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Duck, Duck, Stage Tec

Swiss broadcaster, Stage Tec collaborate on workstation for tackling four parallel workflows.

Geneva, Switzerland (October 12, 2018)—When RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse) needed an automated workstation for the most common workflow in sports broadcasts, the 5.1 international audio mix of atmosphere from the sports event and commentary from the booth, the broadcaster contacted Stage Tec.

RTS wanted to design a workstation in such a way that one sound engineer could operate four workflows in parallel. The challenge was that the international audio feed is very different in volume for different sports—for example, Formula 1 is much louder than tennis.

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Usually, the ducking in the mix is controlled with a fixed dim level, because it is only about one sport. However, if several sports are mixed in parallel, then this requires an intelligent ducking which takes each sport into account. This means an automated adjustment to the international audio level with the possibility of manual intervention, since the intention is to create a high-quality sound mix while ducking.

Stage Tec, in cooperation with BFE, developed a stand-alone application with a connection to a television control room. The workstation is equipped with four ON AIR flex, two NEXUS Base Devices, and four operator computers with RUI. The mixing consoles were given a structured user interface. Instead of a fader and monitor panel, two fader panels were mounted in one tray.

Each ON AIR flex has four faders: two for the commentators, one for the international audio and the fourth controls the pilot tone rather the volume of an audio signal, as is usually the case. This enables manual intervention during the commentary and the ducking attenuation of the international audio signal to be set.

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“With the small ON AIR flex, we can centralize the automatic mixing of four programs in the same place by a single technician,” says Yves-Alain Schneider, head of audio production sector at RTS.

Stage Tec •