Folk Alley: On the Road Again

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WKSU's Folk Alley Express provides Web and broadcast audio production support to folk music on the beaten path.

An audio setup for many events includes a Digidesign 003, a laptop and Audio-Technica mics.

An audio setup for many events includes a Digidesign 003, a laptop and Audio-Technica mics. Photo courtesy Audio-Technica

All load-balancing, routing decisions and connections are managed automatically. The Express' road team need only connect to venue Internet access when available. Otherwise, no operator intervention is required. The entire system is totally remote accessible so the WKSU/Folk Alley IT team has the ability to manage the configurations while not actually being on site for an event.

Click to enlarge

A drawing of the Folk Alley Express studio gives an idea of the scope of design and how much was built into the space. (Click image to enlarge.)

POTS telephone service is trunked to the Express via a VPN tunnel, in combination with a Linksys PAP2T VOIP analog telephone adapter and an Asterisk server located at WKSU. The SIP telephone trunks are delivered via The design provides direct telephone service, both via an inbound local number and unlimited outbound calling. In areas where cellular coverage is limited, data service reliability is enhanced by a pair of elevated outdoor cell antennas mounted just below roof level.

The Folk Alley Express will be attending many more folk music events yet this year and in the years to come.

Equipment List

AKG C414B, C451E
Alesis M1Active 520
Audio-Technica AT-4050, AE-5100, AE-5400, PRO-35, AT-875R
Cradlepoint CTR350
Custom Mobile Products vehicle build-out
Damon Outlaw Model 3611
Digidesign Model 003, Pro Tools LE
Furman power conditioning
Hosa and ProCo optical and XLR cables
Level One WBR-3800
Linksys PAP2T
Neumann KM84i
NewTek TriCaster
On-Stage Stands mic stands
Presonus DigiMAX LT
Roland S1608, W100S-R
RotoRack SKB-6
Sony MDR-7506, MDR-7509 HD
Whirlwind snake cables, direct boxes

Project Budget

Vehicle acquisition   $96,000
Interior studio build, cabinetry, lighting, wall treatment, flooring, roof hatch and side cable access holes, and fold down stage support system (not including equipment other than additional inverter and (2) deep cycle batteries)   $23,000
Exterior vinyl wrap. (Vehicle was originally white)   $8,000
Tech equipment and miscellaneous outfitting   $23,000
Total   $150,000

Bartlebaugh is director of broadcast engineering, WKSU-FM/Kent State University. WKSU LAN Administrator Dan Kuznicki contributed to this article.

-- Photos continued on page 4

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