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Designing Web Audio & CD-ROM by Dylan Thede, Josh Beggs

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Case study: N2K streams live Mötley Crüe concert

Now that you are familiar with some of the challenges of live broadcasting, let’s take a look at how N2K Entertainment, now part of CDNow, used the RealAudio System to broadcast a Mötley Crüe concert at the Roseland in New York.

As manager of Online Technologies for N2K Entertainment, Tim Nielson is responsible for managing N2K’s RealAudio live concert cybercasts and 24-hour RealAudio broadcasts of WBGO’s Jazz Central Station in New Jersey and WQXR’s Classical Insights in New York City. N2K Entertainment produces the popular Music Boulevard (see Figure 6-11) and Rocktropolis web sites and was one of the first companies to pioneer live webcasting and online music sales over the Internet.

The N2K home page at

Figure 6-11. The N2K home page at http://www.cdnow.com

Capturing high-quality live sound

The greatest challenge in broadcasting live events is supplying the RealEncoder with a high-quality source signal. Capturing a good audio feed is a difficult task, since the two easiest methods for recording live audio—getting a signal direct from the concert PA mixer or setting up a pair of microphones—have serious tradeoffs.

Recording a direct stereo signal from a monitor mixing board is problematic since every concert venue requires special equalization to prevent distortion and to custom-tailor the sound for the acoustics of the concert hall. This means that you ...

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