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The Datavideo SE-2000 Kit for Large Outside Venues

On the Farm with PICKATHON 2011

By V.F. Elliott | October 21, 2011

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Pickathon is an indie-roots music festival located in Happy Valley, Oregon just outside Portland. Taking place on 80 acre Pendarvis Farm, the festival boasts six stages ranging from the side-by-side main stages to the unique stage nestled in the woods (aptly named the "Woods Stage") to the must-see Workshop and "Galaxy" Barns. Recently they obtained 4 Datavideo SE-2000 Kits to help with their live stream of the festival.

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The festival hosts a variety of styles of music; you can hear country folk singer Ray Wylie Hubbard on the Woods Stage, singer-songwriter Bill Callahan under the sails on the main stage, rockers Black Mountain in the Galaxy Barn and legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples in the intimate setting of the Workshop Barn all in one music filled day. Pickathon's Film Crew, headed by producer Ryan Stiles, was on hand at every stage capturing every band's performance.

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With 4 cameras and a director at each stage, Stiles looked to Datavideo for rugged and reliable HD switchers. Due to the variety of needs at each stage location, Stiles wanted all of the switchers to be the same for the director's ease of transitioning from stage to stage. Specifically, he needed switchers with four channels of audio to accept a left and right feed from the front of house mixing board and two microphones at the stage. The switchers needed to have two HD/SD SDI outputs and a component out which would then be down converted and sent to projectors. The HD/SD SDI outs then went to each stage's recording units with a feed back to the main production trailer for broadcast. The units had to be solid and individual for any on-site troubleshooting. They had to accept 720p 59.94 for fast action and streaming functionality. The answer, Stiles found, was in the SE-2000 switcher. Not only did the switcher meet his needs, it also had a fifth channel DVI input for a segue piece to be interjected between bands on the broadcast.

StumptownBliss.net hosted the live stream on both pickathon.com and KEXP.org free of charge to fans. The stream ran 24 hours a day from Friday August 5th to Monday August 8th. To do this, a variety of Datavideo converters were used. The DAC-8 sent the signal from the switcher to the streaming computer. The two barns had limited space and four cameras would have been too intrusive so they ran two hand-held cameras in the front, one on a tripod in the back and a Canon Vixia on a robotic head with DAC-9 converters. Most of the cameras were either Canon or JVC and matched well between the models and brands.

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At the end of the festival 117 hours of live-switched video were captured. In regards to the switcher's performance, Stiles says, "There is no other switcher I would like to have with me when on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The SE-2000 HD video Switcher Kit ITC was a solid backbone in the production and will be used in all of my future productions. With 48 bands, 6 stages, 21 cameras and a crew of 143, I never had to worry about the switcher."

For more info about the Pickathon Festival see this link:
Pickathon Festival

For more info about Datavideo and the SE-2000 Kits, please see this link:
SE-2000 Studio Kits

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