In Broadcast - November 2012 - 60


I N T E R N A T I O N A L

N E W S

WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 14 - NOV/DEC 2012

InSOUND Shure’s Axient Debuts At The London Games 2012
Shure’s Axient wireless microphones faced their baptism of fire at the London games’ ceremonies with flying colours…
Shure’s new Axient wireless microphones were widely used by a galaxy of headline stars at the opening and closing ceremonies during London’s sporting summer. Working together with the UK-based company Delta Sound, Antipodean audio systems supply specialists Norwest favoured Shure from early on in the systems design process for the event. The games this summer marked Axient’s debut at an Olympic ceremony. Norwest’s Chief RF specialist Steve Caldwell heard about the new product line directly from connections at Shure’s engineering team in the USA, early in the product development process. Shortly thereafter, the Axient systems were written into the final draft of the London plan by Scott Willsallen, Audio Systems Designer London 2012 Ceremonies and Bobby Aitken, Sound Designer London 2012 Ceremonies. Scott Willsallen has a long track record of designing audio systems for ceremonies at headline sporting events including the 2004 Games in Athens, the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, and the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. Since 2006, these projects have all employed Shure radio microphones as the primary wireless systems, but for 2012, Willsallen had to ensure that the Axient systems, which only became commercially available in the spring, would be suitable for use during summer 2012, given the intense media focus on the games. “I wasn’t
“There wasn’t a hitch”– Audio Systems Designer Scott Willsallen

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One of the artist handhelds

going to take any chances,” explains Willsallen. “You don’t get a second chance at an event like this one. I really hammered Steve hard at the end of last year and in the spring of this year about whether Axient would be ready to do the job.” Steve Caldwell’s case for Axient centred on several features of the new systems, including audio quality, Frequency Diversity, and the unique rechargeable battery technology developed for Axient (also used in Shure’s ULX-D digital wireless systems and PSM900/1000). “We used Shure KSM9s as the default standard mics on these systems, swapping to Beta 58s if the artists involved were a little bit more… shall we say… noisy! An Axient transmitter with a KSM9 sounds like you’re using a wired KSM9; it just sounds great. That’s how it should be, of course, but it’s quite a step!” comments Willsallen. “With the Axient handhelds,” explains Caldwell, “we can transmit on two frequencies at the same time, should we need to. We receive on two or maybe three receiver locations for each performer, for redundancy purposes. That has added so much confidence to the business of using handheld wireless mics. The technology that’s gone into the rechargeables is also amazing. At any time, I can see over the network down to five-minute increments how much battery life is left in each of those transmitters; I’ve never been able to do that before. And the time readout on the rechargeable is so reliable. That saves money and time; we’re not constantly throwing away AA batteries that are only half-used.” “It’s sustainable too,” adds Willsallen. “This was flagged as the

The London Games opening ceremony

most sustainable Olympics yet, and to have something rechargeable that was that good was amazing. We would have used around 26,000 AA batteries otherwise, and they would have been no use to anybody afterwards, and gone straight into landfill.” Axient’s efficient use of the available RF spectrum was also a key factor. Axient can operate over 20 wireless channels in a standard UK 8MHz TV channel. “The greater frequency efficiency of Axient was a big help,” comments Caldwell. “The spectrum plan was done to be used with UHF-R wireless mics; inserting the Axient was like an added bonus, because you can fit so many more channels into the same spectrum.” Despite Scott Willsallen’s initial caution, the Axient systems passed their baptism of fire. “I have to be quite uncompromising about these things,” explains Willsallen. “If there had been the slightest hint of

problems with the Axient systems, I would have swapped back to using UHF-R systems. But there wasn’t a hitch.” “I wasn’t disappointed, either,” concludes Steve Caldwell. “Everything Axient was promised to do, it did. And most importantly, it sounded great!” Caldwell’s Shure contacts extend to key members of the US-based Axient engineering and design team – but all on-site support for Axient in London was handled by Shure Distribution UK (SDUK). Nonetheless, according to Willsallen and Caldwell, the Shure Distribution team provided admirable support. Caldwell: “Having the Applications team at SDUK on hand has been like having the Chicago engineering team hop on the tube and coming to see you every day.” “The Olympic Games on your doorstep is a once-in-alifetime opportunity” comments Tuomo Tolonen, Applications & Product Manager, SDUK. “Everyone involved with the production put on four amazing memorable shows and I am pleased we’ve been able to be a part of it and see Axient deliver on the largest show imaginable.” ■

RF control central with wireless workbench


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - November 2012

In Broadcast - November 2012
Contents
F1™ Indian GP Goes Live With Blackmagic
Sony Extends 4K Camera System Range
Allegro DVT Answers the Inbroadcast Questions
Broadcast India 2012
AES Show 2012 San Francisco
Sony & Espn Produce ‘X Games LA’ 2012 in 3D
AJA Ki Pro F1™ 2012 Game Promo First
Shure’s Axient Makes 2012 London Games Debut
Watching the Weather: Whipping Up a Storm
Digital Rapids Kayak Media Workflow Platform
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Intro
In Broadcast - November 2012 - In Broadcast - November 2012
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 2
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Contents
In Broadcast - November 2012 - F1™ Indian GP Goes Live With Blackmagic
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 5
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Sony Extends 4K Camera System Range
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 7
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 8
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 9
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 10
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 11
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 12
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 13
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 14
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 15
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 16
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 17
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 18
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 19
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 20
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 21
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 22
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 23
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Allegro DVT Answers the Inbroadcast Questions
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 25
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 26
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 27
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 28
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 29
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 30
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 31
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Broadcast India 2012
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 33
In Broadcast - November 2012 - AES Show 2012 San Francisco
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 35
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 36
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 37
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 38
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 39
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 40
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 41
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 42
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 43
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - 46
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Sony & Espn Produce ‘X Games LA’ 2012 in 3D
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 48
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 49
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 50
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 51
In Broadcast - November 2012 - AJA Ki Pro F1™ 2012 Game Promo First
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - 55
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - 58
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 59
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Shure’s Axient Makes 2012 London Games Debut
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 61
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - 65
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - 69
In Broadcast - November 2012 - Watching the Weather: Whipping Up a Storm
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - Digital Rapids Kayak Media Workflow Platform
In Broadcast - November 2012 - 78
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In Broadcast - November 2012 - S1
In Broadcast - November 2012 - S2
In Broadcast - November 2012 - S3
In Broadcast - November 2012 - S4
In Broadcast - November 2012 - S5
In Broadcast - November 2012 - S6
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