Studer Vista 8 takes on the Irish Tenors for Observe

Observe, a provider of outside broadcast (OB) mobile services in Ireland, is using its new high-definition OB unit to record 10 HD TV specials featuring the Irish Tenors for broadcast on RTÉ. HD1 is Observe’s new flagship vehicle, a 53ft, triple-expander, semi-trailer truck with full studio facilities for live broadcasting, including 24 HD cameras and a 52-fader Studer Vista 8 digital live audio production console.

The OBV recently spent 10 days at the famous Ardmore Studios in Bray, just south of Dublin, recording performances by tenors Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Karl Scully, along with guest artists that included Hayley Westenra, Katharine Jenkins, Paul Carrack, Shayne Ward and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The production is being made by Mind The Gap Productions for RTÉ, and the 10 60-minute programs will soon take over the slot of Ireland’s most popular TV show, “The Late Late Show,” as it rests for the summer.

In addition to the guest soloists, Observe’s head of sound Colm Flynn has been recording a 30-piece orchestra, five-piece band and string quartet. His Studer Vista 8 digital audio console has capacity for up to 480 inputs, so Flynn has had more than enough capability for this show. The truck itself features 80 mic line inputs, plus 40 more in a flightcased stagebox. Using a fiber optic connection, the stagebox could be positioned inside Ardmore’s Studio A, more than 300ft from the Observe OBV.

In creating the specification when the HD1 truck was commissioned, Flynn chose the Vista 8 for both the look of the console and its ergonomic control surface, which he thought would work well for the parade of freelance engineers that will use the vehicle.

Although it was not needed for the Irish Tenor recordings, the HD1 has full 5.1 surround sound capability. Another notable is that the truck’s main switcher system also controls the Vista console’s audio router, which permits audio selection for VTR record machines and monitoring positions to be controlled from other areas.

Observe was founded nearly three years ago, when Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, made the decision to outsource its OB requirements. HD1 is Observe’s fourth vehicle, and its high specification reflects the company’s ambitious plans to attract new business, not only in sports, which currently provides nearly 95 percent of its workload, but also in music and new geographical territories.

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