AEQ Audiocodecs enabled the 10-hour "New Music Now-Express" broadcast on a train in the Netherlands 22/06/2023
On 17 June 2023, "Composer's Day", non-stop music was made on a moving train to set a world record. At Yourside we developed the technical part with SMARTALK and PHOENIX VENUS.
By Harm Van Houten
Yourside Broadcast Assistance
Yourside develops consultancy and technical support, sales and rental of equipment for TV and Radio stations in the Netherlands and other nearby countries.
In June 2023, we were asked to provide a technical solution for Postmen (a film and animation agency): On "de Karel", a 1970 Mat'64 train travelling through the Netherlands, multiple performances by composers and artists were to take place. It was necessary to solve the live broadcasting, the delivery for recording and editing with the video in an efficient way, as the train did not have WiFi and had to be implemented separately.
AEQ recently showed us SMARTALK , a tool they are promoting for the easy connection between a sporadic or regular programme participant, from their PC, tablet or mobile phone, and the designated Phoenix audiocodec in the studio, simply with a direct web link, sent by the station. It develops a cloud-based audiocodec system that allows audio to be sent and received back from the studio using a smartphone, tablet or PC, with high quality and low delay, without the need to have an audiocodec, install special software or have to be helped to set it up and use it.
We didn't want to develop a big technical setup, and thought that having an AEQ Phoenix Venus audiocodec in the studio, it might be a good occasion to activate a test license using SMARTALK on a laptop and develop the event. There is Wi-Fi on the Dutch rail network trains and excellent 3G / 4G coverage throughout the country, so connectivity should be sufficient.
On our side, the audio from the sound system used on the train was mixed and sent to the remote production and broadcast location in Utrecht. Over the same link, the IFB was sent back to the train for the talent's in-ear. For this audio transmission, we used AEQ's SMARTALK on a Mac with an external audio card. The signal was received in Utrecht on the AEQ Phoenix Venus which had the SMARTALK temporary test licence enabled.
The video of these performances was streamed live using Aviwest with two cameras.
To create a good video montage, the audio that accompanied each video was discarded, and the audio received in Utrecht via SMARTALK was then synchronised with the video so that it could be mixed with the video from the two Aviwest encoders and the audio in the studio in Utrecht.
The system worked well and we have the idea that it is perfect to use it when we need to get an immediate interview or report, and the technician does not have to travel and there is no possibility of bringing an audiocodec. We are sure that we will use it a lot.