Gearhouse Broadcast delivers The X Factor Audio Solution for 2009

TV Programmes

For the sixth year running broadcast solutions provider Gearhouse Broadcast return to provide the audio systems for ‘The X Factor’, ITV’s largest music talent show.

Gearhouse Broadcast has been awarded the contract of major radio microphone and audio supplier for ITV’s hit show, ‘The X Factor’ and will work with clients, Talkback Thames and Video Sound Services to deliver a huge, complex audio system in accordance with the shows production requirements. The job is so involved that the setup and project planning for the production begins at least two months before the first studio transmission goes live on the 10th October.

Gearhouse Broadcast’s Audio division will provide the majority of all presenter and contestant radio microphones for both the ITV1 and ITV2 shows. A major change to the format of the show will see Gearhouse Broadcast not only delivering for the Saturday live show, but also for the Sunday live results show, amounting to over fifty-four channels of various RF equipment throughout the Studio. Gearhouse Broadcast’s Managing Director Eamonn Dowdall comments “Drawing on our vast experience of live television production we understand the time constraints involved and the need to work within budget and to provide reliable, quality systems. We will create a multi-purpose radio microphone solution to meet the large scale requirements of this high profile show.”

All radio equipment will be configured to meet the specifications of BAFTA award winning Sound Director, Robert Edwards of VSS Limited, who sets out the requirements for both the shows and has worked with Gearhouse Broadcast on a number of projects before including Talent TV’s ‘Test the Nation’ and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

In total seven x8-way receiver racks will be rigged at the Studios for use on both the ITV1 & ITV2 shows. The seven racks will be used in conjunction with a Sennheiser custom built ‘Titan X’ aerial combiner which will allow full diversity coverage throughout the studios during the shows. This type of audio solution was determined by both the ITV1 and ITV2 shows requiring not only coverage of the studio but also the backstage areas, green rooms, dressing rooms and connecting corridors all on one system so that contestants can move around the different areas.

The Titan combiner is a bespoke solution built by Gearhouse Broadcast in conjunction with Sennheiser, specifically to meet the audio RF demands of The X Factor and provide a multi-zone radio microphone system. Further audio equipment will be supplied by Gearhouse Broadcast which includes 43 x Sennheiser SK 5012 microphones and 5212 transmitters, 5 Sennheiser SKM 5200-U transmitters, 2 Sennheiser SKP 30 plug on transmitters and a set of two Sennheiser wireless in ear monitors. Due to the 54 channels of Radio Frequencies throughout the building a custom calculated frequency plan was needed to avoid any interference between the equipment. This will be developed in conjunction with the audio manufacturer Sennheiser and radio spectrum managers JFMG.

For the duration of the show Gearhouse Broadcast’s Audio division will supply full technical support and back-up to assist with the smooth running of the production.