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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
May 28

Written by:
5/28/2009 4:44 PM  RssIcon

TORONTO, ONTARIO, MAY 28, 2009—No one is safe from the pranks pulled on the hit NBC reality show Howie Do It, which puts a new spin on TV's ever-popular high jinks format. From Executive Producer Howie Mandel, Howie Do It turns the cameras on unsuspecting "actors" who believe they are part of, or auditioning for, a new television show. What they don't know is that they're really the stars of a TV prank program being screened by a studio audience whose every snicker is being captured through numerous mics connected to and controlled by an Aviom 6416m Mic Input Module. aviom_howie-do-it.jpg

The hoaxes, which feature a disguised Mandel and his crew taking to the streets posed as game show hosts or television producers, are later shown to a studio audience. At the request of Mandel, the post-production team may not add pre-recorded audience reaction or laughter into the studio portion of the show. They can only use the audience's true reaction at the time. Referred to in the industry as "sweetening," adding pre-recorded audience reaction or laughter as an editing effect is used for almost every show that features a live studio audience. Not having this option when capturing audio for the show could have presented a big challenge for a sound reinforcement company, such as the Toronto-based P.A. Plus Productions which works on Howie Do It. However, the use of an Aviom digital snake helped P.A. Plus overcome this challenge.

As a result of Mandel's request, P.A. Plus set up a total of 14 audience mics, placed throughout the show's 5,000- seat venue. In order to monitor and control the levels of the microphones, the team installed an Aviom 6416m Mic Input Module, a 16-channel mic pre, in a centralized location within the ceiling grid with a 300-foot Cat-5 cable connecting it to the remote mixing location in the Broadcast Mobile, one of the company's remote trucks. The 6416m was controlled using an RCI Remote Control Interface and MCS Mic Control Surface at the console in the broadcast truck, where the digital signal was sent into a Yamaha® M7CL equipped with an Aviom 6416Y2 A-Net® Interface Card. The Cat-5 cabling connecting the 6416m to the 6416Y2 Card streamlined setup, ensuring reliable digital transport and saving the sound company time and money.

"By pre-amping and controlling all of the audience mics from a centrally located Aviom 6416m within the ceiling grid, we were able to greatly improve our signal to noise ratio over a standard analog set up," says Mark Radu, P.A. Plus Productions systems engineer. "It was also useful to be able to remotely monitor the mic levels with the RCI and MCS."

Howie Do It airs on NBC Fridays at 8:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. Central.

Aviom pioneered personal mixing with its Pro16® Monitor Mixing System and continues to break new ground with the revolutionary Pro64® Series of audio networking products. With tens of thousands of products in the field today, Aviom has set the standard for high-performance, scalable digital solutions. All Aviom systems harness the power of A-Net®, Aviom's innovative digital audio technology that simplifies system design while enhancing flexibility and fidelity. All Aviom products are designed, tested and manufactured in the USA.

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