Calrec Brio Consoles Boost Bleacher Report’s Live Production Capabilities
Bleacher Report has recruited two Calrec Audio Brio compact audio consoles as part of a comprehensive studio upgrade. The Brios bring new levels of power, versatility, and ease of use to Bleacher Report’s live and live-to-tape productions, which range from pro and college football, soccer, and basketball broadcasts to fantasy football and panel shows.
“The Brios are our first Calrec desks, and they’re a great addition to our team,” says Mark Steinmetz, studio operator/audio engineer, Bleacher Report. “Of course, we were aware of Calrec’s reputation as the premier mixing console for television and sports. We chose the Brio because of its user-friendly layout and powerful features, which really set it apart from the other boards we saw at trade shows.
“Brio can accommodate any skill level, which makes it really ideal for our crew. Our audio operators love the console’s ease of contribution and mix-minus features, with a layout that’s easy to grasp at first glance and displays the data in a very intuitive and natural manner.”
Bleacher Report streams its content through its own app and also through online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The online broadcaster produces its own shows in both its 600-square-foot and 1,400-square-foot studios, which may be occupied with up to 15 Facebook Live streams every week during peak season.
The new Brios are a significant upgrade for Bleacher Report, whose previous audio console only offered limited routing via AES and Dante. One of the Brios is now in production handling audio mixing for both studios, and the second Brio is being readied for mobile shoots. The Brio handles all of the productions’ audio sources with ease, including Dante, AES, SDI, and analog. The desk handles routing between the different formats seamlessly and it also offers effortless mixing for live talk shows that might include up to eight panel guests.
Steinmetz adds, “Not only were our previous console’s mix settings cumbersome and hard to use, but the desk just wasn’t up to the task of managing all of the audio I/O in our facility. The Brio’s automixing makes our panel discussion shows much simpler to mix, and we’re able to dial in settings that make the most sense for our facility and workflow. The Brio has improved our workflow by giving us the ability to route anything anywhere in and out of the facility — we can send audio wherever it needs to go, and it’s fast and easy.”
“As the No. 1 sports destination for millennials, Bleacher Report is a great showcase for our Brio and the robust functionality it offers in a compact form factor and at an affordable price,” says Helen Carr, regional sales manager, Calrec Audio. “It’s a pleasure to begin our partnership with Bleacher Report. We look forward to seeing how the Brios will support them as they continue to grow, and as they add upcoming mobile capabilities.”