Wheatstone

The World's Finest Audio for Broadcast

MODERNIST BANNER

Wheatstone: Audio Consoles, Processing, Networking

WheatstoneNewRadio2015Brochure

If it's audio broadcast, it's happening at Wheatstone. We manufacture broadcast audio products, from digital consoles, control surfaces and Audioarts mixers to fully integrated audio over IP (AoIP) and TDM routing systems as well as spectral audio processing for on air and over the internet, plus a wide variety of studio and broadcast wares for radio, television and commercial installations.

Installed in more broadcast facilities than any other console brand, Wheatstone and Audioarts provide complete  program access and control for your broadcast facility. Mission Critical. Failsafe. Bulletproof – just some of the words people use to describe our studio products. Friendly. Knowledgeable. Exceptionally cool – just some of the words used to describe our people.

Click to download our NEW RADIO PRODUCTS FOR 2015 Brochure

Andy Calvanese Discusses WheatNet-IP for Television

AndyWNIP TV thumb 670

Wheatstone's VP/Technology, Andy Calvanese, discusses some of the advantages of the seamless, built-in control layer of the WheatNet-IP audio-over-IP network when used in television applications.

Impact Partnership: Wheat All The Way!

RadioMagJun15 Cover 300

June's issue of Radio Magazine tells the story of putting together Impact Partnership's studios. Of course it caught our eye...

"Our entire audio facility is built around Wheatnet IP. We chose Wheatstone because we believe that they build the most reliable and robust IP audio networking systems and that the programming is simpler than competing systems.

"We installed the Wheatstone E-1 consoles in all our studios, except an LX-24 in studio A. Most of our studios use the IP88CBE blade for the DSP engine with predefined connections and connectors for control room and studio monitors, cue output and headphone output. In the main rack room, we use a Wheatstone Aura8-IP Blade with eight individual stereo multiband processors to pre-process all of our Comrex and Tieline feeds. We installed Wheatstone M4-Ip four-channel microphone processors that have direct connections to WheatNet-IP."

Click below to download a PDF and read the article:

icon Radio Magazine June 2015 Cover Story (5.92 MB)

EDGE Network Interface to Wireless IP Links

Edge-Flowchart v3 420You know those inexpensive wifi IP radios everyone’s talking about for short studio-transmitter hops or for getting the signal back to the studio from the ballpark?

We have something for that, and it even won a Best of Show award from Radio World and Radio magazine.

We call it the Network EDGE, a cost-effective solution for interfacing between high-quality, low-latency studio networks such as WheatNet-IP and low-bandwidth STL connectivity options such as IP wireless radios.

This single rackspace unit can come in handy for any Part 15 wifi link, or any half-duplex system. In fact, our own Jay Tyler has found the Network EDGE to be quite useful for running audio from his covered boatlift to the gazebo at his house.

Click here for the Network EDGE product page

Super Duper Mic Processing

96K VOICE_PROCESSORS_2560In the M1, M2 and M4-IP mic processors, the A/D converters and all the processing run at 96kHz (or 88.2kHz in a 44.1kHz context). This is done for three reasons:

Read More...

  1. Reduced latency. This is the time delay through the processor, end-to-end. An unfortunate aspect of digital systems is that such delays are endemic and cumulative, so any opportunity to reduce them must be seized. It is particularly crucial where presenters are involved: any significant delay can be seriously disturbing to them, and even short delays can produce comb-filter coloration when the talent's own voice, heard via bone-conduction, mixes with the headphone audio. This colors their perception of what they sound like. Mess with an artist's self-perception at your peril. In short, running at a super-rate halves the conversion times - the major source of latency in a processor - shaving a big chunk off the delay.
  2. Improved high-frequency EQ. Not generally appreciated outside the lab is that the top octave (say from 10kHz on up) in a 48kHz system is dominated by the tyranny of inevitable “zeroes” (notches) at 24kHz, half the sample rate. These zeroes affect the calculation for and accuracy of digital filters in this upper range, taking some questionable heroics to beat them into acceptable sonic shape. Alternatively, running the EQ at 96kHz blows right past the problem (the nettlesome top-octave is now in inaudible-land). Subsequent reduction to 48kHz does not meaningfully affect the now wholly accurate EQ characteristics.
  3. Accurate dynamics behavior. Certain spot frequencies (sub-multiples of the sample rate) can suffer serious detection inaccuracies, particularly with peak-sensing detectors found in limiters or fast compressors. In some cases, such as a protection limiter, these can even render the device useless. Running these dynamics at super-rate forces the worst of these “black holes” an octave up and generally out of harm's way, with any remaining stragglers far easier to contain.

These three results of high-rate processing confer obvious operational benefits and superior sonic performance. An adjective commonly used about the M1 or M4-IP's sound is “sweet.” High-rate processing is a large part of the reason.

Here’s some other stuff you probably didn’t know about Wheatstone M-1, M-2 and M4-IP mic processors.

Oregon State's WheatNet-IP TV Audio System

TV NEWSCHECK OREGONfull

A $3.1 million, 14,000-square-foot media center allows students at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., to get hands-on experience producing content for television, FM radio, the Web, social media, newspaper and magazine.  This state-of-the-art operation could serve as a model for broadcasters looking to integrate media. Shown in the photo is Control Room A.
(
Photo: Erik Utter Associates) 

Read More...

By This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TVNewsCheck

Memorial Day weekend is usually an exciting time for students wrapping up their spring semesters and heading out for summer vacation, but this year’s holiday weekend was particularly stirring for media-savvy students at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

That’s because Friday, May 22, marked the inauguration of TV production at a new 14,000-square-foot media center located on the fourth floor of the also new Student Experience Center near the university's student union.

The modern, multifaceted media center is a largely open, collaborative environment where students will get hands-on experience producing content for television, FM radio, the Web, social media, newspaper and magazines that could serve as a model for broadcasters looking to integrate media in a collegial environment.

The inaugural production, a 25-minute live preview of one of the musical groups scheduled to perform at this weekend’s Oregon State Battle of the Bands, was a test-drive before the $3.1 million facility shifts into high gear for the fall semester.

“It was an opportunity to pull the Ferrari out of the garage and take it for a spin around the block,” says Bill Gross, assistant director of the Orange Media Network, which operates all the university's media.

“We wanted our seniors to put their signature touch on the facility so they could claim they did the first live show out of the new facility.”

The new facility replaces a surplus dormitory purchased from student housing in the 1970s for media operations. “Essentially, it was a rabbit’s warren of small rooms,” says Michael Henthorne, executive director of Memorial Union and Educational Activities at the university.

“We are shifting from what traditionally has been an individualized organizational structure for each product to now being more of a single news organization with multiple means of reaching its clientele,” he says.

The facility consists of two studios and two control rooms as well as a common newsroom where student journalists working on stories for their newscast can collaborate with their colleagues working on content for KBVR-FM, the student newspaper, quarterly magazine, website and social media. The retooled KBVR-TV, which has been on a bit of a hiatus from its regular program schedule while relocating to the new digs, will begin producing a live newscast five nights a week as part of its 24/7 program lineup on a community Public, Educational and Government Access Channel provided by Comcast, says Gross.

Besides news, KBVR-TV airs public affairs, variety and music shows, educational programming and sports. The station also simulcasts online as a live Internet stream.

The facility was designed to make it easy to reconfigure and share production equipment, says Erik Utter, director of engineering and president of Erik Utter Associates, the Seattle-based video engineering and consulting firm responsible for its planning. For instance, the six Grass Valley LDX HD studio cameras — one of which is on a crane — can be moved between studios or broken down and transported for live productions from around the campus, he says.

Similarly, the three M/E busses of the Ross Video Acuity production switcher can be shared between the new facility’s two production control rooms, each of which is equipped with an Acuity control surface. Grass Valley Kaleido multiviewers also can be shared and reconfigured on the fly to display every video source in the facility as needed, Utter says.

Another example of the facility’s flexibility is the Wheatstone WheatNet audio-over-IP network. “They are completely reconfiguring their resources depending upon whether the production is a newscast, a music production or a production in concert with the FM station,” Utter says.

“They are reconfiguring that on a production-by-production basis, so the audio-over-IP was absolutely critical to having that ability.” Rounding out the lineup of news production technology in the control rooms are a Wheatstone Dimension Three audio console and Ross Video Xpression graphics and titling.

HD-SDI video is routed to the control rooms and throughout the facility via an 80-by-80 Grass Valley NVision routing switcher. Eight PTZ remote-controlled cameras provide live shots from the newsroom, rooftop, radio studios and elsewhere around the facility. Master control playout is handled by a Tightrope Media Systems server and a Ross Video MC1 master control system. Live video streams are encoded on Elemental servers.

A large, open area on the fourth floor takes the place of separate newsrooms for each medium. The common work area, dubbed “the bullpen” by students, offers a large media lab for video editing on Apple Final Cut Pro; lounge seating for spontaneous editorial meetings; and 30 Ross Video Inception newsroom computer system seats for assignment editors, reporters and producers.

Newscasts are to be run out of the control rooms under MOS control from Inception, and reporters in the field have access to the newsroom system on their laptops and mobile devices via a virtual private network, Utter says.

Inception was a good fit for the facility because it was conceived as a single software application supporting social media, online, TV, radio and print, not simply as a TV news system with Web and print modules bolted on, he says.

“It has very simplified publishing tools to publish to TV, print, Facebook, the Web or whatever.”

Inception is tied into a new Oregon State EditShare media asset management system, which is used not only by the Orange Media Network but also the athletic department and campus media services, says Gross. For KBVR-TV, the MAM provides eight channels of studio playout and recording. For ENG, students will shoot stories with eight new Sony NX-5 HD camcorders as well as with eight existing Canon EOS Rebel DSLR cameras, Gross says. Ross Video’s Inception Social Media Management will tie social media into newscasts and other programs by enabling live Facebook and Twitter polling to generate Xpression graphics.

Support for social media was a must-have requirement for the paid student managers of Orange Media Network who had a major hand in designing the new facility, Utter says.

Unlike many other university media operations, funding for the Oregon State media facility as well as the $42 million Student Experience Center comes from student activity fees. In 2010, a student referendum to fund the project passed by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, according to Henthorne.

While the annual turnover of student managers during the three-year design phase was a bit of a challenge, Utter says any drawbacks were more than offset by the fresh perspective and effort students brought to the process. That’s not surprising because not only do they have skin in the game, but many also are motivated to produce media with tools that will make them more marketable after graduation.

“Students want a place to hone their skills, to collaborate and leave the institution with state-of-the-art experience,” Henthorne says.

To stay up to date on all things tech, follow Phil Kurz on TVNewsCheck’s Playout tech blog here. And follow him on Twitter: @TVplayout.

 

Cruising Main Street

Beasley2Beasley’s new WheatNet-IP remote studio near historic Las Vegas’ Fremont Street is a modern throwback to the days when listeners and artists could walk into any radio station on Main Street with a request or a record album.

“It’s sort of like being back in high school again when everyone cruised (downtown) Fremont street with their radios turned up,” says Tom Humm, who was raised in the area and is now the Vice President and Market Manager for Beasley Media Group, Las Vegas.

The new Beasley Media/Cox Business Broadcasting Studio built for Beasley Media Group’s five Las Vegas stations sits adjacent to a busy amphitheater in Downtown Container Park, the area’s newest shopping and entertainment center constructed of cargo containers stacked on top of each other. With the help of a fiber optic communications link sponsored by Cox Business and our WheatNet-IP audio networking, the group can seamlessly link its new remote studio to its main studio on Durango Drive some 15 miles away.

Read More...

“It’s one-button control. It’s all done through (WheatNet-IP) routing, so they can go live very easily and at very high quality,” says Mike Cooney, VP of Engineering and CTO at Beasley Broadcast Group.

Beasley3“The point-to-point fiber connection puts it right on the WheatNet network in our studios, so this studio just becomes another studio like any studio in the (Durango) building,” explains Beasley Las Vegas Regional Engineering Manager Lamar Smith, who used Wheatstone’s new Screen Builder app to quickly customize a touchscreen interface on a large flat screen that acts as a control surface in the new remote studio. Beasley’s main studio operation on Durango Drive is a WheatNet-IP facility comprising LX-24, E-6 and E-1 control surfaces and more than two dozen I/O BLADEs.

And, like early radio, the new studio brings back that main street accessibility to music and entertainment for which radio is known, but with all the modern conveniences. In addition to fiber optics and audio IP networking, the new remote studio sponsored by Cox Business includes a bank of phone chargers for use by the public. Recently, on Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you), fans were able to re-charge their iPhones and Androids while walking around the park dressed in costumes as part of a Beasley event commemorating their big day with contests and prizes.

“We’re definitely bringing life back to downtown. We did our first-ever adult Easter egg hunt here as a remote broadcast, even before the studio was finished. We invited 300 people and we had 4,500 people in line before 9 o’clock, so I guess that’s a pretty good indication of how alive local radio is here,” commented Humm, whose career in Las Vegas radio has spanned more than four decades, including radio’s heyday in downtown Las Vegas.

Beasley6Beasley’s own KDWN-AM as well as KENO-AM and KGIX-AM were located on or near downtown Las Vegas starting in the 1940s, but like other stations across the nation, they abandoned their downtown studios as part of urban sprawl and began relying on remote vehicles for live coverage of local events.

Beasley Media Group Las Vegas owns NewsTalk 720 KDWN-AM and four other stations: Classic Hits 96.3 KKLZ-FM, Vegas’ New Country 102.7 KCYE-FM (The Coyote), Old School 105.7 KOAS-FM, and Star 107.9 KVGS-FM.

Downtown Container Park’s inaugural year brought in more than one million visitors and welcomed artists such as Sheryl Crow, Cults, Belmont Lights and Cayucas – a venue now on tap by Beasley’s five local stations, thanks to the new studio.

Construction for the new studio began in February and its completion happened to coincide with the NAB convention held last month and attended by more than 100,000 people from around the globe.

Beasley Media Group owns and operates 53 radio stations (34 FM and 19 AM) in twelve large- and mid-size markets. It is the oldest continuously managed, publicly traded, pure play radio broadcaster in the country.

WheatstoneNAB BANNER

Cris Alexander On Technology Disconnect

thumb ChrisStory 2000bYou know that big disconnect where you have new technology on the way in and old technology on the way out, and a budget that doesn’t quite cover it?

We’ve all experienced awkward technology transitions. But there are some engineers, like Cris Alexander, the DOE for Crawford Broadcasting, who seem to manage these better than most. Cris has been using Wheatstone consoles and network systems since at least 2005, when he purchased our TDM router with G-6 consoles. He’s been known to get a budget to stretch like taffy across five major markets and several decades of technology.

 

Read More...

We asked him for a few tips and got back these useful Cris-isms:

Reuse, recycle, reclaim. His solution for the big disconnect between existing TDM technology and newer IP audio networking is classic green economics: bring the most dated studios up to current technology using network hardware that can be repurposed.

Until this past fall, the three production studios for the Denver cluster were all analog. Updating these to new Wheatstone surfaces with WheatNet-IP audio network was a no-brainer. But deciding how to connect them to the four on-air studios and the newsroom that would remain with TDM routing for another five years required some strategy. “We thought about using a MADI card to bridge the WheatNet-IP with the TDM router in the interim, but we’d never be able to get the useful life out of it,” he said.

Instead of MADI, Cris tied the two systems together using the I/O in a standard BLADE access unit that could be reassigned to another studio or part of the network once the facility went AoIP throughout. “MADI for us was life limited, whereas the (WheatNet-IP) BLADE I/O unit could bridge the two easily and cost-effectively, and still serve a useful life after we converted everything to WheatNet-IP,” he explained.

Extend the life of what you have. Cris isn’t in any rush to replace the cluster’s Wheatstone TDM Gibraltar network, however. “It still works and looks like new, is in excellent condition and has years left on it,” he said of this TDM workhorse that remains in the four main studios and newsroom. Just recently he replaced the hard drives on the routing system, which reset the depreciation clock back to almost new and will give him at least another five years of useful service out of the system -- or more. “Actually, we could probably keep this system for another ten years,” he added.

Get same in upgrades. His TDM routed studios have G-6 console surfaces. When it came time to upgrade the production studios to WheatNet-IP, he looked for – and found – the IP equivalent that would give his talent the same feel and function they were used to in the G-6 console. “The E-6s were very similar and we even got the classic style E-6 that matched the appearance of the G-6s. It makes all the difference in bringing together the facility,” he said.

But get the best. In almost all cases it is best to go with the latest generation of equipment if you can afford it, according to Cris. For high-availability access points in the new AoIP network, he went with WheatNet-IP BLADE-3 I/O access units rather than the second-generation equivalent in order to gain a few helpful features that will reduce acquisition costs in the long run. For example, while second generation BLADEs had removed outboard DAs from the balance sheet because of built-in utility mixers, stepping up to third-generation BLADEs at certain access points gave him this, plus audio processing at these access points that will eliminate outboard processing in many cases – and contribute to a better sound overall.

Incidentally, for the access points that use second-generation WheatNet-IP BLADEs, Cris made sure to upgrade their CPU software in order to squeeze every ounce of performance and usability possible from these I/O units.

Look ahead for any disconnects down the road. This is where product design and technology standards in general can make a difference. For example, Cris likes that Wheatstone’s WheatNet-IP BLADE-3 I/O units are AES67 compatible, a standard that Wheatstone engineers helped ratify in 2013 as part of an industry effort to provide interoperability between systems and equipment. “That’s just another thing that helps future-proof our radio stations,” commented Cris.

Once you’ve perfected your approach, duplicate it. Cris tests and perfects new technology transitions at the group’s Denver cluster, where he’s located, and then rolls out the proven results to Crawford’s four other clusters in major markets. There are several new BLADEs and E-6 control surfaces on the way to him as we write this, all of which will be used to upgrade Crawford stations in Detroit, Birmingham, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Getting the Right HD Radio Blend

BelarHail to time alignment!

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Belar’s ADC algorithm, a new feature of its FMHD-1 modulation monitor, makes live, off-air measurements of the timing differences between the HD Radio and analog signal. By combining Belar's ADC algorithm with the intelligence built into every Wheatstone on-air processor, the nagging problem of that not-so-graceful HD-blend-to-analog is finally solved.

How can that new algorithm be put to work without inserting another expensive, complicated, or failure-prone box in the air chain?

Simple. Our Automation Control Interface (ACI), a standard feature built into every Wheatstone on-air processor, can deliver Belar's precision time correction messages directly to the processor's HD diversity delay algorithm, regardless of where in the signal chain the processor is located. HD/analog time alignment can now be kept in perfect, sample-accurate sync – forever – and without having to run program audio through yet another device in the air chain.

No more skipping audio. No more listener tune-outs.

Wheatstone wins FOUR NAB Best of Show Awards!

TVT Award 300

RadioAward 420

RW Award 420

At this year's NAB we've introduced a new concept for IP Networked Audio for live and production TV. We've launched our new flagship TV Audio console, the IP-64 along with our Gibraltar IP Mix Engine. Both break new ground by combining intelligent IP Networking with integrated tools and control layer to provide capabilities never before seen in the TV audio world. TV Technology saw fit to give both the IP-64 and the Gibraltar IP Mix Engine their coveted BEST OF SHOW awards!

Wheatstone’s new IP-64 large-format digital mixing console with IP networking is an excellent example of what this leading manufacturer of broadcast studio equipment is known for: a solid, intuitive console that doesn’t require a week of console school to learn how to operate.

The new Gibraltar IP Mix Engine provides Wheatstone’s line of audio consoles with direct connectivity into WheatNet-IP, an AES67 compatible IP audio network with all the necessary broadcast audio tools and controls integrated into one robust, distributed network.

 


 

Additionally, we are EXCEPTIONALLY excited to have won BEST OF SHOW awards from both Radio Magazine AND Radio World Magazine for our brand new NETWORK EDGE!

Network EDGE is a designed specifically as a translator between high-quality, low-latency studio networks such as WheatNet-IP and low-bandwidth STL connectivity options such as IP wireless radios.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheatstone-Eventide Handshaking

IMG 2634smallerIn celebration of Wheatstone's partnership with Eventide, Richard Factor, (left) Chairman of Eventide, and Gary Snow, (right) President of Wheatstone Corporation, did a bit of handshaking of their own at booth C755 at NAB 2015 in Las Vegas.

What are these two up to? WheatNet-IP integration into Eventide products, that's what. Eliminating one more network box in the studio chain, Eventide’s BD600W delay unit is now available with an optional WheatNet-IP network card for easy and seamless integration of profanity delay into the WheatNet-IP audio network. You can see this integration in action, live and up-close, at Eventide's booth #C2848.


 

 

Wheatstone At NAB

We had a GREAT NAB Show in Las Vegas! Won FOUR Best of Show awards!
Here are a few  images from our first day on the show floor:

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.wheatstone.com/#sigProGalleria5b7091bd62

Want to see more? The full photo galleries are here, updated as the show goes on: NAB 2015 Photos

twitterfacebook