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KSBJ Rebuilds and Launches NGEN
In with the new
Having served KSBJ well for nearly 30 years, the previous studios were showing their age. Over time, more equipment was added as it was needed. The unintended consequence was more heat and unwanted noise in the studios. The fresh start not only added digital equipment and routing, but moved the computers to a server room where the fan noise and extra heat are not affecting the studio operation.
A major design focus was to build the studios to maximize the artist experience. The studios are cozy rather than having lots of hard surfaces and glass. The intent was to make the rooms inviting. This helps the on-air staff of course, but it also helps guests feel more relaxed. Engineering and programming worked together to determine where everything would go.
In keeping with the inviting feel, all the equipment has been placed to reduce clutter and maximize operational use. The computer monitors are mounted on a single monitor tree to get them out of the way but still in a single-focus area. Computers and servers are housed in the server room and accessed via KVM extenders. The KVM is set up that one keyboard/mouse accesses all the various systems. This minimizes clutter in the studio. As a backup, individual keyboards and mice are mounted in pull-out drawers to directly access the systems as well.
Another unique installation aspect is the mic boom mounts. You can see in the photos that mic booms are not mounted to the countertop, but instead are supported from the ceiling. This was done to clean up the countertop area, but it also eliminates transmission noise from getting in the mics.
The mic booms and an on-air light are mounted to a wooden platform that is suspended from the ceiling via a metal pole. This pole is braced to the ceiling struts with isolators. The result is something of a mic boom spider that allows the mics to be placed wherever they are needed.
The stand-up air studios can accommodate up to five guests. A full band has been hosted in the air studio, but the facility also has a small auditorium that will seat about 200 people. This space is used for the stations' fund drive as well as during some artist performances. The production studios are a sit-down height.
Another unique element is that the facility uses an Axia Livewire network and Logitek Mosaic and JetStream engines together. When the studios were being built, the Logitek surfaces provided the features and options the stations wanted, and the Axia network was already in use. The two systems work together to provide the routing needed.
To distribute the programming, the stations use three distribution links: satellite uplink, which feeds some remote sites, an MPLS network and over-the-air to feed one translator.
The NGEN format is gaining in popularity. Since its launch it has been carried on the HD2 of 89.3 KSBJ and 92.5 KWUP and the main program on 93.3 and 99.7. This summer, NGEN will become the primary program feed on 89.5 KZBJ, 91.1 KYBJ and 99.5 K258BZ.
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