Gearhouse on the ball at rugby sevens
Friday, 15 June 2018
gearhouse-ref-comms-1Gearhouse relies on Shure Axient Digital wireless and Clear-Com matrices
Australia - The frenetic pace of the rugby sevens and tens competitions sees stripped-down teams competing in a gala atmosphere with lightning fast-halves and quick turnarounds between games.
To sporting audio and comms provider Gearhouse Broadcast, this means having around 40 referees fitted with wireless mics and monitoring, sending audio to broadcast and the coaches, and receiving audio back through their in-ear monitors, all with one minute to changeover active frequencies between games. In this environment, Gearhouse relies on Shure Axient Digital wireless and Clear-Com matrices to make sure no-one misses a call.
“The Rugby Sevens at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium were 79 games across three days, and the Rugby Tens at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium were 40 games in two days,” reported Andrew Henderson, OB supervisor at Gearhouse Broadcast. “At the Sevens, we had 40 referees that had to be wired for comms. Each ref had a Shure PSM 1000 receiver for listen and a Shure Axient Digital AD1 bodypack transmitter fitted in their vests.
“Each game saw six refs on the field, with the main ref mic always open. The two assistant and two goal refs and the sideline manager all had push-to-talk buttons. The coaches had Clear-Com talkback panels so they could speak to the referees if they thought they needed to review a decision.”
Predictably, the RF environment was busy. “There was a lot of background RF, and a lot of RF on-site,” added Andrew. “But Axient Digital frequency management is really good; Shure’s Wireless Workbench software scans the area and does the hard work for you. I changed one frequency before we started and that was it for the duration. We couldn’t allow everyone to have their own frequency, so we ran two groups managed out of Wireless Workbench.”
Andrew routed all incoming audio through a DSP unit that automixed the wireless mics before outputting to a Clear-Com Eclipse PiCo 36 port matrix. Audio was fed from there to the referee’s in-ear-monitors, the TV broadcast, and to Clear-Com V-Series Lever Panels in the coaches’ boxes. The mics from The Clear-Com Lever Panels were then fed back through the Eclipse PiCo into the DSP and back out to the coach’s ears.
(Jim Evans)

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