Tech Focus: Radio, Part 2 — Audio-Only Consoles Meet Sports-Broadcast Needs

Manufacturers keep offerings up to date with IP, Dante, RAVENNA networking

Sports broadcasts on the radio have their own special requirements, and manufacturers have kept their audio-only consoles up to date. Here’s a look at a few of the leading flagship models.

Click here for Tech Focus: Radio, Part 1 — A Slow Transition to Digital

Calrec Type R fader group

The Calrec Type R modular, expandable, IP-based radio system uses standard networking technology, combining it with configurable soft panels that can be tailored to operator needs. Type R’s physical control system consists of three slim-line panels: a fader panel, a large soft panel, and a small soft panel. Each is compatible with COTS hardware and is powered over Ethernet to minimize cabling. Type R has a simple 2RU core with integrated I/O resources to get customers up and running immediately. A single core can power up to three independent mixing environments, with no sharing of DSP resources. Whether for independent studio consoles, microphone processors, or utility mixing, the ability to use multiple mixing engines combined with the flexibility of 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.

Lawo Ruby 16F Vistool

Lawo’s Ruby Radio Mixing Console delivers true AES67 networking with RAVENNA; a customizable, context-sensitive touchscreen GUI; AutoMix smart mixing; and a 1RU Power Core mixing engine with hundreds of standard AoIP and MADI connections plus eight expansion slots for analog, AES3, Dante, and studio I/O connections. Reliability is ensured by dual-redundant networking with SMPTE 2022-7 Seamless Protection Switching and ST2110-30 for seamless interoperability within combined radio/TV broadcast plants. Other features include a 1,920×1,920 routing matrix and 96 channels of DSP; it is available in four-, eight-, 12-, and 16-fader frame sizes for consoles as large as 60 faders.

Studer Glacier

The Studer Glacier Series is a highly customizable broadcast-audio solution featuring two streamlined modules to make operation faster and easier by providing essential controls for live broadcast. The multi-touch graphical user interface offers a virtualized control surface that allows users to customize controls to suit their needs, host comprehensive control interfaces for additional equipment, and simplify the studio environment. Multiple modules can be added to create custom-tailored consoles that bring new levels of control and versatility to any broadcast. The Studer Glacier GUI can be personalized to match the technical requirements of each user, displaying needed controls and hiding unnecessary ones. This streamlines operation, as well as reducing visual distraction during time-sensitive situations. Features include modular, IP-based scalable architecture with PoE (Power over Ethernet) connection to modules; Studer FaderGlow for quick function and channel identification; a Central Screen Module for quick control; and Fader Module for on-air multitasking.

Wheatstone Strata 32

The Strata 32 is Wheatstone’s newest IP audio console. It packs the latest IP audio innovation into a 40-in. frame, fitting most sports-broadcast scenarios, whether from a MADI-equipped stadium, a remote truck, or a main studio. This console has dedicated faders for eight subgroups and two masters along with 32 physical faders that can be layered for 64 channels. 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 WheatNet-IP audio network. For remote sports productions, an optional StageBox One I/O unit can be added to provide up to 32 mic/line inputs, 16 analog outputs, and eight AES3 I/O, as well as 12 logic ports and dual Ethernet ports. User-interface options for the WheatNet-IP audio network range from virtual control panels to the standalone multi-touch Virtual Dimension Three TV audio console.