Article Overview

YLE Debuts New OB Vehicle at Lahti Ski Games

First time on wheels for Lawo mc²66 and Sapphire consoles

Pressure? What pressure? It’s the World Cup for Finland’s national sport, the country’s ski-jumping legend Janne Ahonen is making his last-ever appearance, the broadcast output is international….and YLE is debuting its brand-new TV OBV U10, featuring a Lawo mc²66 and the first Sapphire desk in a mobile application.

Finnish national broadcaster YLE took delivery of its new OB van, the U10, from integrators Sony Broadcast, just in time for the Lahti Ski Games from March 11-13. Featuring the blue-riband events for Nordic Combined, Cross Country and Ski Jump disciplines, the Lahti event is must-see TV in Finland. YLE also acts as host broadcaster for international coverage.

The 40-ton U10 was assigned to the Ski Jump arena in Salpausselkä. In the vehicle, there are two audio production areas; in the larger of the control rooms is a 24-8-16 Lawo mc²66 console, and next door is a 16-fader Sapphire desk. Over a network, the consoles which share common resources, including 6 DALLIS frames, 6x 3G HD-SDI cards and 52x HD-SDI, intercom integration and centralised DSP flat-screen monitoring delay compensation.


There is one centralised audio routing resource for both production rooms, with capacity for around 8000 crosspoints. With 192 DSP channels, capability includes sub-matrixing, downmixing and summing, all within the network. All the ‘noisy’ equipment has been installed in a discrete area, leaving the main production space and main audio control room especially quiet.

From a technical standpoint, the OB from the Lahti Games is not complex. “We were using quite a low channel count,” explains YLE Audio Supervisor Pasi Vatunen, “however, the challenge lay in the fact that we had a new truck, and we had to get to grips with it very quickly! Although everybody has been using Lawo consoles for about 10 years, YLE actually only has one mc²66 model so far, and this is installed in a studio. But we are all familiar with Lawo philosophy so it was quite easy for us to get up to speed, and we were helped by the mc²66 providing such a high degree of visual feedback.”

Pasi Vatunen and his OB team are the first to use the new Sapphire console in a mobile unit, a desk which was designed for radio, but which has a very slim profile and streamlined wiring. “We had very little space in our second control room, and the Sapphire fits in very easily with just a power supply and one Ethernet cable, and it can be taken out just as easily. There are some differences in the layout of the console, but we have had very good experience with it so far. The engineers can send any audio source to the router, and any microphone from any of the three stageboxes can be linked to the Sapphire over MADI, controlling mic gain at the stagebox from the console.”


With the first big sporting event successfully completed, Vatunen can look ahead to the future. “We have space for another DALLIS card in the mc²66, and we’ll add some extra SDI cards if we connect up on more EVS unit. And we may add another router card for more DSP in the Sapphire. This is the best part of the Lawo design philosophy, that there is always the option for expansion at a future date.”

About Lawo AG

Lawo, headquartered in Rastatt/Germany, specialises in developing, designing and manufacturing mixing consoles and matrix systems for radio and TV broadcasters, as well as for use in live events. Standards of high quality and innovative technology are supported by more than 40 years of experience in the field of professional audio technology.Lawo’s product range covers digital audio mixing consoles for use in radio, broadcast, production and live applications, including the required software. In addition to the provision of matrix systems and audio networks, Lawo also carries out project engineering tasks and acts as a main contractor for radio OB trucks; these services include user training and maintenance. This high level of expertise results in a comprehensive support service for Lawo customers.