Wohler’s MADI-8 Monitor Shaves Weight and Complexity in NEP Trucks

George Hoover

PITTSBURGH—NEP is a major teleproduction company with a large number of mobile production trucks. We installed first-generation Wohler MADI audio monitoring units in one of our outside broadcast trucks for the first time last year. That particular mobile unit is located in Hawaii, and our goal in using the MADI-8 unit was to facilitate the movement of equipment from island to island.

Due to weather and other factors affecting shipping, we needed the flexibility to ship either the whole production truck or just the equipment in it. While the bulk and weight of our equipment remained a primary concern, simple set-up and configuration also became a high priority.

We addressed both of these issues by using a MADI infrastructure and the Wohler system—a compact and portable 1RU rackmounted monitor that can be connected with a 64-channel MADI stream for individual volume adjustment and simultaneous audible monitoring of any eight selected MADI channels.

The ability to run 64 audio channels on a single coax represented a dramatic improvement over other multichannel monitoring systems that require an input for each and every audio channel being monitored. This shift away from the conventional way of doing things to MADI and the Wohler monitor immediately provided us with a faster and simpler implementation.

The monitor’s programmable presets enable our staff to access and monitor select groups of channels quickly, which is particularly important in adjusting the monitoring setup for different live productions or different parts of a given production.

In our particular application, we looped four Wohler units together to enable four different operators to monitor any eight of the 64 audio channels. available. By doing this, we were able to reduce the volume, weight and complexity of the cabling infrastructure.

Wohler developed its first MADI unit— the MADI-8—specifically to address the challenges facing mobile production companies. The industry had been looking for ways to improve truckbuilding and reducing equipment weight loads. Cabling is a principal source of weight, and massive audio cabling has been a long-standing issue within the industry. Earlier Wohler solutions cut cabling in half with AES signals that put two channels on a connector. However, as MADI became more pervasive, the company worked with a consortium of partners to design a cost-effective solution that could leverage MADI infrastructure effectively.

The MADI-8 monitoring system was the result of this effort, and Wohler’s ongoing willingness to identify and address our needs has led to further refinement of the company’s MADI audio monitoring technology and systems. We’ve been very pleased with the price point and performance of the MADI-8 unit, but we also look forward to implementing the new Wohler AMP1- MADIe. We plan to ultimately install 80 of these new Wohler MADI monitors in our OB trucks.

While the MADI-8 was engineered to provide essential MADI monitoring functionality, the Wohler AMP1-MADIe incorporates additional features such as dynamic labeling of channels based on intelligence from source devices, recallable presets, along with Ethernet control and configuration. These features not only speed the systems design and build process, but also provide time savings on a daily basis, yielding immediate and recurring efficiency gains that contribute both to our agility and our bottom line.

George Hoover is NEP’s chief technology officer. He may be contacted atgeorge.hoover@nepinc.com.

For additional information, contact Wohler Technologies at 510-870-0810 or visitwww.wohler.com.