Taking its broadcast production standards to the next level, the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals have acquired several wired and wireless microphones to ensure its legions of fans are able to keep up with the program's weekly content - which includes exclusive commentary from Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis, regular host and "voice of the Bengals" Dan Hoard, as well as former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham.
Viewers are able to tune into "Bengals Weekly with Marvin Lewis" each Sunday morning for each of the 17 weeks during the NFL season both online, and through regional television stations including WKRC in Cincinnati, WRGT in Dayton and WTTE in Columbus.
After renovating its studio facilities, the production team recently decided to upgrade its equipment arsenal to accommodate high definition (HD) broadcasts and turned to Sennheiser for its in-studio and on camera microphones.
"We took over a space that was previously used as a storage closet," recalls Scott Simpson, executive producer of Bengals Weekly with Marvin Lewis. Simpson transformed the small room into a modest broadcast suite where the weekly show could be filmed with coach Lewis and other high profile guests. For help, he turned to local audio/video integrator Industrial Video, who recommended the Sennheiser EM 3732-II receiver and SK 5212 RF transmitter to complement another acquisition: two high-definition Panasonic AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders.
While the program is only a few weeks into the new broadcast season, Simpson has noticed an immediate and profound improvement in the audio quality by using the Sennheiser lavalier mics in the studio and the wireless mics on the cameras. “This is the first year we're shooting 'Bengals Weekly with Marvin Lewis' in HD, and the high sound quality of the Sennheiser microphone systems match the high-definition video we're producing for a dramatically improved viewer experience,” Simpson said.
In the studio, Simpson's team relies on a Sennheiser EM 3732-II receiver, combined with four MKE 2 Gold miniature lavalier microphones. When on the field, they use two compact SK 5212 transmitters mounted to each of the Panasonic HD cameras. All in all, the team produces 16 weekly episodes per year, as well as post-season playoff shows, if applicable. Each program highlights the previous week's game, and the Bengals coaches provide fans with first-hand insight into the upcoming game and the rest of the season.
The EM 3732-II provides the Bengals with high transmission reliability, exceptional audio quality and simple operation. With a switching bandwidth of up to 184 MHz and a range of connection options for flexibility in the studio, the EM 3732-II can be linked into any network via integrated Ethernet connections, making it simple for audio/video integrators to deploy the system. For more advanced set-ups, the EM 3732-II is also outfitted with an AES3/EBU digital audio interface for direct connection to digital mixing consoles.
The studio setup includes one EM 3732-II and four MKE 2 Gold lavalier microphones. The crew typically shoots two- and three-person discussions there, pre-recording the coaches' thoughts before being broadcast on half a dozen stations in the Midwest on Sunday mornings before the game.
On the field, the SK 5212 RF transmitter is both reliable and versatile. Small, comfortable and easy to hide, the transmission power of the SK 5212 can be adjusted in two steps for optimum transmission performance. When the action on the field is furious, the SK 5212 ensures Simpson and his team get the peak audio quality they require to accompany the high-definition video.
Simpson insists on having superior audio quality to accompany the HD video footage. “Great audio is a critical part of our shows," he says. "When you don't have great audio, it really diminishes the final product. We want to look professional and give our fans the highest quality pre-game show possible. Sennheiser allows us to do this without a hitch."
Bengals Weekly with Marvin Lewis is available to view online at http://www.bengals.com.
L-R: Dan Hoard, "voice of the Bengals" and Dave Lapham, Bengals offensive lineman from 1974 to 1983, now in his 27th consecutive season as analyst on the team's radio broadcasts.