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KMXL-FM/KDMO-AM: Small Town, Big Ideas
An AM/FM pair in southwest Missouri rebuilds right
The four-month turnaround was an orchestrated effort. As wire was pulled and furniture placed, sound treatments and wood flooring were completed. Despite the fast pace, Lee Wheeler still took the time to label every wire. Rather than develop a labeling plan that uses a master guide or book, Wheeler chose to label the end of each wire in plain English. P-Touch labels were applied and covered with clear heat shrink. This makes it easy for Wheeler, Rowe or anyone else to diagnose problems or make changes when necessary.
After 30 years, there was plenty of old wiring in place as well: some audio, some voltage. Nothing was clearly marked. The rebuild was also a chance to remove all the old wire and start fresh. As old wire was removed, cables were cut one by one to ensure a station was not taken off the air. For the IP audio needs, CAT-6 cable was used throughout the facility.
While the previous studios placed the console against a wall, the new studios' consoles are in the middle of the room so guests can sit around the end island. The new design also places the two racks below the counter on the side against the wall. To facilitate equipment access, these racks are on rollers and can be pulled forward to access the back of the equipment.
Although an overall internal remodel was undertaken, there was one element left in place. The building has Carthage marble placed on the lower half of the walls all around the facility. Rather than cover this unique building material, which is common in the area, it was left exposed. The floor is also covered in marble, but carpet was installed in the hallway to help control noise as well as provide a non-slip floor. Hardwood flooring was installed in the studios.
The original pressed-tin ceiling is also still in place, but it is covered by the dropped ceiling for better acoustics. The mix of wood, carpet and acoustic tile provides a studio with a little ambience.
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