Marcio Schnaidman

Providing live mixing, recording and production services, as well as pre/post production and authoring of DVDs and CDs to the Brazilian broadcast industry, Epah Estúdios recently commissioned a new remote vehicle – UMA-5. Equipped with a Solid State Logic System T broadcast audio production system, the truck makes comprehensive used on Dante-based Audio-over-IP networking and I/O.

Epah is a major production force in the largest Brazilian music events – such as Rock in Rio, Lollapalooza and Monsters of Rock – and provides all audio services for the Prêmio Multishow de Música Brasileira, including sound reinforcement and broadcast sound. Its main client is multichannel cable and satellite TV service, Globosat.

Before settling on the System T for UMA-5, Epah already had a good idea of what was wanted, and its position in the market place: ‘We needed something different, something new in the broadcast world,’ explains Technical Manager, Marcelo Freitas. ‘We wanted to put the best sound and the latest technology to work for us – to make a leap forward.’

Epah Estúdios UMA-5The choice of SSL was endorsed by Epah CEO Marcio Schnaidman, who had long wished to add SSL consoles to the Epah Estúdios line-up. UMA-5 has System T at its core – the main control surface is a three-bay, 48-fader S500, connected to dual redundant T80 800-path Tempest audio engines, with Dante I/O connected to primary and secondary (redundant) Ethernet networks via COTS 52-port Cisco switches in the truck.

There are two stage racks available, each with three SSL Network I/O: SB.i16 and two SSL Network I/O SB 8.8 stageboxes, with dual redundant Ethernet connectivity. This gives a total stage capacity of 128 inputs and 32 outputs. Additional Dante I/O from a range of manufacturers is available on the truck, as are two SSL Network I/O: Madi Bridge units, for interfacing existing Madi infrastructure with the Dante Network.

‘We use Reaper for recording,’ says Eduardo Pinter, an engineer at Epah. ‘We normally record 128 channels, and that’s connected to the audio network as well, via a Dante PCIe-R soundcard.’

News of UMA-5 SSL spread quickly, and it has been in demand for a variety of applications: ‘Our experience with System-T has been incredible,’ continues Pinter. ‘Not only with live broadcast, but also for DVD recording projects. As soon as bands found out about our new truck, powered by an SSL, they started asking for that vehicle specifically – for all their concerts.’

Most recently, Epah had three live broadcast trucks at the Lollapalooza in São Paulo (Autodromo de Interlagos), including UMA-5, broadcasting live across Brazil via the Multishow channel, Bis (HD music-orientated channel), and live streaming services. For Pinter, one of the main challenges of an event like this is getting bands to trust Epah with discrete channels, rather than simply sending them a complete mix from FOH.

‘I understand their concerns,’ he says. ‘But we try to explain the advantages, show them our truck, and convince them of the care we take over the final result.

‘For Lollapalooza, the first response from most bands was that they would only send us their final mix. However, when they saw the SSL truck, most of them changed their minds! Some of the bands’ engineers even joined us in the truck. For example, Bella Blasko joined us while The National were on, giving us tips and helping with the mixing process. She loved both the console and the final result.’

While System T brings a technical and creative opportunities, for Marcelo Freitas the bottom line was a blend of sound quality, and client faith in the brand and its technology: ‘Our main concern is to make everybody happy – that includes the bands, the TV company, and the audience,’ he says. ‘The new SSL truck, our own reputation, and a final result that is always more than incredible make an amazing combination.’

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