X Marks the Spot for BBC

BBC Studios and Post Production has replaced the Harman Studer Vista 8 at its George Lucas stages at Elstree with a new Vista X.
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Elstree, U.K. (July 8, 2015)—BBC Studios and Post Production has replaced the Harman Studer Vista 8 at its George Lucas stages at Elstree with a new Vista X.

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The commissioning of the new Studer Vista X extends the studios’ long relationship with the manufacturer, which began with the first Vista 8 for TC1 at BBC Television Centre a decade ago. “I always look forward to introducing new technology,” says Andy Tapley, BBC Studios and Post Production’s sound supervisor. At the heart of the system is the new Infinity Core, with 12 high capacity/high speed A-Link audio interfaces that provide more than 5,000 inputs and outputs and more than 800 audio DSP channels.

“We moved four Vista 8s to Elstree when we relocated from Television Centre in 2013 and at the same time revamped four of the stages, upgrading the desks to go further down the MADI route,” Tapley says. “But there comes a point where it becomes difficult to keep upgrading existing desks as production requirements change and grow. As a provider of premium studio space, we have a commitment to provide our clients with all the benefits of new technology.”

The new Vista X, which Tapley started mapping and populating in February of this year, is accompanied by four high-density D23m frames which break out the A-Link fiber connections to standard analog, digital and video interfaces. “The fact that the new frames are backwards-compatible with the D21 cards meant we could use all our existing I/O hardware”, he notes.

The production is running 160 mono and 60 stereo channels on Strictly Come Dancing in addition to surround stems, making VistaMix—the automated microphone mixing for unscripted shows���a vital component, “This is a proven system,” notes Tapley, “and one we have been using for over two years—it works extremely well.”

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