TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, April 29, 2014 — Live broadcast engineer Huub Lelieveld works for the Netherlands-based firm United Outside Broadcast and Studios, which is part of the Euro Media Group, mixing sports and other major live events and working as sound supervisor for concert film recordings. His credits include Audio Supervising for the MTV Africa Awards in Nigeria and Kenya and the UEFA cup finals in 2013 (with United colleague Mischa Kortleve). Lelieveld’s work has resulted in live concert recordings from such acts as Muse, Coldplay, Toto, Andre Rieu, Joe Cocker, Keane and more. And a crucial part of his toolbox is his arsenal of live plugins from Waves Audio.
Lelieveld notes, “With shows involving an audience, the PA mixer needs to ensure that the audience can hear the show very well; however, for us mixing in the truck, it's crucial to hear the audience reaction and not hear too much room sound. We want to be able to have control over the balance of the direct sound, audience reaction and room sound. Apart from ensuring that the level coming from the PA is not excessive, I need to establish that the television producer on the floor and the FOH mixer are happy. There are now tools that can help you reduce room sound in the TV mix. Previously I was using a CEDAR hardware unit, which helps reduce room and ambient sound. This works great but, we only have ONE stereo unit. Now with the Waves WNS Noise Suppressor, I am able to reduce room sound in a very similar way to a CEDAR hardware system with zero samples processing latency. And, instead of one hardware processor, I now have as many WNS instances available as I need. This means I can process the audience mics differently from the presenters' mics and I can eliminate any buzz that might develop during a live broadcast with another instance of WNS.”
He adds, “In the Netherlands we now have loudness regulations requiring us to mix to EBU R128 loudness norms. I look for ways to stay within specs more easily, while preserving sound quality. I do not want a process on my master bus that viewers can hear working.”
“After auditioning the Waves MultiRack system on a few projects, I was convinced of the reliability, enough to use it in serious live broadcast situations,” he recalls. “Latency proved no issue; I used processed feeds for presenters' in-ear feed without any problem. Using Waves MultiRack means having a huge arsenal of tools available at the click of a mouse. With a combination of Waves MaxxVolume and a L2 Ultramaximizer I was able to make quieter bits louder and louder bits quieter in real-time. I used only the leveler and high level compression part of the Maxx Volume; the leveler was set to around -23 dBFs (give or take, this is something to adjust if needed), the compressor just took out a dB or three, and after that I used the L2 to add some lost gain and take off some excessive peaks. Like any other broadcast mixer I'm figuring out how to deal with loudness regulation, but Waves plugins are going to help me achieve the right loudness, and I'm having a lot of fun along the way. In addition, it doesn't hurt that I have the possibility to put a CLA-2A on lead vocals and maybe put a bit of sparkle from a PuigTec EQP -1A on my master bus!”
Lelieveld notes a recent job where Waves solved a series of problems for him in a live broadcast mix scenario: “Recently, on the night of local elections in the Netherlands, I mixed the broadcast of a debate between several politicians and one presenter, discussing the election outcome. Up to seven participants were taking part in the conversation at any given moment – traditionally this means riding the faders to avoid excessive room sound and comb-filtering, especially as there were an audience and PA system present. Normally, I would watch the camera monitors predicting who's going to say something next and operate faders in real time. But, now with the Waves Dugan Automixer, I got a very dry sounding mix, with perfect automatic fading. With Waves SoundGrid technology, the latency is extremely low, so I could send the processed dialogue mix to the presenter’s earpiece without any complaints whatsoever. Free from riding faders, I could concentrate on the sound of the individual microphones, fine-tuning the EQ settings during the program, and adding a controlled amount of room sound from my audience mics. I was very satisfied with the result and heard some compliments about the sound quality of the broadcast from fellow engineers, which is pretty rare for a political debate broadcast.”
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