NFL Beefs Up Its Sound With New Consoles for NFL Films, NFL Network

Audio is where the action is lately at National Football League media subsidiaries NFL Films and NFL Network, with new consoles being installed at both NFL Films’ Mount Laurel, NJ, headquarters and NFL Network’s Culver City, CA, studios.

NFL Films recently upgraded is shooting stage in Mount Laurel for HD production, and included in that was a new SSL C100 HDS digital broadcast console. Programs done in the facility include Inside the NFL on Showtime, NFL Matchup on ESPN, and Playbook and First on the Field on NFL Network. The C100 was chosen to make the change from analog to digital audio workflow.

“Our large-format consoles have always been analog SSL, so we were very happy to continue our long and positive relationship into the digital realm,” says Rich Markowitz, director of audio engineering for NFL Films, citing ease-of-use features, such as the immediate availability of channel information concerning EQ, dynamics, and routing and the fact that each channel has its own settable delay, enabling different video format source material to always maintain sync.

In a related move, NFL Films took delivery of its seventh Fairlight EVO desk in late June, with installation in the studio’s Mix D large-format mixing room expected this month. The six-bay EVO is the largest ever manufactured, according to Fairlight. It will be used at NFL Films for multichannel mixes for broadcast shows and for mixing for DVD and other home-video content.

All 16 of NFL Films’ audio suites at the Mount Laurel facility currently use a combination of Fairlight Xynergi and EVO consoles. “We were already using Xynergi controllers and knew the software and automation well, so adding the EVO control surfaces was a very straightforward process operationally,” explains Vince Caputo, supervising sound mixer at NFL Films. “Our audio infrastructure and workflow are built around the Fairlight.”

Meanwhile, at NFL Network in Culver City, a facility expansion will see several new Wheatstone D-32 and D-8 consoles installed in coming months. They will join three existing D-5.1/D-5.2 consoles, will operate on a Wheatstone TDM routing system, and will be linked to the existing facility via MADI.

NFL Films produces commercials, television programs, and feature films for the NFL. It is a key supplier of NFL Network’s programming, with more than 4,000 hours of footage available in its library.

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