What do you do when you have an event to mix overseas but you can’t get there? With Covid travel restrictions limiting movement between locations, sound engineer Rich Bryant had to think not just outside the box, but also outside his country, when it came to mixing a broadcast feed from his studio in Sydney, Australia - a distance of 2,258km, and two timezones, from the venue.
Held every March, the annual Passionate Women’s Conference is New Zealand’s largest event for Christian women. The convention attracts thousands of attendees, plus international guest speakers, to the prestigious Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington for a mixed programme of music, worship and spoken word presentations.
“Normally I’d travel to Wellington to mix the broadcast, but that was not an option this year due to the quarantine requirements” explains Rich. “After talking to Andrew Crawford at Australian A&H distributor TAG about the network control capabilities of dLive, plus the minimal requirements for additional equipment and infrastructure, we proceeded down that route.”
With onsite support in Wellington provided by local hire company Lampros Sound, a dLive DM64 MixRack was deployed at the venue for Rich to control remotely from his Sydney studio. The DM64 was fitted with a Dante card for interfacing with the onsite AV network, plus a Waves card for virtual soundcheck and additional output processing.
The DM64 was connected to a dLive S7000 control surface in Sydney via a secure VPN connection, managed by Riverbed’s SD-WAN service, using the integrated network ports on both units. Luke Sheaves of Riverbed was on hand to provide IT and network support in Sydney, with Alistair Lambie of Lampros Sound monitoring the connection on the New Zealand end.
Audio and video monitoring of the broadcast feed in Sydney was provided via an SRT stream to Rich’s iPad, arriving with less than 150ms of latency, ensuring he could react quickly to the performances taking place across the Tasman Sea. Additionally, Rich utilised Audiomovers software, fed by the Waves card in the DM64, to monitor the Solo/PAFL bus with a manageable latency of 200ms. The Intercom Unity app, running on a second iPad, was used to handle comms between Rich and the technical team in the venue.
It wasn’t just the broadcast sound that relied on dLive. Back in the venue, another DM64 - configured for multi-surface operation - was used to handle both FOH and MON duties, with a pair of S7000 control surfaces deployed for engineers Andrew Forde (MON) and Simon Faisandier (FOH). Two DX168 expanders were added to feed performer IEMs and provide additional AV I/O, with Waves and Dante cards utilised for audio transport and additional processing.
“What started as an ambitious endeavour ended as a resounding success” reflects Rich. “It was a truly ground-breaking weekend, and we couldn’t have done it without the dLive, and the support provided by TAG, Lampros Sound and Riverbed”.
“The conference livestream was a total success, with the client and Rich both very happy with the results” adds Andrew Crawford, Product Specialist at TAG. “It was great to see the dLive platform deliver these results with minimal infrastructure and readily available products. It was a pretty amazing experience to sit here in Sydney and watch Rich mix a conference that I knew was running live in New Zealand, over 2,000km away.”