Creamfields, the UK’s largest dance music festival, was staged using a live production workflow built around Blackmagic Design’s ATEM production mixers and HyperDeck recorders.
The four-day festival held over the August bank holiday weekend welcomed around 80,000 people to Daresbury, Cheshire, to see some of the biggest names in dance music including Tiesto, David Guetta, Carl Cox and Chase and Status occur on multiple stages.
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Having been given a mandate to be the sole AV supplier with three weeks notice, UK-based CSD Productions deployed an OB truck and three flyaway kits for organizer Live Nation. “We had several weeks to prepare for what would normally take six months of planning,” says Andrew McQuillan of CSD Productions. “We’ve already supplied our OB trucks to Creamfields for the fourth and fifth stages, and we’ve managed the broadcast and video package for individual Creamfields shows throughout the year, such as Cream Classical, but we didn’t ‘ve never managed the main stage. .
“The learning curve has been steep for us as an organization, but the key to our success was to lock in the delivery specifications with Live Nation and the various artists as early as possible in the process. We knew the best way to get a positive result was to use our experience and knowledge of the Blackmagic Design material and upgrade it. “
The ATEM 2M / E Production Studio 4K was the backbone of the system, with a mix of ATEM 4 M / E Broadcast Studio 4K and ATEM 2 M / E Production Studio 4K mixers covering the various stages. For acquisition, floors one through three each had boom cameras, and all had positions in front of the house with a box lens and a wide lens.
McQuillan continues, “The output of each chain of cameras had to be converted from quad SDI to single-link 12G-SDI using Teranex Mini converters, and then routed to the production mixer. SmartView Duo 4K monitors were used to provide vision engineers with waveform preview for monitoring. “
The requirements and specifications demanded by organizers and artists create a whole new pressure for data processing.
The main stage was UltraHD 4K this year, with CSD using HyperDeck Studio 12G recorders. The other steps relied on HyperDeck Studio HD Pros for the respective program streams and HyperDeck Minis recording to SD card for the individual camera ISO.
“This is the first time that we are recording all the ISO feeds from the individual cameras in addition to the various program mixes from each stage,” recalls McQuillan.
Adding: “We had a media booth where we downloaded all the SSDs, so the Blackmagic MultiDock 10G was ideal for taking four SSDs at a time. We have spent the last month processing Creamfields data. “
“We like the ease of use of the Blackmagic workflow and its adaptability to the network,” concludes McQuillan. “You can intuitively determine how certain aspects will work together, once you understand the general architecture. “