With Avid systems as the axis, the Colombian channel Telemedellín installed an audio post-production room in order to improve the quality of the sound produced by the channel. Today it works for its own and external contents.
Since the technical venues where the new headquarters of the Colombian channel Telemedellín operates, two audio post-production rooms and one more a recording one were considered. This project materialized at the beginning of 2017 with the start-up of one of the prosthetic rooms and the recording room.
Carlos Duque, director of Canal Engineering, told TVyVideo + Radio that for some years Telemedellín has been concerned with improving the quality of the audio of the productions. Therefore, when the new headquarters was considered, these spaces were taken into account from the beginning.
He stressed that much happens in Colombia that audio is the Cinderella of the video, always hung. And more taking into account that audio is not an issue that the common viewer easily perceives, they only realize when there are errors or problems, but it is essential to have productions with quality audio.
For this reason, a few years ago at Telemedellín they incorporated a sound engineer and they have a macro plan to generate an improvement in the quality of the audio, both the one that ends up in the post-production room and the one that does not, which includes the training of all the staff technical related to capturing the audio, linking the cameramen.
An audio postproduction room requires an adequate architectural space, for that in the Canal they relied on a company specializing in acoustics, as well as state-of-the-art equipment that would allow a room to be as close as possible to the ideal conditions.
Training for all
Felipe Amaya, sound engineer at Telemedellín, said that after his arrival on the Canal, there was the idea of improving the sound part, especially with staff training on topics such as microphone handling and basic fundamentals. Thus they managed to provide tools that allow solving problems when they are making recordings abroad and reduce the problems at the time of capture. For this they reached an agreement with the San Buenaventura University, which helped in the training.
Carlos Duque and Felipe Amaya were responsible for designing the audio and recording postproduction rooms. They contemplated a good isolation that allowed recording voice-overs and documentaries. That's why it has a TL of 40, 12 absorbent panels that help reduce reverberation time, two bass traps in the corners to reduce problems with low frequencies and four ceiling diffusers that help create a more homogeneous sound at the point where the person is listening. The glasses are double and the door also has special technical conditions.
In the recording room there was a particular theme, just above is located the terrace of the building where there is a court that employees of the Canal use. In order not to affect the recordings by vibrations when they were playing, the roof has an additional concrete plate.
The latest technology
For the equipping of equipment in both rooms, Telemedellín engineers looked for the latest trends for film and television that would allow them to fulfill the objective of having a high quality room. That's why they endowed the post-production room with an average Akai controller, two JBL speakers and the heart of the technology is based on Avid, with an S3 console, which in this case is used as a controller for the ProTools 12 and an Omni interface.
Felipe Amaya highlighted that this choice of equipment was made taking into account that they are the most used for audio postproduction for video all over the world. In addition, ProTools is the most versatile tool at the moment and is an international standard and he has a long career working with this system and knows all the possibilities it offers when editing audio for video.
"There are other systems to edit audio only that work very well, but that have the audio complement for video, ProTools is the one that works best. And as in the other editing rooms of the Canal they use Media Composer, for us it has been very easy to integrate the two systems, "added the Telemedellín sound engineer.
This room is a response to the growth that the channel has had in recent years and responds to international audio quality standards. Today in this room are editing three types of content: documentaries, special programs and voiceovers for Canal programs. In addition, through the channel's media agency, they are making external productions and content for the different secretariats of the Mayor's Office of Medellín.
About the audio Telemedellín has been working on two themes that will allow him to stand out among the television channels in Colombia. The first is that he is preparing to pass the monophonic audio, as it is currently, to stereophonic. For this they have trained the staff and have done tests with companies such as Audio Technica. Today they are able to broadcast in stereo audio, but there are some problems with the decoders that people have in their homes. Now they are evaluating possibilities to be able to broadcast in stereo audio without affecting the viewers who do not have the technical conditions to receive it.
The second aspect is with binaural audio. In partnership with the San Buenaventura and Medellín universities, they are planning a documentary series of 6 chapters about Medellin, so that people can feel the City and which will be transmitted through social networks. This project emerged after the trainings given by San Buenaventura to Canal technicians and seeks to unite the research of both universities, which have already developed a system for binaural audio, with the practice that the Canal can offer.
Finally, Carlos Duque said that "the room has been very well received. We had been working with a ProTools plugin for audio editing but they were very limited and with staff that was not fully trained to handle it. We now have two qualified people in ProTools and two more are in the process of training. Thanks to the room we are also making a better recording on the street. We feel it is a successful project and we are on the right track. "
The second audio postproduction room in Telemedellín is expected to be implemented in a year and a half if the volume of work for the current room, both internal and external, continues to grow.