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36 l March 2012


www.prosoundnewseurope.com


broadcastnews ITALY Sanremo surround sound first Italy’s longest-running live TV show broadcast in 5.1 audio for the first time this year, writes Mike Clark


THE SANREMO song contest (Sanremo Festival of Italian Songs to give it its official name) is Italian television’s longest-running live TV show and one of the most viewed. For its 62nd edition, the prime-time show, staged in the town’s Ariston theatre for five nights, was transmitted nationwide in 5.1 audio. RAI veteran Mauro Severoni,


in charge of co-ordinating the audio set-up at the show (in-theatre and broadcast sound), was rightly proud of the fact that this technical first for such an important event was accomplished by an all-RAI team. He says: “Test 5.1 sat


transmissions on Ballando con le Stelle, the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing, enabled our engineers to get accustomed to working with the format, before the challenge of using a new modus operandi on such an important show.” The audio of the contestants,


foreign guests (including Brian May, The Cranberries, Al Jarreau, Patti Smith and Macy Gray), plus the 60-piece Sanremo Festival orchestra was mixed on a pair of Studer consoles: a Vista 8 and a 5. Two more Vista 8 were used for stage monitoring and music sound reinforcement with a Soundcraft Vi6 for speech reinforcement at


the venue. The orchestra and vocal mics were converted by the Studer stage boxes, then fed via MADI optic protocol to a Stagetech Nexus Star matrix, to which all the in-theatre desks and the HD OB van’s Aurus console (mixing speech mics) were connected. As far as the surround aspects


were concerned, Severoni adds: “To recreate the Ariston’s environment for viewers with home theatre systems, we flew a DPA 5100 compact mobile surround mic above the centre of the stall seats for the acquisition of 5.1 sound, and positioned a pair of Sennheiser


MKH 416 shotgun ambient microphones in the circle to enable the soundscape to match video coverage.” For the 5.1 mix, Roberto Proli and Edoardo Scognamiglio manned a DiGiCo SD10 B in a dedicated RAI audio van, under the supervision of Emanuele Moscardi. As well as the six discrete outputs from the DPA surround mic and signals from the Sennheisers, the desk received a series of stereo feeds from the music and playout control set-ups, the latter with pre-recorded jingles, RVM, etc, which were ‘spatialised’ with a SoundField UPM-1 stereo-to-


5.1 upmix processor. This enabled the channels to be positioned as required, along with a mono feed from the speech mics. A separate audio feed arrived


from the RAI’s graphics team at the show, who had already recorded some of the graphic inserts with 5.1 audio. Severoni concludes: “The six discrete channels in AES/EBU – L/R, C/Lfe, Ls/Rs – were encoded in Dolby E and transmitted, embedded in the high- definition video signal along with the stereo signal, via a sat station in Sanremo to Rome,


where Rai Way converted it to Dolby Digital for playout as a second language to viewers’ homes via HD terrestrial digital channel 501.” After the event, Severoni,


expressing his satisfaction with the result achieved, says, “As well as mixing 5.1 sound again on the new edition of Ballando con le Stelle, we look forward to applying the valuable experience gained on such a challenging live project to new productions, enabling our team to increase its knowledge of what is a whole new world sound-wise!” www.digico.org www.harman.com


The Sanremo Festival of Italian Songs – now in 5.1


Photo : Studio De Bon – Sanremo


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