Blackmagic Design has announced that Dutch hardstyle dance festival Defqon.1 relied on a live production workflow featuring the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K for Ultra HD live production.
Vision. Alain Dikken, solutions consultant at NEP explains a major challenge was designing a live infrastructure that could deliver content from stages that were up to 1.5km away from each other. “Optical fibre was the clear choice for reliable signal delivery over such a long distance, particularly when working in Ultra HD,” he begins.
“Camera signals from the main stages, tally and intercom all fed into a central OB truck (UHD2). Not only did that keep cable run length as manageable as possible, it meant that all of the stages’ directors could be housed together and allowed them to produce uninterrupted coverage of the three day festival.” A separate, purpose built, portable production unit (Flypack 2) was deployed alongside UHD2 to record camera ISOs and program out Ultra HD content that could be streamed live, as well as used to create highlight packages and promos.
A six camera setup based upon the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and PL optics captured the action on the ’Blue’ stage. There were two front of house (FOH) positions, with another mounted on a dolly track and one more up on a crane. A pair of Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4Ks were used on each stage for close ups.
“Live dance music events are a unique genre, and require an innovative approach to content production; there’s never a dull moment, with lasers, light shows and atmospheric backdrops to cover,” explains Alain. “At times we wanted to be able to film at 24 or 25fps to achieve a more cinematic feel for certain aspects of a set, and then be able to switch back to a more standard live production format.
“The URSA Mini Pro G2 gave us the creative latitude that we needed, and this was complemented by the ATEM’s flexibility when handling mixed frame rates.”
Alain explains that an Ultra HD mix from the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K was taken directly out to big screens at each of the stages and to a streaming provider for Defqon.1’s social channels. An additional PGM feed was down-converted via a Teranex AV and supplied to broadcasters via an OB studio onsite.
“The solution produced some great looking content, but the major benefit was the time we saved in our pre production and build days,” concludes Alain. “The fact that Ultra HD coverage can be delivered through a 6Gbit single link cable meant that the team on site could instantly translate the technical drawings into a working live infrastructure, without constantly checking back with HQ. That efficiency means our clients immediately had complete trust in our ability to deliver an incredible show.”