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Proms last night.



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 29th 15, 09:24 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Brian Gaff
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7,250
Default Proms last night.

BBC4. The history of Swing.
Seemed to me that it was quite a good effort audio wise considering the
acoustics of the RAH. However the dynamic of the music was much greater in
the second half than the first, but I still found the drums and cymbals wer
a bit down in the mix and compressed compared to the rest. Of course in such
a life situation it can get very difficult to balance things and they did
definitly have somebody twiddling knobs, as you could hear it in some
places. So maybe they do have some decent engineers?
Shame they cannot afford to use them on Radio 2's concerts instead of a
gain riding compressor..
Brian

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  #2  
Old August 29th 15, 11:57 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,326
Default Proms last night.

In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
BBC4. The history of Swing. Seemed to me that it was quite a good effort
audio wise considering the acoustics of the RAH. However the dynamic of
the music was much greater in the second half than the first, but I
still found the drums and cymbals wer a bit down in the mix and
compressed compared to the rest. Of course in such a life situation it
can get very difficult to balance things and they did definitly have
somebody twiddling knobs, as you could hear it in some places. So
maybe they do have some decent engineers? Shame they cannot afford to
use them on Radio 2's concerts instead of a gain riding compressor..
Brian


I didn't listen/watch all of the broadcast last night so can't comment at
this point. However I did record it and get the iplayer versions and do
plan to do comparision analysis of proms. So I've noted the above as
something to check at some point.

In general, BBC4 tend to pick up the R3 sound for Proms in my experience.
But I guess this is down to the TV producer, etc, so may vary. Again, plan
to check this for the 2015 Proms once they are ended.

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #3  
Old August 30th 15, 10:19 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Andy Furniss[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 130
Default Proms last night.

Jim Lesurf wrote:
In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
BBC4. The history of Swing. Seemed to me that it was quite a good
effort audio wise considering the acoustics of the RAH. However the
dynamic of the music was much greater in the second half than the
first, but I still found the drums and cymbals wer a bit down in
the mix and compressed compared to the rest. Of course in such a
life situation it can get very difficult to balance things and they
did definitly have somebody twiddling knobs, as you could hear it
in some places. So maybe they do have some decent engineers? Shame
they cannot afford to use them on Radio 2's concerts instead of a
gain riding compressor.. Brian


I didn't listen/watch all of the broadcast last night so can't
comment at this point. However I did record it and get the iplayer
versions and do plan to do comparision analysis of proms. So I've
noted the above as something to check at some point.

In general, BBC4 tend to pick up the R3 sound for Proms in my
experience. But I guess this is down to the TV producer, etc, so may
vary. Again, plan to check this for the 2015 Proms once they are
ended.


I've only got round to recording one - B9th. I got the R3 HD stream and
BBC4HD which was 5.1 - so not the R3 mix. I noticed the TV sound mixed
down was "more choir less instruments" than the R3 mix.

It's quite distant if you just listen to Ls/Rs - I wonder if it's really
like being at the back :-)
  #4  
Old August 31st 15, 12:59 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
_Unknown_Freelancer_
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 75
Default Proms last night.


"Andy Furniss" [email protected] wrote in message
o.uk...
Jim Lesurf wrote:
In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
BBC4. The history of Swing. Seemed to me that it was quite a good
effort audio wise considering the acoustics of the RAH. However the
dynamic of the music was much greater in the second half than the
first, but I still found the drums and cymbals wer a bit down in
the mix and compressed compared to the rest. Of course in such a
life situation it can get very difficult to balance things and they
did definitly have somebody twiddling knobs, as you could hear it
in some places. So maybe they do have some decent engineers? Shame
they cannot afford to use them on Radio 2's concerts instead of a
gain riding compressor.. Brian


I didn't listen/watch all of the broadcast last night so can't
comment at this point. However I did record it and get the iplayer
versions and do plan to do comparision analysis of proms. So I've
noted the above as something to check at some point.

In general, BBC4 tend to pick up the R3 sound for Proms in my
experience. But I guess this is down to the TV producer, etc, so may
vary. Again, plan to check this for the 2015 Proms once they are
ended.


I've only got round to recording one - B9th. I got the R3 HD stream and
BBC4HD which was 5.1 - so not the R3 mix. I noticed the TV sound mixed
down was "more choir less instruments" than the R3 mix.

It's quite distant if you just listen to Ls/Rs - I wonder if it's really
like being at the back :-)


"In the old days" The BBC used to mix all of this themselves.
There again, in days gone by they only had to produce a stereo mix and that
was it.
Maybe a bit of creative pan pot setting, but so long as all the levels were
balanced, and you could hear everything you were supposed to, everything was
good.


Then came Dolby 5.1, Auntie sold off her resources department and no-one had
a f.clue what to do with it.

the sound for 'big' concerts like this is now usually handled by a
specialist company, such as 'Red Tx'. (Although I do not know if they are
actually doing The Proms, I only named them as an example.)
Now there's these purists who want to hear everything in the correct place
on their 7.2 system, its got a heap load more complicated.
No longer the case of 'a mic here, a mic there', now everyone, every
instrument, and the audience have to be mic'ed up.
The number of individual microphones on a job like that is phenominal.
EACH of them has to be tested and eq'd.
EACH of them has to go on a sound desk somewhere so that it can go in to the
mix..... each of those mic's occupies one fader.
The sound desks required for such jobs are immense!

Then you have to group them all appropriately according to where abouts you
want them to physically appear in the mix.
And then again for the stereo fold down.

Then push it all through a surround processor for some electronic
cleverness.

And out the other end comes three AES streams, containing six discrete
surround channels.
And there's Lt Rt somewhere too.

It is _'usually'_ the case the facilities provider (NEP Visions in this
case, who supply all neccesary vision equipment) then takes those two mixes
and feeds them down the line to the broadcaster.
i.e. They have everything they need.

Whether the persons unknown in Tx know what on earth they're doing with the
eight audio streams or not is a different matter.
See also 'Jamaica Inn' for classic example. Some clot transmitted FL + FR on
the stereo pair, resulting in the nation hearing little dialogue!

Brian saying the mix was much better in the second half, this could have
been something so trivial as a sound supervisor forgetting to fade up a
whole group of mic's correctly, to an audio break out box going dead (with
up to eight mics plugged in to it), or a Dolby processor crashing!
The interval gave engineering the opportunity to fix it.
The 'fix' _could_ have occurred as a result of production/engineer sat at
home noticing it was crap, and texting/calling relevant persons.


  #5  
Old August 31st 15, 02:27 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Bill Taylor[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 36
Default Proms last night.

On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:59:35 +0100, "_Unknown_Freelancer_" /dev/null
wrote:


"Andy Furniss" [email protected] wrote in message
news:[email protected] co.uk...
Jim Lesurf wrote:
In article , Brian Gaff
wrote:
BBC4. The history of Swing. Seemed to me that it was quite a good
effort audio wise considering the acoustics of the RAH. However the
dynamic of the music was much greater in the second half than the
first, but I still found the drums and cymbals wer a bit down in
the mix and compressed compared to the rest. Of course in such a
life situation it can get very difficult to balance things and they
did definitly have somebody twiddling knobs, as you could hear it
in some places. So maybe they do have some decent engineers? Shame
they cannot afford to use them on Radio 2's concerts instead of a
gain riding compressor.. Brian

I didn't listen/watch all of the broadcast last night so can't
comment at this point. However I did record it and get the iplayer
versions and do plan to do comparision analysis of proms. So I've
noted the above as something to check at some point.

In general, BBC4 tend to pick up the R3 sound for Proms in my
experience. But I guess this is down to the TV producer, etc, so may
vary. Again, plan to check this for the 2015 Proms once they are
ended.


I've only got round to recording one - B9th. I got the R3 HD stream and
BBC4HD which was 5.1 - so not the R3 mix. I noticed the TV sound mixed
down was "more choir less instruments" than the R3 mix.

It's quite distant if you just listen to Ls/Rs - I wonder if it's really
like being at the back :-)


"In the old days" The BBC used to mix all of this themselves.
There again, in days gone by they only had to produce a stereo mix and that
was it.
Maybe a bit of creative pan pot setting, but so long as all the levels were
balanced, and you could hear everything you were supposed to, everything was
good.


Then came Dolby 5.1, Auntie sold off her resources department and no-one had
a f.clue what to do with it.

the sound for 'big' concerts like this is now usually handled by a
specialist company, such as 'Red Tx'. (Although I do not know if they are
actually doing The Proms, I only named them as an example.)


For an interesting article on how the proms are done you could look at
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov1...cles/proms.htm
  #6  
Old September 1st 15, 08:32 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,326
Default Proms last night.

In article ,
_Unknown_Freelancer_ /dev/null wrote:

[snip]

It is _'usually'_ the case the facilities provider (NEP Visions in this
case, who supply all neccesary vision equipment) then takes those two
mixes and feeds them down the line to the broadcaster. i.e. They have
everything they need.


I can't yet comment on this year. But from what I was told and measured at
the time, comparisons I did in previous years indicated that the norm
tended to be that BBC4 tended to follow the Radio3 output for stereo audio
in terms of levels, etc, whereas BBC1/2 'did their own thing'. Hence the
first/last nights on BBC1/2 tended to have a lot more level twiddling to
avoid 'quiet bits' than for R3/BBC4 Proms. Not that the last night is
famed for 'quiet bits' anyway! 8-]

I was also told that the surround was always actually 4.0, so no center or
LFE. However despite that, analysis of some Proms duly showed that LFE and
center did get used at times.

So I have the impression that in practice, things can vary and that those
in the hall don't always do what I'd been told! From my end of the chain,
hard to know who is responsible, or why.


Brian saying the mix was much better in the second half, this could have
been something so trivial as a sound supervisor forgetting to fade up a
whole group of mic's correctly, to an audio break out box going dead
(with up to eight mics plugged in to it), or a Dolby processor
crashing! The interval gave engineering the opportunity to fix it. The
'fix' _could_ have occurred as a result of production/engineer sat at
home noticing it was crap, and texting/calling relevant persons.


FWIW I'm not sure what Brian was using to decode the audio. It wouldn't
surprtise me to find that some TV RXs muck up handling aspects like gain
scaling in the audio streams or get the changes from strereo - surround
wrong when it comes to the result being always mixed up/down to whatever
audio setup they have. So it might be an RX problem.

Again, in past Proms I've noticed that the audio stream switches between
stereo and surround at times. For obvious reasons this can happen (more
than once!) during the start/end credits. But I've also found it at times
when they switch between announcers and music.

Our TV tends to drop a stitch when this happens, and when I capture and
analyse received streams such points show up. Something we've discussed
here in the past I think. Can also confuse some versions/settings of VLC,
etc. The audio can suddenly go AWOL!

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #7  
Old September 1st 15, 08:33 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4,326
Default Proms last night.

In article , Bill Taylor
wrote:

For an interesting article on how the proms are done you could look at
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov1...cles/proms.htm


Thanks for that! I really should buy SOS more often!

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #8  
Old September 1st 15, 11:55 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
_Unknown_Freelancer_
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 75
Default Proms last night.

"Jim Lesurf" wrote in message
...
In article ,
_Unknown_Freelancer_ /dev/null wrote:

[snip]

It is _'usually'_ the case the facilities provider (NEP Visions in this
case, who supply all neccesary vision equipment) then takes those two
mixes and feeds them down the line to the broadcaster. i.e. They have
everything they need.


I can't yet comment on this year. But from what I was told and measured at
the time, comparisons I did in previous years indicated that the norm
tended to be that BBC4 tended to follow the Radio3 output for stereo audio
in terms of levels, etc, whereas BBC1/2 'did their own thing'. Hence the
first/last nights on BBC1/2 tended to have a lot more level twiddling to
avoid 'quiet bits' than for R3/BBC4 Proms. Not that the last night is
famed for 'quiet bits' anyway! 8-]

I was also told that the surround was always actually 4.0, so no center or
LFE. However despite that, analysis of some Proms duly showed that LFE and
center did get used at times.

So I have the impression that in practice, things can vary and that those
in the hall don't always do what I'd been told! From my end of the chain,
hard to know who is responsible, or why.


Neither do I, but.... I guess 4.0 would solve the Jamaica Inn problem.

If you remove the thought of three speakers at the front (with all dialogue
having to go down the centre), then this enables you to work to a stereo
pair.
So in working in 4.0 you dont need to produce a stereo fold down mix, you
just send FL + FR as stereo. Thus preventing the J.I. f.up!
......a crappy solution!

FWIW, most sports OBs that DO provide 5.1 sound, also produce a stereo fold
down correctly.
.....once you've got the clever desk and the surround processors, its not
much harder to produce the stereo pair.
The sound supervisor just needs to monitor both though.




Brian saying the mix was much better in the second half, this could have
been something so trivial as a sound supervisor forgetting to fade up a
whole group of mic's correctly, to an audio break out box going dead
(with up to eight mics plugged in to it), or a Dolby processor
crashing! The interval gave engineering the opportunity to fix it. The
'fix' _could_ have occurred as a result of production/engineer sat at
home noticing it was crap, and texting/calling relevant persons.


FWIW I'm not sure what Brian was using to decode the audio. It wouldn't
surprtise me to find that some TV RXs muck up handling aspects like gain
scaling in the audio streams or get the changes from strereo - surround
wrong when it comes to the result being always mixed up/down to whatever
audio setup they have. So it might be an RX problem.


True..... "clever" tellys might bugger up everything we set out to do in the
first place.... IF TX get it right!



Again, in past Proms I've noticed that the audio stream switches between
stereo and surround at times. For obvious reasons this can happen (more
than once!) during the start/end credits. But I've also found it at times
when they switch between announcers and music.


Probably something rediculous like 'presentation' dont have the means to mix
5.1 (its still transported around as 5.1 even if it is 4.0), so for any v/o
inserts ("and now we move on to the next concerto.....") it may very well be
Tx switching from one audio stream (5.1) to stereo to add the v/o, and then
back to 5.1 for your aural pleasure.
All comes down to costs..... to mix 5.1 you need a better sound desk and a
better sound supervisor. Both of which cost more to hire!



Our TV tends to drop a stitch when this happens, and when I capture and
analyse received streams such points show up. Something we've discussed
here in the past I think. Can also confuse some versions/settings of VLC,
etc. The audio can suddenly go AWOL!

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics
http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html




  #9  
Old September 1st 15, 01:04 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,246
Default Proms last night.

On Tue, 1 Sep 2015 12:55:33 +0100, "_Unknown_Freelancer_" /dev/null
wrote:

So I have the impression that in practice, things can vary and that those
in the hall don't always do what I'd been told! From my end of the chain,
hard to know who is responsible, or why.


Neither do I, but.... I guess 4.0 would solve the Jamaica Inn problem.

If you remove the thought of three speakers at the front (with all dialogue
having to go down the centre), then this enables you to work to a stereo
pair.
So in working in 4.0 you dont need to produce a stereo fold down mix, you
just send FL + FR as stereo. Thus preventing the J.I. f.up!
.....a crappy solution!


My recollection of the Jamaica Inn broadcast is that chunks of it were
incomprehensible as a result of some of the leading actors mumbling
their lines. I don't think making the dialogue louder in relation to
ambient effects would have made it any clearer. In fact, some of the
scenes for which I had to switch on the subtitles were indoor scenes
with hardly any sound except dialogue. Some of the actors were clearer
than others too, so it definitely seems to have been down to them, not
the sound mix. Perhaps the director thought that mumbling would be
more realistic, but then the director would have known the script, so
may not have realised that there was a problem with intelligibility.

Rod.
  #10  
Old September 1st 15, 07:11 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Andy Furniss[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 130
Default Proms last night.

Bill Taylor wrote:
On Mon, 31 Aug 2015 13:59:35 +0100, "_Unknown_Freelancer_" /dev/null
wrote:


snip

thanks _U_F_ interesting.

For an interesting article on how the proms are done you could look at
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov1...cles/proms.htm


and thanks Bill for the link.


 




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