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05/01/2009

SADiE's LRX2 Goes On Location In Wales

It's a well recognised truism that living close to a tourist attraction or place of historic interest makes you less likely to visit it, simply because it's there, it's close and you can always do it another day.
For classical singer Bryn Terfel, this premise proved to be the starting point for a fascinating television series - 'Bryn Close To Home' - which is due to be broadcast in the Spring of 2009.
The series, commissioned by BBC Wales' Music department, shows Bryn visiting places close to his own home in North Wales that he has either never visited or has not been to for a long time. In each location, he gives a musical performance, showcasing his amazing vocal talent.
To capture the all-important audio for the programme, BBC Wales called in the expertise of former BBC Sound Supervisor Martin Gifford, who set up his own company, 24Bit Ltd, in 2007 to provide specialist location and music recording facilities to the broadcast industry.
24Bit has a mobile recording, editing and dubbing facility, which is built on a compact Mercedes Vito chassis and is small enough to allow access to even the most difficult location. Ideal for multicamera flyaways, the entire rig can, where necessary, be demounted and installed in a venue in around an hour.
For recording and editing, Martin uses a SADiE LRX2 multitrack location recording interface, which can either be used as a 32-channel analogue stand-alone unit or linked to the truck's 64-channel Yamaha digital desk via a MADI/cat 5 based multicore system.
The SADiE LRX2 is best known for its leading 'craft editing' software that provides sophisticated editing capability with an easy-to-use interface. Designed to fulfil the needs of an every more complex recording environment and to serve a wide variety of remote recording applications, the LRX2 is becoming increasingly popular with production companies and film crews that need to record multitrack audio. Its features include dedicated transport controls, high channel density (up to 48 microphone or line input channels or 64 channels using MADI), the ability to record to duplicate hard disks and general robustness.
SADiE products also incorporate proprietary recording algorithms designed to get the audio into a disk file fast, avoiding too much buffering in RAM. This means that, should recording be interrupted unexpectedly, very little is lost - only a few seconds would be at risk, compared to less robust software implementations where potentially large amounts of audio can be lost if recording is interrupted.
The flexibility of the LRX2 hinges on its ability to utilise the same high quality I/O cards as the PCM-H64 and PCM-H128 multitrack workstations. This in-built flexibility allows users to customise the LRX2 to suite their circumstances rather than having to modify their working techniques to cope with other equipment.
For the Bryn Terfel project, Martin's LRX2 really came into its own because some of the locations chosen for the programme were very inaccessible. The programme includes a visit to Bardsey Island, complete with a grand piano, which involved some difficult logistics. There was also a trip up to Snowdon, again with a grand piano; an open air shoot in Portmeirion (best known as the location for the 1960s cult TV show 'The Prisoner'), a performance with 100 children on Caernarfon quay front and the trip down Llechwedd slate caverns.
The Snowdon shoot also had its moments, thanks to the difficulty of the terrain. Martin was limited with how much kit he could take up and down the mountain so he used his iPhone for the final replay.
Apart from the Bryn Terfel programme, Martin has also used his SADiE system to record a number of opera projects, including Terfel's Falstaff and for Christmas a variety concert from the Wales Millenium Centre, featuring Ysgol Glanaethwy, the choir that were runners up in the BBC 'Last Choir Standing' competition.
He also multitracked congregation items for the Advent Songs of Praise, and used the system for preparation and playback on location for ITV's Aled Jones Christmas Carols, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve.
Further information is available at: www.sadie.com.
(KMcA/JM)
VMI.TV Ltd

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