As part of its contract to cover Germany’s Bundesliga, Livecast TV Produktion has rolled out two mid-sized OB trucks equipped with Lawo integrated mc²56 audio consoles.
The mc²56 consoles in both OB vans feature 48 faders (16/16/16) and 144 DSP channels, with the HD-Core having a routing capacity of 8000x8000 crosspoints. In addition, each vehicle is equipped with three stageboxes and three DALLIS frames, as well as DALLIS intercom cards. “Lawo’s router cards in the HD-Core enable the operation of Riedel talkback units via fibre optic connection, with the maximum range. Seamless interaction between the Lawo console, the Riedel talkback system and the remote control facilities is particularly noteworthy,” explained Harald Hübner, manager at Livecast TV.
Lawo’s AfV function (Audio-follow-Video) is frequently employed. This allows the Lawo console’s inputs to follow camera movements, thus enabling viewers to experience an authentic stadium atmosphere. Moreover, production preparation sessions are further simplified through the use of the console’s programmable presets. “The integration of the router in the console’s HD-Core is another important factor, eliminating previously required transitions between the console and a routing matrix. We frequently run two independent productions with a two-man crew, where one sound engineer can mix the basic feed while the other produces the live feed, all thanks to separate AFL and PFL buses,” elaborated Hübner.
The decision to commission new OB trucks was taken because of the lack of production facilities in the small to mid-size HDTV OB truck segment. The compact HD OB vans feature up to ten cameras and are perfectly tailored to Livecast TV’s productions: none of the vans have extendable elements and therefore only require a minimal setup area. This is especially important at the second division venues, where space for large OB vans is usually scarce. Moreover, the vehicles require only one 63A connection, whereas large OB vans need a 125A hook-up.
With Grass Valley from Weiterstadt, Germany, acting as the main contractor, Lawo was still directly involved in the project: “When we worked with Lawo directly, we were able to handle any adjustments and mechanical configuration easily and quickly. During the project, their customer support was excellent, and their geographic proximity was an additional advantage,” said Hübner.
Stefan Huwer, sound engineer for the OB vans, added: “Simple, intuitive usability and the prevalence of the product throughout the industry are definite plus points for Lawo’s consoles. Many sound engineers need only a short training period, since they have already used a Lawo console at some point or another in their careers.”