Rastatt, Germany (November 30, 2016)—As the three former presenters of Top Gear embark upon The Grand Tour, the first episode of which is reportedly Amazon Prime’s biggest premiere to date, Netherlands-based outside broadcast service provider United has placed Lawo in the driving seat.
“United has a track record in 4K and HDR filming, including live concerts by Muse and U2, so this was the main reason we got this job,” says sound supervisor Huub Lelieveld, who mixes the recordings along with Rob Ashard and Mischa Kortleve. “For audio, I and my colleague Christian Postma wanted to match the high-resolution video by creating the best audio quality possible.”
As well as their cars and the road, the first episode featured footage from inside the show’s studio tent while recording in California. As the series unfolds, presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are set to become Special Forces soldiers, sign into a secret training base in Jordan, and enjoy a visit to the opera.
“In audio recording, there is no direct equivalent to 4K—the audio is still 48 kHz. We wanted to match the picture by creating an audio setup that is completely without compromise—but to be as compact as possible, as everything is flying around the globe,” says Lelieveld.
“We held a little brainstorm, and concluded that this meant using the best possible compact audio console for both recording and FOH. For us, there was no question about choosing a Lawo mc236. I use Lawo consoles daily—as I do other brands of broadcast consoles—and, for me, they are the best choice for functionality, sound quality and reliability.”
United’s requirements resulted in the selection of a 16-fader Lawo mc236 for FOH, manned by Martijn Kuiper, and a second, 24-fader, mc236 for the OB gallery located in another tent.