When Effanel Music was enlisted to mix sound for the season finale of the hit TV show Survivor All-Stars, this renowned team of audio experts made sure to bring along dbx® Quantum II signal processors. During shoots at Madison Square Garden and Chelsea Studios in May, Effanel’s OSR Mobile Recording Studio handled production duties for shows in which the “Sole Survivor” of the riveting season was determined. The production called for 18 cast members to be connected with redundant lavalier microphones, and for the host to use both lavalier and hand-held mics. In all, 64 inputs passed through the state-of-the-art OSR remote truck, reaching viewers in millions of homes. Everyone involved rated the show’s sound as superb, thanks in large part to the speed, flexibility and power offered by the dbx Quantum II signal processors chosen by Effanel Music.
Jorge Silva mixed the Survivor All-Stars finale in the Effanel mobile truck at both locations, sending the signal out to broadcast as well as recording it for archive. In addition to mixing all of the participants’ microphones, Effanel also mixed the program’s prerecorded and live music, generated by a small combo playing the show’s walk-on, walk-off and bumper music. “The dbx Quantum II processors were critical to making this show sound as good as it did,” comments Joel Singer, general manager of Effanel Music. “With as many as 64 inputs constantly going, we needed to be able to jump around between sources. The Quantum II allowed us to spend time getting the absolute best sound for each input, microphone and source, so that when the it came time to go on-air, we had each channel dialed in perfectly. The unit’s digital recall ability let us instantly switch to the preset parameter settings we had arrived at earlier.”
Furthermore, says Singer, the Quantum II’s comprehensive onboard processing, which included full dynamics and EQ, let Effanel dedicate one of the stereo units to each of the three main microphone groups: music, game participants and host group. “This is a show with a lot of high-decibel yelling that occurs very, very suddenly,” Singer explains. “The Quantum II can grab level spikes smoothly, without ever affecting the basic tonality of the sound, but is still able to add that very special dbx sonic touch. We also used the Quantum II as a brick wall limiter for the final mix L-R output from the truck,” adds Singer. “That’s an application on which we have used the Quantum II for every Survivor show we’ve mixed. It’s the best processor you could want to work with for a show with as many dynamic elements as Survivor.”
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