Concerts in a Pandemic.

Concerts in a Pandemic.

ReLink was designed to offer virtual meetings and conferences the same level of production support they would receive if the whole team was back stage at a live event.  We created systems and kits that allow us to send remote controlled all in one camera packages all around the country and live stream and record fully produced live corporate events online.  Show callers, producers, video, lighting, graphics, teleprompter and audio engineers can all connect to our systems from their homes and do their part to produce these live events safely and efficiently though websites that we build, or the customers own CDNs. 

I recently watched a well known band’s live streamed concert from Honk Kong, and I was underwhelmed by the production quality, and quite stunned to learn that about 120 people were involved in building that concert.   They all had to live in a bubble for a month before the live concert, and it got me thinking about how to improve that situation. 

I thought about how all of our engineers work from their homes, and how could our process be applied to a concert. 

It isn’t a stretch to imagine that a single video tech could set up a large number of remote controlled PTZ cameras in 1 day, and then leave the site until the end of the concert.  All of the operators can control the cameras from home.  We would keep that technician local for any emergency that might pop up, but not in the room with the performers.  We could fully direct the video stream without any technicians in the room! 

The audio in the concert sounded balanced, but they had an intermittent drop outs that were very distracting.  It was like their audio engineer was an expert at getting great sound into speakers, but they didn’t have anybody monitoring or managing the audio stream to and through the websites.  That’s completely unacceptable and would never happen with ReLink. 

For the audience, we have a NEW capability to provide a website with multiple streams that would let the viewer “direct” their own experience.  Imagine a main video player, with 4 smaller streams on the screen as well.  The main player would have the “produced” version of the show, but the four streams below could have additional shots of the action, and be clicked and moved to the main player at any time. So, if the viewer was a big fan of one of the performers, they could click over and see what’s happening there at any time.  These smaller windows can also be a multi-camera shoot.  For example, there could be multiple cameras on stream 2 that shows the drummer, and stream 3 could have multiple cameras on the guitar, with individual camera directors for each stream.  We also have the capability to push the produced stream to the main player at any time, which would ensure that important moments in the produced stream are always noticed.   And all of these streams are gen locked to two frames or less!  

We will never beat the experience of being immersed in the experience of a live concert. We just won’t. But it’s not impossible with some technical wizardry, a passion for the craft, and a great set of headphones that we can’t still enjoy our favorite performers in our pajama pants. Let’s do better!

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