Extreme Studio Networking at Clear Channel Seattle
Before and after
The cluster had been using the SAS 64000 routing system with traditional PR&E consoles before, so IP control surfaces hanging off an AoIP network was an entirely new proposition. Given that they were dealing with a clean slate, management was optimistic that it could take full advantage of the latest routing technology to optimize space and equipment. Working with the engineering staff at Wheatstone, Clear Channel specified a network that could give full remote access and control of devices, automation and surfaces from anywhere on the audio grid. It was an elaborate plan that would let staff start/stop recorders, change levels on sources, bring up audio on a console channel, plus pot up the fader, and then turn the channel off when done. The idea was to implement a complete, intelligent network that could handle everything through one common interface, from audio routing, metering, and leveling to mixing control, logic control and processing adjustments.
To make it happen, all these requirements were rolled into a preconfiguration plan, a 5MB Excel Bible of crosspoints, elements and every input, output, IP address and switching designation in the network.
Putting it on paper was one thing. Getting it implemented was another matter entirely -- especially since Clear Channel had only 30 days to make the switchover due to leasing incentives and penalties that moved up the deadline.
Early on in the project, someone offered the sage advice to take it one day, one studio, and one crosspoint at a time. It was good advice, and this became the refrain throughout the ensuing weeks.
- continued on page 3
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