STAGETEC: CRESCENDO triple split
The TV production service provider tpc based in Zurich, Switzerland, is one of the most comprehensive users of STAGETEC digital audio technology – and one of the most versatile. Over the years, many product improvements have resulted from suggestions made by tpc. This is also true for the latest equipment order from STAGETEC, the first digital CRESCENDO mixing console for tpc, which gained additional flexibility for Swiss use.
The console commissioned in Zurich in late May, consists of a main mixing desk with 24 fader strips. When necessary, these may be supplemented by one or two additional fader strip units with 8 faders each, building a console with a total of 40 faders. Another possible combination is the use of one of the small fader units as a remote mixer. This is commonly required for tv coverage of ski or bicycle races, which are popular in Switzerland, and which always require sub-mixes of the atmos microphones along the route.
Splitting a CRESCENDO console into a main mixer and a remote unit is not a new idea. However, the tpc execution is characterised by its extraordinary flexibility.
Peter Flückiger, who is responsible for tpc’s outside broadcast technology explains his master plan: “Our three-part CRESCENDO can be operated in all possible combinations. For example, we can use one of the 8-fader units almost as a separate mixer via a fibre-optic connection over almost any distance. Or we could combine both small units into a 16-fader mixer and once again we can use it remote from the main console. The variation with 8 fader strips in one place plus 32 fader strips in another is also possible. This flexibility allows us to cope with the many differing situations we encounter in our outside broadcasts.”
Another important feature is the type of fibre-optic connection. tpc is a long-term user of fibre optic connections and relies exclusively on single-mode cables, while the standard CRESCENDO comes with a multi-mode connection between the console unit and processor board. In a permanent installation this would not be an issue – but in arduous OB applications a single missing multi-mode cable would have the potential to stop the whole production if it failed or was cut.
STAGETEC reacted immediately and developed an optional connection for the CRESCENDO, based on replaceable SFP modules. The tpc console was shipped with a single-mode SFP module which can be changed easily in the future if ever tpc decides to use multi-mode cabling. These SFP modules are already in use in many other STAGETEC products as standard connections.
Two additional CRESCENDOs for the new tpc playout control rooms will go in operation at the end of the year, this time as normal multi-mode versions. With a total of 20 consoles (2 AURATUS', 3 CRESCENDOs, 7 AURUS', 8 CANTUS'), tpc, after the Italian RAI, is the second largest user of STAGETEC digital equipment.
The technology and production center switzerland ag, tpc for short, is a business of Swiss SRG SSR. tpc is responsible for the production of and production equipment for tv, radio and multi-media content for SRF (Swiss Radio and Television) and delivers complete broadcast solutions for its customers.