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Lawo makes F1 grid

20 March 2008

Formula One motor racing is one of worldwide TV’s top events. To meet the complex requirements for a perfect broadcast, Formula One Management (FOM) has decided to use a Lawo mc_66 as the mixing console used to produce the international Formula 1 host feeds.

When a Formula 1 car accelerates on the racetrack it sounds more like a jet fighter than a car. In a few seconds, the car is travelling at more than 300kph, and this is accompanied by the deafening noise of the engine, an unforgettable experience for anyone who hears this at the actual racetrack. When the engine reaches 19,000 rpm, TV viewers at home should also hear – or even better, feel – this sound as the Lawo mc_66 will now deliver this overwhelming sensation into racing fans’ homes around the world.

The console used by FOM is installed in a container that, together with all the necessary technical and peripheral equipment, is transported to all the Formula 1 races around the world. In this situation, the mc_66 will demonstrate that it can not only release its full mobile potential when installed in an OB truck, where it has pretty much established itself as the standard, but also when housed in a container-based control room.

With a full set of features, an unbeatable audio-follow-video function, and the convincing performance of its HD core, the mc_66 will be on the road for the complete racing season, producing international feeds for use worldwide.

The ‘high-speed’ Lawo console is fitted with 48 physical faders, 5 DSP cards with over 240 audio channels, full redundancy within the signal path, and a router providing the required 1920 x 1920 matrix. A VSM controller links the mc_66 to the installed tally controller. A 19-inch VSM panel (Virtual Studio Manager), integrated in the console surface, facilitates the direct assignment of audio-follow-video events to the camera tallies, either exclusively or by OR assignment.

Another feature widely used in OB trucks is direct control of camera microphone gains via a so-called GPC (General Purpose Channel) fader on the mixing console. Conversion of GPC values to mic gains is also carried out by the VSM controller. A more comforting operation of all audio-relevant settings is hardly imaginable.

Oliver Bianchi, principle audio engineer, Formula One Management commented: “The mc_66’s featureset convinced me right from the start. Everything is there that I need for our top-quality productions. Particularly the audio-follow-video control and the optimal size of the console were the essential aspects, and the camera remote function that I wanted to use in any case. With the mc_66 we are 100% prepared for Dolby Surround. It is all really simple to handle, and I can easily make changes and modify configurations.”

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