Calrec Apollo Hits The High Notes On “The Voice”

Mike Abbott, a veteran A1 mixer and owner of production company All Ears Inc., is using a Calrec Audio Apollo audio mixing console for the current season of “The Voice.” The NEP Denali mobile truck he now works in for the NBC Network’s popular live singing show features an Apollo console.

"The Voice" live shows run on an extremely tight schedule because they need a quick turnaround for the West coast and foreign distribution two hours after the broadcast. These elements are distributed around the world to six foreign outlets for playout the next day with local commercial and dialog integration.

“The replay function on the Calrec Apollo console allows me to go from a production mix to a remix of a post-show fix with a push of a button,” Abbott said. “This is especially important when faced with a West Coast re-feed or a quick music remix half an hour before a live broadcast.”

The NEP Denali mobile truck’s Apollo console has 144 or 192 dual faders on the control surface.

“The dual faders allow me to put primary sources and production mics on the ‘A’ faders and secondary sources, like audience reaction mics and EVS sources on the ‘B’ faders path,” Abbott said. “For some of the larger channel count shows, I map the musical inputs to lower fader banks and assign DCA control faders to the top layer for cross fading of the musical performances. I apply memory isolation to the production faders, which allows me to have snapshot recalls for multiple musical performances that may be required without effecting production sources.”

Fader swapping is also an important feature for Abbott, who likes to lay out input sources on the console, especially when starting a new show. This feature helps him re-map the faders assigned on the surface as the show develops. Throughout production, he moves and consolidates the top layer with only essential faders. Having the ability to assign GPI’s to AutoFaders, and AutoFaders to faders with the Apollo console provides Abbott with the essential control parameters, allowing for the programming of smooth transitions with the reliability and speed of operation required for live production.

“When I set up a mix, I attempt to provide an audio perspective from the fourth row for the viewers at home, which is what an audio soundtrack for live TV broadcasts should be all about,” he said, “and Calrec helps me accomplish that.”

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