Question Time For Yamaha

The Dugan-MY16 automated mic mixing card for Yamaha digital mixers is currently in use on BBC One’s Question Time, the UK’s flagship political debate programme. Question Time, which is recorded as live, features a high profile panel answering questions from the audience, and is broadcast from a different UK venue each week. There can be up to 10 omnidirectional microphones open at the same time, and the Dugan MY-16 is helpful in this application because, instead of keeping the channel levels low and having to rapidly bring up a fader when someone speaks, the operator can keep all the channels open at the required level without loss of quality. This is acheived by gain sharing, which allocates the amount of overall gain across all of the open mic channels. With a number of channels open, this reduces background noise. However, once a panellist starts to speak, the card automatically allocates all the available gain to that channel, ensuring they can be heard and effectively muting the rest. Should another panellist interrupt, their microphone automatically opens and shares the gain between the two mics, ensuring both are heard. Yamaha Commercial Audio’s Tree Tordoff said: “It not only makes life easier for the sound engineer, but also makes it much more natural for those speaking. They can talk as if they are having a normal conversation.”

"Being an old school live engineer with 30 years experience, I was sceptical about auto mixers,” said Engineer Jeremy Farnell. “But I’ve been delighted with the way the MY16-Dugan performs. The card increases the intelligibility of the panel and reduces overall colouration of the broadcast sound.”