Toronto, Ontario, Canada â€“ August 13, 2010â€¦ A division of CTV Limited, MuchMusic is Canadaâ€™s music stationâ€”dedicated to providing an entertaining, informative, and engaging look at popular music as it happens. Broadcast across North America and around the world, MuchMusic provides a platform for the voices of several generations of music makers and their fans. The 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards (MMVA), which aired live on Sunday, June 20th at 9 p.m. ET, was a star-packed red carpet show that included appearances by Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Miley Cyrus, and others. For a music show of this magnitude, sound quality is critical, and to ensure the very best production quality, many of the showâ€™s numerous audio signals were routed and mixed using equipment from Rastatt, Germany-based Lawo.
Andrew Roberts, a well known Production Audio Mixer, was contracted by CTV Inc, Toronto, Ontario to mix the broadcast portion of this yearâ€™s show. An industry veteran, who over the past twenty years has mixed post production audio for television, film, and IMAX, has spent the past ten years in broadcastâ€”both live and pre-taped. Heâ€™s worked the MMVAâ€™s for the past nine years and, each year, is in charge of mixing a 5.1 audience mix to the main mix board, using the main dry mix as his reference. This year, Roberts worked his magic using a Lawo mcÂ²56 production console in tandem with a Lawo Nova73 HD router. He discussed the setup and the challenges of the event.
â€œI mixed this yearâ€™s show using a mcÂ²56 console with a 16 plus 16 (channel / main) configuration and three DSP cards capable of handling 192 channels,â€? Roberts explained. â€œWe were running 585 input and output signals routed in real time and the Lawo Nova73 HD router handled all production and record paths.â€?
â€œThere were some significant signal distribution challenges on this event,â€? Roberts continued. â€œThere were three music stages being mixed in 5.1 by two rooms. Those outputs, along with my ambience mix (from a third location) went to the main mix desk in a nearby truck. The Nova73 HD router was more than capable of managing the task. The interface was easy to use and, most importantly, it was reliable. Had there been any technical issues with the 73HD, the show would have been in real jeopardy. The Lawo router was chosen because of its flexibility and reliability, and it came through in a big way.â€?
While Roberts found the operation of both the Lawo mcÂ²56 console and Nova73 HD router to be intuitive, itâ€™s not the least bit uncommon to require technical assistance during the setup and configuration stages for an event where literally hundreds of channels must be accurately managed. Here, too, Roberts had nothing but praise for Lawo North Americaâ€™s technical support services. Doug Smith, Lawoâ€™s field support technician, was fantastic,â€? Roberts reports. â€œHe was very knowledgeable about the products we were using, had all the basics of my console configuration covered before I arrived on site, and was tirelessly applying himself to our show and its constantly changing demands. I was very impressed.â€?
With the 2010 MuchMusic Video Awards in his rear view mirror, Roberts reflected on the success he encountered using the Lawo equipment. â€œI had never worked on a Lawo mcÂ²56 before,â€? he confided. â€œInitially, I was a little skeptical of the consoleâ€™s touch screen interface and what seemed like layers and layers of menus and sub-menus. My apprehension disappeared very quickly. I came to realize the mcÂ²56 is, in fact, amazingly intuitive and user friendly. As with any piece of gear, once you adapt to its interface, youâ€™re good to go. It took me about an hour to get comfortable and after that, it was a breeze.â€?
â€œThe mcÂ²56â€™s multiple color displays and naming conventions helped me identify my sources quickly,â€? he added, â€œand itâ€™s wide variety of monitoring options made listening to fold downs and multiple sources very easy. The consoleâ€™s mic pre-amps were very clean and the dynamics and EQ algorithms were also very natural. The consoleâ€™s Input / Output structure (combined with the Nova 73 HD router) made receiving and sending multiple mixes and mix-minuses a snap. The bottom line is that this was an excellent system to work on.â€?
Lawo is a manufacturer of digital audio networking systems and consoles for a wide range of applications from small to large scale audio production in television and radio, post production, and live sound. Established in the 1970s, the companyâ€™s manufacturing center is located in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information on all Lawo products, visit the company online at www.lawo.ca.
Photo info: Image of Andrew Roberts seated at the Lawo mcÂ²56 console along with Lawoâ€™s Doug Smith (Engineering Manager, seated) and CTV Manager of Audio Engineering, Robert Miles.