Transmix Achieves High-Quality Mobile Recording Acoustics Thanks to VENUE

As one of Finland’s premier audio companies, Transmix Ltd provides mobile recording services for some of the country’s most popular television and radio broadcasts—projects that have track counts often in the triple digits. To keep up with demand, the company recently upgraded their outside broadcast (OB) truck with a 96-channel Profile System, giving the team the ability to handle the increasing scope, size, and complexity of today’s media productions.

A focus on music production

“We decided to focus on music productions with this OB truck,” says Timo Virtanen, technical director and sound designer at Transmix. “You can mix speech and game shows almost anywhere, but to mix music you need to have a better room and acoustics. We wanted the truck to sound like a real sound studio. VENUE let us do that and it’s very music-friendly. Also, it’s compatible with Pro Tools, so we can use a lot of different plug-ins, and its quick and easy to use for freelance engineers and us.”

VENUE Link enables the team to automate session setups between VENUE and Pro Tools, which has increased the speed and efficiency of the production workflow. “When we did The Voice of Finland’s blind audition, I had over 80 mixed songs,” Virtanen explains. “When the music producer said that he wanted to listen to songs 2, 75, 13, and 54, I just pressed Snapshots and with VENUE Link, our Pro Tools [system] followed the timeline to get the right songs. It’s very fast. The producer noticed that immediately.”

High-quality audio for high-profile shows

In addition to The Voice of Finland, Transmix has worked on many high-profile Finnish television shows, including So, You Think You Can Dance, Idols, Talent, X Factor, JussiGaala (the Finnish Academy Awards), and KultainenVenla (the Finnish Golden Globes). To ensure a full schedule of work and succeed on such high-profileassignments, it’s important for the Transmix team to deliver the highest-quality audio—another reason why Transmix purchased the VENUE system.

“VENUE’s mic preamps are silent and neutral,” Virtanen says. “It’s important to us that the whole signal flow is full digital, because when you make gain adjustments during a live show, you don’t hear little crack noises in VENUE’s preamps, like you do with some other consoles.”

As the team looked at other console choices, Virtanen found some to be too complex, adding, “VENUE was familiar to me and Jukka Nykänen (one of Transmix’s founders), because we had toured with different bands with the VENUE (system) before.”

Virtanen chose to customize a Profile System with two Stage Racks to handle up to 96 inputs and outputs, five DSP cards for maximum performance, two MADI Option Cards for interfacing with Pro Tools and other systems, an ECx Ethernet Card for remote control, and an IOx Option Card for connecting outboard gear.

“We record through MADI to Pro Tools, and we split the signal with RME's MADI Bridge to record simultaneously with our JoeCo's MADI recorders as a backup system,” he explains. “I also use one MADI card to send audio to the camera truck.”

Opening new possibilities with Avid

Transmix uses a Pro Tools | HDX system as its main recording unit with two HD MADI interfaces and a SYNC HD. “We can record up to 128 channels—96 through the Stage Rack and 32 through local analog and AES/EBU lines. For stage box connections we use fiber links.”

Virtanen explains that there have been a few big shows where Transmix has needed more than 64 inputs. “At the Track and Field Championships last year, we had somewhere around 110 mic inputs, and at The Voice of Finland, we are going to have about 80—with 50 or 60 of those from the band and vocalists. We also just worked with recording engineer MIkko OInonen from Finnvox and producer AnttiMurto to record the VantaanViihdeOrkesteri for CD and DVD release using 82 inputs.”

 It surely gives us a greater possibility to do big shows better, easier, faster, and with full trust in the system.
Timo Virtanen, Transmix

As far as plug-ins go, Transmix uses the Waves Diamond bundle and VENUEPack 4. “I have used Waves for many years [doing] post production, so it was very cool to have those in the mixer, too. Although VENUE’s own EQ and dynamics are very good sounding, it’s nice to have [Avid] Smack! on bass and the [Waves] Renaissance EQ for vocals.”

Virtanen and the rest of the Transmix team are thrilled with the possibilities the Avid system has created for the company. “We don’t ever have to say to clients that we don’t have enough inputs anymore,” says Virtanen. “It surely gives us a greater possibility to do big shows better, easier, faster, and with full trust in the system.”

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