One of the most precious commodities in an ever expanding world on a non-expanding planet is space. This also seems to be an issue in my house with more things coming through the front door than leaving, especially with children who seem to accumulate “stuff” at an alarming rate. I’m sure it multiplies when my back is turned.
Now finding a solution to this dilemma has troubled designers in the domestic and broadcast industry alike. OB truck manufacturers have to battle this when designing the audio room that not only fits the equipment into it but offers an environment that is conducive with creating professional quality audio mixes. When you listen to the audio of a televised sporting event you generally don’t consider the difficulties the sound engineer is up against. A lot of these issues are being tackled as you’re sat watching the Olympics at the moment.
SVG‘s Dan Daley has produced a two part article that highlights the issues and some of the motions which have been put in place to remedy it. Part 1 breaks down the challenges faced by the A1 who operates within very confined spaces. It then goes into how monitor manufacturers are including an auto calibration feature which will detect the aspects of the room and adjust itself accordingly.
Part 2 goes further into the physical design of the truck. Weight and ambient noise has been a constraint but with the advent of integrated digital routing the amount of equipment needed is reduced and subsequently reduces the number of fans creating background noise.
Recently more attention is being paid to the mixers themselves as to what makes the environment they work in more appropriate to creating great live sound. Unfortunately though this is a luxury that will only be offered to the top mixers.
Fred Aldous, audio consultant and senior mixer for Fox Sports stated:
“We understand that there are constraints on how much flexibility you can have in an audio room, such as real-estate issues for how much room there is, say, between video monitors and center-channel speakers. But I do think we are seeing more influence by top mixers as to what goes into the trucks.”
New technology and better design is making the life of the OB A1 easier, some steps are being taken to making their environment closer to that of a studio. You have to admire how good the sound actually is on these sporting events considering the battle against adversity that is being fought.