Broadcasting the All Stars
The non-air audio sources include the game producer, TV assistant director (monitored only by the game producer for cueing of commercial breaks), the game technician and studio and field producers also have mics to contribute to the IFB. There is also a feed from the official game scorekeeper.
For ambience, the bat crack mics with a touch of the stereo pair crowd mics are usually enough to provide the needed ambience. Adding full crowd or feeds from the dugout mics gets too heavy for radio. With only an aural canvas to work, it gets too busy if there are too many audio sources being used.
All these audio sources come together to feed two Behringer Xenyx X2222USB consoles. There are two compressors (a DBX and a Samson) providing 12 channels of compression, which is applied to the talent mics and some of the other audio feeds.
The game producer has the most complex monitor setup of all those involved. He can talk to everyone and everyone can talk to him. He routes information as needed. Through him, the multiple IFB channels are created. Five of these are distributed via wireless IFB transmitters. Using a routing box built by Bob White, Sokalsky can talk to anyone on a headset individually or in groups. This custom intercom box has RDL mixers for Sokalsky to set his own levels. The on-air talent also have custom control boxes to talk to Sokalsky off-line if needed. Sokalsy has a direct link to the Bristol, CT, headquarters via a dedicated POTS line through a JK Audio Autohybrid. Sokalsky monitors up to 12 audio sources during a game.
A Telos Zephyr Xstream connects via ISDN to the facility in Connecticut. A stereo mix from the game is sent to Connecticut, and two mono feeds are sent back. One return channel is a full mix of the entire broadcast audio program, which is fed to the speakers in the stadium concourse. The other return channel is a mono mix-minus feed. As a backup, a Comrex Hotline is connected to carry the program audio as well.
The description of the setup sounds complex, and to see it all interconnected looks even more intimidating, but once it's all set in place, the broadcast takes off. The people involved know their jobs and how to use the equipment and technology to their advantage. The result is a clean and polished broadcast that entertains loyal baseball fans.
- continued on page 4
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