This month we returned to The Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead, providing live stream production and video facilities to regular collaborators World of Brass. We were there to live stream the 46th annual Brass in Concert Championship, where the world’s leading brass bands showcase their entertainment skills in a series of spectacular 20-minute sets in front of a capacity live audience.

It’s a technically complex show, requiring over 10 hours of continuous coverage from 3 filming locations, big screen relays in the hall, and extensive unscripted music coverage, live presentation, VTs and interviews for the online audience. Having covered this event since 2019, this year we challenged ourselves by adding a new element to our tried-and-tested workflow.

The main difference? This year two key members of the crew were working remotely from home: our streaming technician who managed the delivery of the streams to viewers via the cloud, and our Director/Vision Mixer Chris Richardson, who was responsible for the music coverage. Despite being over 200 miles away, Chris had a low-latency multiviewer feed with programme audio, fully integrated talkback with the on-site crew, and direct control of the vision mixer, graphics and talkback all via a Streamdeck XL. Here’s Chris in his home gallery…

For presentation coverage, our pop-up studio position in the Glasshouse foyer was crewed by a sound supervisor and a Director/MSO, supporting presenter Iwan Fox from who introduced each band and interviewed performers, organisers and personalities from the brass banding world. Our Director/MSO operated the PTZs, graphics, VTs and vision mixer, while also directing the presenter and guests – all made possible by using Bitfocus Companion for automation and control.

Having this facility meant we could cut down travel time and costs, balance the workload between the music and presentation directors allowing them to get breaks and focus better on the upcoming segments, as well as providing more flexible working conditions for our crew – all while delivering the best show yet to Brass in Concert’s online viewers. Our conclusion? Remote working definitely does “cut it” for live broadcast production. Take a look at this clip of the ATEM vision mixer panel on site apparently cutting the show by itself!

ATEM panel

Brass in Concert 2023 was delivered using:
• 18 SDI channels over fibre
• 7 PTZ cameras
• 3 Graphics Machines
• 2 Bonded Video Encoders
• 1 VT Machine
• 4 on-site and 2 remote video crew