Pain or no pain, the show must go on.
There is a lot of equipment that goes into running TigerTails Radio. This is mostly because the show has gained equipment over the years, and has bolted it on to the existing infrastructure rather than out-right replacing things. The only exception to this has been the microphones, as those have been upgraded – however, the old ones are still on hand for those unexpected moments of need. In fact, some of the equipment from Season 1 (back in 2004) is still in use in the modern setup.
So, just how is everything connected? To answer that we shall have to know what IS connected, and what it all does. Let’s start with the consoles. Previously the consoles and the show’s camera were all linked to the LGP mentioned in a previous post via a series of HDMI switches. This has changed for Season 11. We now have a video mixer, which should mean a smooth transition when we play games on the show. The video feed is still controlled via a HDMI switch for the PS3/PS TV/Megadrive(+MegaCD+32X), but this switch gets fed into an HDMI upscaler to get it to 1080/60, which is then routed into the video mixer. The audio from the consoles is run into a series of switches used back in Season 1 and that gets sent into a new MP3 player and audio switcher. The camera for the show is on a switch with the Dreamcast (which outputs to VGA to HDMI, but this could be changed to route it into the OSSC with the Megadrive in future) and also runs into an upscaler, however while the Dreamcast audio routes into the same switches the other consoles do, the camera is to remain mute at all times. This is to prevent feedback during the show, as we use external microphones. The other things that connect to the video mixer are the Discord PC, and the PS4. These output at the required 1080/60 so didn’t need upscaling. The video mixer then outputs to the LGP and into the stream.
For sound we have 2 mixers plus a switch. The switch is a Bluetooth MP3 player (meaning it takes SD cards, USB sticks, or Bluetooth) which has an additional 4 phono inputs. This handles the songs that are played during the show. They get fed into the main mixer and output to the LGP for syncing with the video feed. The switch also handles any extra audio from the video mixer, and the XP PC as well. Combine that with the audio from the consoles as mentioned above, and that’s all inputs taken care of.
The secondary mixer takes care of the Discord PC and the backing music, along with the feed from the PC that broadcasts the video feed – but that remains mute during the show. As Xavier and the backing music need muting at the same time, it was decided to have them feed into the main mixer from the same input. However as the backing music is muted solo during the games, it meant that a mixer was needed. Thankfully we happened to have one laying around from Season 10. How handy.
The main mixer is the one that does most of the grunt work. It takes the microphones in the studio, feeds them to a compressor and to the Discord PC so Xavier can hear us, it then receives the compressor’s output and mixes it with the jingles, the secondary mixer, and the switch before sending everything over to the XP PC for the Shoutcast feed and to the LGP for broadcast over YouTube.
And that’s pretty much it. All the equipment that will be used for Season 11. Monday’s test show will ensure all the wiring is correct, volumes are set right, mics still work, and much more. There might be some live rewiring during the show, so advance apologies to headphones users. The next couple of days are the weekend, so don’t expect a massive post for each day to be posted – and then it’s the main event.
The countdown continues…