24 July 2018
‘Strictly Come Dancing’ was first aired in 2004 from BBC Television Centre and Merging’s Pyramix was used for those early productions and on the successive series. The current series is transmitted from the George Lucas studio used by BBC Studios and Post Production. The demands of complex entertainment shows suggested that merely updating the Mykerinos based Pyramix was not going to be sufficient. It made sense to replace it completely with a new Pyramix MassCore 256 Music Pack with new hardware, including a Horus Networked Audio Interface. With the need to post-produce some of the shows, a VCube Essentials pack was also part of the package.
Sound Supervisor, Andy Tapley, was responsible for the decision to continue with a Merging rig as the recording tool to complement BBC S&PP’s new Studer Vista X. Apart from the fact that the team was familiar with the Pyramix platform, the key point was the ability to handle high track counts, with the long recording times that are now the norm. The requirement to record all of the rehearsals and the shows over two days and to refine the mix, and produce stems, for post production, means that there is often the need to record as many as 152 tracks. This is easily achieved with MassCore 256 and the 128 channels of MADI plus 24 AES/EBU I/O connectivity between the Vista X and the Horus. emerging, the UK distributor for Merging Technologies supplied all the hardware including a new 4u computer chassis with a RAID 0 array of 3 x 1TB media drives so that many hours of continuous recording can be stored safely.
One special show each year comes from Blackpool’s iconic Tower Ballroom and Andy Tapley takes up the story:
“Even when we are in the comfort of the Red TX sound recording truck on the Blackpool seafront, capturing the show is simple because Pyramix is part of their standard kit. We can record here and easily transfer the project to our base in Elstree for post production work. Making the move to Horus has been seamless.”