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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 2

Written by:
4/2/2009 5:01 PM  RssIcon

Toronto, Ontario, Canada – April 2, 2009 … Lawo, recognized globally as a leading manufacturer of digital audio networking and console systems for production, post production, broadcast, and related applications, is pleased to announce the new Version 3 software for the zirkon on-air radio console. Featuring a number of significant enhancements, V3 is geared toward streamlining workflow and is certain to please both a radio station’s on-air talent and engineering staff alike.

Designed to enhance communication, the new Intercom Matrix found in V3 enables one to configure the zirkon or crystal consoles as a series of “simple panels” to function as a smart, well integrated and very economical radio intercom system. With the ability to support up to 42 “panels” or intercom ports, the software creates a full summing matrix where multiple people can communicate to any destination. The Intercom Matrix includes an intelligent element where one console is designated as the “on air” board. As soon as the talent is live on air, the talk buttons to this console in the other “panels” of the matrix system become deactivated. This new feature creates a completely integrated IFB system and circumvents the necessity for additional hardware or wiring. The Intercom Matrix uses the system’s MADI or AES connectivity to a central Nova 17 hub.

Lawo’s zirkon on-air radio console incorporates a serial interface and protocol that enables the console to communicate with Radio Automation Systems. This new V3 software revision now enables this protocol over IP (via Ethernet) in addition to the standard serial connection—providing greater flexibility when integrating the console into a studio.

The zirkon console currently supports two independent PFL and two independent mix minus systems. These capabilities facilitate powerful configurations where, for example, a console can be in on air mode and, on a second layer, can also operate in recording mode—completely independent of each other. Each “console” has individual PFL sections and individual clean feed sections. In addition to this existing capability, the new V3 software adds provisions for a third PFL—specifically PFL3 that is used to realize fader dependent PFL assignments. PFL3 enables a system with a single core to effectively create a second console. This added capability enables one to create a submixer with local, independent PFL functionality.

Lawo’s new V3 software for zirkon also provides level adjustment for feedback lines. With this function, one can assign any level parameter as an additional controlled element to the rotary encoder of the channel strip. As an example, if a telephone hybrid is assigned to a channel and its rotary encoder controls gain and panpot, V3 adds the ability to assign the level of the outgoing clean feed associated with the telephone hybrid to the same knob, so that by pushing the knob a third time, one can toggle from gain to panpot to gain for the outgoing clean feed. Without any further action, it is now possible to adjust the signal exiting the console from the same place where it originates.

Another important addition to Lawo’s V3 software is Hotstart mode for Faders. The zirkon provides two modes for fader operation: (1) the Fader start/stop function, which employs motorized faders and (2) Manual Fader operation. Until V3, Manual Fader mode was hidden within the system and had to be configured. Manual Fader mode is typically used for offsets, trimming, etc. With motorized faders, pressing the start button moves the faders up and opens the channel, while pressing stop closes the fader. The new Hotstart mode emulates a working console without motorized faders. This enables one to have a fader open, but with the start/off button active, so no audio passes. Pressing start then enables one to pass audio through the channel. The new Hotstart mode facilitates seamless switching between the two mixing modes at the press of a button—enabling multiple operators to quickly use the zirkon in the manner to which they are accustomed.

Herbert Lemcke, President of Lawo North America, commented on the V3 software upgrade to the zirkon radio console. “Lawo’s zirkon is a remarkably versatile console for the radio broadcast environment, and the new V3 software includes many changes that dramatically increase the console’s overall functionality while enabling users to work faster and more efficiently than ever. I’m confident our zirkon users will find much to like.”

Lawo zirkon users who wish to upgrade their consoles may obtain the new V3 software by contacting Lawo North America’s technical support services at (888) 810-4468. Users outside North America should contact their local Lawo representative.

About Lawo

Lawo is a manufacturer of digital audio networking systems and consoles for a wide range of applications from small to large scale audio production in television and radio, post production, and live sound. Established in the 1970s, the company’s manufacturing center is located in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information on Lawo’s plug-in integration and all Lawo products, visit the company online at www.lawo.ca.

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