TourGigs Relies on Carlsbad High School Students and Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that Austin, TX based concert film technology company TourGigs used Blackmagic products, including ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4Kstill4-400 switchers, for live production and live streaming at the 11th annual Switchfoot Bro-Am fundraiser at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA.

TourGigs worked with broadcast journalism students from nearby Carlsbad High School to run the production of the event, which drew a crowd of 20,000 attendees and was streamed to 75,000 more viewers.


"Working with ViaSat and Blackmagic Design was one of the coolest experiences because I was able to work with professionals and together we collaborated to create a really amazing live event."

- Kelsey Beekman, Sophomore, Carlsbad High School


Organized by Grammy® award winning alternative rock band Switchfoot, the annual Bro-Am fundraiser aims to give back to the local San Diego community, including raising money for homeless youth programs. The 2015 event included a full day of surf competitions, featuring surfing legends Rob Machado and Damien Hobgood, as well as live music on the sand, capped off by a Switchfoot concert on the beach. Since the event’s inception in 2005, the fundraiser has raised more than $1 million for San Diego children’s charities.

In conjunction with ViaSat, which provided satellite bandwidth and technology for the event, TourGigs provided the necessary AV technology and expertise to the Carlsbad High School students, who run the #1 rated high school daily broadcast program in the country. With guidance from the professionals, the students operated the cameras, did the live switching and performed as the on air talent.

still1-375TourGigs set up two ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switchers, with one in the surf competition area and the other in the concert area. Five cameras were fed into each switcher, along with a drone feed and an HDMI feed from a computer for graphics. One of the cameras was connected wirelessly, while four of the cameras were run through either an ATEM Camera Converter or a Mini Converter HDMI to SDI before being connected to the switcher. The team recorded their line cuts with Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Studio SSD recorders.

From the ATEM, the program feed was encoded at 1920 x 1080, 23.98p video using TourGigs’ custom built encoder, which utilizes a Blackmagic Design DeckLink SDI 4K capture and playback card. The team transmitted the encoded video to www.broam.org and www.surfline.com at speeds up to 9Mbps over satellite IP provided by ViaSat. According to Jake Saxbe, TourGigs co founder and partner, the ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K was chosen for its reliability, adaptability and ability to accommodate different formats on the fly.

“The ATEM did exactly what we needed it to do, as did all of the Blackmagic products we used, and the studentsstill3-375 were able to produce something as good as the stuff that we do at TourGigs,” said Jake. “This was their first time using some of these products, and that really speaks to Blackmagic Design’s ease of use. We were also completely off the grid and running entirely off generator power, which shows how portable and adaptable Blackmagic Design’s products can be for situations like this.”

Watch for more on Carlsbad High School Broadcast Journalism Department in future issues.