WGBH: Green in Boston


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Master Control provides monitoring for various network feeds and automation systems.

Master Control provides monitoring for various network feeds and automation systems.

Voci's goals for the station's new technology included reliability, usability, flexibility and redundancy. Voci said, "We're doing six feeds a day for The World and we need to make sure that everything is there. We also needed to have flexibility built into the system so that projects can be transferred anywhere."

Voci's team went with Broadcast Electronics' Audio Vault AV2 playout and control systems (upgrades) and a Wheatstone Router System to address those needs. The Wheatstone Bridge Router, along with their G3-9 series and D9 model control surfaces, were chosen to span the generational gap from old (analog) to new (digital). The Wheatstone system consists of 10 router frames, two redundant routing hubs and control surfaces.

The five Audio Vault AV2 servers and workstations are responsible for the station's live audio playback/recording and production (including its Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard affiliates, WNAN-FM 91.1, WCAI-FM 90.1), as well as audio production and playout for The World.

Equipment accessibility and usability

"Accessibility was a big part of their criteria," Gefken said. "Everyone has their own level of technological comfort, and we had to tailor things accordingly, from the on-air operators to their advanced classical recordists."

Gefken also said that a considerable effort went into the ergonomics and design of the custom furniture (Time Base Consoles). "We went through an extensive design phase with the staff to give them such things as a table top console that lifts to expose a turntable underneath or keyboard tray that slips and travels the underside of the counters as needed. The keyboards can also slide up and down and left to right. It is pretty cool.:

The reviews are in

According to Janson, the feedback on the Fraser Performance Recording Studio has been terrific, "From a technical point, it is one of the best studios in New England. The room was originally intended to be used only for music, but with the ambiance, acoustics and overall feeling in the room, it is now being used for fundraising events." (Note: The Fraser Studio is also wired for high-definition television with feeds to the WGBH TV production group.)

Voci agrees, "The real wow to our facility is the Fraser Performance Recording Studio. It is a beautiful space. It allows us to do things that we that could have only dreamt of in the past in terms of accommodating ensembles of different sizes, bringing in audiences for live performances and being able to do commercial work for recording (new revenue stream)."

In regard to the whole relocation process, Voci said, "We held meetings with the engineering staff from the beginning. Everyone was invested in the design, and that created a real sense of ownership."



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