Music Matters Productions, an Atlanta-based live event production company, has adopted a FOR-A 12G-SDI 4K workflow anchored by its new HVS-1200 video switcher, MFR-1000 routing switcher, and FA-9600 multi-purpose signal processors. The new FOR-A gear is scheduled to be used on several national tours, corporate events, festivals, and other projects.
For today’s live concert/event productions, where large-screen projectors and large LED panels are used, 4K-quality video is essential. The 12G-SDI transmission standard allows users to transmit a 4K signal through a single coax cable, while 3G-SDI systems require four cables. For Music Matters, single cable connectivity provides easier setup and fewer points of failure in the signal chain on location, as well as less weight for transport.
Ken Sorrell, national account manager for Music Matters, said the toughest challenge of moving to 12G has been “handshakes” between the equipment.
“Getting pieces of gear to talk, trying to find the right 12G cable and the right connectors that will allow us to get the maximum distance from our video switcher to, say, a projector. That’s a challenge,” he adds. “FOR-A has really simplified the transition from HD to 4K thanks to their 12G single-cable solution and vast knowledge of broadcast. They have the ‘know-how’ from real-world implementation of actual working 12G 4K workflows. Plus, the operation and workflow of FOR-A’s equipment is so intuitive, which makes everything incredibly simple.”
“We are excited to partner with Music Matters to bring 12G-SDI workflows to the live event marketplace,” says Satoshi Kanemura, president of FOR-A Corporation of America. “As 4K production becomes the norm for concerts and corporate events, 12G offers an easy and familiar upgrade path for existing baseband infrastructures. We look forward to helping Music Matters simplify their 4K business and expand their use of 12G in the future.”
Beyond its variety of processing functions, the FA-9600 was chosen by Music Matters for its color correction, which is particularly useful when LED walls and projection displays are being utilized in close proximity of each other. According to Sorrell, the use of LED display technology at live events has been growing for years – and along with that comes the challenge of accurate color reproduction on LED displays. The adjustment knobs on the front panel of the FA-9600 are “crucial” for engineers to quickly “paint” outputs and match different display technologies as closely as possible, as opposed to a mouse and GUI. “Being able to easily adjust what I’m showing to match what I’m getting is huge,” he added.
Sorrell also praised the HVS-1200 switcher, which Music Matters will use for both 4K and HD productions. “It’s very ergonomic,” he noted. “It just feels right when you’re operating a FOR-A switcher.”
Unlike many other routing switchers currently used in live events, the MFR-1000 offers a clean switch between sources. As a result, Music Matters can use the router as a cuts-only video switcher when unscheduled needs arise. “You get a lot more value for your money,” Sorrell said of FOR-A’s 12G products. “We’re able to provide our clients with top-level equipment while also getting a faster return on our investment.”
Sorrell was already familiar with FOR-A switchers, because he has relied on HVS-390HS, HVS-110, and HVS-100 switchers for more than 600 shows without a single failure. “I’ve put FOR-A on every big festival, tour, or other event that I’ve had for the last eight years,” he said. “FOR-A really thinks everything through – not just the function of the switcher, but also the ergonomics of the control surface and workflow of the GUI. It’s such an easy switcher to use. It’s rock solid, it’s durable, and it’s not going to fail you.”