TDS MultiMedia cameraman films a musician playing guitar on stage at El Mocambo venue

TDS MultiMedia Uses Blackmagic Design for Live Production at Toronto’s El Mocambo, Budweiser Stage and More

Blackmagic Design today announced that TDS MultiMedia, a leading Toronto provider of digital media consulting and services, is using Blackmagic Design products to capture and live stream musical performances for venues of all sizes. From Toronto’s iconic 650 person concert venue El Mocambo to the renowned classical/jazz venue Koerner Hall to the massive 17,000 seat Budweiser Stage, TDS MultiMedia easily adapts its workflow to suit its clients’ specific needs while consistently delivering cinematic results, putting audiences into the heart of the performances.

During the late ‘70s, El Mocambo quickly became Canada’s premiere showcase destination hosting the likes of The Rolling Stones, U2, Blondie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Today, El Mocambo is now an entertainment venue and a world class production facility supported by a 4K TV control room style workflow for live to tape and live streamed shoots, powered by a Blackmagic Design multicamera live production studio. With the venue’s small size, the audience is up close and personal with each act, leaving little room for large cameras, jibs, etc. As such, the gear needs to cover all aspects of the performances without being distracting or even noticeable to the audience.

“To capture detailed shots of the performers and their instruments, such as keyboards and drums, a Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K is strategically placed during concerts,” explained Founder and Principle of TDS MultiMedia Terry Walker. “Its compact size makes it a perfect fit for many venues, especially at Koerner Hall for capturing the orchestra’s conductor without any visual distractions. Larger cameras simply cannot fit in certain locations, and these compact cameras allow us to capture unique perspectives that you wouldn’t normally get.”

Additionally, up to seven Blackmagic URSA Broadcast cameras are used to capture varying shots throughout these venues. “The URSA Broadcasts deliver exceptional results, capturing every moment with precision and clarity. The cameras’ performance and affordability make them the most logical choice, and their connectivity via SMPTE fiber ensures consistent and high quality data transmission during live productions,” Walker added.

TDS MultiMedia also utilizes two flypacks consisting of Blackmagic Design switchers, recorders and more. Camera feeds are sent to the ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K or the ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switcher with an ATEM Camera Control Panel used for camera shading. Several HyperDeck Studio 12G broadcast decks are used for recording, while a Blackmagic Web Presenter 4K streaming solution is used to stream to Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, bringing the performances to remote fans worldwide and generating extra revenue.

“With our Blackmagic Design kit, we have an economical solution for achieving a 4K TV control room workflow that allows for full camera control, tally, and return,” said Walker. “This makes it easier to produce videos in higher quality, allowing us to capture a more unique perspective of the performances and enhance the professional feel of our television production.”

To polish the recordings of the live performances, TDS MultiMedia uses DaVinci Resolve Studio in post to tighten the live cut, removing any unwanted elements from the footage, as well as for color grading and creating a director’s cut and content for social media. DaVinci Resolve Studio is also used to incorporate graphics, which Walker notes enriches the content visually, adding depth and interest. The ability to add roll ins further enhances the dynamic nature of the footage, providing a smooth transition between different segments of the performance.

In addition to TDS MultiMedia’s work at El Mocambo and Koerner Hall, Walker also services Toronto’s Budweiser Stage. “We took the same approach here, using an ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K in the venue. The cameras are placed so as not to encroach on the audience’s sight lines, yet still get the shots we need,” he said.

A similar multicamera workflow is built around Blackmagic Design kit for IMAG. “We beam our signal to the large LED walls flanking the stage for patrons to see artists up close. The performances are also disseminated to the rest of the building, backstage areas, concourses, and bars with the help of numerous Blackmagic Mini Converters,” Walker added.

“The seamless integration and user friendly nature of Blackmagic Design products have enabled us to create multicamera productions affordably,” concluded Walker. “We’re achieving cinematic imagery with incredible quality, all at a fraction of the traditional costs. It’s remarkable how we now get this level of performance for the entire ecosystem, which used to be the cost of just a single camera.”

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