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CKUA Makes an Epic Move
For this move, we would become the first station to receive the new LX-24 large-format WheatNet-IP AoIP control surfaces.
As we began facility design, Wheatstone's new LX-24 was still in development. We took one look at the surface and knew we had to have one -- actually, we acquired four. A large format surface with modular fader strips, it has a large meter bridge with eyebrow metering making for great visibility. Our announcers -- some of whom have been with the station since practically day one -- preferred a traditional meter bridge over having another monitor in the mix. However, it is available for those who prefer more information at hand.
This feature was not available on other consoles we initially considered, but Wheatstone obliged us. The new LX-24 was an exact fit for our combination vintage and modern facility. My millwork contractor also loved the fact that he didn't have to cut holes in the millwork. The LX-24 is a very low-profile control surface, so it sits on the table, and your hands aren't perched way up high to operate it.
Best of all, the LX-24 is a WheatNet-IP control surface. All controls are available on the surface, with access to almost unlimited source and destination points all connected through the WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network. We also integrated the Telos NX6 call director as part of the surfaces, making for a clean installation with one less piece of equipment cluttering the desk. We would finally be able to set up the kind of workflow and GPIO control we needed. Our system list included four LX-24s, six Audioarts IP-12 surfaces, two SideBoard surfaces and 20 some WheatNet-IP Blades (IP access nodes) tying the network together using Cisco switches. A combination of M1s and M2s were used for processing our Neumann BCM104 condenser microphones, allowing changing of settings on the fly using the GUI interface.
When it all came together, we were amazed at the workflow built into the physical, as well as the IP layered, infrastructure. Unlike the multi-floor studio layout of the old building, the main recording studio (studio A) became the center surrounded by four primary control rooms with clear sightlines to one another (main control, backup control/video editing, and two primary production suites with sharable voice booth). A news booth finishes the core. The beauty is in the flexibility an IP system gives us. Any of these rooms can be used for any purpose without re-wiring or re-configuration.
We now not only have visibility from our four primary control rooms into Studio A, but we also have full network access and control of elements in each. From our LX-24 IP control surfaces in any room, for example, we can pull up sounders and source feeds from all over the complex, or record an interview or instrument ensemble happening in Studio A or our auditorium. Any control room can go to air, as well. That is the true beauty of an IP-based system. There are very few limitations at this point.
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