Calrec Helps Maryland Public Television Win Emmy Award for Audio
Longtime Calrec customer Maryland Public Television (MPT) has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Audio from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for its mix of “America’s Veterans: A Musical Tribute,” an hour-long concert that was broadcast live on Maryland Public Television in Fall 2012.
The show, featuring The United States Air Force (USAF) Band and the Singing Sergeants with guest stars Ruben Studdard and Anthony Kearns, was mixed live to air using two identical Calrec Alpha digital consoles, while a Calrec Hydra box provided additional I/O.
“Our goal for the ‘America’s Veterans’ program was not only to produce a network-quality concert in HD, but also to produce superior audio for a tape of the concert that would be shown to our troops around the world,” said Jim Bigwood, MPT audio supervisor and co-winner of the Emmy Award along with MPT staff mixer David Wainwright, freelance mixer Gordon Masters, and USAF Band mixer Master Sgt. Jim De Vaughn. “This show is always technically challenging because there are so many musicians and voices to contend with. Our Calrec Alpha consoles and Hydra networking system made routing audio around our facility a snap. I prebuilt the show memories on each console, so setup and testing on load-in day was easy.”
In order to mix the award-winning production, MPT had to accommodate 56 mic inputs in the studio. In total, there were more than 60 channels to mix, a difficult task for one person. To overcome that challenge, MPT used both of its Alpha 40-fader consoles, with two operators per console responsible for 20 faders each. One console handled all of the vocal tracks, while the other handled all of the instruments, tape rolls, host, and a submix from the vocal console, which were mixed together to create the broadcast feed. In addition, MPT routed each channel out to the Studio A prefader (with no EQ or dynamics) for the front-of-house and monitor mixer.
Another challenge was that MPT’s Hydra sound system had insufficient mic inputs for the show, so Calrec’s distributor Studio Consultants Inc. supplied an additional Hydra 24-input/eight-output box to augment MPT’s existing custom Hydra 32-input/16-output box in Studio A, enabling the required 56 mic inputs into the studio.
“Both Calrec and Studio Consultants Inc. have been great partners for MPT over the years. They are quick and responsive, and are constantly striving to help us maximize our Calrec system to its fullest extent,” Bigwood said. “In this case, they helped us acquire the extra I/O we needed and gave us great phone support to get it installed. It took fewer than 15 minutes to add the extra I/O.”
“Our relationship with MPT is a great example of how we and our partners work closely with customers to help them achieve their goals — in this case, an Emmy,” said Dave Letson, director of sales, Calrec America. “MPT is getting ready to produce the ‘America’s Veterans’ show again in November for the seventh year running, and Jim and his team can be sure that we’ll be there to help make it a success once again.”