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UK Idols Upgrades Sound System

Currently undergoing its second season in the UK, Pop Idols is relying on the same live production team, but upgrading its equipment specs.

Currently undergoing its second season in the UK, Pop Idolsis relying on the same live production team, but upgrading itsequipment specs. In addition to Midas consoles and Klark Teknikprocessing, the show has also added a Helix system and the DN1248 Plusmicrophone splitters.

Pictured from left is Klark-Teknik’s Richard Ferriday, FOHengineer Martin Dineley, Audio Village’s Barry Mizen and monitorengineer Fred Jackson

Barry Mizen of Audio Village was responsible for putting togetherthe team that looks after all of the live sound elements of the PopIdol production at London’s Fountain Studios. As well asacting as sound coordinator, he also mixes all of the chat and thejudges vocals, sharing the desk with engineer Martin Dineley whohandles the music numbers. Mizen explained that last year, there was aHeritage 1000 console at front of house with a 24-channel stretch forband week. This year, a 48-channel Heritage 3000 was supplied at FOHfor the duration of the show. The crew also has a rack of four DN1248Plus mic splitters to send feeds off to the broadcast team.

As FOH engineer Martin Dineley pointed out, “It makes far moresense for us to have the Heritage 3000 here permanently because itgives us greater flexibility and more outputs, and when you’reeffectively sharing the console, as I am with Barry, the more outputswe have, the easier it is for us both. We had the budget to do it, soit was a no-brainer really.”

Monitor engineer Fred Jackson said this of his system: “Inmonitor world, I’m still using my trusty H3K as I did last year,but the difference is that I have upgraded my DN360s, which were great,by the way, to 10 channels of Helix. I have to say, I really love thissystem. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—theamount of space this device saves in your racks is phenomenal.I’ve condensed what used to be two large racks of outboard gearinto just six units, and in a TV studio where space is always at apremium, that is a massive plus point.

“From a functionality point of view, I’m also findingHelix a really useful and efficient tool. We have a hugely reflectiveset here at Pop Idol; the wedges alone are housed underneathfour different types of metal grating, which adds some nastyreflections, so you can imagine the fun we’ve been having to makethat sound good! The notch filters have really come into their own hereto nip out all the nasty frequencies and leave me with a nice curvethat I can then work with to best effect. Better still, onceyou’ve achieved that controlled curve, you can hide all the workyou’ve done to achieve it in what I call the back pages of themenu structure and forget about it. Then if you have a visitingengineer coming in, you can leave him with a flat graphic equalizer anda familiar control surface and just let him get on with it, andeveryone’s happy. The fact that everything is recallable is alsoa great boon because it means that each week I can get back to thebasics. Being able to recall previous settings saves an enormous amountof time. Another function I like is the auto-solo link between theHeritage 3000 and the Helix system. It’s great to be able to seeyour input or output EQ on the desk displayed on the master Helix unitat the touch of a button. You can see at a glance exactly how the landlies, and, of course, you have all the functionality of Helix withwhich to manipulate the signal if you like. I’m all in favor oftools that make my job easier, and Helix has become part of my own mainstable of inventory for monitor control.”

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