amazing War Stories, a new UK podcast focused on retelling true stories of World War II, aims to raise money to aid historic museums affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Helping raise the podcast’s profile is its immersive sound, intended to transport listeners from their living room to the front lines. Creating that enveloping sense of place is sound design and mix company Vaudeville Sound.

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The UK/US/Canadian company makes use of binaural audio technology for the podcast. As the shows were being compiled during lockdown, the voice recording and mix sessions were run remotely. Live output of the mix was shared with the director so the team could run through mix notes and make changes on the fly. Avid Pro Tools was used to edit and mix all shows, making use of an array of plug-ins and software tools from Nugen Audio, Noise Makers, Zynaptic and Blue Ripple Sound.

Luke Hatfield, group head of Sound at Vaudeville Sound
Luke Hatfield, group head of Sound at Vaudeville Sound Debs

Aiming to provide “film level” sound design, Vaudeville saw it was vital to use the correct sounds not just to drive the story but to be accurate to the various military equipment being discussed. “We feel podcasting as a platform really lends itself to 3D immersive sound, as many listeners consume programs with headphones,” said Luke Hatfield, group head of Sound at Vaudeville Sound. “The binaural aspect really enhances the effect of a scene where we have a distant MG suddenly jump to the 10 o’clock position, and bullet impacts flying up all around us.”

“The sounds needed to be very focused and clear in the mix to tell the story to avoid single, literal sounds,” added Hatfield. “In the trailer, an MG42 is mentioned, but instead of just hearing an MG42, the listener hears it close up, as if the film camera is with the Germans firing on the Allied forces. The audio then cuts to the opposite perspective of the Allied troops to hear a distant MG42 and all the dirt being kicked up by the bullet impacts, ricochets and more. Many people haven’t experienced 3D audio in this context before, so it’s really exciting that these techniques are being used on the podcast platform, as it really works in enhancing the listening experience.”

Vaudeville Sound • www.vaudeville.tv

Amazing War Stories • www.amazingwarstories.com

Original Resource is ProSoundNetwork.com