Just completed the Alfie Boe and Michael Ball tour around the country houses of the UK. Working as Vision Mixer/Director/Crew Boss for newly formed Live Event Productions, this was an opportunity to put the Roe MC7 LED panels through their paces. I have to say, I’m very impressed. After many years of fighting to get good pictures onto LED screens these panels are the first ones where what leaves the vision switcher matches perfectly on the screen. The colour reproduction is excellent. I was able to confidently rack the cameras without having to compensate for what the screen processing and panels were doing. This led to consistently great pictures night after night, regardless of the light conditions.
I spent August 2012, 2013 & 2014 looking after the on site AV requirements for the BBC at their Edinburgh Festival site at Potterrow.
The main venue (blue tent) had 2 stacked projectors fed from a Kramer switcher. In the outdoor area a 15sqm LED screen provided information for visitors, recorded material and live relays from across the site. I also provided my own bespoke ticker software for easily updated messaging on the screen. The smaller, bar area (pink tent) contained 2 plasma screens with local and remote input facilities.
A Broadcast Pix system was used as the main switch and for keying and playback purposes. A Behringer X32 mixer was programmed with preset scenes to accommodate the local audio routing to the venue areas and green room, production office, radio OB’s and studio.
I designed the AV distribution between all the different zones, making use of a cat5 based system to allow video and audio to be routed from any location, to any location across the site. This allowed a level of versatility essential when dealing with multiple varied productions every single day.
In 2013, I provided public wifi access using Ubiquiti software and access points.
CBBC Live And Digital in Hull was a weekend of events, live broadcasts and digital activities based in and around Hull City Hall.
Contracted by ACP, the overall event production company, I fulfilled a variety of roles as is often required when budgets are tight.
Whilst Neon Broadcast Services provided the outside broadcast unit HD1 and camera facilities for live presentation inserts into CBBC, I was responsible for providing live and recorded content to projectors inside city hall, a large outdoor LED screen located in Queen Victoria Square and various plasmas located around the building. In addition I generated a vision mix for BBC Red Button streaming. This was uplinked via the same satellite link as used by presentation and required careful coordination between the event site and Manchester MCR to ensure the circuits were switched at the correct times. I used a smaller outside broadcast van located outside city hall to deal with these feeds independent from HD1.
This was a particularly demanding job, requiring me to take the role of vision mixer, director, VT operator and engineering manager whilst generating two different sets of outputs (stage screen & live TX).
My name is Peter Foulkes or Pete Foulkes, take your pick. I am a live sound engineer and have been for over twenty years. I served my time working for PA companies and as a house engineer, so I’ve probably mixed a few hundred bands over the years, maybe more.
For the last ten years I have mainly concentrated on working for bands directly as either their touring FOH engineer or Monitor engineer. I’m very loyal and tend to hang on to clients. This is great for me but does mean I don’t have a long list of bands I can reel off so I look more experienced. To be honest, I’ve always thought the kids with a list of 50 bands they have worked for might not actually be much good. Magnum, Uriah Heep, Lacuna Coil. That’s my recent list. Obviously there are other one offs covering other people’s regular gigs, but I don’t think it would be fair to claim them as my own.
Somehow I ended up doing lots of video work, still exclusively in the live events environment that I know well. I like to think a good knowledge of what everyone else on the stage is doing helps me integrate the traditional irritation that everyone knows as video more seamlessly into events. It’s not rocket science.
Because plugging things in doesn't have to be difficult.