Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Canada’s CTV uses Neumann microphones for broadcast
Canada’s CTV is using Neumann’s Solution-D Digital Microphones, citing the new digital mic’s “failure-proof fidelity and consistently easy setup.”
One of CTV’s latest productions on which it was used was the rerecording of “The Hockey Theme,” often referred to as Canada’s second National Anthem. The recording used 30 Neumann digital microphones — one of the largest such recordings ever.
Without a sufficiently large scoring stage, CTV assembled the 52-piece orchestra at a local concert hall and set up its remote truck up to the back, aware of the unexpected technical demons that can plague a remote session. It had only three hours to track over a dozen cues.
The session exclusively used Neumann Solution-D digital microphones due to their extreme dynamic range as well as the peak limiter feature to shorten the sound check. The transparent peak limiter allowed CTV to be aggressive with gain settings without risking a lost take due to levels that were too high.
CTV is also uses Neumann Solution-D mics for audience pickup for its in-studio productions and remote coverage of award ceremonies. The same peak limiter feature allows them to face the first thunderous round of applause with confidence, while still providing enough noise-free gain to capture the subtle reactions that really convey a live feel to viewers at home.
To record “The Hockey Theme,” CTV used Neumann KM 183 D omnidirectional mics for a classic Decca Tree with KM 183 D outriggers. They used two surround pairs: a set of KM 183 Ds for conventional surround and a set of KM 185 D hyper-cardioids pointing in the opposite director. Also used were large-diaphragm D-01s for the contrabass; TLM 103 D for French horns; and various assemblages of omni, cardioid, and hyper-cardioid KM 183, 184, and 185 Ds.
The CTV team had only six minutes to sound check the orchestra for the recording. Using Neumann’s RCS software on laptops connected to the microphones through 16 Neumann DMI-2 interfaces, they were able to control all 30 mics from a distant control room. The speed with which they were able to fine-tune the mics proved critical in the production.