NEP selects Calrec desks, bespoke field boxes for new US truck
Global OB and facilities company NEP has installed Calrec Apollo and Artemis audio consoles into a new OB truck to cover professional golf and football in the US. The project also called on Calrec to supply a new compact and ruggedised Hydra2 Fieldbox with looping network connections.
“NEP introduced Calrec to the US marketplace with two S series desks in 1996, and Calrec has been our console of choice since then,” said George Hoover, chief technology officer of NEP Group. “A feature-rich, great-sounding, and reliable desk drove that first purchase nearly 20 years ago, and it has been a pleasure working with Calrec on the evolution of its desks to help meet the evermore complex needs of audio for remote and studio production.
“In this case, NEP chose Calrec equipment to help overcome some significant audio challenges in golf coverage. One is simply the physical size of the course and distances involved. Another is an extremely wide dynamic range, from dead-quiet except for birds and crickets chirping to huge roars from the crowd. In addition, golf events run up to 10 hours and cover multiple days, which can drain the batteries in field boxes. Finally, it’s difficult to move around on the course once play begins, so reliability is very important.”
The Apollo and Artemis consoles are installed in the B unit, handling the main mix and effects mixes, respectively. Hydra2 gives NEP full control of the preamps directly from the desk, eliminating the need for an audio assistant to run around tweaking preamps on the course, and it networks the two desks together to enable source sharing.
Of critical importance in NEP’s setup are the field boxes. Golf coverage calls for having many microphones on the course, particularly for 18-hole coverage at the majors. Accordingly, Calrec designed a new compact and ruggedised Hydra2 Fieldbox with looping network connections – a feature that is ideal for golf events where microphones are placed one or two at a time in numerous locations. Key benefits include the elimination of external battery-powered preamps and a reduction in the amount of copper cable required.
NEP has assigned about a dozen field boxes of various sizes and configurations to this new OB unit and can call upon its worldwide inventory for especially large events. The unit covered two golf events in mid-August and then transitioned to Thursday Night Football.
“Calrec is the preferred desk in many parts of the world where NEP operates, and the company owns well over 100 desks,” said Helen Carr, regional sales manager at Calrec Audio. “One of the reasons we’re able to deliver our renowned reliability, features, and sound quality is our working relationship with customers like NEP, whose evolving needs drive us to develop products such as the custom field boxes.
“NEP’s extensive use of Hydra2 for field I/O in its new truck shows how Calrec can improve efficiency and overall quality in complex OB environments. We’re fortunate to have had a long, collaborative, and mutually beneficial relationship with NEP, and we’re happy to be taking another step forward together.”