Fiber communications stood out as one of the technologies on the watch list at this year’s GRAMMYs.
Annapolis Junction, Maryland – February 13, 2015 -- At Sunday’s 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards® FiberPlex’s WDM-16 fiber optic multiplexers and FOI-6010 workboxes, two newcomers to Music’s Biggest Night®, were instrumental in getting music from the stage out to the final mobile production truck for broadcast.
“When Mike Abbott and I first spoke about what methods we were using for MADI to MADI on single-mode fiber is when we decided FiberPlex was an option for the GRAMMYs,” said Joel Singer with Music Mix Mobile (M3), which was responsible for mixing the live music from the stage inside the Los Angeles Staples Center to the broadcast truck outside.
FiberPlex products provided the multiplexing and conversion possible to run multiple MADI streams to and from the stage and music trucks and from the music trucks to the Denali Summit, NEP Broadcasting’s broadcast truck for delivering the live feed to CBS for broadcast.
“FiberPlex had a sizeable presence, and even received screen credit as one of those new technologies that stood out this year,” commented Michael Abbott, who has been the audio director and coordinator for the GRAMMY Awards for 29 years.
Distribution was done in two steps, the first between the stage microphone preamps and the music trucks and another between the music trucks and the production truck. For the first step, M3 used FiberPlex WDM-16 active wavelength division multiplexers to transport and multiplex feeds from its MADI stage racks in the Staples Center onto one single-mode TAC-12 fiber optic strand to its Eclipse and Horizon music trucks. Then, to make the hop from the two music trucks to the Denali Summit truck, M3 used FiberPlex FOI-6010 workboxes to pass MADI channels between the two locations.
In years past, M3 transported mixed music for its trucks to the broadcast truck using an HD-SDI hardware application, which proved to be “mis-spec’d,” according to Singer. “The 3G-SDI products are spec’d for different electrical specifications pertaining to SDI video. MADI has a completely different spec. We needed something that fit that specification, something like the 155 Mbps optical and MADI electrical SFPs we ended up using in the FiberPlex multiplexer and workbox units.”
For the handling the MADI feeds from stage racks, M3 was able to multiplex the signals through the WDM-16 instead of running independent TAC-4 multi-mode fiber to each rack, as had been done in previous years. M3 converged signals from five racks into a WDM-16 at the preamp position, with de-multiplexing of the signals done in the music truck feeding a MADI router. This was done on a duplex pair of single-mode fiber optics provided by M3.