DiGiCo S21 delivers flexible broadcast solution
Wednesday, 13 January 2021
robertedwardsdigicos21Robert Edwards’ ‘home studio’
UK - Sound BAFTA Winner Robert Edwards is one of the UK’s leading television sound supervisor/directors and an elected Fellow of the Institute of Professional Sound. This accolade is the result of 45 years of work and a credit list of productions that includes opening and closing ceremonies for the Summer and Winter Olympics, and TV shows such as X Factor, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, The Masked Singer, Britain’s Got Talent, The Wheel, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and Celebrity Juice
It was this last’s production during lockdown that saw him head into what was previously his home cinema and, with a few tweaks, turn it into a home studio / office, relying on a DiGiCo S21 mixing console to deliver his broadcast mix.
“Timeline Television, who are based at Ealing Studios, found that the producers of the show wanted to do a few episodes remotely. They wanted me to drive to mix in the truck at Ealing, but when COVID hit, it seemed logical to try to do it properly remotely,” he recalls. “I happen to have all the right kit at home, literally down to the last wire, including the S21 with a Dante card, as I have a Dante network in the office.”
Edwards had originally purchased the S21 for a large Gospel choir that appeared on Britain’s Got Talent two years ago, as the broadcast desk he was working on didn’t have sufficient inputs or outputs to accommodate everything required.
“The S21 proved a good solution as an add on. It’s got a reasonably small footprint, it’s versatile and it’s light enough to carry, so I decided it was useful for all sorts of reasons and it migrated back to my home office.”
Within three days, everything required was assembled, including a Spot On system for playbacks, etc, which included all the right music for the show. Using Unity Connect software, which connected to Ealing Studios over his domestic internet connection via firewalled modems and a VPN, Edwards was able to take up to 64 channels of audio from Timeline, sending it back to them in real time with a latency of just two or three frames.
“Overall, there are 31 broadcast feeds in, with 35 out into the Dante network to the S21,” Edwards continues. “The desk has multiple screens and multiple layers, allowing me to do whatever was needed for the production. I routed to group busses and then to the transmission master, which is how the broadcast feed leaves me.”

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