Radio News April 2018

WHEAT:NEWS RADIO  APRIL 2018  Volume 9, Number 4

Live from Las Vegas, It's NAB 2018!

Broadcaster and industry observer Scott Fybush takes you “under the glass” and inside the latest virtual developments in the following, shot at last week’s NAB show. 

Our Minister of Algorithms Steve Dove addresses new ways of dealing with audio that’s been “smooshed” by record-company mastering engineers obsessed with loudness. You’ll never be able to say “smooshed” again without a British accent!

In this interview taken at Club Wheat Monday night after the NAB show, Jay Tyler talks about the miles he’s logged and his personal mission to visit the first WheatNet-IP audio network install in every country.

We caught Gabi Greco, ambassador of everything Wheatstone this NAB, after a busy day in the Wheat booth.

Radio personality Kaden (@KADENRADIO) was live on the floor, working the VoxPro and doing what he does best.

What happens when you get the largest studio equipment manufacturer together with the largest transmitter manufacturer? MPX over AES. Nautel’s Chuck Kelly and Wheatstone’s Mike Erickson explain.

That’s Shotgun Tom Kelly with Dan Hyatt, Al Salci and others at the NAB 2018 kickoff party held at Caesars Palace Sunday night. The party was attended by several thousand broadcasters, from GMs and CEs to PDs and even the talented Shotgun Tom Kelly of KRTH-FM fame (who’s earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame).


The party was co-sponsored by Wheatstone, among others, and put on by The Broadcasting Club. This club hasn’t been around all that long, but it’s picking up steam as a very energetic group of broadcasters from all corners of the industry that are making things happen. They are 11,000 strong and growing, thanks in part to club instigator and Wheatstone audio processing engineer Mike Erickson. Search for the handle The Broadcasting Club on Facebook.

Best of Show Awards? Wheat Gets Three.

Every NAB show feels like a finish line. We design, we build, we make changes, we add features, we tweak features. We push ourselves as fast and as hard as we can to bring our individual and collective vision to the industry. We see the first day of the show coming and start counting backward to the cutoff point - the point where we need to pack up what we’ve been working on and take it to the public. But rather than being the finish line, it’s only the next starting line.

We believe we make a difference in the broadcast community. We have ideas - some of which become products, some of which become blueprints for the way forward. We look at the broadcast community every day and evaluate the way it works and the way we work in it, always with a single objective – to improve things. The ways we work; the audio we hear; the ways we interact.

And when we finally get to the show, the excitement of being able to share what we’ve been working on becomes the driving force. We pull out all the stops and make sure we’re presenting it in the best possible way so that you – the broadcast community – can partner with us to implement it all.

While our reward is seeing the difference we make, we’d be lying if we said it didn’t feel great to be recognized by the media in the industry. Next to customer acceptance, nothing’s better for a manufacturer’s self-esteem than receiving a NewBay Best of Show Award. It’s the closest this industry gets to an Oscar and it says that a new product has been evaluated by a panel of engineers and industry experts, and selected based on innovation, feature set, cost efficiency and performance in serving the industry.

So, as we counted down the minutes to the close of NAB 2018, we held our breath, hoping to get at least one NewBay Best of Show award.

And guess what? We received three:

Our new ScreenBuilder 2.0 virtual environment creation tool took one from TV Technology

ScreenBuilder Award Combo

Our new PR&E EMX AoIP console received one from Radio magazine.

EMX AwardCombo

And, yep, even our analog console, the Audioarts Lightning standalone successor to the venerable R-55E, took one from Radio World.

Lightning Combo

Audioarts Lightning Console

It didn’t exist, so we built it: A four-bus analog console with a modern look and feel…including a simple dual-fader phone module for remotes, and oh yeah, USB and Bluetooth. Under $7K.

The Audioarts Lightning starts shipping in June. Jay Tyler tells us more about this successor to the venerable R-55E that won a Best of Show Award this NAB.

Thanks everyone, for recognizing the hard work and effort that goes into Wheatstone products. We’ll be back next year with more ideas and, yes, new products. 

Virtually Yours!

The word “virtual” can mean different things to different people. In broadcast circles, for example, we often talk about virtual in terms of “putting the console behind a piece of glass” such as a tablet or computer screen.

Virtualization isn’t an entirely new concept. We’ve been virtualizing studio functions since the very early days of IP audio networking, and not just on the surface, but inside the network, too. Early AoIP adopters will recall Wheatstone’s Glass-E virtual mixer for the laptop and the introduction of virtual mixers at every I/O point on the network with the arrival of our WheatNet-IP audio network in 2008.

Virtualizing resources instead of limiting them to fixed hardware makes sense for a whole host of reasons, foremost among them the scalability and flexibility of software. So far, though, virtualization hasn’t moved much beyond single-purpose use; that is, virtual mixers and other similar apps have remained largely fixed in purpose.

But what if you had your own virtual development platform with the smarts to do virtually anything you want to do in the studio? What if you could determine what to put behind the glass or on a button, right down to its functions and when to perform those functions based on the status of a cross point connection in the network?

Today, broadcasters are developing their own virtual environments. They’re adding a virtual news desk or a producer panel with little more than a tablet and their existing IP audio infrastructure. Virtual development platform ScreenBuilder, for example, has a library of faders, meters, labels, buttons, clocks, timers, and other widgets that tie into commands and elements on the WheatNet-IP audio network. Faders are adjustable and switches can turn a microphone on or off. These can tie into LIOs anywhere in the network to control elements, and ScreenBuilder can set up routines to check the status of tallies and crosspoint connections to execute if/then commands.

Using these development tools, broadcasters can customize a virtual producer control panel such as the one in Fig 1, or a virtual news editor as shown in Fig 2. Being able to build what you need in the virtual realm makes it so much faster and affordable to add on or change up studios as new deliverables are added, space becomes more limited, and talent becomes more mobile.

Other uses and examples of virtual interfaces, including a gallery of possible screen options, can be viewed by downloading our E-book, Making Sense of the Virtual Studio.

Virtual Image Fig 1Fig. 1 Using this simple virtual panel developed with ScreenBuilder, producers can press the desired chair to bring up a monitor mix or simple intercom.


NewsEditVersionTwoFig. 2  This virtual news editor is one example of how broadcasters are putting news editing functions on a screen, including online access to news, weather, and stock feeds, and replacing banks of traditional news workstations.

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-- Scott Johnson, Editor

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