As the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is known for its outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches, while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.
All of the beaches and culture aside, it is a recent Axia installation at Barcelona FM 91.0 that brings us to the city, as we talk with Jordi Colom, the station's technical director.
Barcelona FM broadcasts from two nearly identical studios. One is for news, the other mainly for music programming. The news studio gets the most use, as much of Barcelona FM's programming is news and information. There are also two small booths that are used for production, recording and editing.
Each studio has a 16-channel Axia Element console, each with a monitor module and call controller module. There is also a Telos VX VoIP Talkshow System, which connects to the station switchboard, and gives a Livewire feed to the consoles. Each production booth has an Axia DESQ console, and both of them share a QOR.16 Integrated Console Engine.
As Colom explains, the choice to go with Axia was an easy one. “Barcelona FM is a new station, signing on in September of 2014, so we had no legacy gear to contend with. The goal was to have the best technology possible. AoIP with Axia does that, and at the same time, provides a fast and affordable installation.” He adds that from start to finish, studio construction took about a month.
The sharing of one QOR.16 between two DESQ consoles is another example of the economy that Colom refers to. The QOR.16 is an Axia integrated console engine for Radius, DESQ and RAQ mixing consoles. QOR.16 combines audio I/O, a console power supply, mixing engine, and built-for-broadcast network switch into one easy-to-deploy package. And the fact that one console engine can power two consoles is just another way that choosing Axia helps stretch your equipment budget.
Barcelona FM shares facilities and staff with Barcelona TV, which started in 1994. In fact, one of the studios has three video cameras, so TV programming can originate from the radio studio. During much of the broadcast day however, the radio station broadcasts the sound from TV. “We had to develop some custom audio switching to route TV audio through to radio,” notes Colom. “That was easy to do with Pathfinder Routing Control.”
Axia’s PathfinderPC and PathfinderPRO router control software for Windows are amazingly rich sets of tools that you can use to customize and command your entire Axia network, just like Jordi did with routing TV audio to radio. With it, you can define automated switching events, construct custom software control panels, change between presets manually, on a daypart schedule, or via an external trigger. Pathfinder’s advanced features even include the ability to sense silence at a particular audio port and patch around it automatically - and even send the engineer an e-mail notification.