Riedel Supports Comms, Audio for Red Bull’s Soapbox Derby
When Red Bull’s outrageous version of a soapbox derby — La Course Red Bull Boîte à Savon 2015 — hit the streets of Montreal, a uniquely compact Rec4Box OB Factory van equipped with Riedel Communications gear provided master control capabilities supporting live production and streaming of the event.
As a wild array of human-powered gravity racers made their way down the slopes of Square Victoria, Riedel’s fiber-based RockNet real-time audio network and Artist digital matrix intercom system gave the event producers, Ocean Watch Productions and Red Bull Media House, an efficient, flexible solution for audio transport and communications.
“The Rec4Box unit we used on the Montreal soapbox derby was a 26-foot truck that did the work of a 53-footer, and that’s valuable for live production in tight urban environments,” said Sumesh Thakur, president of OceanWatch Productions during the event and now part of Red Bull Media House. “The Riedel gear within the truck provided great audio quality, as well as the ease of use and versatility we required to bring off a successful event.”
The Rec4Box OB unit boasts modular and highly adaptable details, outstanding workstation ergonomics, and modish interior design, as well as fiber optic connectivity that enables deployment and preparation for a four- or five-camera production in less than two hours. Within the Rec4Box OB unit, the fiber-based network backbone provided by Riedel’s Artist system serves as a decentralized infrastructure for live audio and intercom. Easy to set up and operate, the Riedel system facilitated fast, flexible configuration for the Red Bull event. It also helped to minimize the complexity of wiring by letting crews mix all on-site communications and audio signals on one system. During production of the soapbox derby, users were able to respond quickly to virtually any communications demand with the press of a button.
“For our customers, Riedel’s Artist and RockNet systems enable quick handling of various production needs while ensuring outstanding audio quality,” said Joel Fortin, senior vice president of operations at Rec4Box OB Factory. “These powerful systems also provide the reliability that is essential in the fast-paced mobile production environment — even for madcap races such as La Course Red Bull Boîte à Savon 2015.”
“The efficiency and versatility of our RockNet and Artist systems have made them a staple in Rec4Box OB vans,” said Joyce Bente, President and CEO of Riedel North America. “Like the vans themselves, Riedel solutions are designed to accommodate the creative demands of production teams, allowing them to achieve more while working within tight budgets and timelines. Production of the soapbox derby took full advantage of these systems to showcase competitors’ imaginative soapbox designs, as well as their panache — and sometimes speed — in attempting to cross the finish line.”
The winner of the Sept. 6 race in Montreal was team De Lorean, which raced a soapbox inspired by the movie “Back to the Future.”
Riedel Solutions Ensure Flexible Routing and Communications Across Anthem of the Seas
Providing versatile communications and signal transport even on the high seas, Riedel Communications is enabling the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Quantum Class ship Anthem of the Seas to achieve near-unlimited flexibility in routing not only video and audio, but also intercom signals between the onboard broadcast center and the ship’s various entertainment areas. Delivered by Finland-based broadcast system integrator TV Tools, the Riedel MediorNet real-time media network, Artist digital matrix intercom system, and Acrobat wireless intercom systems support unique media-rich entertainment experiences on board the technologically inventive cruise ship.
“Functionality, flexibility, and ease of use are among the many benefits of working with a Riedel Communications signal transport and communications platform,” says Jacob McDaniel, head broadcast technician on Anthem of the Seas. “Simply put, Riedel is just better.”
The Riedel systems allow broadcast technicians aboard Anthem of the Seas to overcome signal routing obstacles including the immense size of the ship, the inherent lack of cabling flexibility due to the ship’s steel construction, and the limited availability of spare equipment and additional technical resources during cruises. Installed in the Anthem of the Seas Broadcast Control Center (BCC), the fiber-based MediorNet system provides robust routing capabilities, handling all ship video (with the exception of security video), audio, Ethernet, RS control, intercom, and GPI signals. Just eight fiber-optic cables connect 10 additional MediorNet frames distributed throughout the ship to the MediorNet frame in the BCC. Riedel’s MediorWorks software facilitates dynamic assignment of ports with a few mouse clicks.
The Artist digital matrix intercom system (equipped with MADI cards) and Acrobat digital wireless intercom, the latter depending on 21 antennas distributed across the ship, provide a hybrid wired/wireless onboard communications network, and shipwide distribution is handled by the MediorNet network. Riedel’s Acrobat system ensures the best possible connection and audio quality, even when beltpack users are moving among the ship’s different entertainment areas
“On board Anthem of the Seas, the MediorNet network supports flexible routing of high-quality audio and video, while the Artist and Acrobat systems enable the clear, reliable communications critical for the complex live productions that are part of the cruising experience,” said Rik Hoerée, sales director at Riedel Communications. “We’re proud that Riedel solutions play these fundamental roles on Anthem of the Seas and her older sister, Quantum of the Seas, which are two of the world’s largest and most innovative passenger ships.”