Radio Consoles

IP Audio Networking

New For 2014

Wheatstone for radio

You know what they say about radio and silence. Right. So don’t even go there. At Wheatstone, we know you have one thing and one thing only that’s going to raise you above the din of today’s multimedia world. Your sound. If it’s just pictures you want, that’s not us. Wheatstone is all about audio. We process it, route it, and cue it up for you. We get it to do stuff that only radio can fully appreciate, starting with audio IP routing (AoIP) that thinks like you do and radio consoles that are the everyday workhorses of thousands of radio studios today. Cool consoles and mixers. Intelligent audio IP studio networking or TDM routing. AM and FM on-air processors that rock. It’s all right here.

A Look at Leighton

Leighton-1-420Our Darrin Paley says he couldn’t recall a moment when someone wasn’t sitting in front of a microphone as he snapped these shots of the Leighton Broadcasting studios during his recent visit to St. Cloud. Designed by Rob Goldberg, who is well-known in the area for his signature studios, the control rooms and newsroom for four Leighton stations (KCLD-FM, WILD-FM, KCML-FM and KNSI-AM) are networked and controlled through the WheatNet-IP audio network.

Leighton Broadcasting also has stations in Detroit Lakes and Grand Forks. The group’s Director of Engineering, Tony Abfalter, says he has just about every one of our BLADE I/O access units, and a good many of our control surfaces, including E-1s, L-12s, IP-12s, LX-24s and SideBoards. The group was also one of the first to receive our new FM-55 audio processor, in addition to owning AirAura X3 and AM-10HD audio processors.

The Scoop on Codecs for IP Audio

CodecIllustrationUsing the Internet for audio distribution makes sense, but the problem is a little like the holiday rush at the Post Office.

There are simply too many packets of data for the pipeline.

You need a codec to bit-reduce the audio stream. So what’s it going to be? AptX, Opus, G.722 or AAC, and if so, which version of AAC? We asked Charlie Gawley from Tieline, “The Codec Company” and a Wheatstone technology partner, to fill us in on Opus, the EBU ACIP standard, and how the AES67 factors into the use of codecs for IP audio delivery.

WS: Before we get started, I have to ask you about the new Opus audio codec that everyone’s talking about. What is your experience with this codec?

CG: This algorithm is extremely robust thanks to development by a number of programmers from Xiph.org, Skype and other partners of Xiph. At the low end, it will do voice at the equivalent of G.722 but at one-fifth the audio bit rate. That’s a huge benefit for anyone wanting to send audio over a wireless network, which, as you know, has severe bandwidth limitations. You can run Opus at 14.4 kbps and have near the same audio quality as G.722 at 64 kbps.

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Hand it Over, Internet

WheatTie CLOUDS 420If you’re thinking about handing over program distribution to the public internet, Brian Kerkan of Crawford Broadcasting has some advice for you.

Do yourself a favor and oversubscribe on bandwidth if you’re not able to set up a guaranteed QoS network, he says. His group in Detroit is paying around $100 a month for 20 megabits/second upstream.

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Crawford Denver Upgrades with WheatNet-IP

hoppWriting in the October 8, 2014 issue of Radio World, Amanda Hopp of Crawford Broadcasting in Denver described her recent production studio upgrade using WheatNet-IP Audio-over-IP networking. You can download a reprint of the article below, courtesy of the publisher.

icon Building an AoIP Network with BLADEs (947.19 kB 2014-11-21 15:40:29)

Oh, The Voices -- Part II: Adjusting for Taste

SteveDove Altby Steve Dove, Minister of Algorithms

The most basic, and arguably the most powerful, tool for getting vocals to sound good is equalization.

It has two primary uses, to correct for errors or for artistic effect. Compression and limiting also can be useful for adjusting vocals, as I cover in some detail below.

But first, this PSA: The worst judge of microphone processor settings is the one doing the talking. Most folk swoon over massive proximity effect bass and vertigo-inducing compression in their own headphones, to extents that would be ludicrous on-air. Someone other than the talent should do the equalization and dynamics adjustments, thank you very much.

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Oh, the Voices (Part 1)

Steve DovePart I: Tidying Up Talent Vocals
By Steve Dove, Wheatstone Minister of Algorithms


The microphone processor has long been important but in recent years it has become vital. Mainly this is due to the recent trend of referencing audio to 0dBfs (the maximum signal level in a digital system) rather than the cozy old nominal 0dB VU. 

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Entravision’s MADI Connection

Entravision Story1 420The lights are always on at Entravision in Los Angeles.

There’s no downtime on the third floor at 5700 Wilshire Blvd., where so much of Entravision’s programing is originated for its 37 FMs and 11 AMs in the U.S., including eight stations in the Los Angeles area.

It’s the kind of thing that can keep an audio network manufacturer up at night, knowing as we do that all 30 studios here are routed by the Wheatstone TDM system and controlled by Wheatstone consoles.

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Wheatstone In Moscow

Our Jay Tyler, John Terrey, and Karina Pogosian jetted off to Moscow last month to attend the broadcast conference there. Yes, Jay got a new hat.

JAY HAT 200

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Wheatstone Holiday Video Greeting

HolidayVideoThumb

It's that time of year again, and with the winter chill comes the warmth of our now-traditional Wheatstone video greeting card. (I must say that Mike Harris and the surface-mount department have absolutely stolen the show this year!) From our Wheatstone family to yours, we'd like to wish you peace and joy this holiday season, and a very happy and prosperous 2015.

Video: Building a Wall of Meters

Wall O Meters

During a recent testing event at Wheatstone, engineer Kelly Parker used our WheatNet-IP Meters GUI to build a whole wall of meters on a big-screen monitor. Here's some video of that feat.

Outta Control!

AgileScreenBuilder 2560We’ve just started to ship our new Screen Builder app, and already the many uses for this software app that lets you create custom screens for the WheatNet-IP audio network are rolling in.

Our new Screen Builder app has faders, meters, labels, buttons, clocks, timers and other widgets that you can arrange on a PC screen and program to create your own custom control interface for level adjusting, monitoring and more.

Chris Penny from Agile Broadcast in Australia told us about this interesting application for Screen Builder. (Shown in the photo at left: click to zoom in.)

  

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"The screen I built for this studio is for a producer. It allows IFB in to the right channel of a host/guest headphone by simply pressing on their chair. The ‘dot’ in front of the chairs (on the desk) lights up to show the mic is switched ON. Buttons to the right give the producer full monitoring of all outside broadcast lines in the facility, and he can talk to any remote talent by pressing the IFB button for the desired line. Group talkback to all guests is available by pressing ‘talkback all guests;’ or to every headphone by pressing the ‘Roosevelt’ button (Roosevelt is the name of the studio). A source selector on the left side of the screen allows the producer to monitor a variety of program sources, and a PC button mixes in the producer’s Internet computer to the monitor mix. Additional controls include delay DUMP (which illuminates when delay is full) and Aircom, which sends the producer’s talkback microphone to the On Air mix via an AirAura processor (to colour the sound so it mimics an intercom/ and control dynamics)."

Other uses for Screen Builder include monitoring transmitter levels and logic at various sites, locating and controling all hardware in the audio network, and monitoring studios in different locations.

Here's a quick video from Wheatstone's VP/Technology, Andy Calvanese, describing Screen Builder.

Let us know your ideas for Screen Builder. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Quick Stop at WXXI

Web WXXI_FM_SCOTT_REGAN_2560-v2From time to time we check in with our customers to see how things are going. This month, we found the folks at WXXI AM/FM/TV in good spirits and busier than ever.

Kent Hatfield in charge of audio operations for WXXI television and radio showed us around the facility, which has clearly seen a lot of changes since the Rochester, New York, pubcaster set up shop with ten Wheatstone D-9 and G series consoles networked into a Wheatstone TDM system 12 years ago.

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Audio Performance Testing on the Cheap

AudioPerformanceOnTheCheap 420by Jeff Keith

There’s nothing like a little audio performance testing to cap off a hectic week at the station, especially if you don’t have to haul out the heavy (read “expensive”) equipment to do it.

There are two main things I like to test: the flatness of the frequency response and the distortion added by equipment in the air chain. For this, you’ll need clean test signals, and a way to measure those signals after they’ve passed through the air chain.

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3 Things You Need to Know About Network Switches

SwitchPlate 420You’re about to embark on a social experiment.

You’ve selected the perfect control surfaces and the audio network is almost laid out for your new studios. Everyone and everything speaks broadcast and, so far, you haven’t had to take up IT as a second language. But now you’re about to drop a couple of network switches into the middle of it all and you’re worried that things could erupt into a civil war between this newer IT world and the radio cavalry.

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It’s the Splits

LX24 SPLIT HEADONThis split frame LX-24 control surface arrived in Amsterdam in two pods, six modules on each side. With all the console action off to the side, announcers can work the show from their keyboard, monitor and mouse in the middle. There's no need for a backplane for the modules, and the motherboard is conveniently mounted under the table. We showed the LX-24 mixing desk along with talent stations and WheatNet-IP audio networking system at IBC 2014.

If you missed us, come see us at NATEXPO in Moscow. Russia, November 19-21; we'll be in booth A69.

LX24 SPLIT LH 3QTR 420

Sound Off

Radio GrupoOur friends south of the border sure know how to do radio. When we sent our audio processing specialist Mike Erickson packing to Radio Grupo in the Mexican city of Aguascalientes last month, we expected him to come back with tales of AM flamethrowers and hot tamales.

Instead, he wound up doing something he rarely gets to do at a Top 40 station: setting the sound for clarity first and loudness second. “They were going for long term listening and clean sound, which is a welcome change for guys like me who appreciate some dynamic range,” says Mike. “When processing for CHR, it’s usually loud and exaggerated. But they wanted open, clear and engaging!”

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What the #@& is Cable Certification?

Fluke And CableWe often use the term “certification testing” when referring to cable used in audio networks. But if a person didn’t know better, they’d think we were talking about guys in white lab coats running around with clipboards.

Hardly.

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SBE’s Snelson on Radio in an IT World

Joe SnelsonWe called up Joe Snelson to congratulate him on his recent re-election as the president of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and to talk about something that has been on our minds for some time: the changing role of broadcast engineering in an IT world.

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