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Riedel ROC Powers Global, Remotely-Produced Live Events

FOH Staff • February 2021Technology Spotlight • February 3, 2021

Purple Schulz, Stephan Ullrich and Daniel Klein performed in Germany’s One2One Studio. Riedel’s Remote Operations Center (ROC) allowed an international team of designers to collaborate on the show.

Headquartered in Wuppertal, Germany, Riedel Communications lives for media production and global events. The company is well known for its leading-edge intercom systems and decentralized fiber-based networks for distribution of video, audio and data signals. Whether in studios, stadiums, theaters, convention centers or cruise ships, some of the world’s most high-profile events and broadcasts are powered by Riedel solutions.

Riedel’s Managed Technology division leverages these core technologies to provide turnkey solutions based on a scalable signal backbone. As a technology partner, the division provides a unified infrastructure for communications, media distribution, safety and security, as well as systems integration, consulting and monitoring solutions. A core element is the Riedel Remote Operations Center (ROC), located in Wuppertal, which provides complete support to onsite event staff. From active system monitoring to extensive troubleshooting support, the ROC significantly reduces the personnel and logistical production needs for the Riedel team and its partners, while maintaining the highest possible service quality.

Let’s look at several recent high-profile, remotely produced music events that relied on the Riedel ROC to achieve maximum impact. All were joint collaborations between Riedel, Remote Recording Network (RRN) and other third-party partners.

Peter Maffay’s live streamed concert was remotely mastered at Peter Brandt’s studio in Cologne.

‡‡         Live-Streamed Peter Maffay Concert: Remote Mastering by Riedel and RRN

Last year, Riedel Managed Technology worked with RRN to provide a unique remote mastering service for a live-streamed concert performed by Peter Maffay and local musicians from Steintor-Varietè. The special acoustic concert was mixed on location in Halle, Germany by Werner Schmidl and, using RRN’s Remote Mixing facility, mastered remotely by Peter Brandt from Studio Boecker in Cologne.

Both locations were connected through the Riedel ROC, which served as the communications and signal transmission hub of the operation. From there, ROC engineers monitored communications, remotely configured all signals, and transmitted all audio streams between venue and studio.

This method of communication and audio transmission was jointly developed by Riedel and Remote Music Productions, a subsidiary of RRN, and is setting standards for the production of high-quality, environmentally friendly and cost-effective audio transmissions. Working with the concert’s FOH engineers, the Riedel/RRN team developed an extremely compact plug-and-play system that could be linked quickly and easily to the ROC via a WAN connection. Without having to worry about setup and communications, Peter and his team could fully concentrate on their task at hand — delivering the perfect sound experience to listeners all over Germany.

This innovative remote solution is both cost-efficient and environmentally friendly for live event recording, mixing and broadcasting. Occupying only four rack spaces, the system is ideal for getting the maximum out of FOH mixes and is ideally suited for broadcast and streaming.

Riedel’s ROC provided the first trans-Atlantic remote mastering workflow for the Wacken World Wide 2020 music festival.

Wacken World Wide: The Industry’s First Trans-Atlantic Remote Mastering Workflow

In another recent collaboration with RRN, together with Live Nation, Riedel established a first-of-its-kind trans-Atlantic remote mastering workflow for the Wacken World Wide 2020 music festival. Streamed live to 11 million fans worldwide from July 29 to August 1 by MagentaMusik 360, Wacken World Wide took the world’s largest heavy metal festival online in a mixed-reality production.

The audio for this broadcast was mixed in Hamburg and mastered at Valhalla Studios NY, with communications and signal configuration, transmission and monitoring handled by the Riedel ROC.

“This new remote mastering workflow is incredible, and we’ve never before had such cool broadcast sound at Wacken,” said RRN founder Peter Brandt, the Grammy Award-winning producer and engineer who oversaw audio production for the event. “Because we were able to master in an acoustically calibrated room, we had perfect conditions for a well-balanced sound.”

Audio for Wacken World Wide 2020 was delivered from the Live Nation stage in Hamburg to the Riedel ROC in Wuppertal and then on to Valhalla Studios NY for mastering by Ronald Prent. In addition to serving as a communications and signal distribution hub, the ROC supplied extensive control and monitoring capabilities, as well as a secure server structure ensuring data security and a redundant system providing reliable signal transmission throughout the event.

Connecting creatives on both sides of the Atlantic, this groundbreaking remote workflow helped to make Wacken World Wide 2020 a resounding success, opening up exciting opportunities for a wide variety of distributed production applications.

Ronald Prent at Valhalla NY Studios mastered the Wacken World Wide festival for 11 million fans.

Around the World in 80 Milliseconds: The World’s First Fully Decentralized Remote Show Event

Remote teams working across three continents were brought together last November for the first-ever fully decentralized and virtual production of a live, global music event. RRN, Riedel Communications, TV Skyline, The Black Project and 13 other partners collaborated on the production.

The live-streamed concert featured live performances by Purple Schulz, Stephan Ullrich and Daniel Klein in the One2One Studio in Bottrop, Germany. iPads placed in seating positions around the stage enabled interaction between the streaming audience and the artists, adding a powerful immersive element and making the event more tangible for all.

The on-site production team worked with a minimal cast, with the director working remotely and in real time from Vienna, with the lighting designer in Munich and the lighting operator in Frankfurt. FOH and broadcast sound was mixed in Cologne, and the parallel sound recording was controlled in 5.1.4 from Valhalla Studios in New York. The TV Skyline Skycenter in Mainz acted as a hub for camera control, image mixing, and stream delivery, while teams in Berlin managed quality control and remote audience aspects.

The Riedel ROC served as the technological heart of the production, operating as the communications and signal control center through which all remote production connections converged. The ROC team managed, programmed and monitored all intercom signals, data streams and audio feeds, as well as several CCTV video streams. The lighting operator in Frankfurt, for example, relied on two CCTV PTZ cameras as his extended eyes to oversee his work in Bottrop in real time. To ensure data security, Riedel provided secure links to the ROC via WAN and secure VPN tunnels.

Riedel’s Remote Operations Center (ROC) served as a production hub for performances by Purple Schulz, Stephan Ullrich and Daniel Klein in Germany’s One2One Studio last fall.

Solutions for Live Remote Production — Local or Global

Although not a new concept, the remote production model developed by Riedel and RRN has gained real momentum over the past year of global pandemic. The three examples cited show how various technical disciplines can collaborate remotely to control an entire show and also provide a blueprint for future applications in a wide variety of genres. The result is a paradigm for remote production that enables an entirely new approach to the concert, event or theater experience for live audiences. At the same time, this approach promotes sustainability, while lowering costs, creating jobs and fostering financial and creative flexibility. Everybody wins!

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