At NY1 News I’m responsible for keeping four control rooms and five television studios up to date and in full working order, 24/7. And like many facilities, we’re moving to an all-digital operation. We’ve replaced our analog main router with a digital model, and afterwards started a program to completely renovate two of our live production control rooms.
This involved specifying a lot of new gear, and as with any major equipment purchase, this required a lot of research. I studied the product offerings from many digital audio console providers, and our senior director of operations and several others on our staff also spent quite a bit of time at the NAB Show, talking to manufacturers and getting hands-on experience with various audio consoles.
WANTED TO MAINTAIN EXISTING WORKFLOW
What we really needed was a television console that would fit with our current workflow, as transitions to new equipment are always disconcerting, and we wanted to minimize the impact of the equipment change on our daily operations. We also wanted a really solid digital audio platform; one that was reliable and proven. After a lot of evaluation, we found what we were looking for in the newly-announced D-8 television audio console from Wheatstone Corp. We purchased two of these units, one for each of the control rooms.
Installation of the new D-8 consoles was easier and more straightforward than I had expected it to be. As we could only take one control room out of service at a time, the installations actually took place a few months apart. We found that most of the setup was very intuitive, and in the cases where we did have questions, Wheatstone was always quick to respond. Best of all, as the consoles conformed to our existing operations workflow, our staff didn’t have to learn a new way of doing things. Wheatstone engineer Zach Brewer came to our facility and tested and commissioned each of the two consoles, and also trained our operations staff, making sure we were fully comfortable with both operation and maintenance of the new consoles.
NETWORKED AUDIO IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO
One of the key advantages that we realized with the consoles is their networking via the Wheatstone Bridge TDM routing system. This allows us to share audio sources and destinations between the two control rooms. In a facility where four studios are shared with four control rooms, such a networking arrangement saves us a great deal of time and energy over the old method of manually patching mic and IFB lines from studio to control room. Any audio source is instantly available at either console, and without any of the patching that we once had to do. This speeds up operations and there’s also a much smaller opportunity for mistakes.
Our experience with our new Wheatstone D-8 consoles has been an entirely positive one, and we would not hesitate to recommend this versatile, flexible system to any production facility that wishes to make a smooth, natural transition to digital audio technology.
Kristopher Kelly has been in the broadcast business for 15 years and has been with NY1 News since 1997. He may be contacted email@example.com.
For additional information, contact Wheatstone at 252-638-7000 or visitwww.wheatstone.com.
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