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MLB Network Upgrades Studio Ops with Calrec

Calrec Alpha
The MLB Network is planning to install Calrec Alpha audio console as part of an upgrade to its studio operations to handle advanced audio production, including for the technically demanding signature show, “MLB Tonight.”

The cable network, which debuted on Jan. 1, 2009, has relied on two Calrec Omega Consoles linked by the company’s Hydra audio networking system.

"MLB Tonight" covers every major league baseball team in the country, and during an average broadcast includes live reports and live look-ins for up to 15 games at 15 ballparks, with as many as 16 audio channels in play per ballpark. In an effort to future proof the network’s audio facilites towards 5.1 surround broadcasting, the 72-fader Calrec Alpha console is capable of up to 480 fully featured channel processing paths. The Alpha console, which will be added to the Calrec Hydra audio networking system to enable shared I/O resources.

The Calrec Alpha console's 72 faders have two layers each, plus 5.1 groups and masters, which will enable MLB Network to take full advantage of surround sound. The console is also equipped with 144 mic inputs and 48 returns and a multitrack system that comprises—all simultaneously—128 tracks of built-in AES multitrack, 128 tracks of guest AES multitrack, and 128 tracks of guest analog multitrack.

The MLB Network expects to take delivery of the new Alpha console in January and expects to have it fully operational in time for the opening of the 2010 baseball season.