THE WORLD’S FINEST BROADCAST AUDIO CONSOLES, NETWORKING, RECORDING, AND PROCESSING
Entravision Viva IP!
It’s showtime for Entravision’s legendary radio personality Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo, whose morning show is now syndicated nationwide out of this all-Wheat studio. Notice the LX-24 console that he’s working from, surrounded by networked talent stations. What you don’t see is our WheatNet-IP audio network working behind the scenes to pull it all together.
This is one of three large studio suites in Los Angeles that have been converted to WheatNet-IP audio control and networking by the Spanish-language broadcaster, which has been using our TDM routing system for more than 12 years.
Processing for Podcasts
NPR hired its first general manager in charge of podcasts this month. We’ll let that sink in for a moment before we hit you with another interesting fact.
And, here it is: did you know that the same number of Americans listen to podcasts as use Twitter? That’s more than 57 million Americans, and growing about 23% a year due to the smartphone, according to Edison Research.
This last data point is an important one, because we’re now targeting podcasts to a pair of small speakers that essentially sit in the ear –unless you’re in a connected car, in which case audio management that helps to raise the podcast audio above the noise floor of a moving vehicle is still important. Add in the bit-rate reduction, and, well, applying audio processing to podcasts becomes all about controlling what the codec sees, on a device and earbuds that may or may not be in ideal listening environments.
So, how aggressive should you set the processing for podcasting?
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Wheatstone Brought It "Home" at NAB NY
NAB Show attendees in New York were able to knock a few balls around a foosball table at Wheatstone booth 960, where we demonstrated how to mix remote sporting events from a home studio.
Wheatstone showcased real-time remote control and transport of IP audio with a foosball table 'remote' on one side of its booth and a ‘home studio’ on the other, with fiber optic connectivity between the two. “It was either football or foosball — I wanted football, but booth space would have been a real problem! So foosball it is to show how easily we can mix an event remotely using our WheatNet-IP audio network and consoles,” says Wheatstone Director of Sales Jay Tyler.
Our WheatNet-IP is an AES67 compatible IP audio network made up of I/O and specialty BLADEs combining audio mixing, routing, and controlling into one studio environment – whether in one location or in multiple locations.
Among the benefits of WheatNet-IP for remote applications is its ability to serve as an IFB backbone that is routable by simply triggering cross points in the network – with zero latency between talent and crew in the field.
“WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs have utility mixers built in for creating IFB mix-minuses locally at the venue, which means that annoying delay is all but nonexistent,” explains Tyler. "With AES67 time stamping provided in our BLADEs, broadcasters have the option of using it to sync audio and video using compliant equipment."
Even with low bandwidth links, broadcasters can send audio separate from video using codecs while still allowing full control, gain, level, processing, etc.
To demonstrate all this and more at the New York show, Wheatstone collaborated with Artel Video Systems, provider of innovative IP- and fiber-based media transport solutions, to create a WAN between two Cisco switches. The WAN uses Artel’s InfinityLink IL6000 broadcast media transport chassis equipped with an ILC205 9 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch with VLAN and the ILC103A 3G/HD/SD-SDI, ASI Transmitter/Receiver. “Artel continues to demonstrate the applicability of its product line,” says Rafael Fonseca, Vice President and Director of Product Management at Artel Video Systems. “In this case, the versatility and application ‘reach’ of the InfinityLink platform in support of solutions addressing workflow costs and efficiencies are demonstrated.”
Representing the home studio are Wheatstone IP audio consoles, including large-frame IP-64, Dimension Three Touch, LXE and Series Four control surfaces.
At the ‘remote’ foosball table is a camera, and several microphones interfaced into M4-IP four channel mic processor BLADEs, which provide sound sweetening, mix-minus for IFB and connectivity into the WheatNet-IP audio network.
NAB attendees were able to sit down at the home studio side and punch up mic feeds or change EQ, activate/deactivate microphones, and control other functions at the remote end.
The at-home production workflow is gaining in popularity as a way to reduce production costs and equipment, often reducing what would be a truckful of equipment to only the microphones and cameras needed onsite along with an operations crew.
To learn more, CLICK HERE.
Five Stations: One Hubbard Radio!
Hubbard Radio’s new studios in Phoenix, Ariz., bring together some unlikely characters. Just a few blocks from the new, built-to-suit facility on 52nd Street is a former Motorola plant that once made transistors.
Also close by in another direction is Camelback Mountain, which is, as its name suggests, shaped like a camel, though a kneeling one in this case. And inside the 23,000 square-foot facility you couldn’t find five more different stations than Hubbard Radio’s two AM and three FMs.
On the FM side, it’s cool and easy alternative 93.3 KDKB, hard-hitting 98 KUPD and classic rocker KSLX 100.7. On the AM side, it’s NBC sports affiliate KDUS 1060 and oldies KAZG 1440. Each station is a unique brand, and each is accustomed to running its own show. That worked fine when they were scattered throughout the Valley of the Sun in three separate locations. Bringing all the stations together was a drastic change for all.
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New VoxPro6 How-To Videos
MORE VIDEOS ADDED! Rick Bidlack, the man who is all things VoxPro, and our own Scott Johnson got together this week to produce a library of quick-start how-to videos for VoxPro6. For the beginner looking to hop right in, these are perfect. For the seasoned pro, a quick run through may show you some of the new features that you weren't necessarily aware of.
We've got the first seven up and at least a dozen more coming in the next week or so. Hope you find them useful. Click on the image below to see them.
Wheatstone Interviews the Broadcast Industry: Dave Supplee of Cumulus Media
At our NAB 2016 booth, Scott Fybush has a talk with Dave Supplee, Regional Director of Engineering for Cumulus Media, about the difficulty of finding good, qualified engineers experienced with network-based technologies.
Quality Control: Wheatstone Style
It was another normal full-network test. As with every system we sell, we fully burn in and test it – every component, the way every component works with every other component, AND the way it all works with other gear in the customer's studios (via our ACI and, of course, AES67). For this system, commissioned by a Wheatstone customer, because it was so large, we decided to add even more to it and see if we could strain it. We are happy to say that it performed perfectly.
AND, there's an IP Radio link!
The Pros Give VoxPro a Spin
VoxPro: Aug 2016 Radio World: Alan R Peterson has written a great piece on VoxPro6, and has given us permission to share it.
Some years ago, something epic began happening with radio contest callers: They stopped asking if they were the “ninth caller;” they already had their radios turned down, and they were as tight in their responses as the jock was in his/her performance.
Did their level of intellect or their performing chops suddenly improve overnight? Nope. Give credit where credit is due: Stations bought a VoxPro — the recorder/ editor for live on-air operation, designed in 1991 by Seattle personality Charlie Brown and distributed by Audion Labs.
Audio IP and Crisis Management
Let’s suppose you arrive at the usual time to find that your train is delayed. You then scramble to catch the B train, but by the time you get there, it is whistling down the track without you.
That leaves the C train, which departs in five minutes but arrives nowhere near your destination. You could take a connecting train that will get you close, but that’s going to add more time onto your travels.
What you’ve just experienced is a crisis in routing. When one route changes, whether due to track, train, studio or switch, there’s a delay or detour in traffic, be it packets or passengers. And that can never be good for broadcasters, who are easily the most punctual people on the planet, having spent years timing programming, newscasts and ads down to the second.
A Tale of Two Cities. Map Included.
Here is a snapshot of a customized screen created with our ScreenBuilder app showing primary and secondary paths of ABC news feeds between New York and Scottsdale. While ABC Radio news announcers are talking live in New York, their mics are managed by Skyview in Scottsdale.
Pokémon GO could be the tip of the augmented reality iceberg. Imagine being able to actually step onto a virtual chessboard with your opponent. Or performing maintenance on your automobile through 3D graphic...
MEET RADIO JOHN
Not everyone has an AIR-4 in his or her spare bedroom, but those who do are obviously serious about radio. Meet John Jordan, who marks his 30th anniversary in radio this month and operates internet station AllClassicTop40.com out of his home in Nashville, North Carolina.
QUIET! LUFS/LKFS NOW ONBOARD.
We quietly added an LUFS/LKFS indicator to a few of our radio control surfaces recently, and by now some of you may be wondering why and how this television loudness standard could possibly be useful to radio broadcasts.
- RADIO CONSOLES
- VOXPRO6 RECORDER/EDITOR
- AUDIO PROCESSORS
- TV AUDIO CONSOLES AND NETWORKING
- TV AUDIO CONSOLES
- GIBRALTAR NETWORK
- Gibraltar Technology Overview
- Why IP Audio for TV?
- Gibraltar Software
- Gibraltar Cards/Modules
- BLADES & IP AUDIO NETWORKING
- WheatNet-IP Technology Overview
- BLADEs (original)
- EDGE Network Interface
- PANELS AND CONTROLLERS
- Talent Stations
- GP Panels
- Interface Panels
- FOR COMMERCIAL AUDIO
ARTICLES OF INTEREST:
IP TERMINOLOGY EXPLAINED
Having all these terms in one place, and in alphabetical order, definitely comes in handy. But just as helpful to us are the comments at the end of the article by those who, for various reasons, added onto or had their own definitions.
I’M LISTENING, RADIO
By Dee McVicker
If you’ve ever driven the 372 miles from Los Angeles to Phoenix, you know that there’s nothing between Blythe and Quartzsite except a few jackrabbits and your radio. Sometimes, there are no jackrabbits.
Applying touchscreen GUI technology to today’s audio console has some interesting rewards in workflow, as we demonstrated with our IP-64 and the Dimension Three TV audio consoles in previous years, and now with our new LXE IP audio console this NAB show. READ MORE
SCREENBUILDER IN DRIVE TIME WITH WHEATNET-IP
It’s drive time all the time for 107.7 Sanef located near Senils, France. That is, the station broadcasts to traveling motorists through a network of 200 watt transmitters synchronized on the same frequency and located along 1,800 kilometers of motorway. READ MORE
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NETWORK
Audio mixing consoles are now part of a much larger universe, the fabric of which is networking. How a console is networked is more critical than ever before, as are the applications that drive its usefulness.
BORN IN THE USA
Today, broadcast operations have extended beyond and expanded within their walls, thanks largely to IP and networking. But meanwhile, back at the factory, we’re keeping it all under one roof. Why? READ MORE
TAKING THE AURA8-IP BEYOND BROADCASTING
By Scott Johnson
When you think of Wheatstone processing, you naturally think of broadcasting. But if an audio engineer tucked an Aura8-IP under his arm and left the station, would he find other uses for it? The answer, I found out recently, is a resounding yes! READ MORE
BLADEFEST PUTS BLADES THROUGH XTREME TESTS
To make sure our system can outperform every other AOIP network on the face of the earth, and do it easily and robustly, we routinely get our engineers together to put them through stuff no real installation would ever attempt. How does WheatNet-IP perform? READ THE STORY
Wheatstone Products for 2016!
The Evolution of Radio Audio
Wheatstone, at this year's NAB show, introduces three new radio products that will evolutionize the industry (yep, we just made that word up!). These will be along later this year, so stay tuned!
First is our LXE Console. Taking LX-24 technology to new territory, LXE is the first radio console that gives you the power to program the entire surface! All knobs and buttons can be assigned whatever functions you need. Of course, we'll pre-configure it any way you want, but you can always change it yourself using our new ConsoleBuilder software. Each module has full color OLEDs that will reflect the function of your setup. Plus, there's an all-new touchscreen GUI that comes with ScreenBuilder-LXE. Click to learn more.
Next is VoxPro 6! We've given the controller a fresh coat of black paint, and given the software a makeover to add some much-requested functionality. Record while you are playing back. Detach your hot-keys window and hide the editor. Label buttons with Unicode for foreign language support. Smarter markers and lots more. Click to learn more.
Finally, our new AirAura X1 brings most of the power of the AirAura X3 to a mid-level price point. It's loaded with presets, or, you can tweak it to find YOUR signature sound. Great new front panel GUI. Click to learn more.
Network EDGE is 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.
IP wireless radios in the unlicensed 5 or 24 GHz range are priced from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.
Typically located at the studio, the Network EDGE interfaces directly to an IP wireless radio or commercial leased line for point-to-point connectivity between locations. Network EDGE can be used with any of the major IP radio brands currently on the market. When used within the WheatNet-IP system, with a Network EDGE at one end and a BLADE at the other, this opens up a world of possibilities based on BLADE I/O functionality such as silence detection, clip player, logic for automation, et al.
The Network EDGE includes local I/O (two AES and two stereo analog) and 12 programmable logic ports.
RADIO AUDIO CONSOLES
Wheatstone is all about radio. Cool consoles and mixers. Intelligent audio IP studio networking or TDM routing. VoxPro recording and editing. AM and FM on-air processors that rock both loud AND clean.
TV AUDIO CONSOLES
When you think of TV audio, you think of Wheatstone. Our consoles are the control centers for the finest facilities in the world. WheatNet-IP audio networking is becoming THE standard for interconnect.
VOXPRO AUDIO RECORDER & EDITOR
For live, on-air recording and real-time editing, there's no better solution than VoxPro.CLICK HERE FOR VOXPRO
Only Wheatstone offers processors with the surgical precision of 31-band processing! Sound shaping for FM, AM, HD, television, webcasting, podcasting, mastering or live audio.