Scrambling at the last minute after the NFL and its players reached a labor agreement, CP Communications was able to supply NEP Broadcasting’s SS25C OB truck with a digital audio upgrade, including both a console and audio fiber network, in time for the 2011 season. CP turned to Stagetec technologies to make this complex upgrade a reality in such a short time period. The upgrade happened during the last week of August at NEP’s Pittsburgh headquarters, and the system immediately hit the road.
The upgrade includes a Stagetec AURUS console for audio submixing of all field, crowd and camera mics, along with a NEXUS networking system to transport all audio and control signals, including the intercom control data (RS485) and 4-wire from the truck bay to the booth and field. The NEXUS also connects the trucks via fiber and MADI. Connections between the mobiles, booth and field devices are via single-strand, single-mode fiber.
The system includes a total of seven NEXUS Base devices and one NEXUS Star, along with a 32-fader AURUS console installed in the submix trailer. Control stations running the NEXUS GUI for routing, monitoring and metering purposes sit in the main production truck, the submix truck and at the announcer booth. Besides sonic quality, the main reason for the upgrade is the flexibility that the AURUS and NEXUS package offers. Not only does the NEXUS act as the I/O for the console, but it also functions as a true digital router, enabling any source or output to be routed anywhere in the system.
As part of the upgrade, CP Communications has outfitted its booth and field kits to include NEXUS TrueMatch Digital mic preamplifiers, which deliver 158dB dynamic range.
“We’ve been using the NEXUS mic pres on several sporting events including XGames, NBA Finals and the MLB All-Star game,” said Kurt Heitmann SVP of sales and marketing at CP. “The feedback from senior audio engineers has been phenomenal. We knew from the start that these high-end mic pres would catch on, and I’m glad we’re able to continue to provide the best equipment for our customers.”
“We’ve been concentrating on the remote sports market for a few years together with CP, and it’s great to see such a highly rated sports broadcast put their trust into our systems,” said Rusty Waite, President of Stagetec USA. “As these trucks do a variety of shows for key sports broadcasters, the flexibility and expansion capabilities of the system are paramount.
“We can simply add base devices and expand to every other mobile unit and connect them all in a ring if needed. Obviously we’re hoping that the word gets out and look forward to a great NFL season.”