Professional Sound - June 2022 - Page 29

for monitoring . Each of them is sending 64 output channels for 32 stereo-paired in-ear monitors . And then we need to convert it to analog , but we also have an automatic swap between the main console and the backup console if something goes wrong . So , the two consoles , once again , are feeding two independent Prodigy . MPs . The two Prodigy . MPs are then converting the 32 plus 32 channels using an additional [ DirectOut ] Andiamo A / D converters . Prodigy . MPs are capable of understanding which is the console that is really running , detecting the pilot tones from channel 64 of each console . The Prodigy . MPs plus the Andiamo are converting the 64 channels to analog . 64 + 64 channels are then feeding a bunch of Radial switchers , which are triggered by the GP output of the Prodigy . MP , telling the Radial to pick the first batch or the second batch , depending upon the health status of the
main Prodigy . MPs , thus surviving a potential disaster and preventing interruption of the in-ear monitor feeds .
So , we have two consoles , two Prodigy . MPs , and two analog feeds — any of them can fail and immediately and automatically the signals are re-routed , granting uninterrupted services towards the in-ear monitors .
Now , we just missed the last four Prodigy . MPs , which are on the broadcast compound . RAI ’ s music mix is having three different Studer consoles for main , backup , and disaster recovery . All three consoles are getting feeds from the patch room in a redundant way , but only one console is onair at a time . Therefore , two Prodigy . MPs are getting the feeds from the three consoles in MADI and AES ( Why two ? Once again , because one device cannot be a single point of failure , so everything is doubled ) and decide which console goes “ on-air .” If the main is okay , the main console will be forwarded to the NEP OB van . In case of failure of main , the secondary will take over , if also the second one should fail , the third disaster recovery console will be “ route on air .”
Then , for extra security , RAI wanted to have other two mirrored devices for the , let ’ s say , cold redundancy . Two Prodigy . MPs are already taking care of the automatic redundancy switching . In case , during the rehearsal or during the day or even during the night , one of the two Prodigy . MPs should fail , the other one takes over , but in order to re-establish the proper level of redundancy , a mirrored unit , with exactly the same settings , is ready to be patched . Once again , the first level of redundancy is automatically guaranteed by the presence of two independent devices . And two cold devices are right there , already programmed and kept mirrored in terms of settings . So , even if you have a last-minute change , that change is forwarded to the cold redundant device , which is ready to be plugged in instead of the other if disasters should happen .
So , in the end , the most important thing in this story is that the entire design is not offering a single point of failure . All the sources are doubled , starting from the microphone preamplifiers , because there ’ s a passive splitter that is feeding to independent stacks of DiGiCo racks . Those DiGiCo racks are getting the feeds from the RF receivers for all the presenter and performer microphones . Then they are digitally split for monitor , front of house , broadcast , and OB vans , since the presenters are going straight to the OB van , which is doing the final mix with video , while the performers plus the playback tracks are going through the RAI music mix , which is then creating the stereo feeds and sending it to the OB van , which is then adding the ambient microphones to create the 5.1 mix , which is the final version of the broadcasted audio .
PS : Wow ! One of our mutual colleagues who connected us for this conversation said this is “ arguably the most complicated live broadcast music show ever staged and engineered .” Do you agree with that assessment ?
Giaroli : I agree . I ’ ve done a lot of gigantic projects in my career , including Olympic Games , but with this level of complexity in terms of the signal distribution and level of redundancy required , and especially the automatic redundancy for the first level , it is really a challenge . And thanks to the flexibility and the powerful features on-board of the Prodigy . MP , could be easily achieved . I couldn ’ t imagine how I could get to the same level by combining different products .