Calrec Brio Tees Up U.S. Open Coverage

NEW YORK—As production partner for Fox Sports’ coverage of the U.S. Open and other USGA championships, CP Communications is committed to helping Fox continually up the ante and give golf fans the most exciting viewing experience. Broadcasting golf always presents logistical challenges and this year’s U.S. Open in June—hosted by the sprawling Erin Hills golf course in Erin, Wis.—was no exception. To deliver high-quality live sound, we had to be able to cover all 18 holes simultaneously at tee boxes, greens and fairways. On top of that, we had 156 U.S. Open players to keep track of.

In order to overcome these challenges and produce the pin-drop audio Fox Sports viewers expect, we turned to Calrec Audio’s Brio compact digital audio consoles.

Calrec’s Brio was able to work in conjunction with Fox Sports’ other Calrec systems.

Fox asked us to bring in the Brios because they were using numerous other Calrec desks in their hired production trucks, including two more Brios, two Calrec Artemis consoles, two Calrec Apollos and a Calrec Summa. These Calrecs were already talking to each other over a Hydra2 network and putting the new Brios on the course gave us instant connectivity with the other consoles.

We deployed the four new Brios in a flight-pack configuration in the TV compound at the Erin Hills course to work in concert with EVS servers for tape replay. The Brios may be compact, but they pack powerful and flexible functionality. For instance, we used each Brio in a split formation that let us mix the action on two holes simultaneously. That setup ensured that we didn’t miss any aspect of play.

In the split operation, each Brio console gave the engineer a left and right router to cover any two combinations of live holes, greens, tees, or taped holes. Each desk had access to more than 3,000 inputs that delivered the mixed audio over a single, 64-channel MADI stream. Each console also handled monitoring for both left side/left speaker and right side/right speaker. Multicam audio/video synchronization was easily managed through Brio’s ability to provide two inputs on each channel, with independent delay times.

We knew we could depend on Calrec to provide the outstanding audio quality and bulletproof reliability we needed for this high-profile broadcas and there’s really no beating Brio’s streamlined form factor for covering a wide-ranging outdoor event like a golf tournament. We purchased the four Brios initially for Fox Sports’ coverage of the U.S. Open, but moving forward we’ll be using the desks on the network’s upcoming major golf, baseball and football broadcasts.

As an extra plus, the Brio’s form factor fits our rental business model perfectly, since we typically like to ship audio mixing consoles out in our flight packs rather than installing them in trucks.

Calrec is the undisputed leader in this field, so we were excited when they came out with the Brio—it meant we could finally bring Calrec desks into our repertoire. For our broadcast clients that means real cost savings in addition to state-of-the-art audio mixing from challenging sports venues. Brio is a winwin for everyone.

Kurt Heitmann is senior vice president of sales for CP Communications, a provider of audio and video production and communications solutions. He can be contacted

For more information, please visitwww.calrec.comor call 661-877-9775.