New World Symphony’s mission is simple: share the beauty of classical music as widely as possible.
With that in mind, the Miami-based orchestral academy launched its WALLCAST series more than 10 years ago and will celebrate its 100th Wallcast on Oct. 12.
Each Wallcast production translates live concert hall performances into simulcasts viewed by thousands of people in an outdoor event space, SoundScape Park. To elevate the audience experience, NWS is updating its WALLCAST production to 4K HDR this summer and leaning on 12G-SDI technology from AJA.
“We knew that we had to make the symphony experience more dynamic and interactive or else we’d become ‘outdated,’” said Dan Slentz, chief video engineer for NWS. “Having 4K WALLCASTs on top of the concert hall experience will allow us to better reach both traditional and modern patrons and donors.”
Each 4K HDR simulcast will be projected via three Christie 35,000 lumen 4K projectors as a 100×60 foot video. For video capture, NWS will tap more than a dozen cameras and a range of mini-cameras located throughout the concert hall and on-stage – most on robotic heads, but a handful manually operated or on a jib.
New World Symphony Transforms Wallcast Shows
An AJA 12GM Mini-Converter attached to each camera will transform signals to single-link fiber 12G-SDI signals for the production control room. With the cameras wired via single-mode fiber, AJA FiDOs in the control room will receive the 12G-SDI signals.
Six channels will be recorded to servers, with four additional recording channels powered by AJA’s Ki Pro Ultra Plus for ISO and backup records.
New World Symphony chose 12G-SDI in part because of compatibility with its existing HD cable system and for 12G-SDI and HD-SDI interconnectivity with simplified cabling.
Because they are live productions, each WALLCAST leaves no room for error, so preparations for each performance begin a week ahead of the concerts.
NWS reviews the score with the conductor to determine final musician counts and precise musical arrangement for each piece, and stage diagrams are compiled to determine all shots. A video story board is then created, which includes everything from shot number to framing and duration. That information is then refined and turned into a shooting script.
Once complete, the video team is given a copy; they are able to frame each shot in NWS’ custom Telemetrics robotic camera system during rehearsal and make corrections on the fly. By the time a WALLCAST is complete, a team of ten video people have spent upwards of 300 hours to deliver 800-900 shots, excluding time spent prior to the show creating graphics and interstitial videos.
In addition to live concert and WALLCAST productions, NWS also uses its broadcast equipment to put on educational events and create educational content for children, which often involves recording, editing and packaging footage.
The NWS video production team also travels abroad to record performances around the world producing 4K content for concerts.
Slentz sees AJA KONA 5 and Io 4K Plus as viable audio and video I/O solutions to streamline editorial for this type of programming, and with its continued move to HDR, AJA’s FS-HDR frame synchronizer/HDR and WCG converter is on his radar.