United Production Company’s OB14 mobile truck was in action at the UEFA Europa League 2013 in Amsterdam ArenA.
The truck – equipped with its Lawo mc²66 digital broadcast console and DALLIS I/O system – found itself at the centre of the Chelsea v Benfica encounter on 15 May, where United provided the live audio feed to the event’s TV compound to accompany the 35-camera production that was provided to 15 visiting major sports broadcasters in 5.1 surround.
The mic set-up used a surround microphone in the catwalk of the stadium, with four omnis suspended from the catwalk in the corners of the stadium. On the pitch were 14 shotgun mics, and all of the pitch cameras had microphones.
Essential parts of the audio operation were the Lawo’s audio-follow-video (AfV) function and VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) control software from L-S-B Broadcast, which is integrated into the OB14 console and enables the direct assignment of AfV events to the camera tallies.
‘These AfV audio sources were each routed to a subgroup, so effectively there was one fader to control how much detail of the camera mics could be heard in the mix,” United’s Jeroen ‘Huub’ Lelieveld explained. “This software controls all equipment in the truck, and opens the faders assigned to specific cameras.”
Lelieveld’s United colleague Mischa Kortleve mixed the action from the field while he watched the video line cut and controlled how much surround atmosphere and AfV sounds were added to the mix, making sure that the sound matched the feel of the picture.
‘We created three video feeds, each with different pictures and – at some point – different cameras and interview/stand up positions,” Lelieveld said. “VSM is able to create different virtual GPIs for different video outputs, so while we concentrated on mixing the main feed, the other two feeds were mixed automatically, with different faders being triggered by the video mixer.”
In addition to the de/embedder cards in the OB14 mobile’s mc²66, the console is partnered with a Lawo V__pro 8, which offers video bridging facilities – decoding signals from different formats, then transforming them to another.
“We had a total of six outgoing feeds with Dolby E and another 15 or so video feeds with non-Dolby E embedded audio,” said Lelieveld. “For this huge production our usual de/embedder cards in our mc266 weren't enough so we had an additional V__pro 8.
“OB14's mc266 has a DALLIS frame full of Lawo de/embedders, however, with three (redundant) video feeds and many extra feeds going into the Technical Operations Center (TOC), we needed more embedders. For this, the Lawo V__pro 8 was perfect – connected to the mixer via MADI, all video and audio delay needed to compensate for Dolby E decoding was handled in this box, with no need for separate video frame synchronisers.
“Delaying the video and PCM audio in a video feed that has Dolby E requires just the click of a mouse instead of our usual use of an extra frame synchroniser. Every video channel has up to eight frames of delay, and we can embed up to 32 channels of audio per video channel, also at the click of a mouse.”