Clear Channel, Gadsden: Small Market, Big Presence

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In the offices, most of the existing office furniture was reused. New office chairs were part of the new purchases.

The Gadsden studios are connected to the Birmingham facility via 6Mb/s MPLS. This link provides Gadsden with SIP phone service and access to the Clear Channel WAN. A Barix IP link provides an audio connection to share files between the two facilities. With the engineering office in Birmingham, this connection also provides flexible control of the remote systems in Gadsden via the IP link. Birmingham is also connected to Tuscaloosa via a T1. With the Asterisk IP phone system installed throughout the facilities’ joined IP networks, all calls are routed internally and without long distance charges.

Total wiring to the three studios consists of eight CAT-5e cables per studio. This handles all IP audio streams, automation PC, Internet PC and telephone lines. One CAT-5 is all that is required to have all networked audio sources available in each studio.

A closer look at the WGMZ air studio.

A closer look at the WGMZ air studio.

Some studio equipment was reused from the previous facility, such as the E-V RE-20 mics. Newberry bought some new equipment, including new O.C. White mic booms, Symetrix 528E processors, JBL Control One speakers and Behringer power amps.

While he has never need it, Newberry added some insurance to his studio plan. In a worst-case scenario, he wanted to be able to quickly connect a studio directly to the input of that station’s STL. He uses SAS 16000 routers as his analog backup in case the need ever arises. The system has been tested and is ready to go, but Newberry doubts he’ll ever need to use it.

building exterior

The unassuming building exterior.

The Clear Channel Gadsden operation shows that even a small market can benefit from an audio-over-IP infrastructure. The system is scalable, and it more importantly it provides the routing flexibility to accommodate quick changes as well as the remote access when needed.

Equipment List

Alesis power amp
Aphex Headpod 4
Audioscience BOB1024
Asterisk VoIP phone system
ATS Acoustics acoustic panels
Barix Exstreamer
Comrex Vector
Designcraft furniture
E-V RE-20
JBL Control One
Liebert UPS
Logitek JetStream Mini, ROC, Pilot
Middle Atlantic racks
O.C. White booms
RCS NexGen
SAS 16000
Symetrix 528E
Telos 1x6
Tieline G5 Communicator

Photos by Bob Newberry.

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