Co-production mixer Eric Johnston with an Avastor HDX-800 in the Dancing with the Stars control room at CBS Television City. Photo by David Goggin.Los Angeles, CA (November 29, 2007)–Co-production mixer Eric Johnston, responsible for all playback of music beds and voiceovers for the series Dancing with the Stars, uses Avastor HDX-800 hard drives for the complicated live show broadcast from CBS Television City in LA.
“The Avastor drives fit in very well with the work flow,” he explains. “The beauty of a live show is you know when you are up and you know when you’re down. For instance, when Marie Osmond fainted on the air we all had to suddenly jump through hoops to make sure we got off air, got a commercial up and then came up with a backup plan to get back on the air. You think on your feet.”
Johnston uses a playback system developed for the BBC called Spot On. “It uses a touch screen,” he explains, “which gives me the ability on one machine to do all the music crossfades and playbacks, whereas in the past I had to work with two or three playback machines.” Johnston utilizes a second Spot On rig for redundancy, a Yamaha 03D mixer, two Tascam MX-2424 recorder/editors, and a cache of Avastor HDX-800 triple interface drives.
“Anything can happen in live television,” Johnston concludes, “but with Avastor, there are no surprises. Reliability is never an issue.”