First off, I want to post this video. Last week I got to work on a really fun project with some great friends, and on some great music. The video above is a clip from the 2013 Covenant Awards which were aired on CTS and can be viewed in its entirety on Crossroads360. I mixed the live show, but what I was really excited about was post.. We decided this year to multitrack the show so I could mix the broadcast version as well. This band is called City Harmonic; I had never heard of them before but they were really really good! Also I think this clip shows off the amazing video work of Dan Stewart and Geoff Laforet. Looks more like a live concert DVD than a telecast... maybe they need to hire colours&shapes..
Because we already had Avid Venue consoles for the show, we decided the easiest way to record would be to get a Pro Tools HD rig and record off the console. We had 2 HD cards which allows up to 128 tracks to be recorded, although we didn't need that many.
The event took place at the Crossroads TV studio. They do live and recorded multi cam shoots all the time. We needed to make sure the audio would stay in sync with the picture once I was finished mixing, so we decided to use house timecode. They use "blackburst", which we don't use in audio land, and so the CTS engineers brought out a device which can convert the studio's timecode to 48k word clock which Pro Tools can use.
It ended up being a jumble of cables by the time we got it all hooked up.
Here's a shot from the control room. You can see what the camera is seeing. CTS's director John Luscombe tells each camera operator where to go and what to shoot, and tells a switcher in real time which camera to cut to and how quickly; this is called a line cut. If something is live to tape or live to air, this is what goes out over the air. For this show, we wanted the ability to do some effects in post and tighten things up a bit, so similar to what we did by multi-track recording the audio, they iso recorded camera feed so that DOP/creative director/not-sure-what-to-call-him-for-this Dan Stewart and editor Geoff Laforet can make changes after the fact.
Immediately after the show was recorded, I went to CTS's studio B to mix "on" their SSL. When I say "on", I mean literally - I put my laptop on top of their $200,000 console (it felt very wrong!) Seems crazy, but the SSL C100 (while a perfect console for television) is a digital console so I wouldn't be gaining much by using it for this, and I have their EQ and dynamics algorithms as plugins anyway on my laptop. So, this ended up being a completely in-the-box mix, and I relied heavily on UAD plugins such as the new API channel strip and their new Pultics and 1176s. It was tricky figuring out levels for television, but with the help of Dale (CTS audio engineer) we worked it out. It was a marathon mixing 13 songs in 1.2 days, but it got done.
Dan and Geoff did some amazing video work in post, with Brian Worster doing lighting for the show, Anthony Diehl doing the live video/projector mapping, and Gordie Cochrane and Melissa McEachern putting it all together.