yaxşı axşam everybody!
We are still living the dream, and we are all happy as an Austrian at a pork party!
I kind of got the day off from the diary today! Over to Joan!
I will now do my best to explain the communication channels for Eurovision.....
I have to keep this as simple as I can otherwise this will take all day! Simon Korzen from Riedel was nice enough to take me on the private tour that he took the big group on Wednesday, doing his best to explain the intricasies of the massive communication task at hand.
Think for a moment of all the people who have to talk to one another during the production. There have to be clear lines between the Director, artists, cameramen, sound, lighting, stage movement, props, crew, commentators, broadcasters, etc. and out to all corners of Europe and beyond.
The communication is based on Riedel Artist digital intercom matrix. 5 artist mainframes are networked over a redundant fiber ring to achieve the necessary communication facilities. Motorola wireless systems and approximately 300 crew radios are also needed.
So let's start by introducing our trusty Riedel crew. From left to right (not counting the Finn on the bike): Lucky, Torben, Martin and Simon.
So off Simon and I go on our tour. Here was our first stop:
This is "Commando Land" - the ring - the biggest of the mainframes located backstage right. Riedel is supplying three main things: the artist panel intercoms, MediorNet (video hub) and RockNet, which routes audio distribution from the OB trucks to the arena, press center, viewing room and commentary booths.
Here's the one under the stage. The box with the green lights is the MediorNet feeding video, ethernet and audio. All screens come from the MediorNet and it feeds the commentator booths as well. Below the MediorNet is RockNet. It's de-embedding audio from video so there's stereo left and right and it picks up all the atmosphere microphones. There are microphones located all around the arena, so people watching the broadcast can hear all the applause and cheering. (If a performer sings a song and you don't hear any applause, it just seems weird, right?)
Here's sound FOH. If you look next to Geir's left hand, that panel with the red lights is one of the artist panels. Lighting FOH has some too. Assuming you know which buttons to press, there are 16 ways to talk to someone from these. And hey, did you know that in Norway they call front of house the "spaa" (or so I'm told). All this time we thought these guys were getting pampered!
This is Gauteland. Monitor mix on the lower deck......
....And splitters on the upper deck. There are 2 Midas XL8 mixing desks for monitor, (we'll do an audio feature soon) 4 Midas Pro 6 desks at Sound FOH, 1 Studer desk in each of the OB trucks (HD1 and HD2) and 1 desk for playout.
See those green and yellow cables on top of the office out there? These are the fiber optic cables for the video and audio distribution infrasctucture.
And this is the inside of the building with the cables on top - the Main Control Room. This is where the really technical stuff happens and this room gets really warm! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in this production has a back-up except this room (meaning that there's not a second MCR). And even if something happened to this room, the OB trucks still have a direct link to the satellites, so the show can still be broadcast.
Finally, here is the inside of OB truck #2 - the back up. We can get into the world of OB trucks another day. It's quite elaborate!
After learning so much about the world of communication, I decided to visit another kind of communication that I'm more familiar with - the Press Center!!
Since Norwegian Airlines is the official airline of Eurovision, they've made a very cool display inside the press reception hall. I just had to sit here - I haven't sat in one of these in over 3 weeks! The legroom on this one is great!
I like this chair better. It's a big bubble with super soft cushions and very quiet inside.
But HERE's the chair I REALLY want to sit in! These are like the Rolls Royce of massage chairs. I better try it out before all the press arrives on Sunday - these are going to be very popular! By the way, as of today there are over 2000 press agents registered to be here.
The last thing I want to talk about today is a book I've been reading called "Bulletproof Eggshells" by Andy COLhoun. You probably remember Andy from Moscow last year - he's with Visual Act that built last year's massive stage. Moscow was quite the adventure and Andy captured every mad minute. He actually has a disclaimer on the first page that everything you read really did happen, because there are things you wouldn't believe unless you were there. It's a laugh-out-loud book for sure and a wonderful testament of an adventure of a lifetime!
Andy is back in Sweden at the moment, but he will be back in a couple of days with a car full of books for sale at the venue!
That's all for today! Buh-bye.