With over a decade of experience in professional audio services, Rolton Productions has helped to capture the moments of various live music performances with their cutting edge technology and expertise in the industry.
However, with the pandemic, they were faced with a unique set of challenges as many started to explore the live streaming options. This resulted in the need for them to find specific audio and visual solutions in order to cope with the rising demands and increasing restrictions in place.
We spoke with David Wong, Director of Rolton Productions, to learn more about their business challenges and how Canon’s camera solutions have helped their team to overcome and establish greater standards.
What were some of the challenges you faced in this industry, especially with the transition from physical to hybrid concerts during the pandemic?
It’s always been a challenge to work in the audio service industry. Many people have the perception that it’s not something professional but in fact, technical knowledge and having the right skill set is very important in this niche industry. Since COVID-19 happened, we’ve had major changes to the setup of production for concerts. What used to be a single setup that would last from the start to end with an intermission in between, has now turned into multiple setups within an even shorter time frame now that intermissions are removed. What complicates the matter further is the restrictions in place for productions. With the reduction in number of people allowed on set, this met a much heavier workload for everyone on duty with longer time required to set things up. Live concert experiences are unique on their own and to be able to replicate that experience, as closely as possible, was another challenge we saw.
Why did you choose Canon CR-N500 Remote Camera and Remote Controller RC-IP100, and how have these solutions helped in the pre to post-production of live streaming?
With all the challenges in mind, we needed to find better quality cameras that are able to better handle close ups and transitions, without compromising any of the audio and visual quality of a concert hall experience. Since we’ve started using the camera solutions from August 2021, we’ve been able to successfully capture high quality video footage during live streaming of concerts. The auto focusing from the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, along with the pan-tilt-zoom feature, comes in handy with the reduction in our manpower on stage. This gives us greater flexibility to plan for our post-production work and we’re able to transit from one person to another on stage, quickly and seamlessly with high-speed, high precision. The bitrate options that the solutions offer were also one of the deciding factors for us.
Why did you choose to go with our camera solutions and what are some of the key features you found to be useful in your line of business?
We’ve explored different options available to us in the market but in the end, we felt that Canon was reliable and able to deliver the quality that we required. The colours on Canon cameras are more neutral and true right out of the box, and that means it’s easier to match with the other brands of cameras that we had on hand. This allowed easy integration for post-production work. The 4K UHD video quality and 15x optical zoom of CR-N500 was one of the key features we loved. It allowed us to focus on individual performers on stage as we zoomed in, while keeping a good full resolution. On the other hand, the slow zoom feature was critical especially during classical music performances.
Looking at the solutions we’re now using, we can say it has definitely helped us to simplify the live-streaming process. In the past, we needed to communicate with one another as we switched between cameras. Now, we can do that together with live mixing over the Remote Controller RC-IP100 and have a comprehensive overview of all the shows that we have, and all the shots that we might need. We are also able to have all presets of PTZ camera angles saved on the Remote Controller, which gives the director much more control, along with the added advantage from the flexibility that the cameras on stage are able to give. But one of the gamechangers for us is the audio XLR option that allows us to record audio into the camera directly, with the option for expansion of more audio channels. This means that we’re able to have good synchronisation of audio and video with high quality audio, which is crucial in replicating the best concert hall experience.
How was your customer service experience with Canon?
Overall, the after sales customer service experience has been nothing but great. The team has always been very willing to help, and efficient in troubleshooting as well. The valuable technical input from the team is something that we truly value and we’ll definitely look to implement and diversify our equipment with Canon solutions in the future should the need arise.
If you would like to find out more about our remote camera solutions and how it can be implemented in your organisation or venue, visit us here for more information. For an in-depth coverage of Rolton Productions by The Straits Times, click here.
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