In addition to sound stages, conference facilities and rehearsal space, PBS affiliate KCET, which serves the greater Southern California community, now operates its own production truck equipped with a Euphonix System 5-BP with 24 channel strips and 72 channels.
According to Gordon Bell, director of engineering and operations at the venerable station, “As a non-profit organization, we frequently rent our facilities. We recently migrated from an analog to a digital environment, but we had only one digital control room. We wanted to supplement this facility with a backup system, and decided that a truck would address this issue nicely while also providing greater flexibility in terms of remote capability.”
When on site at KCET’s Hollywood lot, the truck is used for a variety of applications; among them, production of a game show for the California Lottery. Much of the time, KCET’s truck is rented to Tribune Broadcasting, where it is used for audio and video support to produce ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning show. Broadcast live five days per week at 4:30 PM Eastern Time, the show is a 30-minute discussion and interview program hosted by Jim Rome, a leading opinion-maker in the world of sports broadcasting.
When on site at Tribune Broadcasting, the truck is connected to the inside facilities by fiber optic lines. The truck is equipped with 2 Euphonix FiberTran MADI extenders capable of 48 microphone lines, with mic splitters on FiberTran stage boxes. This setup facilitates connection to the remote Euphonix mic preamps that reside on several stages inside Tribune’s studios. Noting the ease of interconnecting the truck with the indoor facilities, independent mixing engineer Bob Whyley, who presides over the System 5 for production of Jim Rome is Burning, notes, “This makes setup and teardown very easy, with just a handful of connections that can be patched within 10 minutes.”
Whyley, a veteran mixer who previously mixed NBC’s Tonight Show, spoke highly of the System 5’s sonic qualities. “Where many digital consoles fall apart,” said Whyley, “is in the high frequency shelving EQ, which all too often sounds harsh and brittle. With the System 5, the sound is very open and analog.” Further, he offered high praise for the Euphonix mic preamps and dynamics package, “What makes the Euphonix stand out is the fact that the console itself is sonically superior to anything else I’ve worked with. The mic preamps are incredible sounding and next to impossible to overload. Similarly, the compressor/limiters can be made to sound like any product you want them to be-and this virtually eliminates the need for external processors.”
The System 5’s PatchNet digital router/patchbay also earned high marks with Whyley. “With the System 5,” says Whyley, “you can go from anywhere, to anywhere, very easily.” He emphasized the ease with which PatchNet integrates with third party routing systems, noting the System 5’s ability to route both digital and analog signals on the console’s screen as being fast and intuitive.
As he prepared for yet another production day, Whyley offered these closing thoughts on the System 5 and Euphonix’ customer support. “Whenever I’ve needed a question answered,” reported Whyley, “I’ve been able to make a phone call and get the answers right away, and if we’ve needed on-site maintenance, Euphonix responded within the hour. For me, the company’s customer support has been incredible.” Cutting straight to the chase, Whyley summed up the conversation by saying, “The System 5 is an excellent line mixing console because of its sound quality and instant recall capability. It’s a great mixing desk and an absolutely invaluable post production tool.”
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