Radio Ciutat de Badalona updates radio studios based on AoIP connectivity with AEQ technology 17-09-2020

Radio Ciutat de Badalona updates radio studios based on AoIP connectivity with AEQ technology

THIS RENOVATION INCLUDES A BIG ARENA MIXER UPGRADE AND THE INSTALLATION OF FORUM AND CAPITOL DIGITAL CONSOLES WITH NETBOX 32 AoIP MATRIX


Badalona Comunicació is a state-owned multimedia company in Badalona City, a 200,000 population city located 10km northeast of Barcelona, Spain. It manages three communication media: written press, radio and television.

BDN Radio Ciutat de Badalona is Badalona Comunicació radio station, founded in 1981 and running non-stop on 94.4FM and through the internet. BDN content covers information, music and specially sports focused on its city and population activities.

Radio Ciutat de Badalona is a traditional client of AEQ and the first Catalonian local station digitalised with an ARENA console in 2008. This digital console was installed in studio 1, and auxiliary production was covered with analogue consoles located in other three studios connected through multi-cable to a central control with patch panel.

In 2019, they planned to digitalize all production and migrate all audio connectivity to AoIP. Nacho Olivella, head of the AEQ office in Catalonia, started to work with Mr Jordi Coloma and Mr Martí Santander of BDN to offer the best technical solution, taking advantage of the part of the equipment that remained technologically up-to-date.


                                                                                                                      Studio 1

 

Studio 1 : ARENA console upgrade

ARENA digital console in Studio 1 was transformed, maintaining its control surface and its input, output and process cards, but including new IP audio card BC 2224 with 64 inputs and outputs and the controller module was changed. Furthermore, for security reasons, they acquired a new power supply, leaving the old one as a backup.

For ease of use, the Arena Screen application was added, which allows the use of a touch screen to display the broadcast parameters and develop the signal adjustment functions for each channel in a very friendly way.

In addition, they have incorporated the Virtual Arena application that enables remote control of this console, to operate alternatively from outside the studio. Thje remote control is very useful during automatic transmission hours, or in special cases as this Covid19 pandemic with lockdowns.

 

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                                                   Study 1. The control with a refurbished Arena Console and the Virtual Arena Screen software

BDC radio has acquired two Netbox 4 MH IP audio interfaces for speakers booth 1, with four microphone inputs and four headphone outputs each. This allows the main speakers booth to be used in combination with any of the other studios, or even the audio can be used directly from a journalists' workstations, as the microphone audio is delivered to the IP network, from where it can be extracted by any Dante device in the building. Also, headphone outputs are received at the speakers booth from the IP network. This speakers booth incorporates a signalling and control box for the presenter that signals microphones on the air, and allows for the activation of cough-cuts, remote PFL and switching microphones on and off. The previous microphone cards have been wired up to the studio and are available as backup cards.


Studios 2 & 3: Replacement of analogue consoles with new AoIP connectivity digital consoles 

BDC Studio 2 has a self-control design for operator and two guests. It is usually used for recording and sound editing. 

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                                                                Studio 2, user view. There are two side positions for guests or interviewees

Studio 3 has a control room & speaker booth configuration for 5 journalist. It can replace studio 1 in maintenance situations, or record programmes. Both studios were previously equipped with analogue consoles AEQ BC 500. Now modular AEQ Forum IP Split consoles have been installed. These two studios have 16 analogue line inputs and 8 analogue line outputs, four digital AES/EBU inputs and four digital USB inputs and 32 audio inputs and outputs over IP. 

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                                                            Control of the studio 3. Mr. Jordi Coloma and Mr. Jordi Abril during console setup

The differences between the two consoles are: two microphone inputs and one hybrid telephone interface in studio 2, and eight microphone inputs and two hybrid telephone interfaces in studio 3. The speaker booth has a built-in signalling and control box for the presenter.


Studios 4: Compact digital console with audio over IP connectivity for a simple journalist's booth

Studio 4 is located in the newsroom on floor 2 of BDN headquarters. It is self-controlled and has a Capitol IP console, operating in similar way than studios 2 and 3.  From there, editors can do remote interviews over telephone and other editing tasks. Also, given the full functionality of this high-end broadcast console, and its IP connectivity with 16 inputs and 16 outputs to the BDN main IP network, some small break bulletins can be broadcast from here now.

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                                                                                      Studio 4 with AEQ Capitol IP digital Console

Master control room: Audio matrix with analogue, digital and audio over IP connectivity 

New MCR annexed to studio 1, has three racks with the interconnection equipment between local radio studios and the remote locations as OBvan or STL.

In the previous central control there were several Patch Pannel where the most important inputs and outputs of the 4 studios could be routed between them as well as with the remote locations using audiocodecs and radio links. Curiously any operation was done by hand. 

Now a new Netbox 32 AD/MX AEQ matrix has been installed. It has 32 local inputs and outputs (16 analogue and 8 digital stereo) and 32 that directly access the Dante IP network. It has very powerful functions such as signal mixing on an output, macro programming and saves that can be triggered by clock, through an application or from the programmable buttons on the consoles.  NETBOX 32 MX can bee 100% controlled using RTC software.


 

The matrix is connected:

  • On the one hand, the matrix is connected to the Dante network where you can access all the IP audio inputs and outputs of the 4 radio studio controls and the interfaces of the main speakers booth, as well as a link with the BDN television located on the ground floor of the building. 
  • On the other hand, central matrix is connected to the wiring of the old patch panel re-configured now for the new situation.

 

This allows for three levels of switching and security: 

  • The usual one, through the switching matrix.
  • The exceptional, through the Dante Controller application, creating complementary or alternative routes directly on the IP network.
  • The emergency one, if both, the matrix and the IP network have a problem, BDN can stay ONAIR through manual patch panel.

 

The whole project has been led by Catalonian AEQ Sales Manager Mr. Nacho Olivella in coordination with the technical services of Radio Ciutad de Badalona.

For more information about Radio Ciutat de Badalona, please visit https://www.radiociutatdebadalona.cat

For more information on AEQ services, or on equipment, please visit http://www.aeq.eu/. If you need detailed information, send an email to sales@aeq.es or call +34 91 686 1300.

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