Cumulus/Dickey Broadcasting Help the Atlanta Hawks Hit the Airwaves

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Portable rack for Atlanta Hawk's games

Portable rack for Atlanta Hawk's games

Inside to outside

Once the booth was built, the concentration turned to the interior from a technical and an aesthetic standpoint. As luck would have it, a local company called Fanmats was discovered that made carpet tiles with the logos for the Hawks and the Thrashers, as well as other sports franchises, using a special chromojet process that embeds the color into the fiber. The studio furniture, including a SportsCenter-style desk, as well as the producer position and rack, was designed and fabricated by Omnirax. Four 42" Philips BDL4251V LCD monitors were set up for an array behind the talent inside the booth. In addition to this, a 1' × 8' array of these monitors was set up, crossing the entire 25' span above the escalators heading upstairs to the area where the studio resides. These provide an effective way to draw attention to the broadcast as well as a way to promote sponsors.

Engineering Team
Gary Kline, VP engineering and IT, Cumulus Media
Michael Gay, project manager, Cumulus Media
Marc Lehmuth, market DOE, Cumulus and Dickey Broadcasting/Atlanta
Timothy Stephens, chief engineer, Cumulus and Dickey Broadcasting/Atlanta

There is no doubt that the studio is fully functional and ready to go when the talent sits down behind the ever ubiquitous Electro-Voice RE-27 microphones on 309A mounts combined with Sony MDR-7505 headphones. The gathering crowd outside is treated to a live broadcast via a pair of JBL Control 28 speakers. All the mixing is performed on a Mackie 1642-VLZ3 at the producer position. Multiple audio buses allow a customized mix for the crowd and for bidirectional producer talkback to the talent in the facility as well as the broadcast studio back at WCNN.

The broadcasting setup for the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team

The broadcasting setup for the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team

Pro Co Sound Short Stops were modified to create a cough box complete with headphone volume control and custom labeling. The inputs to the Wheatstone blade are protected by an Aphex Compellor 320D while the final feed is delivered to the broadcast facility at The Fan via the Oslo system.

Equipment list
AirTools Voice Processor 2x
Aphex Compellor 320D
APT WorldNet Oslo
Canare Starquad
Crown CTS4200 Quad Amplifier
Denon DNC640
Electro-Voice RE27
Gepco 61801EZGF
HP Z400 Quad Core PC
JBL Control 1 PRO, Control 28
Lectrosonics HM plug, IFBT4, R1a, SMQV, VRMWB
Mackie 1642-VLZ3, 1402-VLZPRO
Matrox M9140
Neutrik Gold XLR and ¼" connectors
Omnirax cabinetry
Philips BDL4251 Digital Signage Displays
Philips PFL3505D
Premier Tilt Mount P2642T
Presonus HP60
Pro Co Sound Short Stop (modified by Cumulus)
Sennheiser HMD 25, ME 66
SKB Studio Flyer 1SKB19-RSF4U
Sony MDR7505
Tascam TU690
Telos Zephyr XStream
TransLanTech Sound Ariane Sequel
Wheatstone IP88a

It was an exciting yet challenging opportunity to build an audio-over-IP network inside one of the busiest concert and sporting venues in the country. The benefit of having full-time connectivity to the broadcast facility is great with the guys able to come in and start working without calling the station to coordinate dialing in on an ISDN line. The design and build teams of Dickey Broadcasting and Cumulus Media had a lot of fun on this project and the engineering team takes pride in being a part of a project that can be seen and heard by a plethora of people who pass through the arena each year.

Gay is a project manager for Cumulus.
Thanks to Liz Haddon for assistance in preparing this article.

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