Central to Arena Televisions’ recent delivery of table tennis coverage during the Commonwealth Games 2014 console were Lawo digital mixing and routing systems.
Audio guarantee engineer David Harnett took charge of Arena’s OB14 mobile, with the featured Lawo console used as a hub to provide central routing for both of the show tables (Table Tennis 1 and Table Tennis 2) and one DSP core deployed as central router for both.
Specifically, there was a 56-fader Lawo mc266 MkII console serving Table 1, with a Studer Vista digital console hooked up as a submixer to cover the action on Table 2. Both tables were in use simultaneously and required their own audio feeds.
As the tables were adjacent, the same four microphones provided crown noise. Each table then used four further mics as ‘near’ and ‘far’ left-right pairs, with two electret condensers on the nets and a pair of near-far shotgun mics to pick up foot squeaks. In addition, there were mics on the umpire and coaches for each match, giving a total of 10 mics on each table.
“In preparation, we had to set all the signal paths in and out of both tables to go through the Lawo, because of the large amount of MADI and I/O required. We basically made the Vista a slave on a MADI stream, so all the brunt of the work was being done by the Lawo,” explains Harnett.
He emphasises the importance of the “large amount of I/O and lots of MADI streams” that were required to be available in order to support the use of the second console. “We also used different banks and layers to be able to have Table 2 at our fingertips if needed. It was also from this bank that we controlled all the mic amps being used for Table Two,” he says.
“We used EQ recall and save for quick commentator turnarounds. In addition, the Lawo’s multi-row metering was very useful, as we had a lot of outgoing lines and feeds and to be able to see these on a second metering row made life a lot easier for us. Lastly, the snapshot function was essential in getting the desk into different modes of mixing quickly for changes of operator.”