Lawo-equipped United OB14 in action at UEFA Europa League

Deployed at the Amsterdam ArenA for the Chelsea-Benfica encounter on 15 May, the truck – which is equipped with a Lawo mc²66 digital broadcast console and DALLIS I/O system – was used to provide the live audio feed to the event’s TV compound to accompany a 35-camera production. Coverage was delivered to 15 visiting major sports broadcasters in 5.1 surround.

The mic set-up used a surround microphone in the catwalk of the stadium, with four omnis suspended from the catwalk in the corners of the stadium. Fourteen shotgun mics were located on the pitch, while all of the pitch cameras had microphones whose feeds were collected by the truck.

A core part of the audio operation were the Lawo’s audio-follow-video (AfV) function and VSM (Virtual Studio Manager) control software from L-S-B Broadcast, which is integrated into the OB14 console and enables the direct assignment of AfV events to the camera tallies.

“These AfV audio sources were each routed to a subgroup, so effectively there was one fader to control how much detail of the camera mics could be heard in the mix,” United’s Jeroen ‘Huub’ Lelieveld explains. “This software controls all equipment in the truck, and opens the faders assigned to specific cameras.”

Lelieveld’s United colleague Mischa Kortleve mixed the action from the field, while he watched the video line cut and controlled how much surround atmosphere and AfV sounds were added to the mix, making sure that the sound matched the ‘feel’ of the picture.

“We created three video feeds, each with different pictures and – at some point – different cameras and interview/stand up positions,” Lelieveld says. “VSM is able to create different virtual GPIs for different video outputs, so while we concentrated on mixing the main feed, the other two feeds were mixed automatically, with different faders being triggered by the video mixer.”

In addition to the de/embedder cards in the OB14 mobile’s mc266, the console is partnered with a Lawo V__pro 8, which offers video bridging facilities.

“We had a total of six outgoing feeds with Dolby E and another 15 or so video feeds with non-Dolby E embedded audio,” says Lelieveld. ‘For this huge production our usual  de/embedder cards in our mc266 weren’t enough so we had an additional V__pro 8.

“OB14’s mc266 has a DALLIS frame full of Lawo de/embedders; however, with three (redundant) video feeds and many extra feeds going into the  Technical Operations Center (TOC), we needed more embedders. For this, the Lawo V__pro 8 was perfect – connected to the mixer via MADI, all video and audio delay needed to compensate for Dolby E decoding was handled in this box, with no need for separate video frame synchronisers.

“Delaying the video and PCM audio in a video feed that has Dolby E requires just the click of a mouse instead of our usual use of an extra frame synchroniser. Every video channel has up to eight frames of delay, and we can embed up to 32 channels of audio per video channel, also at the click of a mouse.”

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