HD Intercom for Sweetwater’s new HD Truck

When Sweetwater Digital Productions recently built its
newest high-definition video truck named Cobalt, they chose to install Riedel
Communication’s Artist digital intercom matrix. Sweetwater specializes in the
rental of video production trucks, custom control rooms and other production
equipment used in the entertainment industry. Sweetwater’s clients
include most network and production companies in
Los Angeles and their credits include shows
such as Jimmy Kimmel Live and American Idol.

The new 53’ HD truck, built for entertainment show
production, is wired for up to 20 cameras. For Sweetwater, which owns
multiple Artist digital intercom matrices, the choice to install another Riedel
system in their new flagship vehicle was easy. “We love the system’s
flexibility, the way it works intuitively,” explained Stephen Sharp, one of
Sweetwater’s Truck Engineers. “The software is also very good – very easy
to use.”

At the heart of the truck lies a 192 x 192 Artist matrix in
two frames joined with fiber. The system connects digitally to the main
audio router directly via AES audio on AES-108 client cards, thus eliminating
the need for external AD/DA converters. Coax client cards allow control
panels to be wired via coax cabling and analog cards offer transformer balanced
4-wire I/Os. The Artist system’s built-in fiber connectors let Sweetwater
seamlessly interface to additional Artist systems from their rental pool as
well as other Artist systems they may encounter in the field. When this
is done the connected systems function as a single non-blocking matrix.
All frames on the network can be configured and monitored with the Director
configuration software.

Spread throughout the truck are over 32 rackmount 1000
series control panels connected via coax cabling, plus additional desktop
panels for use outside. All of the 1000 series panels come fully loaded
with 8-character LED displays built into the keys, an individual volume control
for each key and multiple auxiliary I/Os. “It’s so intuitive to see the
names on the keys,” added Sharp. “People really like it.”

To supplement the intercom system a RiFace universal radio
interface will also be installed to integrate professional two-way
radios. The RiFace connects to the matrix via four-wire audio and
transmission of the radios is controlled by GPIs. Each unit contains
either one or two radio base stations and can be operated in simplex or
semi-duplex modes.

Sharp expressed his satisfaction with the new intercom
matrix. “We love the system,” he summarized. “It’s so flexible and
interfaces very easily.”