Extending its fleet of mobile trucks, Nashville mobile production company TNDV has recently commissioned a fifth truck, designed to bring better sound facilities to TV broadcast.

TNDV's Vibration truck‘Most production companies with a mobile audio truck are strictly in the business of doing mobile audio,’ explains company President and owner, Nic Dugger. ‘It is unusual for a mobile production firm to build an audio truck to work alongside video trucks – our goal was to build a truck that could work hand-in-hand with our fleet of HD production trucks and also perform on its own.’

The result is Vibration, a 53-ft, 256-input, 7.1 surround-sound mobile audio truck with multitrack recording facilities that is now ready to be assigned to projects anywhere in the US.’

Vibration is equipped with a Studer Vista 9 digital mixing desk a redundant Pro Tools multitrack DAW system and JoeCo BlackBox Madi recorders, and Millennia Media, API and Neve outboard. ‘Frequently, the audio mixer becomes master control in audio-heavy productions, and we wanted a high-end model that could handle multiple tasks, from music to communications,’ Dugger notes. ‘We sought recommendations and almost every sound engineer we talked to listed Studer at or near the top. And the Vista 9 has the high I/O count we need. We identified what we thought would be the biggest show we might do in terms of inputs – and then we doubled it.’

The high input count means that TNDV can accommodate multiple sound checks for music festivals and mix large symphony performances, for example. The Vista 9 architecture also allows technicians to support multiple IFB and four-wire intercom mixes for off-air commentary and communication. Vibration includes a large RTS Adam matrix with 120 intercom ports – more expansive than regular audio production trucks and larger than many video production trucks. This means that Vibration can easily provide a central intercom infrastructure for any live event, or supplement existing matrix intercom systems.

Vibration client loungeThe truck also uses a Madi audio infrastructure for communication between the mixing room and remote stageboxes positioned around a venue or shoot location. This allows TNDV to maintain a large, redundant multichannel infrastructure using a simple fibre-optic network.

Beyond the mixing space there is a machine room for all noise-producing equipment to ensure a quiet environment in the other rooms, as well as a client lounge that doubles as an isolated tracking space.

‘The client lounge is not only a place for crew and clients to relax, but also a very practical space for recording,’ Dugger says. ‘It’s outfitted with a variety of amplifiers and headphones for monitoring, and works as a space to lay down voiceovers and instrumental tracks. This is especially nice being based in Nashville, as we can drive a multitrack recording studio to an artist’s home and provide a robust, high-end recording environment in the driveway.’

TNDV has planned a modest video infrastructure for broadcast applications and certain live performances, including a 40-input HD-SDI router to transport video signals, and a 16-input HD video switcher with an integrated multiviewer. LED screens throughout the truck will allow crew or clients to view Pro Tools displays, live cameras from inside a production venue, or one of many POV cameras located around the truck to view sound engineering as it happens.

The Vista 9 can be used to produce surround sound and stereo audio mixes for broadcast events: ‘In addition to front of house and PA mixes, many events require remixing for broadcast, web streaming and DVD production,’ Dugger says. ‘For example, there is so much audio associated with awards shows that it can’t be properly serviced in the video production space alone. It needs its own pace, setting and production staff, especially if surround sound is involved. Vibration has really been brought to life to intelligently allocate crews for large productions.’

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