Calrec Audio Summa Consoles Score With Russian Hockey Broadcasters

The opening of the dazzling VTB Ice Palace in Moscow last year gave ice hockey fans a lot to cheer about. Now, the facility’s broadcast engineers are joining in, with the installation of a single Calrec Audio Hydra2 networking system linking two Calrec Summa audio consoles. Hydra2 provides original venue sound and enables routing of all audio signals to outside broadcast (OB) vans covering VTB Ice Palace events, including last month’s broadcast coverage of the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey World Championship. 

Calrec_Summa-StraightThe VTB Ice Palace is the world’s first multifunctional sports complex to feature two arenas under one roof. Systems integrator Live Sound Ltd. installed two Summa 128 audio consoles and a router core in the new facility to ensure professional, broadcast-quality sound for all VTB Ice Palace broadcasts.

More fundamentally, Calrec’s Hydra2 audio networking system enables audio from one or both ice arenas to be routed to a centralized OB truck terminal, where MADI, analog, and digital ports provide a convenient access point for visiting OB units. Calrec’s H2O software enables mic pre-amp gain to be controlled by visiting OB units regardless of the audio console in the truck.

“Until now we’ve operated separate sound systems for commentary, original venue sound, public address, and other applications based on the equipment of various vendors. But when we looked at the requirements for the VTB Ice Palace project, we realised that Calrec had the perfect solution for integrating all of these systems,” says Andrey Mazurov, projects department head, Live Sound Ltd.

“Our customer was originally looking for two completely independent consoles and independent routing systems for each arena — but once they saw the networking possibilities of Calrec’s Hydra2, they were hooked.”

Italian OB service provider Telerecord took advantage of this simple connectivity when it provided broadcast feeds for the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Using the Hydra2 access point, Telerecord was able to route audio from both ice hockey arenas to a single centralised OB truck equipped with a Calrec Artemis console. This setup was more cost-effective because the I/O and connections at the OB truck terminal did not need to be duplicated.

In addition, Calrec’s unique Ice Hockey Assist app for iPad enabled audio engineers to mix the game with a few touches. Ice Hockey Assist is an assistive mixing tool that takes advantage of Calrec Serial Control Protocol to simplify the complex task of tracking on-rink audio during a frenetic, fast-paced ice hockey game.

“A temple for ice sports fans everywhere, the VTB Ice Palace is a real masterpiece of design and a showcase of the latest technologies for live sports broadcasts,” says Michael Reddick, international sales manager at Calrec. “I can’t think of a more exciting project to mark Calrec’s entry into the world of Russian ice hockey, and Live Sound was the ideal partner to take us there. We look forward to working with Live Sound on plenty more high-profile projects in Russia.”

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