18th November saw the 2016 BBC Children In Need appeal raise an astonishing £46.6m, in fitting tribute to its late, much-loved figurehead Sir Terry Wogan. BBC studios throughout the UK were full of broadcast performances and events helping to raise funds, with Yamaha digital mixing consoles playing their part at Maida Vale studios in west London.
The studios were host to a three hour live-to-air broadcast by BBC Radio London, hosted by Robert Elms and Gary Crowley, as well as a performance by the cast of School of Rock – The Musical. Live Audio production in the studios was handled by John Henry’s Ltd, contracted for the event by BBC Radio’s Senior Live Music Producer Andy Rogers. For the consoles, John Henry’s supplied a Yamaha PM5D-RH, two QL5s, a QL1 and an M7CL-48.
The live broadcast was hosted in Studio 3 and featured three stages. On one a PM5D-RH was used to mix live performances by the Zombies and Shakin’ Stevens with his band; the second stage was host to Sophie Ellis-Bextor using the M7CL, while the third was an acoustic stage featuring the Paul Carrack trio, Nick Heyward and his band, Sean Escoffrey and Jack Savoretti with one of the QL5s.
“Each of the consoles was mixing monitors for the artists, who were using a mix of wedges and in-ears. The QL1 took a feed from each console to provide a mix for the audience in the room, as well as the presenter mics and the broadcast feed,” says Pepin Clout, special projects manager at John Henry’s, who was aided by technicians Stuart Gilmore, Chris Roberts, Arron Alexander, Jon Shaw and Luke Spinks.
Meanwhile, in Studio 4, the other QL5 was used as monitor console for the cast of the School of Rock, whose performances were broadcast on the main national BBC Television Children In Need programme.
“The choice of consoles was a mixture of artist requests and our preference. We have worked with the BBC many times and they know that we will make the right choice,” Pepin continues. “The QL1 is an ideal summing console and we knew that the QL5s would be the best solution for a job where time was at a premium and quick, seamless changeovers were essential.
“The PM5D-RH and M7CL were requested by the artists. A lot of performers still like to use them and Yamaha’s renowned reliability means that many of the older consoles are still going strong. We deploy the newer Yamaha mixers on a wide range of projects, but are always happy to provide the previous generation if requested. They still work perfectly well!”
Despite the pressures of time and live broadcast with the multi-band format, the production went very smoothly.
“We have done a number of productions for the BBC at Maida Vale, including multi-band broadcasts, and we work everything out in advance, including allowance for things to change at the last minute,” says Pepin. “The Yamaha consoles helped the rolling load ins, soundchecks and changeovers to be carried out very quickly, presenting a seamless show to the listening public.”
Yamaha Commercial Audio is a world leader in the manufacture and supply of professional audio products for a wide range of applications including live sound reinforcement, post production, recording, worship and broadcast. With a world-wide presence, Yamaha’s Commercial Audio subsidiaries and dealer networks provide comprehensive local services backed by a global Yamaha CA support policy.