US sports broadcaster SNY has installed a Solid State Logic C100 HDS digital broadcast console in its Manhattan studios at Rockefeller Centre West.
The desk – an upgrade from the older SSL C100 - was specified to provide the audio core for the network, servicing all programmes produced in its studios, which include New York Mets pre and post-game shows, New York Jets post-game shows, Geico SportsNite and Daily News Live! to name but a few.
“As our operations have expanded over the years, we wanted to switch to the C100 HDS because we needed more faders as well as additional inputs and outputs,” said Alex Blanding, senior director of engineering for SNY. “We also wanted some of the features that were built into the new HDS that were not available on our original C100. The Dialogue Automix and the 5.1 Upmix were huge for us, as was the size of the new console. Our audio room is a bit on the small side, but the new HDS allows us to have more faders and all that power in the same footprint as the original C100.”
All audio for SNY’s two production studios, Studios A and B, is handled by the new console. The two studios are used to produce over a dozen regular programmes, meaning that reliability and redundancy are absolutely essential.
“Having only one control room, we don’t have another to run to if there is a problem,” explained Blanding. “Redundancy, therefore, is a key component to all of our video, audio and graphics systems. The C100 gives us the redundancy we need so we can proceed with confidence. SSL also has a great reputation for building quality products, brought out through our experience with the older C100, so that was another factor in choosing the new C100 HDS.”
The Dialogue Automix and 5.1 Upmix options were also cited as must-have features for the new studio. Dialogue Automix is designed to help streamline the production of panel discussion programmes, while the 5.1 Upmix is aimed at providing surround consistency when dealing with multiple-source audio in different formats for SNY.
“A lot of our talk shows are roundtable, featuring multiple analysts or guests,” noted Blanding. “We had a lot of trouble in the past when using an external automatic mixing device that had limitations. The Dialogue Automix in the C100 HDS is a much more elegant and capable solution, and makes the panel show very straightforward to produce. We’re also airing all of our shows in 5.1 now, even the talk shows, so having the 5.1 Upmix available is extremely helpful for processing audio segments from outside the studio that we pull in to support a program. The engineer usually has no clue as to how to treat the incoming format, be it stereo or mono, because the audio comes in on the fly. The 5.1 Upmix automatically provides the proper placement of the track, making this job easier as well.”
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