For Cleanfeed to remain relevant, competitive and useful, we regularly attend outside events. The event I cover below is one undertaken for a hospital station, Radio Wey (http://www.radiowey.org).
The Walton on Thames Festival of Light is a well attended Christmas event which celebrates Christmas; includes a festive Christmas market, the turning on of lights and most importantly, the light parade itself.
Radio Wey were proud to present this event, and even more so as the event was attended by well over 5000 people.
Here were the requirements:
- Supporting the event acts, the music and the PA.
- Presenting a live show from the event whilst the parade was going on – with a link back to the studio (that’s where Cleanfeed comes in).
Equipment for events
Picking equipment for outside events can seem tricky and complex, but in reality it’s dead simple – providing you plan ahead…
- If you’re doing a live feed of an event it’s always a good idea to take a sub-mix of the main PA system – that way you can fade in/out on the main ‘goings on’ of the PA itself, as well as your presenters in the field.
- Make sure your presenters are well equipped. Judge the amount of space you have where you have to set up and decide the right equipment for the job. In our case, we opted to use wireless microphones and a wireless monitor system for the 4x presenters on the day.
- Decide if you have the necessary equipment to cover what you want to do. You may decide it’s easier to hire some of the equipment required (to make your life easier) – that’s what we decided to do.
The above illustrates the thought process of the equipment required and how items would (roughly) be connected up.
In the case of this event, we had:
- A main PA system with music playout capability and microphones for the event host as well as further microphones for singers who took to the stage.
- A sub-mix of the live event, including all necessary hardware for presenters to take part. And most importantly, a computer to use Cleanfeed.
- A wireless link to another PA system, where more PA coverage was needed.
Above is an example of some of the hired wireless equipment to link the two PA systems together.
The Remote Event
The cover picture of this article illustrates Cleanfeed in action, once everything was connected up.
The final mix ‘out’ from the mixer was sent to the input of our very simple Cleanfeed setup:
- MacBook Pro with Chrome
- M-Audio M-Track II interface
The output from Cleanfeed was sent back out the M-Track interface back to the mixer for monitoring use only.
All necessary mix-minus [aux’s] were set up to ensure presenters didn’t hear anything they ought not to.
This meant that an aux send was set up to include everything except anything the presenter didn’t’ want to hear (normally not to include themselves).
Once we were happy that everything had been set up, we established a connection with the studio well in advance to the live stream going out.
We used Cleanfeed over a 4G connection, and we sent a mono feed (as we were only voice; no stereo music) back to the studio.
Once we were all connected up, it was then a matter of waiting to ‘go live’!
I think it’s fair to conclude that a lot of thought goes into planning and executing an outside event, especially one which yields a big audience.
If you ensure your plan works, then everything on the day should run smoothly!
In our case, it did – and was a big hit with everyone that came.