Audio mixing is done at each venue, feeding a ready-to-air NBC production to the IBC. It was the responsibility of the audio mixers at the IBC to ensure that loudness was matched from venue to venue and program to interstitial or pre-recorded event. In order to achieve the desired results, the mixers relied on the Linear Acoustic AERO.qc Audio Quality Controller. Installed in 24 areas including venues, mixing suites, master control, and transmission, the AERO.qc allows the mixers to know current loudness, average loudness and loudness over the course of the program.
The AERO.qc utilizes a multicolored bar graph display that shows when the mixer is within a comfortable range (green), below range (blue) or above range (red). This feature allowed NBC’s mixers to glance up quickly during a busy broadcast and immediately know the current levels of the mix. The AERO.qc also includes a running colored graph on the bottom of the display that provides an adjustable history of up to 20 minutes of program loudness. This helped mixers and transmission engineers immediately see the overall loudness of the program and if necessary, adjust accordingly.
“Linear Acoustic was pleased to be able to provide its AERO.qc for NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver Winter Games,” says Carroll. “The AERO.qc was designed based on feedback from those who used our products during the Beijing Olympic Games broadcast. NBC’s broadcast of the Vancouver Winter Games was a great proving ground for those new capabilities.”
“With the additional loudness information provided by the AERO.qc, NBC Olympics is adding more dynamics to its programs while keeping within the comfort range set by NBC,” explains Dixon. “Instead of using final processing to maintain consistency between sporting events, each mixer is able to more accurately monitor their end product and control volume, helping to maintain the creative process while at the same time offering viewers exciting and compelling coverage.”