Toronto, Ontario, Canada – October 29, 2008 … Zoooooom... the plane dives at maximum speed... it’s intercepted... makes a sharp turn... shoots through the last two pylons... and reaches the finishing line. The Red Bull Air Race is an extreme racing event: single-engine propeller aircraft perform with approximately 350 horsepower and speeds of 250 mph are not unheard of. During the spectacular maneuvers through closely positioned ‘air gates’, the pilots experience acceleration forces of up to 10 G. Often, there are only a few inches between the plane’s wings and the inflatable pylons, and brief contact is not uncommon.
SIVision’s new HD OB truck (based in Munich, Germany) also stretched its wings during a successful trial by fire at the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest on August 20th. The truck’s conceptual design and internal layout are – at least in Germany – unique: the trailer, with three steerable axles, can be expanded on either side by one single and one double movable sidewall, increasing the width to just over 18 feet. Once the truck is in its working position, up to 20 workplaces are available inside the studio on wheels and two of these are in the sound control room.
The standard mixing solution: a Lawo mc²66
When specifying equipment for the sound control room, only one mixing console came up for SIVision’s consideration – the mc²66 from Lawo. For Imre Sereg, SIVision’s owner and CEO, two factors were of vital importance: the operating philosophy and system reliability. Sereg states, “Working with the mc²66 is fast and intuitive. The redundant router board in the mc²66 HD core contributes to a high level of reliability that is imperative in live broadcasting. Further, the Lawo mc²66 is widely used in the OB truck arena, and has even achieved ‘industry standard’ status”.
SIVision’s mc²66 is fitted with 56 faders in a 24-8-24 frame. It has 192 DSP channels and the router cards each provide 8,192 crosspoints. 20 MADI ports and 128 AES inputs and outputs are available for external interfaces. Three stageboxes facilitate the direct connection of audio data via optical fiber – “an important precondition for HD work as it spares a further connection.” explains Imre Sereg. And he points out the superb range of video equipment in the OB truck, including 24 Sony cameras (two of them with Super SloMo), Sony monitors, Sony video consoles, and a Harris video router. The 40-ton truck is packed with the finest technology available and, thanks to its unique internal layout; it still offers sufficient space for the entire team – from technician to director.
Just in time for the start of the Air Race World Series 2008, the TV production company SIVision TV Production GmbH received a resounding accolade: the broadcast quality of the spectacular race series brought US TV partner Fox Sports Network (FSN) a nomination at the 29th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, the ‘Oscar’ of sports TV programs.
Since the second event in Budapest on August 20th, 2004, the Red Bull Air Race has been produced in High Definition by Imre Sereg, owner and CEO of SIVision. In 2007, more than 500 million TV viewers watched ten races across four continents.
This year, in addition to the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, SIVision will cover additional exciting and interesting productions in HD, such as a concert in the Munich Olympic Hall for their DVD by pop band ‘Rosenstolz”. For events outside Europe – as in a concert by ‘The Police’ in Buenos Aires in November 2007 – SIVision uses a range of flight-cased equipment; in Europe they employ the new HD OB truck.
Lawo is a manufacturer of digital audio networking systems and consoles for a wide range of applications from small to large scale audio production in television and radio, post production, and live sound. Established in the 1970s, the company’s manufacturing center is located in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information on Lawo’s mc²66 console and all Lawo products, visit the company online at www.lawo.ca.