Issue 27



5 October 2015

Aja Systems_rs

Cole Gion is the man behind the scenes quietly powering AV for live event productions across the globe. Cole Gion, AV systems engineer and ProCraft Media owner, recently trekked across the U.S., Europe and Asia, supporting video production for Katy Perry’s “Prismatic” concert tour. In Perry’s typical over-the-top style, the stage is adorned with large LED walls that screen video clips throughout the performance, providing context for the action on stage. To cue up the content on time for the Asia leg of the tour, Gion banked on an extensive workflow, with video input, output, conversion, scaling and recording powered by a combination of AJA gear, including ROI and HD5DA Mini-Converters; Io 4K capture and output hardware; and Ki Pro recorders.

“I’d had a good experience with AJA KONA cards in the past, so I thought I’d give some of its newer products a try,” said Gion. “It amazes me how AJA wraps so much of the key functionality that you’d find in larger, more expensive solutions into affordable, compact units. I could achieve what would typically take seven RU of rack space in a one RU shelf, and that’s fantastic on a tour with limited rack space.”

A Mac Pro running Catalyst Media Server Software was driving the video wall content, featuring custom graphics by Lightborne Communications. Gion devised a plan to get DVI graphics content from the Catalyst server to the tour’s main SDI video system and onto the video walls. Looking for a Thunderbolt-enabled input and output solution, he opted to use three Io 4Ks, and rounded out his workflow with three AJA ROIs and AJA HD5DAs to convert the DVI signal to SDI. Three AJA Ki Pro ProRes recorders in the main director’s bridge also fed line cuts and archives of the show to Gion’s suite, with one Ki Pro feed used to create show highlights for media.

Gion constructed his workflow so that every rig contains a redundant backup, in addition to a separate hot backup system. The Io 4Ks are split among the backup rigs with a switcher in the rack that will switch between DVI inputs. “If you look at my backup system, you can see that reliability is paramount, especially in live touring gear; your tools have to be dependable, because there is no pause button in live production, and my AJA gear never fails me; it’s well built and just keeps working,” says Gion.

In September, Gion took to the road once again with his AJA kit as the South American leg of the tour kicked off in São Paulo, Brazil.

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Issue 27