Top London post house MPC (The Moving Picture Company) is migrating from AES audio to embedded audio with the aid of Ensemble Designs.
“We’re converting the whole of the facility from AES audio, which is currently managed by a separate router, to embedded audio handled by a single SDV Multiformat Digital video router”, said Colin Smith, senior engineer at MPC.
“The primary module used in MPC’s London base is an Avenue 7600 from Ensemble Designs, and it is the most flexible module I’ve come across so far,” he continued. “It’s primarily a Mux/Demux, with audio delay, audio level adjustment, channel invert and swap, a good solid quality product.
“One of our challenges was to provide embedded audio for the “preview video out” of all of our 2D workstations. These were originally provided with separate AES, and, in order to solve this issue, we used a 7600 Avenue module, embedded the 2D workstation audio into the SDI Digital video and then distributed it in the conventional way via a router.”
“The Avenue 7600 audio embedder modules are easy to configure and that’s half the battle,” added Smith. “We use the 7600 because it’s reasonably inexpensive and very flexible.”
Prior to using the Ensemble 7600 embedder and disembedder, MPC used a combination of various modules from different manufacturers to achieve similar signal processing.
Like most post engineers, Colin Smith is involved, as part of a close knit team, in the all-important day to day running of the facility, including preventative and remedial maintenance and making sure everything is operational. He performs all Avenue software updates, controlling and monitoring the Avenue equipment from the company’s local intranet, which saves him time. “We use the Avenue PC control software so we can control all of the Avenue modules from a remote location. That’s invaluable.”
During the system upgrade a compatibility issue arose between the 7600 embedder and another manufacturer’s audio processor. After the issue was resolved, Smith commented: “The approach, technical expertise and professionalism was superb, a really refreshing experience that I thought I would never experience again having been in the industry for some time now.”
MPC also takes advantage of Ensemble’s 5400 and 7405 sync pulse generators and test pattern generators for HD and SD reference generation. These reference signals are fed to equipment throughout the facility. Also Ensemble’s analogue to digital converters provide the means to convert existing analogue video and audio signals into SDI streams with embedded audio. MPC has also component and composite analogue sources to bring into the main SDI Digital router for distribution.