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Yahoo! Music Goes 'Live' With Holophone

The transition to HD transmission is not only a concern of typical broadcasters; IPTV sites such as Yahoo! also are upgrading their content to high definition. We recently completed preparation for the HDTV broadcast of one of the site's popular program offerings, "Nissan Live Sets," on the cable network MHD. These "Nissan Live Sets" are bi-monthly concerts performed before a live audience, and feature popular artists such as Herbie Hancock, The Pretenders, Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers, Buddy Guy and others. In my capacity as director of studio and content operations at Yahoo!, I was posed with the challenge of selecting video and 5.1 surround equipment, so that programming would be recorded in full HD and surround sound, even before the changeover occurred. One technology that has made this transition an easy one is Holophone's H2-PRO 7.1 channel surround microphone, which gives viewers the sensation of "being there" with the live audience.

The Nissan 'Live Sets' recording venueMEETING LIVE AUDIENCE REQUIRMENTS

While the "Nissan Live Sets'" soundstage remains the same, the actual setup, audio requirements and engineering support are tailored to the specific needs of every artist. Each performance generally has an audience of between 300–500 people, depending on studio configuration. Since the audio mixers vary, I wanted a mic that could be used by a wide range of knowledge sets, and one that involved limited setup time and was adaptable to the changing studio setup. The Holophone H2-PRO met these requirements and, after being connected to the console, was ready to offer users a beautiful surround bed that all of their audio rests upon. The H2-PRO's eight mic elements are in fixed positions to mirror the typical surround speaker array—left, right, center, low frequency, left surround, right surround, top and center rear—making it easy to use even for the first time.

The mic is currently placed in a fixed position in the middle of the stage, floating from the grid to capture audience reaction and ambient sounds without adjustment for different audience configurations. When I initially began using the H2-PRO, I would have different room marks set up and use traditional condenser room microphones to record the audience. I stopped doing this, as it wasn't really necessary. The H2-PRO in its fixed location above the stage is able to provide optimum audio without the use of additional microphones to augment its capture. This reduces the crew's setup time and eliminates the need for additional room marks.

The Holophone H2-PRO thoroughly prepared Yahoo! for the conversion to surround sound. Although the "Live Sets" are currently streamed over the Internet in stereo, every show has a 7.1 stem which is released in surround sound when broadcast on MHD. With minimal set up and configuration, the H2-PRO has become a staple for recordings of the program. Every "Live Sets" engineer who has used the H2-PRO has talked about how great it really is.

For additional information, contact Holophone at 416-362-7790 or visit