The Network Center, will ultimately house 7 production studios up to 800 sq.m in area which will create up to 90% of the channel's broadcast output. The first phase is already completed, providing two studios and control rooms, and the first departments, including news, have moved into the new building.
With an audio budget of US$ 5 million, the complex's project leader Antonio Leduna set out a specification that compares with American broadcasters such as NBC, CBS and CNN.
One of the main tasks was to choose a type of audio mixing console that would suit the different production control requirements. "All our engineers were asking for more inputs, and more capacity," recalls Leduna. "We compared a lot of desks at the NAB show, in all price brackets, but we kept coming back to the Soundcraft B800, which provided a comprehensive package of features".
A 56 channel Soundcraft B800 has been installed in the first production control room to be completed. The studio will handle audio production for all kinds of programming; drama, light entertainment and music, and talk shows.
"The Soundcraft console had the foldback capability we needed to interface it with the telephone hybrid system that is used on some of our shows. There are direct outputs or clean feeds from every input channel, and switched mic gain. Every console is built to order, so we could specify exactly what we wanted from the input and output spec through to the metering, including asking them to fit our desks with Penny & Giles faders".
Leduna's team has worked to a similar specification for the audio in the News Studio Control Room, basing it around a 32-channel Soundcraft B400 console. "It makes sense for us to standardise on one type of console, and the B400 is just a smaller relative of the B800. It is quicker to train all our engineers on one desk layout, and of course it is better for the spare parts inventory.
"The B400 is a perfect fit for our news presentation; it has the right features such as stereo cleanfeed facilities for the live feeds. And it gives us the same kind of quality as the B800 in a much smaller footprint for a lower cost". Another B400 is already on order for the next production control room.