Tech Focus: Radio, Part 2 — Audio-Only Consoles Meet Sports’ Special Demands
Leading models keep pace with changing requirements
Sports broadcasts on the radio have their own special requirements, and manufacturers have kept their audio-only consoles up-to-date. Here are a few of the leading flagship models.
The Calrec Type R is a modular, expandable, IP-based radio system that combines standard networking technology with configurable soft panels that can be tailored to operator needs. Its physical control system consists of three slimline panels: a fader panel, a large soft panel, and a small soft panel. Each is compatible with COTS hardware and powered over Ethernet to keep cabling to a minimum. Type R has a simple 2RU core with integrated I/O resources to get users up and running immediately. A single core can power as many as three independent mixing environments, with no sharing of DSP resources. Whether Type R is used as an independent studio console, as a microphone processor, or for utility mixing, its ability to use multiple mixing engines combined with an AES67-compatible network provides enough flexibility to keep pace with radio’s changing requirements. Type R provides simple customization across established networks, open control protocols, and surface personalization. With a native-IP backbone, it provides an infrastructure for future expansion.
The Lawo Ruby Radio Mixing Console offers AES67 networking with RAVENNA; a customizable, context-sensitive touchscreen GUI; AtoMix smart mixing; and a 1RU mixing engine with hundreds of traditional and networked I/O connections. Other features include a 1,920×1,920 routing matrix, 96 channels of DSP, and dual-redundant networking with SMPTE 2022-7 Seamless Protection Switching, which allows instant, undetectable switching to a backup network link if the primary is interrupted. It’s available in four-, eight-, 12-, and 16-fader frame sizes for consoles as large as 60 faders.
Wheatstone’s Dimension Three TV modular audio console is especially suitable for sports applications because it can fit into a MADI-equipped stadium, remote-production truck, or IP-based studio. Multiple control surfaces can access any audio source from anywhere on the network. As an IP-networked console, the Dimension Three has no limitations with fixed connection points on the console chassis itself. The I/O is managed through separate rack units so that any channel can connect to any audio source, using any preferred audio format at any time, whether it’s HD/SDI, AES, MADI, AoIP, analog or TDM. Everything essential to audio routing, logic, and processing is situated in racks and accessible via the network. It can route any audio source to any fader on any control surface within a network. The Dimension Three audio console combines such capabilities as I/O layering and channel profiling, and a touchscreen option brings even more controls to the operator’s fingertips.
The Studer OnAir 1500 compact 12-channel, six-fader console (expandable to 12 faders) is designed as a flexible hybrid solution for radio broadcasting and production and provides integrated USB playback and record functions. With simple point-to-point connectivity, the OnAir 1500 can be easily moved around as a backup or secondary unit, with a recommended maximum distance of 60 meters from its core when connected via high-quality Cat 5 cabling. Flexibility is increased with addition of the six-fader extension bay, which can create a 12-fader surface, place six faders remotely in a producer’s bay, or be used as a redundant surface. Channel parameters, such as EQ and dynamics, can be edited via console controls used in combination with the OLED channel displays without requiring an additional screen or PC. For more-advanced operation, the console provides interfaces for connecting a PC screen, keyboard, and mouse.
Click here for Tech Focus: Radio, Part 1 — Sports Talk Keeps the Medium Alive
Click here for Tech Focus: Radio, Part 3 — Iconic Mics Bring the Sound of Sports to Air