It's really not too hard, minus a lot of prep work to pre-mix all the music tracks and rehearse the narration script etc. The actual arrangement is really quite simple, and you can ask Thumper for any details as he's the mastermind behind this...Frazer wrote:I was wondering how you guys arrange the narration & music and radio calls during a live show. Could you give an insight of who is doing what in Ventrilo? Just some tips and tricks.
We use two Ventrilo channels: Channel A) Pilots, Operations Officer and; Channel B) Narrator/DJ and streaming crew (cameraman).
The cameraman sits in Channel B and records "everything he hears" (just as he records "everything he sees" in game). The narrator/DJ then plays the (pre-mixed) songs via Ventrilo at the correct moment in Channel B and narrates at the correct time in this channel so that maneuvers fit together in a big timing puzzle and the correct parts of each song plays at the right moment. The music and mic levels are adjusted for distortion, output, and to make sure the narrator can "override" the loudest songs, but also so that the music is loud enough to pick up the softest tunes during sound checks.
Side note: This also means the narrator/DJ has to know the show timing like the back of his hand (just like all the pilots), and assume that every pilot flies his or her pre-briefed speed parameters in order for the narration window and music "hits" to occur at the right time. For example: It takes the Solos 16 seconds to fly from 12,000ft to show center at 450 KCAS (as seen in opposing maneuvers). The music in these maneuvers is pre-mixed so that the "hit" happens in 14-17 (~16) seconds into the song (depending on the song's beat per minute), and the narrator has about the same time to finish reading the script for that maneuver, but aims to finish no later than in half that amount of time (by the time the Solos are calling "6,000"). Other music tracks continuously play for a longer period of time, but have certain parts of the music further into some tracks that we'd want presented for a pass (such as the Delta Series). In this case the tracks are mixed so that the average time it takes the formation to complete the reposition and be back at show center matches the length of the track until the part we want to play is mixed together for the audience. (It takes a lot of work pre-mixing the music seamlessly and matching it to the second for each maneuver and reposition - but that's how we do it with unbelievable attention to detail. Most of the time we're only a second or two off since the show timing goes hand-in-hand with the music and narration).
Whenever we want to re-tran (re-broadcast) our comms, the narrator uses a "Ventrilo phantom" (copy of himself that he can mute/un-mute) in Channel A where the pilots are and broadcasts this back into Channel B where the streaming audio is being recorded by the cameraman. This gives the narrator/DJ the ability to choose when and what comms get re-transmitted, while the pilots are completely unaffected by it. (They only hear themselves and No. 7 - no music or narration throughout the entire show, and this helps keep the radio calls sterile).
There are also a few times when the narrator/DJ needs to coordinate with the team (mainly during the ground show), and that's done between our No. 7 (who's in Channel A with the pilots, but also uses a "Ventrilo phantom" to listen in on the music and narration in Channel B) and our No. 8 (who's in Channel B with the cameraman, but listens in on the comms in Channel A). The reason for the coordination is so that the pilots start their engines, begin taxi and takes off at the correct moment in the narration script and allows for re-tran'ed check-ins as well. No. 7 is the "link" between the Boss and the Narrator so that we all synch up without having the Boss or Narrator do any additional coordination on their own (much like the way it works in real life). Otherwise, the pilots are by themselves and can communicate as needed while performing the show without interfering with the music or narration, while No. 8 still adjusts the music "hits" and narration in real time by delaying or starting tracks to synch everything based on show timing and the pilot's calls.
This setup, as explained above, requires three addl. people aside from the pilots on our squad: A cameraman, a narrator/DJ (our No. 8, Advance Pilot/Narrator) and a coordinator (our No. 7, Operations Officer). This brings the minimum number in our crew to nine (six pilots, two support officers and one cameraman) to perform a 6-ship live show. Each person is also in-game watching live (however, our narrator/DJ uses a separate computer for the music and narration).
Hope this insight helps explain "How It's Done".
I'll leave it to Thumper's discretion to answer any technical details.