Blackmagic Live Production Live Streams World Club Dome Experience

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World Club Dome is a massive three-day electronic club music event, transforming the Frankfurt Commerzbank Arena into what may be the world’s biggest night club. Produced by BigCityBeats, it includes a 700,000 sqm outdoor area with over 20 stages where DJs and VJ artists from around the world perform in front of impressive pyrotechnic and video displays. 

For the past five years, BigCityBeats has hired live production specialist VPS Media to deliver live video on the stadium’s big screens, as well as a live stream for the producer’s and artists’ websites and social media channels.  

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“We focus on delivering video programming at the same high quality for all of the different end products during an event, so that a viewer can have the same experience, regardless of whether they are at home or in the arena,” said Björn Assmus from VPS Media. “To achieve that at World Club Dome, we deployed a nine-camera set-up and a robust live production desk that was able to handle an enormous number of video inputs, graphics and prerecorded DJ and VJ content. This made it possible for our live video director to produce an immersive experience.”
The backbone of VPS Media’s live production workflow for its 2017 schedule is a bespoke dual rack portable production unit, based on various Blackmagic Design products such as the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K, Smart Videohub routers and a series of Teranex AV standards and frame rate converters. “The system has to be as compact and multifunctional as possible, because our event calendar is so varied,” Björn said.

“When we designed the system, timecode sync and the very lowest latency were critical elements. The combination of the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K and HyperDeck Studio Pro recorders gives us the low latency we need for our live video streams, as well as individually synced recordings of each camera feed, which increased our certainty of a smooth, undetectable edit in post.”

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Conversions are an integral part of VPS Media’s setup. “We installed four Teranex AV units in our central control rack, and at World Club Dome we routed four AUX paths to them to ensure as much flexibility as possible in terms of format,” he said. “The LED wall, the stadium’s TV channel and each of the VJs all had different requirements when it came to signal format. But the Teranex AV could achieve this at a very low latency. Every millisecond lost is instantly visible on the LED walls for the audience to see, making this a critical point that we had to address.”
VPS Media uses all of the recorded content from the event to produce after-show footage and promotional material for BigCityBeats’ future events as well.

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A business like VPS Media needs a reliable, robust production hub, but also needs creative freedom to make their productions stand out. “By integrating Blackmagic Design into our latest unit gave us a chance to add in unexpected elements,” Björn said. “An absolute highlight from this year’s WCD was playing out slow-motion loops live on the LED screens and video cube, which amazed both the audience in the arena and the DJs themselves.”