Investing in broadcast technology

Director of Audio & Music

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A few days ago I hosted a celebration of the launch of our new radio Outside Broadcast (OB) fleet. The fleet comprises of state of the art sound trucks that you may see parked up at countless festivals, concerts and events throughout the year. The new trucks have come to the rescue of our ageing vehicles which have been heavily used for many years. Capital investment is very significant (and rare) for BBC radio, so it represents a landmark moment.

Of course, inside the trucks are some of the most accomplished audio engineers, technicians and producers in the world. When you meet these teams, who have decades of experience, you are struck by their passion for delivering a perfect broadcast and the enormous pride that they have in representing the BBC across the country. Everything that you hear from live events beyond the studio is utterly dependent on their expertise.

This year, during some of my most enjoyable days, I visited our trucks across many locations such as outside the Proms, at Glastonbury or Maida Vale. However, perhaps I appreciate what these trucks deliver most in a cottage in Cornwall every summer, listening to live coverage of the Proms. The quality of our OB Fleet combined with the skill of the team comfortably closes the distance between the Albert Hall and the Lizard.

Furthermore, the OB team are a group that are constantly pushing the boundaries of technology. Immediately after last week's launch, they were testing new ways of producing music during a session with the Charlatans. I will be returning to this theme of audio innovation as we bring news of further developments to improve the quality of our broadcasting.

Meanwhile, if you do have ideas on how radio should innovate, don't hesitate to leave a comment here on the blog.

Tim Davie is Director of Audio & Music at the BBC

  • The picture shows Tim at the launch of the new fleet. It was taken by Simon Tuff, Principal Technologist at BBC Audio & Music.

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