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02/09/2002

New BBC production area supplied by HHB

Halfway between a Network control suite and a direct to air studio, the BBC's new interactive production area (IPA) at Wood Lane is a multi-streaming environment that places high demands on operators and technology alike to deliver the essence of digital TV, viewer choice.
BBC Sound Supervisor Dave Lee was the man charged with finding a control desk that would give him the tools needed to finesse and marshal multiple sources - live and effectively in real time - direct to broadcast. "I needed a versatile transmission desk packed with features, and there was the added pressure that the IPA build had to be achieved within a limited time scale and budget."
Leading audio specialists HHB supplied a Yamaha DM2000 to Lee, who had already identified the desk as a potential solution. "For me there was no alternative in the price range, this is the only desk that handles stereo channels in the way that suited our demands," he added.
The option to create vertical stereo pairs instead of the more typical horizontal pairing proved critical for Lee. "Being able to treat all 24 faders as stereo faders was key, effectively doubling its usability." He said, "And the amount of Digital Sound Processing, the PC screen channel display, and the general feedback from the desk is pretty damn good. I particularly like the dedicated user panels for dynamic control, EQ, delay, auxes and routing, instead of the usual dual-purpose knobs and buttons.
"Compared to other equivalents, the Yamaha presentation is that of a more professional, assignable desk."
The DM2000 was first used in anger for the World Cup where six alternative audio presentations were created alongside four alternative pictures and broadcast simultaneously.
Lee added: "The viewer could chose between combinations like watching the BBC1 match picture with Radio 5 commentary; or split screen with the match in main screen, and rolling highlights in the other, which meant a rolling live sound with audio commentary to match the highlights."
Well pleased with his decision, Dave Lee reports the desk is "performing very well" and that Yamaha have been very supportive throughout. "The more I learn about the Yamaha DM200, the more versatile and comprehensive it becomes," he said.
(GB)
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