In Broadcast - October 2020 - 72

72

www.inbroadcast.com | Vol: 10 - Issue 10 | October 2020

InMedia

Bubblebee Helps Formula E
Steer A Safe Course
The Danish company's microphone windshields and in ear monitors helped the sound crew
deliver safe, intelligible audio for the completion of its sixth season...

T

he sound recordists responsible
for delivering this year's ABB FIA
Formula E coverage to the BBC made
good use of Bubblebee Industries
technology to help circumnavigate
the impact of Covid 19, which had
threatened to scupper the sport's
2019/2020 season.
Like so many sports, Formula E
faced challenges because of the
pandemic. Normally the fully electric,
single seater cars race around major
city centres in front of thousands of
spectators but due to the pandemic
that was deemed unsafe. After months
of deliberation a solution was found
- namely to complete the season
by holding six races over nine days,
behind closed doors, at Berlin's iconic
Templehoff airport. Live TV coverage
was provided by host broadcasters
Aurora Media Worldwide and North
One TV, known as Formula E TV, who
supply the international and English
host broadcast feed to channels such
as the BBC, Eurosport and Mediaset.
Formula E's Sound Supervisor is
Paul Halstead, who heads a dedicated
crew of sound engineers, many of
whom have extensive live broadcast
experience and have been involved
in Formula E since its first season six
years ago.
"We work as a team but we have
very distinct roles," Paul Halstead
explains. "Scott Morton looks after
ENG crews and is involved with the live
presentation element, while I handle
mic allocation around the track and
mixing the international feed, along
with any additional race support
presentation."
Adapting To Changes
For the Berlin races, Scott and Paul
had to contend with the German
Government's
social
distancing
rules, which meant making changes
to how the audio was captured.
Handheld
microphones
shared
between interviewers and drivers
were obviously out, so they switched
to boom microphones and used
Bubblebee Industries' Spacer Bubble
to get the right balance between wind
protection and audio transparency.

"Switching to boom mics was a major
safety protocol and we used them for
more than 80% of our ENG and live
presentation audio," Scott Morton
explains. "In this new landscape,
presenters can't get close enough
to the drivers to share a handheld
mic, and our sound engineers are not
allowed to touch the talent so we can't
easily fit lavaliers. Our solution was
to give presenters their own stick mic
and use a boom mic to capture the
interviewee's responses."
Scott adds that the Spacer Bubble
system proved a real winner during the
event because it can be easily adapted
to suit the weather and ambient noise
levels. This three piece windshield
solution for shotgun microphones is
specifically designed for changing
conditions and features a noise-free
mesh base with coarse foam inside
and a specially designed rubber
mount that can be left on the boom or
camera mic. The foam and mesh are
ideal for indoor recording, while short
and long haired fur Spacer Covers are
available for outdoor recording and
can be quickly fitted to provide wind
protection in all kinds of weather.
"The modular nature of the Spacer
Bubble system was perfect
for us because we could get
variations in the shielding,"
Scott Morton says. "Other
systems are full on fur or
nothing. We like the flexibility
this system gives us because
it means we are able to
adapt to changing weather
conditions
much
more
quickly. We used them with

various Røde and Sennheiser shotgun
microphones and got excellent results.
As so much of the audio for the Berlin
event was captured on boom mics,
Bubblebee Spacers were very much
in evidence - especially as we didn't
worry too much about booms being
in shot because there was so little we
could do about it."
Another innovation adopted by the
Formula E sound team in Berlin was
Bubblebee's Sidekick In-Ear Monitor.
This virtually invisible earpiece became
a vital piece of the communication
jigsaw because it allowed the sound
crew, presenters and talent out on the
track to communicate with the sound
mixers back in the studio.
"The earpieces were great at
blocking out noise and I was able
to communicate very easily with
everyone out on the track," Paul
Halstead says. "Formula E is not as
noisy as Formula One, which I have
also worked on, but you still require a
discrete solution where the presenters
can hear the gallery. You can get away
with earpieces instead of headphones
for comms - and that makes a big
difference to how the presenters look
on the show."

In-Ear Monitoring
Designed to deliver comfort and
intelligibility, Bubblebee's Sidekick In
Ear Monitor features the world's first
micro driver solution where the driver
itself fits invisibly in the ear canal.
Because it is so small and lightweight,
it makes a great alternative to earwigs
and can be comfortably worn for long
periods of time.
Scott adds: "Our presenters (Nicki
Shields and Vernon Kay) were very
happy with the Sidekicks and were able
to wear them for long stretches of time
because they were so comfortable.
From an aesthetic point of view it
looked better on camera because
you couldn't see the presenters were
wearing an earpiece at all. There was
one occasion where I gave Nicki a
telling off for not having her earpiece
in when we were about to go on air,
only to have to issue a grovelling
apology when she pointed out that she
did have it in - I just couldn't see it."
The presenters fitted and cleaned
their own earpieces, which they
found very easy. This was especially
important because Covid restrictions
meant they had to be responsible for
their own kit.
Formula E racing will hopefully
be returning in 2021 with the first
event currently scheduled to take
place in Chile in January. Bubblebee
windshield and in ear products will be
on equipment list as both Scott Morten
and Paul Halstead are happy with their
performance this year.


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In Broadcast - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of In Broadcast - October 2020

Contents
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Intro
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Cover1
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Cover2
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Contents
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 4
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 5
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 6
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 7
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 8
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 9
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 10
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 11
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 12
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 13
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 14
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 15
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 16
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 17
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 18
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 19
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 20
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 21
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 22
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 23
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 24
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 25
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 26
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 27
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 28
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 29
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 30
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 31
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 32
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 33
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 34
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 35
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 36
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 37
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 38
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 39
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 40
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 41
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 42
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 43
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 44
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 45
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 46
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 47
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 48
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 49
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 50
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 51
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 52
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 53
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 54
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 55
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 56
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 57
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 58
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 59
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 60
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 61
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 62
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 63
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 64
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 65
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 66
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 67
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 68
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 69
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 70
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 71
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 72
In Broadcast - October 2020 - 73
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Cover3
In Broadcast - October 2020 - Cover4
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