Professional Sound - February 2018 - Page 37

“Basically, they used only eight speakers to do almost half of the bowl, and the sound was perfect.” Tougas and the One Wave team also had to meet some stipulations from the IFG for the international production team, including: three headset mics for local commentators and an- nouncements; two wireless hand-held mics for animation and floor interviews; embedded audio from video playback; and two audio playback channels for music and the anthems. It was then up to him and One Wave to figure out the routing plan. “So, having been there and bought the T-shirt, here’s what I put on a list, all of which was provided and all of which was used at some point,” Tougas begins. On that list were: three headset mics and individual wired IEM monitor mixes; six wireless handheld mics with two corresponding wireless IEM mixes; three embedded stereo feeds from the video playback and two stereo backups; four music playback inputs for the anthems and audience music from a pair of computers and Ra- dial USB direct boxes (all managed by a designated operator); four more audio lines for floor routine music from the 12-channel con- sole; four stage monitors on a special podium; a pair of feeds for archive recordings and a single feed for the official IFG recording; two media feeds; two stereo stem buses for CBC’s live TV coverage; a wireless IEM mix for the camera operator handling interviews on the floor; and a backstage reference mix. “And I’m not even talking about the coms system,” Tougas adds, before chuckling: “Glad that wasn’t on my plate!” He and his fellow operators were working from about 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, non-stop. Outside of the various athletic events, there was also pre-show entertainment from several artists and groups, including some Cirque du Soleil theatrics – and those came with their own sets of rehearsals. Managing so many inputs – and the people and systems attached to them – was no small feat. Tougas says one of the big challenges was simply following the show caller's lead, who worked without a script, and generally just being aware of the spe- cifics of what had to be heard and where. For example, the ambiance music wasn’t to be heard on the floor, as it would be a nuisance to the athletes. Then, when it came to music playback for the various routines, Tougas says things were “all over the place” in terms of quality, level, and EQ, meaning he and the team had to adapt quickly. Then there was the embedded audio in the video playback. “Anyone who operates sound knows what that’s like…” he says with a smirk. In the end, despite being a busy several weeks from design to implementation to operation, the event did offer some new chal- lenges for an industry veteran, and Tougas says he’s pleased with the way everything turned out. “A lot of people were nervous when we presented our plan to only use the eight speakers and said it’d be perfect; they were looking at me like I was out of my mind,” Tessier recalls with a chuckle – and his team delivered. “I was very impressed.” So, too, was writer Philippe Cantin of La Presse, who, in his cov- erage of the event, alluded to the audio quality and “state-of-the-art” system that was used instead of the venue’s archaic loudspeakers. “We did very well,” Tessier says, looking back on the event. “Everybody was happy and the commentary was awesome. We brought the right people and companies together to get the proj- ect done, and done properly. We got to do what we always want to do – go to work with a smile, and come back from the job with that smile.” And by all accounts, the 50,000-plus ticketholders that attend- ed the event over the course of its seven-day run did the same. Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 37