Calrec Captures Right Mix For UEFA Cup Coverage

Thanks to
Calrec Audio, more than 300 million people heard the final whistle — and all
the other action — when Manchester United defeated Chelsea in the UEFA (Union of European
Football Associations) Champions League Cup soccer final this summer. A Calrec
Alpha with Bluefin console provided every global audio feed from the match in Moscow, while two
additional Calrec consoles completed the British coup at the historic Luzhniki
Stadium.

The match was the first all-English final in the contest’s 52-year history, and
UEFA appointed Britain’s
Sky Television to handle all production requirements. Two Visions OB trucks,
HD4 under contract to Sky and HD3 under contract to Russian host broadcasters
RTR and NTV, both carried Calrec Alpha consoles. Working on behalf of ITV Sport
was another truck sent by 021 Television that used a Calrec 60-fader Sigma
console. Although ITV Sport broadcast the game in SD, an HD rack in that truck
was used to record the match for posterity.

“Visions built the technical operations centre (TOC) with its HD3 truck at the core,”
said Keith Lane,
Sky’s sports operations manager. “As the host, HD3 supplied all feeds using a
54-fader Alpha console, including the main 5.1 match mix, stereo match mix,
steady cam, and international feeds routed via the TOC. The TOC international feed
provided every other broadcaster — on-site or otherwise — with a clean feed in
which to add local commentary.”

Working on his third UEFA Cup Final in as many years, BAFTA award-winning sound
designer Robert Edwards mixed the world feed in HD3. Edwards is at the
forefront of live-to-air 5.1 surround sound. Besides mixing U.K. Premier
League matches for Sky, he is responsible for a variety of entertainment shows,
and has mixed live 5.1 soccer audio for the FIFA World Cup.

“This was an interesting game and having three Calrec consoles on site made
things so much easier,” Edwards said. “We used a SoundField mic to capture the
5.1 crowd bed, and we supplemented that with other crowd mics. An additional 16
mics were placed around the pitch, and I spent all my time chasing the ball
around with the faders! It was a very comprehensive mix. Of course, 5.1
presents very specific problems, especially when you are producing multiple
surround feeds alongside all the ISO feeds. Calrec’s TFT displays offer plenty of
flexibility, and one can be sure of what is being sent even in the most complex
setups.”

The delay issue poses particular challenges when working in a complex HD show.
While the soccer match rarely necessitated applying much delay to any one
channel, the audio operator required quick and easy access to multiple legs.
Because delays were introduced in so many places, the amount of delay built
into the Calrec consoles as well as their flexibility proved crucial to audio
success for the match.