The production standard is set extremely high for post-production engineers at WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.), a global entertainment company headquartered in Stamford, Conn. that reaches over 13 million viewers in the U.S. and broadcasts to more than 145 countries in 30 languages. Recently, WWE installed several pairs of Neumann KH 120s in its editing and post-production suites, which are used to monitor its weekly television, web and live auditorium programming.
The Neumann KH 120 was chosen for its versatility and its ability to deliver consistent sound quality across multiple broadcast mediums. Post-production staff at WWE relies on monitors in their non-linear video editing suites to produce audio that will provide viewers with the best possible listening experience on television, online and in arenas.
WWE produces seven hours of domestic television and another 80 hours of international content every week of the year, in addition to two home video titles and a pay-per-view event each month. When it came time to upgrade the video editing suites in WWE headquarters, the production team spent 18 months investigating options to get audio quality that sounded like “real speakers,” said Chris Argento, vice president of post-production at WWE.
“I fell in love with the audio quality of the small, self-powered Neumann KH 120 monitors,” Argentino says. “The stereo imaging and center channel information are absolutely perfect, and it’s incredible how accurate they are. There’s no artificial high end or feeling of processing. They sound like ‘real speakers’ and enable us to develop programming where we can judge the sound for television, online and the arena.”
Argento tested a variety of monitors while upgrading WWE’s Audio Mixing suites. For large suites, he selected Neumann’s new O 410 active midfield studio monitors. Having been extremely pleased with the crisp sound of the O 410s, Argento turned again to Neumann for the smaller non-linear video editing suites, which he chose to outfit with KH 120 monitors after getting firsthand experience with them during the 2011 NAB Show in Las Vegas.
WWE initially deployed pairs of KH 120 monitors in six non-linear editing suites, and subsequently added pairs to 14 additional suites. Now that the Neumann KH 120 has become the standard for WWE monitoring environments, Argento says he plans to add even more pairs of KH 120 monitors to additional editing suites in the near future.
Following its mantra of “good video is made by good audio,” WWE engineers are faced with a daily challenge of providing a consistent quality across existing and future media. Argento says the Neumann KH 120 monitors have made it easy to achieve this consistency, while maintaining the company’s high standards of audio quality.
The monitors have also aided editing and production staff in finishing programs that must forego audio post-production. Argento said it is critical post-production engineers are able get the same listening experience viewers will have later, and in this regard, he says the KH 120s have exceeded expectations.
As the first of Neumann’s line of studio monitors, the KH 120 is designed for use as a near-field loudspeaker or as a rear loudspeaker in larger multi-channel systems. It represents the latest in acoustic and electronic simulation and measurement technologies to ensure the most accurate sound reproduction possible.