A Royal Wedding with AURUS and CANTUS

British public broadcaster BBC relied on STAGETEC technology at the royal wedding broadcast

On a fine day in April, not all of those invited to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton were sitting, dressed in their finery, in the pews for the ceremony; two smartly turned out STAGETEC equipped outside broadcast trucks were at Westminster Abbey to cover the event for the BBC, one for TV and one for Radio.

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Taking the role of ‘host broadcaster’, the BBC provided international versions of the audio mix suitable for broadcasting partners to add in their own commentary. BBC National Networks and Local Radio took the service and globally it went to 180 countries via the BBC World Service.

The “clean” Radio mix was balanced by a Sound Engineer and two assistants on a 40-fader STAGETEC AURUS in BBC Radio’s new General Purpose (GP) truck, Sound 5. The British commentary from inside the Abbey by Edward Stourton was added in a downstream Production Van. Understandably, the GP truck was used to capacity with its stage boxes deployed around the Abbey and connected by fibre optics to the truck.

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The wedding service sound for TV was provided for the BBC in stereo and Dolby 5.1, by SIS LIVE’s Specialist Sound truck Mastersound with the mix reaching an estimated two billion viewers worldwide.

Mastersound made its debut in 1986 and it was nearly 10 years ago that the truck was ‘digitised’ when a 128 channel STAGETEC CANTUS mixing desk was installed together with a NEXUS routing system. Built for reliability and resilience, NEXUS's wide dynamic range front end and transparent sound character together with the CANTUS's uncoloured processing were ideal for the handling of over 80 sources at Westminster Abbey.

Back to normality, MasterSound’s next outing is a visit to the English National Opera for Terry Gilliams new production of Berlioz' opera "Damnation of Faust" closely followed by the proms season producing TV sound for BBC2 and 5.1 surround for its HD channel.

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