Mediaset, Italy’s largest commercial broadcaster, has upgraded three of their Virgin Radio studios. Equipment includes three ruby audio broadcast consoles, a Power Core DSP mixing engine, and VisTool visualization and control software, which will be the backbone of a fully IP-based production unit. Also included are Lawo RƎLAY virtual radio solutions, which will permit hardware-independent on-air and production work.
Lawo’s ruby mixing console has become a favorite with broadcasters worldwide. Its Power Core mixing engine is 100% RAVENNA / AES67 compliant and features network-link redundancy via the ST2022-7 standard to help ensure uninterrupted broadcasts. High-density MADI and RAVENNA interfaces are both standard, and eight expansion slots permit addition of mic, line, AES3, Dante and studio I/O, making ruby the perfect console for stations who want to migrate to AoIP without sacrificing legacy infrastructure.
Lawo VisTool, a sophisticated, customizable touchscreen control environment, is the perfect match for modern radio operations. Using context-sensitive onscreen controls, VisTool enables talent to mix and route audio using the same touchscreen environment used by other studio tools, and can even integrate controls for studio applications such as playout systems, phone systems and codecs directly into the mixing workflow.
ARET and Lawo have worked together for this project to deliver high-level integration between the ruby console and the VisTool interface. Talent can manage the entire radio environment with just a few mouse clicks, and operators can choose to use either the ruby hardware, or the VisTool interface to work virtually in every studio control room.
The three studios share resources like codecs, playout and program feeds via RAVENNA, with pre-configured logic programming for easy, intuitive operation – a unique setup that delivers efficient, fast, and flexible workflows for all talent. Studio switching is easily accomplished using just two buttons – “Enable” and “Studio xx” – found on either the ruby surface or the VisTool display. The Lawo Power Core’s internal matrix switches the chosen studios to antenna after analysing the outgoing signal by DMS and internal logic.
Even more automation and logic integrate is present in the form of yellow blinking fader lamps on the consoles that inform talent of program silence. In this state, any operator can check and adjust the audio signal path quickly and easily to bring the studio on-air again. If there is no On-air session from the control room and silence is detected, the Power Core switches to a backup signal.
According to ARET, the new Virgin Radio studios have given flawless service since their commissioning earlier this year: “Since the new studios were placed on the air, staff have told us that their intuitive controls and seamless performance make producing their shows smoother and easier than ever. The advantages of an all-IP infrastructure are clear: better technology plus better workflow equals better radio!”