May 2, 2011
The farewell tour of the Norwegian pop group a-ha turned into a real triumph for the band led by vocalist Morten Harket. All concerts on the tour, which ran from March to December 2010, were sold out. The climax of the tour, four shows at the beginning of December in Oslo's Spectrum, was an emotional one.
To capture for posterity what was a significant event in the history of pop, audiovisual recordings of the shows were made in HD quality, the highlights of which are scheduled to appear on DVD before the year is out. Dutch broadcasting specialist Cinevideogroup was responsible for the production. A successful broadcasting service provider worldwide, Cinevideogroup deployed the largest of its fleet of 15 OB trucks for the occasion: the OB 14 (HD). This rolling high-tech control room is served by some 30 cameras with all processing in high definition digital quality. In fact, you won't find any systems that do not represent the state of the art inside the 16.5-metre outside broadcast vehicle.
The nerve centre of the intercom system is a 144 x 144 Advanced Digital Audio Matrix (ADAM) from RTS/TELEX, linked to thirty-one keypanels. Six RTS 2W/4W interfaces, as well as fifteen beltpacks from the same source, also feature in the inventory of this flagship of the celebrated Dutch service provider's OB fleet.
Cinevideogroup has long put its faith in systems from RTS/TELEX. Most of its OB vans and studios are equipped with matrices and keypanels from RTS/TELEX. The ADAM matrix alone is present in five of Cinevideogroup's OB trucks, as well as four of its studios; Zeus matrices can be found in three studios and one truck; and the Cronus matrix, too, is represented in two of the OB trucks. "RTS/TELEX systems have long been in widespread use, not only in this company but in our sister firms as well," explains Bolke Burnaby Lautier, Cinevideogroup's Operations Manager. "One of the great advantages of this is that it means we can link up several trucks together without any complications, thereby significantly expanding the overall capacity." Among its other advantages, Lautier cited the high quality and enormous reliability of RTS/TELEX equipment as well as the fact that it represents, in his view, "very good value for money".
In the case of music productions like the a-ha concerts, further criteria play a role. "During a concert, we have to be certain that all key personnel can communicate with one another," says Bolke Burnaby Lautier. "Here volume is an important factor, so the balance between the musical director, assistants and sound engineer is of decisive importance. Especially during loud rock concerts, you need quite a high volume level to preserve the integrity of communications."
Another of the major advantages offered by RTS/TELEX systems is what Burnaby Lautier describes as their "uncomplicated handling", for not only customers but also the sound engineers have to be able to get the hang of the system swiftly. Paradoxically, in the view of the Dutch broadcasting expert, it is not necessarily the case that the larger the system the better the performance. To the contrary, in fact, since many large systems are too complicated. "RTS/TELEX systems, on the other hand, are uncomplicated and they have an intuitive layout, making them easy for crews to operate. For this a-ha production they were absolutely perfect."
And were his customers of the same opinion, we wondered? "Well," he replied. "To be honest, they never say anything. But no feedback is good feedback, as we see it. An intercom system is a working tool upon which you have to be able to rely one hundred per cent – and RTS/TELEX systems have demonstrated to us their reliability time and time again."
Cinevideogroup – a United Broadcast Facilities company, part of Euro Media Group – is the number one specialist in outside broadcasting. Cinevideogroup has been supplying European producers and broadcasters with high-tech equipment and services since 1982. The company's portfolio includes inter alia
sports and musical productions as well as TV shows and series.
Extract from the equipment list of the Cinevideogroup fleet:
1x ADAM 144x144
4x Cronus 32x32
5x ADAM CS 64x64
4x ZEUS 24x24
1x ZEUS III LE
C. 225 keypanels including KP-12, KP-32, KP 32 CLD, KP-612, DKP 16 CLD, DKP-8, DKP-12, SSA-424