Welcome PR&E to the Wheatstone Family
When Jack Williams started PR&E more than 40 years ago in San Diego, California, they were a service company, focused on building custom solutions for the recording industry. In 1969 a local radio station heard about their variable-speed motor drive for Ampex tape recorders and called for a demo. At that time, the radio industry was searching for better technology to create and air more sophisticated programs with greater efficiency. Word quickly spread about PR&E’s systems approach to designing and building custom solutions. In a matter of months, PR&E was focused solely on radio.
Large-market radio was making the transition from always having dedicated board operators running the console. This “combo operation” risked taking talent’s attention away from creative tasks. PR&E engineers spent hours watching how radio programs were produced to find ways to simplify tasks and workflow, then they asked questions, listened, watched some more and questioned some more.
They discovered that substituting the rotary potentiometers found on most radio boards at the time with the linear faders used in the recording industry would greatly improve efficiency. Nothing was overlooked to reach the goals of making every movement smooth, reducing the chance of dead air and facilitating creativity.
The BMX debuted in 1974 as their first off-the-shelf radio console, showcasing a distillation of the common denominators of its predecessors. Console customization was still available, along with design and integration services scalable from consultation to full installation. The BMX changed the way radio was created and helped stations be more profitable.
Their studio product line remained driven towards further enhancements. Wild ideas from conversations with programmers, producers and managers were put in perspective and then put into radio studios and console products. The industry now takes for granted many of their innovations, such as push-button remote controls, routing of mix-minus signals, logic for machine control of audio and other machines, as well as their refining the way equipment was arranged in radio studios.
Meet Richard Maddox
Every PR&E console was designed to minimize downtime and maintenance costs. While their product range expanded to include additional consoles, studio furniture, wiring harnesses and interconnect solutions Pacific's explosive growth was primarily due to their ability to listen, understand and respond to each client’s individual requirements and deliver the best designs, products and installations.
Today, Wheatstone is proud to welcome this great line to our family of broadcast audio products. We look forward to taking PR&E into the future by integrating it with our WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network. We also are already at work expanding the line of PR&E consoles as we take PR&E’s original philosophy and meld it with our own passion and expertise.
Quick Links to PR&E Products
Click on images to go to the product pages.
The new DMX AoIP console line carries forward the rugged quality and practical functionality of the PR&E brand, but includes IP audio routing as an easy studio add-on. It’s an ideal setup for the two- or three-studio facility where each studio can act independently as a separate standalone entity, but the studios are linked together through an IP network.