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Product News
2019/08/16
Zhejiang Radio and Television Group raising standards

Sue Su visits Zhejiang Radio and Television Group and finds out how it is raising the stakes in audio for broadcast in China


 

 

Back in 2011, innovative media organisation the Zhejiang Radio and Television Group (ZRTG), the fourth-largest TV network in China, began to invest in the construction of the Zhejiang International Film and Television Centre in the Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou. The first phase of the project, spanning a total area of 285,000m2, incorporates three main zones: a core film and TV postproduction area; an independent film and TV production area; and a third area that provides shops, restaurants, banking, sports facilities and accommodation for staff.

The striking 218m-high film and TV production complex consists of two 42-storey buildings with an attached unit containing eight broadcast studios of varying sizes. This is where many popular Chinese TV shows, including Sing! China (previously Voice of China), Running Man China and Sound of My Dream, are produced.

ZRTG plays a leading role in audio production among domestic TV stations. In early 2012, it deployed a high-end sound system in the broadcasting studio for Voice of China, and ZRTG was also the first broadcaster to air musical variety shows in 5.1 surround sound. The postproduction system in the new building is mainly used for Zhejiang Satellite TV's large- and medium-sized musical variety shows. In addition to traditional formats like mono, stereo and 5.1, it also has a complete Dolby Atmos production flow to provide the format for OTT media platforms such as IPTV and iQiyi.

‘Zhejiang Satellite TV was the first TV station in China to broadcast in 5.1, using it on Voice of China,’ says Wu Xiaodong, director and sound engineer at the production centre’s audio department. ‘We have been exploring the technology surrounding multichannel broadcasting and needed to optimise our facilities when we built the new postproduction department. Based on our actual production experience, we felt that a system that facilitated a collaborative workflow would be the most efficient for our use.’


DMT’s technical director, Johnathan Wang
Wu Xiaodong, director and sound engineer at the production centre’s audio department.

The audio postproduction facility includes a Dolby Atmos final mix studio, two 5.1 surround sound studios, a music library, a dialogue studio, a critical listening room and a small voiceover studio. All studios are connected to Avid’s Nexis storage platform to facilitate a collaborative workflow, and all run industry-standard DAW software such as Avid Pro Tools and Media Composer.
 


Avid S6 and Genelec 5.2.4 monitoring in the Dolby Atmos final mix studio
 

The project was executed in conjunction with Digital Media Technology (DMT), which has been ZRTG’s partner for around a decade and has extensive experience in film and TV system integration. ‘TV production is now very similar to working on movies,’ says DMT’s technical director, Johnathan Wang. ‘A lot of people working in different studios are needed to complete the productions. Avid's networking features are geared towards this: Pro Tools is the audio production standard and, together with Media Composer software and Nexis storage, it provides a complete audio and video production system.’

The 80m2 Dolby Atmos studio can handle all aspects of large-format TV production in addition to Dolby Atmos. It is equipped with an Avid S6 M40 24-9-D control surface, two Pro Tools HDX2 rigs and a Pro Tools HDX3. These are equipped with a number of interfaces including two DAD DX32s and an AX32, plus an Avid HD I/O 8x​​8x8 to provide analogue, MADI, AES and Dante compatibility.

 


Dolby Atmos Studio
 

‘The S6 M40 allows two people to work simultaneously on its two work surfaces,’ continues Wang. ‘This is ideal for large-scale productions and Dolby Atmos mixes that draw on a large number of audio sources.’

The 5.2.4 monitoring system consists of five Genelec 1238A SAM surround speakers with two Genelec 7270A SAM subs and four Genelec 8240A SAM overheads. There is also a pair of PMC twotwo.8 reference monitors. The studio is also equipped with a Dolby DP580 decoder, Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt Octo Ultimate 4 DSP accelerator, a TC Electronic Music 6000 MkII DSP unit and a Heritage Audio OST-10 500-Series enclosure.

Two mirrored 5.1 surround sound studios can also be used for Dolby Atmos mixes by adding overhead monitors. Both have recording areas of 39m2, with 25m2 control rooms. The 5.1 systems consist of five Genelec 1038CFs with a 7071A sub. The reference monitor system is a pair of Genelec 8040As.

Again, an Avid S6 M40 is the console of choice, with Pro Tools HDX2 rigs, a DAD AX32, an Avid HD I/O 16x16 Digital interface, RTW TM9s and Sonifex RB-HD6 headphone splitters with a Sonifex RB-UL4 unbalanced­–balanced converter.

 




One of the two mirrored 5.1 rooms
 

‘The S6 M40 allows two people to work simultaneously on its two work surfaces,’ continues Wang. ‘This is ideal for large-scale productions and Dolby Atmos mixes that draw on a large number of audio sources.’

The 5.2.4 monitoring system consists of five Genelec 1238A SAM surround speakers with two Genelec 7270A SAM subs and four Genelec 8240A SAM overheads. There is also a pair of PMC twotwo.8 reference monitors. The studio is also equipped with a Dolby DP580 decoder, Universal Audio UAD-2 Satellite Thunderbolt Octo Ultimate 4 DSP accelerator, a TC Electronic Music 6000 MkII DSP unit and a Heritage Audio OST-10 500-Series enclosure.

Two mirrored 5.1 surround sound studios can also be used for Dolby Atmos mixes by adding overhead monitors. Both have recording areas of 39m2, with 25m2 control rooms. The 5.1 systems consist of five Genelec 1038CFs with a 7071A sub. The reference monitor system is a pair of Genelec 8040As.

Again, an Avid S6 M40 is the console of choice, with Pro Tools HDX2 rigs, a DAD AX32, an Avid HD I/O 16x16 Digital interface, RTW TM9s and Sonifex RB-HD6 headphone splitters with a Sonifex RB-UL4 unbalanced­–balanced converter.

The dialogue studio’s 10m2 control room has been installed with a pair of Genelec 1032Bs used for stereo monitoring, and this room has an Avid S3 control surface, a Pro Tools HDX system, a Universal Audio 4-710d four-channel mic preamp and Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 connectors. A smaller voiceover studio has been installed with a Yamaha DM1000VCM console and RME sound card.

 


 


 

The 36m2 music library for the storage and archiving of musical content is equipped with a Pro Tools HDX system, an Avid HD I/O 8x8x8 interface and a 5.1 monitoring system consisting of five Genelec 8010As and a 7060B sub. A Sound-Ideas royalty-free music collection on a hard drive shares audio material and media resources to various audio production systems through the broadcaster’s intranet service, and is managed by Soundminer to seamlessly integrate with Pro Tools.

 



 

The 42m2 critical listening room emulates a residential environment to evaluate the audio quality of programmes being watched at home. Here, the Dolby Atmos monitoring system consists of five KRK RP8G5s for surround, a 12sHO sub and four RP5G3 overheads. Other devices include a TASCAM CD player, Philips Blu-ray player and IPTV and iQiyi TV set-top box. ‘Surround sound and Dolby Atmos broadcasts are made for normal audiences, so the sound engineer needs to know what they will sound like at home,’ says Wu. ‘We’ve built a Dolby Atmos system for home, so that if any problems are discovered, the sound engineers can fix it in the studio next door. We’ve always wanted to have a room for doing this.’
 


KRK Dolby Atmos system in the critical listening room
 

Microphones throughout the facility include DPA and Schoeps surround sound models, as well as classic vocal microphones such as Neumann M149 Tubes, Brauner Phantom-Vs and Manley reference gold mics.

In addition to the postproduction studios in the main building, the adjacent building contains eight broadcasting studios, giving a total of four control rooms and a Dolby Atmos live production studio. These broadcast studios use the same networked and collaborative workflow system as the postproduction studios. The comprehensive facility is completed with the addition of an OB van said to be the largest in the world. (See our video of ZRTG’s OB van at www.proavl-asia.com/details/61246-inside-the-world-039-s-largest-audio-ob-vehicle)

The careful planning of ZRTG’s postproduction requirements has resulted in a new facility that runs smoothly. A large part of its efficiency is down to the fact that ZRTG had already created a demand for sophisticated broadcast productions, and its new postproduction studios should ensure that these high standards endure.

(文章转自亚洲专业音响)