Toronto, Ontario, Canada – November 3, 2009… For the recent 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany, Burlington, Ontario, Canada-based Broadcast Services International (BSI)—the firm contracted to provide technical production for this year’s event—selected two Lawo mc²56 digital consoles to handle audio mixing chores. The internationally recognized sporting event, which ran from August 15th – 23rd, showcased many of the best track and field athletes in the world and also offered Berliners and visitors to the city the opportunity to enjoy a special cultural program that took place in celebration of the occasion.
With 8 Emmy® Awards for Technical Production under its belt, including the prestigious George Wensel Innovative Technical Achievement Emmy Award (in High Definition), Broadcast Services International Inc. offers full service technical production, consulting, and engineering services for live television broadcasting, worldwide. The two Lawo mc²56 consoles served as the main audio system in both the master control and sub-master control for BSI’s Japanese client, Tokyo Broadcasting Systems (TBS).
For this year’s IAAF World Championships, BSI purchased one of the two Lawo mc²56 consoles and rented a second. The purchased mc²56 console incorporates 48 faders, 240 DSP channels plus a redundant DSP card, 64 AES stereo I/O’s, two MADI ports for connection to other systems, and a DALLIS I/O frame. The rental mc²56 console was outfitted with 48 faders, 144 DSP channels, 32 AES stereo I/O’s, and MADI ports to facilitate connection to the other mc²56 console and support the sharing of system resources.
Jim Eady, BSI’s Managing Director, discussed the project. “The two Lawo consoles in the Main and Sub Control rooms were set up to be mirror images of each other,” explained Eady. “This way, each control room could feed directly to Japan during any session of the Championships. The two control rooms provided mixing for a large variety of programs to Japan, from morning shows and sports news inserts to long format coverage into primetime shows. Each console was able to function as the main integration point or as a standalone, unilateral ISO feed.”
The IAAF World Championships in Athletics was a massive undertaking—requiring months of technical and logistical preparation. While the Lawo consoles’ MADI operation, networking, and router systems greatly reduced the amount of pre-wiring and audio DA’s required during the design build and technical setup phases of the project, the fact that the engineering teams for both BSI and TBS shared a common understanding of the consoles minimized the complexities of the setup for everyone involved.
“The mc²56’s ease of operation and short learning curve was a huge benefit for this event,” said Eady. “After a brief ‘boot camp’ on the operation of the board by our techs and a few days of technical fax and pre-feeds, the TBS engineers were ready for on-air. Since TBS are purchasing a Lawo console for their mobile operations, we also arranged for a Lawo field tech to conduct training on the many other programming features of the consoles.”
The Lawo mc²56’s snapshot automation capabilities also assumed a prominent role during the IAAF World Championships. “With three control centers and a marathon remote on any given day,” Eady said, “inputs and outputs needed to change quite a bit to handle the programming of a large number of different TBS stakeholders. Some of these were news oriented, others were primetime or sports shows, and still others were of an entertainment type promoting our presence in Berlin and Germany. The Lawo consoles were a pleasure to work with in this capacity as they enabled us to easily configure different profiles for each of these shows.”
With the IAAF World Championships in Athletics now completed, Eady reflected on the project and the success the BSI and TBS teams had with the Lawo mc²56 consoles. “The folks at Lawo were a tremendous help as we prepared for this event,” Eady said, “and everything went according to plan. We shipped the consoles in, fired them up, and did more than 120 hours worth of programming without a hiccup. What more can you ask of such an advanced piece of digital hardware than to be that reliable when you’re in surroundings as unpredictable as an Airpac control room?”
For additional information about Broadcast Services International, visit the company online at www.bsi-tv.com.
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 all Lawo products, visit the company online at www.lawo.ca.
Photo info: Image of a Tokyo Broadcasting Systems technician seated at the Lawo mc²56 digital production console.