by Shaun Farbon, Head of Production Sound at Gorilla Group

Gorilla Group is a full service post-production house based in Cardiff, Wales.

Specialising in film and broadcast media, the facility delivers hundreds of hours of content to both UK and international Broadcasters, providing post-production services for a range of projects including Season 12 of Doctor Who (BBC), the Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special (BBC) and One Born Every Minute (Channel 4).

In addition to their post work, Gorilla provides live-air services to the Welsh-language television channel S4C, the UK’s fourth-longest running TV channel (after BBC One, ITV and BBC Two), including the Welsh-language coverage of the Rugby World Cup 2019.

“Our weekly TX/RX output for S4C ranges from continuity links with several presenters in a green screen, to a two-hour live kids show called ‘Stwnsh Sadwrn’ (‘Saturday Munch’)” Shaun explains, “complete with audience, games, phone-ins and gunge! We also provided S4C’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

“Having seen the Brio when it first appeared at IBC, it was clearly the perfect size and fader count for our needs, and with built in I/O to easily integrate into our (then) current setup. The reputation and sound of Calrec desks has always been something I’ve been aware of, so to be able to get one into our studio is incredible.

“Our Brio 36 is equipped with several of Calrec’s option cards – AES I/O, Line outputs and MADI I/O, connected to a Ferrofish I/O box – and replaces the job previously done by two Yamaha desks, in the same footprint with slightly more faders, and offering more functionality.”

Ferrofish AD/DA Converters

The Gorilla Group studios also feature a Ferrofish A32 Dante, providing an additional 32 channels of analogue I/O via MADI and Dante. Designed for use in any multi-channel audio application, the German manufacturer’s range of high-quality and cost-effective AD/DA converters have become equally popular in broadcast and live audio.

Available in both 16 I/O and 32 I/O variations, Ferrofish converters feature a simple to use front-panel interface with full metering for all analogue I/O, and an on-board headphone output allows for direct monitoring of all analogue inputs and outputs.

Digital connectivity options include ADAT, MADI and Dante, with the 32-Channel versions offering redundant power supplies for an additional level of fail-safe.

Mixing with the Brio

“The Brio has enabled us to move towards mixing to loudness standards, for both pre-recorded material and live, with its clear in-built metering and meter options,” Shaun continues.

“Calrec’s Automix feature has really aided us in the ‘fader chase’ of working with child contributors – in the heat of a game show, anything can happen – and also gives us precious extra time for cueing the many grams we need during the busiest of live game shows. The other broadcast features, such as Mix Minus and Off-Air Conference, have streamlined our talkback routing, and added an extra level of operation.

“The sound of the Brio, particularly the preamps and compressors, has vastly improved the quality of our audio output overnight.”

“Our studio setup has also been greatly simplified, by being able to house and manage all our I/O in one place. Patching signals in and out could not be easier, and being able to mix and access Inputs, VCAs, Groups and Mains all on the same fader layer means everything is available instantly.

“The large and separate resource pools for DSP mean we can run high output bus counts without taking away from input resources. The flexibility of the show file/memory system also works extremely well for us, as we can switch between very different show setups instantly, and each operator can have their own individual memory for that show.

“Finally the sound of the Brio, particularly the preamps and compressors, has vastly improved the quality of our audio output overnight.

“Without all of this flexibility and multiple I/O options, coupled with the processing power and broadcast specific features, we wouldn’t have been able to cover the Rugby World Cup broadcasts anywhere near as comprehensively.”

Ease of use

To finish off, Shaun commented on how easily the Gorilla team have found making the transition to the Calrec workflow.

“None of the four man team here have had any experience mixing on Calrec desks before, which makes it all the more amazing how quick and easy it’s been to set up and get comfortable with the Brio,” says Shaun. “Having experience on lots of other digital broadcast and live desks, I’ve found the Brio’s UI and touch-screen one of the most simple and logical to navigate yet.”

Our thanks to Shaun Farbon and Gorilla Group. To find out more about Gorilla Group, visit here.

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