Daniel Hyatt is finding ways to leverage his radio engineering experience. From his Director of Engineering position in Denver, Daniel is running a large DJ business, Sound and Light company, does global sourcing, and is even manufacturing custom LEDs for niche projects. What can we learn from Daniel’s entrepreneurialism?
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Kirk Harnack: This Week in Radio Tech, Episode 274, is brought to you by Lawo and the crystalCLEAR virtual radio console. CrystalCLEAR is the console with a multi-touch touchscreen interface. By Z/IPStream audio streaming processors and encoders, available with Omnia.9 processing technology. And by the Axia Radius AoIP audio console. Stand-alone mixing and easy IP connections to other studios.
Daniel Hyatt is finding ways to leverage his radio engineering experience. From his Director of Engineering position in Denver, Daniel is running a large DJ business, Sound and Light company, does global sourcing, and is even manufacturing custom LEDs for niche projects. What can we learn from Daniel's entrepreneurialism?
Hey, welcome in to This Week in Radio Tech. I'm Kirk Harnack, your host. Glad you're here. This is the show where we talk about everything from microphones like this one or others to the light bulb at the top of the tower. And hey, nowadays in radio, it's becoming a lot of stuff in between, from streaming to live television cameras like this one and even much more sophisticated stuff, and digital radio and HD and DAB and DRM and oh my goodness, it's just everywhere.
And the engineers nowadays, there are fewer of them, and they have more responsibilities than ever before. Luckily, for the most part, equipment is generally less finicky, but that's not always true. So that's a summary of what this show is about.
On our show today, on this episode, Number 274, we've got a guest named Daniel Hyatt. If you're on Facebook or if you're involved in social media, you're going to recognize this guy. He is really into a lot of engineering things, and some other related and some unrelated enterprises as well. I would say Daniel is a fantastic example of what today's motivated, excited, entrepreneurial engineer can do with his engineering skills. We're going to talk to Daniel here in just a few minutes.
As I said, I'm Kirk Harnack, from my spacious studio here in Nashville, Tennessee. And coming to us live from the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City, it's Chris Tobin, my co-host. Hey, Chris, welcome in.
Chris: Thanks Kirk. Yes, I'm in the control room for the iHeartRadio Theater. Behind me is a Digidesign console, and there are several racks of Digidesign pro tools, HD chassis. For those of you who are in production, you know exactly what I'm talking about. And I also have the graphics folks in here and there's a few other things, but it's pretty cool. So I thought I'd wear a headset as a director-type of thing.
Kirk: Yeah, nice, nice, looks good. They must have a surround mixing capability there, because I saw at least three speakers across the front of the mixing console.
Chris: Yes, I'm told they can do that. I only see the center, left, right. I don't see anything behind me here, but I'm assuming that's because they maybe do that when they have to. But yes, it's a nice facility. I mentioned it was a 5,500 square feet, 200 people. Very nice light grid. It's very versatile. They've done a lot, as a matter of fact, this past week, Tuesday, I believe they did an interview with Keith Richards. So...
Chris: ...that's the latest from the iHeartRadio Theater.
Kirk: I guess if you're anybody in the music business, you're going to stop by New York, and you're probably going to talk to iHeartRadio. If you are, if you're going to perform or do anything live or have a performance for execs or radio people or advertisers, that's where it's going to be held at, right?
Chris: Oh, absolutely. Keep in mind that it's also down here in Tribeca, so there's a lot of artists and musicians all around. It's also the P.C. Richard-sponsored theater, so you get the consumer stuff there, too. So it's good.
Kirk: Okay, all right, cool. Hey, and if you want to tell us more about that... I guess you're not in a position to give us a tour of that facility, it's just a good place that you happen to be for tonight's, what, SBE meeting there?
Chris: Yes, it is an SBE Chapter 15 New York City meeting. Linear Acoustics is here to talk about Audio over IP and all the facets that it brings and the wonderful things you can do with it. Right now it's the dinner hour, so meeting starts at around 7 p.m. Eastern.
Kirk: My stomach is grumbling. Dinner is being cooked right now at my house, it's upstairs. And I'm telling you, Grandma's here, and when Grandma's cooking, it smells so good.
Chris: Oh, good stuff. Good home cooking.
Kirk: Hey, so Chris, let's bring in our guest. I don't know if you know this guy or not, because you're not on Facebook yourself, I don't see you. But Daniel Hyatt is here. He's an engineer from Denver, Colorado. Daniel, are you with us? Yeah, there he is.
Daniel: I'm here, yes, here I am.
Kirk: Hey, glad to see you. You're in a television studio yourself there, aren't you?
Daniel: Yes. We have a variety of functions here at Max Media Denver. Radio, and of course we do a lot of online production as well. We have a whole video team here. So yes. Or as I like to call it, the engineering relaxation room.
Kirk: Well, it's not used 24 hours a day. How often does a room like that get used, would you say?
Daniel: Primarily for editing, but about 5, 10 hours a week, and then whenever I want to take a nap.
Kirk: Now, are you in an actual studio or are you in the control room or is it kind of all in one? What's the situation?
Daniel: We have several studios. This is one, we call this one the Red Room. Accordingly, this wall is actually red. We have another room that's a complete green screen, so we can Chroma key people out. And that's where the production director for our visual works out of. So it's a pretty neat setup, and we keep adding on, so it's more and more every year.
Kirk: Cool, cool. Well Daniel, we're going to cover a bunch of stuff with you, including, for those of you in the audience, Daniel is a really interesting guy in the world of audio processing. And I know we talk a lot about processing on this show, because hey, in the radio business, that's what we deal with, we deal with audio. And Daniel actually owns an audio processing company. I did not know that until today. So we're going to hear a little bit about that story.
We'll hear about Daniel's experience with Max Media, what he's doing there. He walked into an audio over IP situation when he took the job there. Then Daniel has some other interesting enterprises that I'd like to hear, just in terms of life and career, how, Daniel, how you've taken your engineering career and leveraged that into some of the other stuff that you're doing. So we're going to talk with Daniel and Chris about those things here as we move along.
Hey, our show is brought to you by, in part, by the folks at Lawo, L-A-W-O. I know that I spell that for you every time, but the reason I do it is because it's a German company, and it's pronounced "Lavo," but it's spelled L-A-W-O. And that means if you want to go to the website for Lawo, you'll need to type in Lawo.com.
Now, Lawo is well known for making these big, honking, beautiful consoles for live events, for television, for multi-track and for surround sound, 5.1, 7.1 and surround sound and so forth. But they also have a line of radio consoles for smaller applications, like radio stations. And they have a line that is called their crystalCLEAR console line.
Now these are pretty amazing. What they've done is they've taken the mixing engine, the smarts, the audio IO, network in and out, they've taken that engine, which is just a little one-rack unit box, it's really stuffed with capability and features. They've taken that box and rather than control it with their normal crystal surface, their work surface, you can control it instead with multi-touch touchscreen monitor.
You run an app that the folks at Lawo have developed that shows you an eight-fader console on screen, plus all the buttons that you need. For a long time, it's been kind of a brainchild, I'm not saying I invented it, but it's been a dream of mine, personally, to see a console that's done on a touchscreen. And as touchscreen technology has gotten better and better - I started thinking about this back in the early '90s, and touchscreen technology was kind of awful then, and it really couldn't be done then. We certainly didn't have multi-touch capability.
But now, as touchscreen technology has gotten better, the folks at Lawo have built up this thing called the crystalCLEAR console. It has 10 touch-points. You can put all 10 fingers, if you've got 10 fingers, you can put all 10 of them on there at the same time, if you can do that, and move faders up and down. More likely, you'll be moving one or two things up and down at a time. They've really designed this app for touch. Not for a mouse, but for touch.
And because the console was designed in software, it means that the functions can be really tailored. They're not stuck with a hardware platform that they just have to deal with this button or that button, or, okay, we need a button to push when you do this. Well, it's software. They can make the buttons completely contextual.
So if you're dealing with, say, a microphone input from another studio, you touch an options button and you get options on the screen that pop up that have to do only with what you would want to do with an options button for a mic in another studio.
Every fader gives you the ability to have a back channel, so you can have Mix-minus, for example, going to codecs or to telephone hybrids for people who are off-site. You could have a headphone feed, properly mixed, for talent that's either in your studio or in an adjacent studio. The back of the unit, the back of the rack mount part, has some mic inputs, line level, AES inputs, line level and AES outputs.
It also has a network connection, which is the RAVENNA AoIP standard, which is also AES67 compatible. So as more AES67 devices come on the market, you would be able to connect those to and from the crystalCLEAR console.
Plus redundant power supplies are available, and there's some GPIO on the back of the mixing unit itself, so if you need some tally lights for the studio or for your own control room, you've got those as well. You need to start an old-fashioned tape machine, a cart machine... wouldn't that be interesting. Touch a button on touchscreen to start a cart machine.
You want to know more about the crystalCLEAR console, go to Lawo.com, L-A-W-O, Lawo.com, that page right there. Navigate your way to that page under radio consoles, and watch the video that Mike Dosch did. It's in the upper right hand corner, where he talks about the benefits of designing and using a console that's designed this way. Thanks to Lawo for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.
All right, Chris Tobin's with us from New York from the iHeartRadio Theater. And also Daniel Hyatt is here from Denver, Colorado. Chris, now you're not a big social media guy. Have you heard of this Daniel Hyatt character before?
Chris: I have not, I have not heard of him, no. Yeah, social media and I don't get along well.
Kirk: Well, I'm kind of a social media freak, and so is Daniel Hyatt. So Daniel, again, welcome in. So I'm looking forward to hearing your story. You were telling me earlier today... well, I gave a little tease earlier. I said you own a processor company, and that's really cool.
Kirk: Can you begin by telling us about that? Oh, two of them. Tell us about that.
Daniel: No, no, I do indeed.
Kirk: Oh, you do.
Daniel: Well, it started out, I started out with a fascination about audio processing back when I was about 9, 10 years old. My parents were always encouraging me to experiment with electronics and mechanics and all kinds of cool stuff like that. So it eventually led to I heard a mix show on the radio or I heard something on the radio where they transitioned from a song into an instrumental. Well, for a young person's mind, you're not mixing two records together. What you're thinking is somebody removed the vocals.
Simultaneously, a new gentleman moved into the house next door to my parents, and he happened to own the two local radio stations where I grew up. I started talking to him about it at I think a yard sale as he moved in, and he said, "Well, that might be a graphic equalizer. It might have to do with this other thing. I don't know a lot about this technology, but you can come to the radio station and check it out." Ding, all of the sudden a light bulb went on, and I got into this radio thing and I started chugging along.
So as I went throughout the years in radio there at that small station in my youth and my teenage years, there was another engineer named Chuck Springer, and he really was my mentor as I was younger. Chuck allowed me to go ahead and play with audio processors, he kind of facilitated that whole process there. He had mentioned to me there was this company called Nat Hines [sounds like 00:12:28]. He said well, I acquired this audio processing company and they have some really neat designs, and he kind of showed me a couple different things.
As we went along, he said I'm not as interested in all of this processing as you are, maybe you'd be interested in taking over the company. But as a couple stipulations in taking over the company, you'd need to make sure you're developing these products and make sure you're out there selling them. I don't just want to give this away to somebody or hand it off to somebody that's not going to continue on.
So from there on, I perpetuated that company. We've rolled off a couple of products, we have some that we revised designs on. But the most outstanding design I've had, in my personal opinion, has been the Comp-Roc, and that's the composite FM clipper and limiter that we have out, and it's in over 100 radio stations throughout the U.S. in major markets.
Kirk: Now, you buzzed through that pretty fast. I want to make sure I've got this straight. So the engineer, this guy Chuck Springer that you worked with, and he kind of mentored you along, he somehow... I remember one of the founders of Nat Hines passed away, right?
Daniel: Sure, Steve.
Chris: Steve Nat.
Kirk: Steve, yeah. And Chuck Springer purchased the assets of the company, is that right?
Daniel: That's correct, from Steve's wife.
Kirk: Got you, Got you. Was that in, say, the mid or late '90s when that happened?
Daniel: It was right about that time. I think it was in the mid '90s. It will put me in middle school, actually, at that.
Kirk: I was into my contract engineering career at that time, and I remember working for a few stations that had Nat Hines processors. And I remember that okay, so these are kind of inexpensive, but they're very clean sounding. Other people in... maybe I was on CompuServe at that time, but people would comment from time to time that, "Hey, these can sound really good if you set them up right, they're very clean sounding." But my experience with Nat Hines processors was pretty limited. So you worked with Chuck Springer, he showed you this stuff. Now tell me about the Comp-Roc, because I... don't know that I've...
Chris: It's a great box.
Kirk: Yeah? And apparently in some big markets, and I haven't seen one.
Daniel: See, Chris has heard of me, he just didn't know.
Chris: No, I will tell you the story that why I know what I'm saying. I used to work with Steve Nat in the early days of the '80s, and he was using my radio station as a test bed for his processing, and the Comp-Roc was one of them. The Mic-MAYS [sounds like 00:14:49], the Tri-MAYS [sounds like 00:14:49], and a few others, and the A-MAYS [sounds like 00:14:51]. Yes, and Steve, I still have the napkin from the Mr. Donut coffee shop at 2:00 in the morning with a schematic on how to hot rod a Texar Prizm.
Kirk: Oh my goodness.
Chris: Yeah. Steve, was best friends with the director of engineering for the company I worked with, and he'd send me these boxes, and the format we were was a jazz format on the FM, and the AM was a full-service music news talk, and we were hot-rodded like crazy and I had three visits from the FCC as a result of it.
Kirk: What were they about?
Chris: Well, apparently our competitors felt we were over-modulating and operating illegally. I tried to explain to them, I said, "No, you see, this is the first generation of a digital approach to audio processing that keeps it clean but gives it very finite control." And the Tri-MAYS, Comp-Roc, A-MAYS combination can really sound... it's a really powerful package. And I'm glad to hear that things are still moving along with the product.
Kirk: So this Comp-Roc seems to be the real surviving product from the original Nat Hines company. Is that right, Daniel?
Daniel: That's correct. And it's the product that everybody asks for. With the Tri-MAYS we had quite a bit of interest, but as we moved along through the digital products, obviously analog products kind of took it by the wayside. However, the Comp-Roc, it's still going strong. In fact, I've had several different DoEs throughout a variety of groups in the U.S. mention that they still prefer utilizing the Comp-Roc as a final processor clipper, aside from using other major manufacturers' final clipper or composite clipper.
Kirk: Now, myself and certainly a lot of other folks who watch or visit this podcast, we're familiar with composite clippers. We realize that there are some differences, some improvements, for example, on the original, what was it, the CP-803 from Modulation Sciences?
Kirk: A lot of us had those.
Chris: Yeah. Very small.
Kirk: Yeah, but I've got to believe now there's been improvements and people like the Comp-Roc, Daniel, can you explain some of the technicalities of why the Comp-Roc is very popular and effective?
Daniel: Sure. Now the Comp-Roc, unlike many other processors where you're literally just clipping the audio, that's it, clipping the audio and in some cases with the older processors, actually clipping the pilot. With the Comp-Roc, we have a four-stage process. So the first process is a soft limiter. The second stage is a hard limiter, followed by a soft clipper, and then a hard clipper. And the advantage to that is we have many markets like Denver, Las Vegas is another market where we experience a severe amount of multi-path distortion, and a lot of that can be induced by the composite clipping.
So by utilizing the limiting section in the Comp-Roc, you don't sacrifice loudness for avoiding that multi-path distortion. Now, in other markets where that's not such a critical item, you can actually utilize both the limiting section and the clipping section to gain more loudness. We've had pretty good success with many customers actually picking up what they swear by as more than 3 dB of loudness with no noticeable distortion.
Chris: Yep, that's true.
Kirk: I'm a little bit curious about both Omnia and I believe Orban [sounds like 00:17:59] have introduced processors in which you can turn off the upper side band of the stereo left minus right signal, and because multi-path occurs first at higher demodulated frequencies in the base band than lower, just because they represent a bigger portion of time. Can a Comp-Roc, being used to reduce multi-path, work in conjunction with single side band stereo being used to reduce multi-path, or would they fight each other on that issue?
Daniel: Sure, I've only experimented with it once myself. I've had other people that say they've had success with it. They didn't tell me which processor. My experience is with an Omnia.11, with a single side band. And putting it on a scope, I didn't see any unusual anomalies. But it should be able to be used with both single and dual side band.
Kirk: Interesting. In sorry, Chris Tobin, I think I interrupted you, go ahead.
Chris: Oh no, no, I was just going to say the Comp-Roc, you could squeeze a lot of audio of perceived loudness beyond 3dB, but 3dB is about the sweet spot. It's a pretty cool box in how it shapes the waveform, I'll just say it that way. That's all I'm going to give away.
Kirk: So wow, I was always used to a composite processor, and you know what? It's probably worthwhile, we may have left a few of our listeners behind, talking about composite processing. Chris Tobin, could you take just a minute and... in the New York City market there, I'm sure, if not now, at least sometime in the past, everybody's probably running some composite processing there.
How is composite processing, Chris, different from your usual left channel, right channel processing and stereo generation? What does composite processing get for an FM - and this is only for FM - but what does it get for an FM broadcaster?
Chris: Well, it gets you a little more loudness, because it's the final step of the audio before it gets demodulated in the receiver. And yes, if you took the detector out, put in an FM tuner and looked at the composite signals of all the stations here in New York City back in the day, they were pretty much flatline, very little grassy, hairy lines above the tops and bottoms.
It gives you an opportunity to sort of squeeze out a little more loudness. Also gives you better peak control at the very end. Because remember, your left and right audio gets multiplexed together with the 19 kilohertz to create all the wonderful things that stereo, and then it becomes what's called a multiplexed or composite signal.
So it's about, say, 190 kilohertz wide type of thing. And what happens is the last stage, Eric Small came up with the CP-803, which allowed you to legally, as mentioned earlier - legally clip a composite without pinching the pilot, as the phrase is known as. If you watched your modulation monitor, put it on the pilot injection, and you watched the modulation of the pilot, the injection level, and if you're pinching the pilot you'll see the needle deflect back and forth, which is not preferred by the Commission.
So composite clipping allows you an extra couple of dB or half a dB here and there, and the loudness back in the day... and to this day it's still the same... offered you a more competitive edge. And it did make the sound a little more denser. But with today's digital processing, you can do a lot before you get to the composite. And the Comp-Roc gives you several stages of how to sort of sweeten, tweak, and squeeze out a little more just to give yourself a signature sound, as I like to call it.
Kirk: So Daniel, my own experience is very limited compared to yours, but in my experience in setting up processing with a composite clipper, so we're talking most of my - I should say the bulk of my processing experience was when I was a contract engineer in the late '80s and '90s and early 2000s.
I would find that if I did heavy, heavy processing with the station's processor, whatever brand it might be, if I did heavy multi-band processing, usually a composite processor - and remember, I was typically using a CP-803 - a composite processor would not help much. In fact, it might do more harm than good, at least in my experience. I may have been doing it wrong.
However, if I did lighter processing on the station and depended upon the composite processor then to amp the loudness up, I got a more desirable result, depending on what the station was looking for. If they were looking for that suck and pump, multi-band processed sound, well then I would do that, and I didn't gain much from a composite processor. But if they were looking for not a multi-band sound but kind of a wide-band sound or an easier sound, then I could gain them some loudness with the composite processor. Tell me where I was right and tell me where I need to be educated in my experience.
Daniel: Well, audio processing can take a variety of forms. So you can have a composite processor and you can have a final on-air processor, and you can have two completely different settings. You can completely destroy the sound before it gets to the composite processor or you can decide to trim it a little bit when it gets to the final composite processor.
Now, you've probably heard the theory "bad in, bad out." So if we put horrible audio into something, then it doesn't matter what we do to it, we're not going to make it much better, within reason.
I know there's a couple technologies out there, I know Lib [sounds like 00:23:19] has some of the de-clipping and things. But for all intents and purposes, if I get something really bad and I shove it into the audio processor, it's going to sound bad coming out, no matter what. So keeping with that thought in mind, if you start out with great audio and you're very gentle... I like to think of audio as baking a pizza, if you will.
So when you're making a pizza, you roll out the dough and you do the dough right, and then you put on just the right amount of toppings. If you put too many toppings on or your dough is too thick, then when you bake it later on according to the recipe, it's going to come out really doughy or rather all your rare [sounds like 00:23:55] ingredients are going to be baked wrong.
However, if you're very gentle and you put the right amount called for by recipe on that pizza and you roll the dough out properly and then you send it through that oven. Well, through the oven, you can crank it up a little bit, you maybe make it a little toastier or maybe you even want to burn it just a slight bit.
That's kind of how audio processing is. So if I start out with a nice clean signal and then I just beat it up in the automatic gain control or I really beat it up in the limiter, and then I hand it off to the composite clipper, there's nothing left to do with it. It's already so abused by the time it gets there, that there's not much more you can do with it other than just kind of run it over with the car again.
So that's the theory and that's exactly what you were saying is, if you're gentle going through the right steps and you finally get to that final composite processor, whose job it is to take that final audio and give it a little more density, give it a little more loudness, kind of shave those peaks off, then you're going to get a great product.
Whereas if you go through and just annihilate the audio, hyper-compress it, then by the time it gets to the composite clipper, you can do as much as you want, you might gain some loudness, but you're going to end up with something that sounds extremely horrible.
Kirk: Yeah, you confirmed what I was thinking, and I thought about it such that if I'm using the composite clipper to clip off, let's call them "accidental peaks" or occasional peaks, or even kind of some regular peaks, I was okay with that.
Any distortion added by the clipper, and again, I wasn't using a Comp-Roc, which is a better design, but any distortion I was adding was really pretty temporary and short lived. But if I already had dense audio and I'm trying to get into that with a clipper, well everything I do, every time it clips something, it's clipping what is, by golly, real audio at this point. It's not accidental overshoots, it's not overshoots that got by. It's not even just a little bit off grass tickling the clipper, it's real audio at that point, because all the audio is up loud.
So good, you confirmed, I guess, really what I thought about it. But I think it's really intriguing, I'm so eager to try out a Comp-Roc at some point because it uses four stages of composite processing, you can actually start to do more with it and not destroy the audio that was coming in. Have I kind of got that right?
Daniel: You're absolutely right, and I want to add a couple of comments under what you were just talking about. That's that when I talk to folks when I go out, and I've done consulting work in the past, or even here at Max Media, when we talk about audio processing, obviously we want a product that's not fatiguing to the listener, we want something oftentimes that's extremely loud. We want it to sound a particular way. The best way I can explain that to programmers is I give them a handful of marbles, and I say here we go, we have a slot. Your treble is one through four, your bass is one through four, your loudness is one through four.
Now, you need to move these marbles around and put them in these slots here, and you've got to tell me what you want more and less of, or rather, how you want this adjusted.
Now, when we start setting the processing, oftentimes, a great example is the other day. A program director said hey, can we get the station just a hair louder? I already knew we were kind of up against the wall and I didn't want to push it into the range of distortion, so I said okay.
We can back down on the bass and I can make it louder, or I can't do anything else, or else it's going to go into the distortion territory. He says, okay, well, back down the bass. Well, we eliminated one slight attribute from the spectrum and added another.
So when we start dealing with that magic box that's the modulation and we're able to have a push and pull, it's much easier for people to understand that, is okay, well, I turned down the bass, it's not going to blow my speakers out in a live sound environment. It's kind of the same thing with processing. I turn down the bass, it reduces the density a little bit, gives me a little more overhead to work with when we get to that composite processor.
Kirk: Got you, Got you. Yeah, the bucket's only so big, what do you want, do you want to fill it up more? Great, we've got to take something else out. Daniel, I've noticed that you are the kind of guy that likes to try and use and implement different brands and different models of processors.
What's your thought process when you're thinking about what brand to put in, what model, how you're going to adjust it, what cost justification is there for this station versus that station when you're consulting somebody? Tell me about that thought process.
Daniel: Well, we have several really solid brands out there, obviously. We have the Telos Omnia products, and those have been around for a long time and they have their signature sound.
Kirk: Did we lose Daniel or is it just me?
Chris: No, I think we lost Daniel. Well, I have a frozen screen. We're back to you on video.
Kirk: All right, well, we'll try to get... Well, let's ask the same question to you, Chris. Different processing brands and models, you've dealt with just about everything out there. If somebody comes to you today and says "Hey, we've got a new X format station in southern New Jersey, we want to be competitive with the stations around us and maybe those coming from, I don't know, Philly or somewhere." What's your advice? Where do you start?
Chris: Well, I first start with, "What's your budget?" and then second, "What is it you're trying to sound like that is catching the ears of others that you believe is the market you want to serve?" Because let's say, south Jersey, there are several stations in south Jersey that cover easily into Philadelphia and Atlantic City, Long Beach Island and Ocean City, and all the stations are competing. Do you want to sound like the very compressed, very dense station, or do you want to sound a little bit in the middle but have a sound that sort of stands out?
The processors I usually start with, typically if the format's like a Top 40... ooh, there's a bug flying around here... Top 40 format we'll call it or a pop music, I usually suggest go with the Omnia. It'll give you a nice sound that's dense but sparkles and jumps out at you.
But if you're a station that does sort of a softer music, I sometimes find that the Orban products, believe it or not, actually have a certain, how do you say it? There's a certain characteristic curve or nuance that gives a nice soft sound. It's very clean and sharp, but it works. But it's hard. It's hard because everybody hears things differently.
I've actually used some Aphex processors, some older ones, and people have been like, "This thing sounds great." And I'm like, "Yeah, they don't make it any more, but it does sound really good." So it's a matter of taste. I've always said the new digital systems are so powerful, so finite in control that you cannot start at plus 1, 2, or 3, you've got to sort of start at -1, -2, -3 and then find your sound from there.
Kirk: Daniel, you're back with us, same question to you. Talk to us about the process you go through to choose a model and a brand. Chris started out with budget. Where do you start?
Daniel: Well, budget makes a lot of sense. I like to think that I can accomplish almost any sound with a fairly limited budget or with a very large budget if it's going to come down to cleanliness and loudness when you get there.
I would say I would agree with Chris when it comes to Orban having that nice, smooth sound when you're trying to get something that's like a classical or a jazz. With the Omnia products, my experience has been they're pretty loud. The 11 is extremely loud.
Then the third big dog, in my opinion, would be the Vorsis products by Wheatstone, and I am impressed by their approach. As a lot of processors we've seen in the past and that are currently out there and do sound really good in their own right, I deal with five- and six-band compressors and limiters and AGC. Whereas in the Vorsis and the AirAura we're seeing a 31-band limiter, which is quite a bit different approach. I think that's something that can be challenging.
Each processor really offers its own challenge. But I think it would be challenging to a lot of broadcast engineers because so many of us get on the thought process where it's like okay, we've got our lows, we've got our highs, we've got our mids, we've got our mid-highs, and so forth.
Where, dealing with the Vorsis products, you kind of have to take the approach more like you're setting sound on a stage, like a live audio engineer. So that box also has its own unique set of traits, and I feel like they're, sometimes when I'm dealing with very particular sounds, if I have a rock station where I really want to bring out certain drums, then the Vorsis works out.
Classical formats, spoken word formats like an NPR or even like a Triple-A format sounds extremely good on there. If I'm dealing with certain formats like a hip-hop format, the 11 has a huge low end, too.
So when folks say, "I've got to have this thundering low end that's going to blow my ears out," and if they've got the budget, then the 11. Now, aside from all of that, if people say, "Hey, I've only got a couple thousand bucks, I can afford a final processor," maybe they even only have something like an Orban 8100, then I turn to things that are more consumer-based.
A couple of my favorites are the dbx DriveRack series, the PA+, and they have a newer model that's out now. Also, the Behringer SPL3220, which is $125, but it's a two-band multiband that works phenomenal. So if you put a drive rack before the Behringer box and then run it into just about anything else, you can get a very signature sound without spending too much money.
Kirk: Interesting, interesting. Good to hear those thoughts. Hey, if you're watching or listening, this is This Week in Radio Tech, Episode 274. I'm Kirk Harnack along with Daniel Hyatt, our guest, and Chris Tobin is coming to us live tonight from the iHeartRadio Theater in New York City, where the SBE meeting is about to start in the next 15 to 20 minutes or so.
Hey, our show is brought to you in part... and actually, you know what? Before I say the ad, I want to riff just for one thought on what Daniel just said about different philosophies from different processing manufacturers. You even look at a company... and I know they're my employer, the guys at Omnia, and you've got a number of different designers, processing designers. You've got Cornelius Gould and Frank Foti and Rob Dye, Mark Manolio, and Leif Claesson and a recent addition to the family is Hans van Zutphen, who has been interviewed on this show before. Actually, about all of them have.
They're very different processors. What comes from Hans, his contribution, what comes from Leif, what comes from Frank, and what comes from Corny, these are all different things. So it's kind of amazing that even within the same company you've got different ideas about how to do processing, what sound you're looking for.
The good news for the radio engineer is that you've got choices. Not only do you have a choice of different companies, but you also have different designers at different companies and you can choose your poison, choose your tools, your toolbox, based on demos and what you're comfortable with and what you like.
I guess I would close that thought with saying that hey, be open to trying different things. Give things a whirl. Some of these things you can demo, the companies will do demos, or dealers will do demos, and you can try different things on your station. Don't be afraid to reach out and try something different.
The first time I ever got my hands on any Omnia processor, I was so used to using Orbans that I had a hard time navigating around and getting the sound I wanted. It took me a few weeks to kind of get that figured out. And well, I got good at it there at that point.
Hey, our show is brought to you by the folks at Z/IPStream. Z/IPStream is a new brand, a new mark, of the Telos Alliance. And if you're doing streaming... we're saying stream like you mean it, because man, more and more and more people are listening to streaming. Whether it's Pandora or some other service, or whether it's their favorite radio station. I'm spending a lot of my time in my office here listening to my own radio stations via streaming. Sometimes I'll tune in to other ones that I like. Stations I miss, for example.
When I lived in Kentucky, I listened a lot to WLW in Cincinnati, and WHAS in Louisville. Loved those stations. Also WLS in Chicago and WBBM in Chicago. Loved those stations. So I'll listen to those on streaming. It's becoming more and more important... even my little stations in Mississippi, we get people listening all over the place to those stations. Even our stations in American Samoa, some of you may know that I'm part owner of a couple stations there, we have plenty of people streaming that. Of course, in the United States there's people of Samoan descent living on the West Coast especially, and even right here in Nashville.
The point is streaming is important, and if you want to do streaming, you want to do it right, you want to make it sound good, man, don't take some old processor that you bought on eBay and think that's going to get you as good as you can sound on your stream. Because the tools are out there and available, and they're not that expensive now. Telos's Z/IPStream brand has a whole range now of products, and I'll just run through them here for you. There's a new one in the mix, so pay attention.
Whether you like to do it with hardware or do it with software, Z/IPStream offers either way to do that. A couple of hardware products. There's the Z/IPStream R/1. Now we introduced this product, calling it the Telos ProSTREAM. I've got one here at my desk. And in fact, I'll tell you what, I'll take the camera off and show it to you here. So here's the Z/IPStream... excuse me, it's the ProSTREAM, this is labeled ProSTREAM, but now it's called the Z/IPStream R/1 to get the branding to match up.
It will process one audio stream and it will make two different encodings, so you can encode in, say, MP3 at 128 kilobits and you can encode in HE-AAC v2 at 56 kilobits if you want to. So you get two streams out of it, and you can send those streams to up to four different locations for geodiversity, to different CDNs if you want to. So that's a hardware streamer. You plug it in, you put in the settings, and you forget about it. It just sits there and works, no PC involved, and the audio can come into it via analog or AES or Livewire, so there's different versions available that way. So that's the Z/IPStream R/1, R meaning rack mount, 1.
Now there's a new product. It's the Z/IPStream R/2, and it's on the website. It's a beautiful one-rack unit box. It actually looks, it has the flavor, the look of one of our Linear Acoustic products.
Linear Acoustic engineers were very helpful in the design of the hardware. Well, it can take up to eight programs in, and then encode in multiple ways after that, after it takes those in. Eight audio processors built in, and the audio processing on each individual stream can be either our three-band Omnia A/X processing or the Leif Claesson's Omnia.9 processing. That's available. It's an add-on option, but that's available for every stream. Amazing.
So this new streaming encoder, the Z/IPStream R/2, rack mount, and it's the R/2, beautiful, beautiful box. And you're going to see a lot of them out in the field, I believe, in some big broadcasters. Also, it is capable of doing some multi-rate streaming, so it's compatible with HLS. So you can send multi-streams to the stream server, provider, the CDN, and your listeners can automatically get the right stream rate for their device. If they're on a desktop environment, they get the high-rate stream. Mobile, they might get a lower rate stream, but it's selected automatically for them.
Now there's two other products, the Z/IPStream X/2, that's software, and the Z/IPStream 9X/2. The difference is the 9X/2 is Leif Claesson's Omnia.9 processing. I'm running both of these at my own radio stations, and there's a ton of them out there.
Check them all out, if you would, on the website. Just go to TelosAlliance.com, click on Telos and click on the streaming products, and scroll down and you will see for yourself four different choices now for stream processing and encoding. Two hardware, two software, whichever is your favorite. Thanks to Telos and Z/IPStream for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.
All right, Chris Tobin is with us. Chris, you got to go soon or can you hang with us for another 15 minutes or so?
Chris: Well, actually I've got about another five minutes and then I have to run into the next room.
Kirk: All right, all right. Hey, we're going to... Daniel, can we move on to how you have taken your engineering career and leveraged that into some other areas of interest, money making for yourself, building a career? Kind of lead us into how you got into that.
Daniel: Will you restate the question? My Internet connection dropped and [inaudible 00:41:02] some of the other [inaudible 00:41:02].
Kirk: No problem. So from your Facebook postings and from knowing you personally, you're the entrepreneurial guy. So you've taken these skills that you learned, beginning when you were, what, 9 or 10 years old, and with Chuck Springer helping you out, you've taken these radio engineering skills and you're leveraging that into some other business opportunities that are keeping you interested and excited and hopefully putting some money in your pocket. Tell us about that process.
Daniel: Well, I try to keep money in my pocket, that's a good idea. I've always been infatuated with audio. Well, what comes along with audio, it ends up being music, and what comes along with music is DJ'ing. So I've been fortunate enough to grow my DJ skills throughout the years in conjunction with the engineering skills, so I even host some mix shows on the radio stations here, which is a little bit of fun.
I have an audiovisual production company. We send out up to seven deejays at any given time throughout mostly weekends, and we also do large-format sound and light for a variety of concerts around and large-scale events. So leading on from the audiovisual production aspect, which came about from the DJ'ing, which came about from the radio, I encountered another gentleman who's now one of my business partners in a separate endeavor, and that's global sourcing.
So when LED lights started to come about, I said, "I need to get these for my production company, but they're a little expensive."
So going along the regular route of buying and selling things, I became a dealer and then later on a manufacturer representative for several companies. And finally said I can probably make these myself, but unfortunately, I don't speak Mandarin, and most of this stuff is made in China and I don't really know what to do.
Believe it or not, I hopped in the elevator maybe 20 minutes after kind of telling myself that, and I ran into a gentleman named Ko [sounds like 00:42:51], who's my very good friend and business partner in the global sourcing. And he just said, "Hey, who are you and what do you do?"
I told him and he said, "Oh, that's neat. I source products internationally." And I said, "Well, that's interesting, I've been wanting to do this." So we sat down, we had lunch, and I kid you not, over about 48 hours, we put this whole business plan together, executed it, and now for several years we've been importing and manufacturing our own LED lights. We've been doing promotional materials, things like blankets for Delta Airlines. We've been doing promotional materials for AARP, JP Morgan.
So there's a whole growth of endeavors that have spurred out of radio, but it's one thing leads to another. That continues today. I was just on the phone with him a while ago and now we're sourcing LED screens that are going all over downtown Denver and we're lighting up entire buildings. And that's something completely separate from radio, but I like to bring it back.
So I'll have to post some pictures on the Internet for everybody to see. But now I'm going about it and actually LED-ing out all of our studios here. So our mic arms, underneath the tables, pictures in conference rooms, TVs, everything has LEDs. So that's my latest technical endeavor.
Kirk: Wow. Wow, that is just fascinating, taking that entrepreneurial spirit that got you into DJ'ing and sound and light. Chris Tobin, I've never been the kind of engineer that was interested in going out and DJ'ing, although come to think of it, in high school, I was asked to and I did - in high school - but I never made a business out of it. How about you, Chris? You ever turned your engineering skills into something kind of tangential?
Chris: No, I'd have to say I haven't. I've just enjoyed the work around. I've worked with a couple of engineering firms and come up with some wacky ways of doing radio and TV, and that's just where things have gone for me. I've just enjoyed doing it that way. Help people out, offer them consulting, and over the years it's just paid off in that fashion.
Kirk: Hey, I know you're going to have to go soon. Tell me, real quickly, the subject of tonight's SBE meeting in New York. Ken Tankel is there?
Chris: Ken Tankel, Linear Acoustics, a division of the Telos Alliance, I guess you would call it a subsidiary. I believe we're talking about Audio over IP, the benefits and how it's implemented, and usually it turns into questions of distribution and why should I do that over something more traditional and really does it work as well as people claim and why are there so many different ways of doing it. And the AES67 question will come up. Then there's the other competing protocols that are out there.
It should be fun, actually, because the New York audience, every time we've done these, has brought out some interesting questions. I know that manufacturers, who have come, have walked away going, "Wow, we never thought of it in that fashion, but you guys are actually making it work that way." I only say that because we had GatesAir here a couple of months ago on a similar topic, with their product line, and the gentleman was very good who presented it, Ted Nahil, I'm sure people know the name.
Kirk: Yeah, yeah, I know Ted, sure.
Chris: After the meeting, he was actually talking with a few of the folks, a couple of the TV guys, and he's like, "Let me get this straight. You're doing what and how, and it works?" And they're like, "Yeah, actually it does, but we can't find anybody who makes a product that does it." He's like, "Yeah, I can see why, but okay, I get it." So every time we do some of these audio over IP, video over IP presentations, some strange things come out, which is good, gets you thinking. But it's fun.
Kirk: I think that one thing we're going to find, and Daniel, I want to ask you to chime in on this in a few minutes, is that some manufacturers have just jumped into Audio or Video over IP with both feet. That's their world, and it's end to end. Other manufacturers have taken their legacy systems and then adapted them to some kind of IP connectivity, either between studios or between the routers and switches and the end points and things. But they're a mixture of legacy, TDM or other protocols and IP.
I really believe that if you do the hybrid mix thing, you're going to end up being frustrated in the long run. That end-to-end IP is going to end up being the way to go. Now, I realize there's transition time. You've got a bunch of this equipment, you've got to make it talk to that equipment, you're going to have a hybrid system for a while. But move to total IP, because that's where the world's going to.
Chris: You could do hybrid, but it's application-based. If you're a smaller operation that doesn't have many demanding things, if you will, demanding workflows, you can go hybrid IP, TDM, benefit from it for at least a short period of time and make the transition much easier. But if you're a larger facility like, say, a Cumulus or an iHeartMedia or a CBS or Entercom, doing the hybrid approach is, probably at this day and age, is probably suicidal.
I would think your best bet is to really think, as you point out, Kirk, do IP end to end and just figure out the workflow and say okay, what makes the best sense and how to implement it. You benefit greater that way, than you would just trying to make a transition excuse, and then all of a sudden one day wake up and find yourself in trouble.
Kirk: Yeah. Chris, thanks for joining us, I know you have to go. I'm going to hang around with Daniel Hyatt for a few more minutes.
Chris: All righty. Well, Daniel, good luck with the Comp-Roc. I'm glad to hear things are still going on with that. I remember it in the early days, so it was fun.
Daniel: [Inaudible 00:48:17].
Kirk: [Inaudible 00:48:16].
Daniel: No, I was going to say, it's okay to be square.
Chris: Oh, yes. I know that one. Oh, that's good. That is good.
Kirk: Good deal. Okay, Chris, we'll see you next week. So we're still talking to Daniel Hyatt here from Denver, Colorado. He's the Director of Engineering for Max Media and he does a number of other things as well, and we were just getting into talking about that. Daniel, okay, so DJ, Sound and Light, you've designed lighting systems, you're even global sourcing, and now you're kind of having a company actually make LEDs to your specs, to your specifications. What, of the different things you're doing, what would you say you're the most excited about long term?
Daniel: Well, I look at everything long term. I really look at everything medium term, because I know there's a finite amount of time we can apply to things. So LEDs, for example, there's still a huge LED boom and there still will be for probably the next four or five years. But long term, in 20 years?
There's going to be the big companies like your Philips that are going to take over and they're going to facilitate all those commercial builds and there's going to be some very specific manufacturers that facilitate the LED lighting we see on stages and nightclubs, things like that. So I'm excited about that right now.
What I'm really excited about is kind of new media, because it still ties back in with my broadcast experience, still ties back in with kind of my techie nerdy side, and it allows me to continue to implement new ideas. One of the projects I'm working on right now involves online newspapers and it involves online broadcasts of local sports. Then it also ties in with the local radio station. So we're starting to get out into those rural communities and be able to tie in with a lot of folks who aren't AES compatible at all, they're still in the analog days, they still haven't experimented a whole lot with Internet. We're really reaching out to Wild West and doing some new media approaches.
That's the kind of stuff I'm excited about. It's not what's on my plate in front of me? That's there and it's moving forward and we've got a plan and we've got to think about it properly. But it's, What's the next step, what am I going to wake up tomorrow and envision. Then over the next couple months or the next year or so, how am I going to be able to develop that. So it's exciting. It's like sitting back when you're a music connoisseur and saying what's the next big hit going to be, what's it going to sound like, and being that excited.
Kirk: Yeah, yeah, I hear you. Let's apply your comments there to a couple of subjects. Let's talk about what you might see is the future of streaming and how broadcasters cannot mess that up but how can broadcasters do something meaningful, that'll keep them connected with audiences, and make their content easily available and intriguing? So streaming, and then let's, and in the back of your mind here, and we'll get to it before the end of the show, think about how other technologies will replace telephony for listeners and viewers to talk to the content creators.
So what we now have is talk shows and people participate, typically, via telephone, cell phone, some talk shows taking Skype calls and such. What's going to come along next after... My daughter, I don't know if she'd ever pick up the phone to call a DJ or a talk show. I don't know that she would. So being the organ for Telos, I'm always thinking what's going to be next, what's it going to look like? So anyway, back to the streaming thing. What are your thoughts about streaming over the future?
Daniel: Well, I think right now streaming and traditional terrestrial broadcasts really go hand in hand. A great example is let's say you have an AM radio station and you think okay, well, it's starting to lose a little bit of listenership, there's not as much interest. Well, now all of a sudden you can provide that high-definition stream and people can get it in their vehicles now, they can stream it over an IP card or folks can stream it at their desk at the office. They can also listen to the traditional or rather radio broadcast.
Now, when I start to think of this, I like to use small towns like the town I grew up in in La Junta, Colorado, where there's about 8,000 people or so. A huge portion of the broadcast week there is contributed to local sports. Those local sports, Billy Bob and his sister and his grandma and his aunt, everybody wants to listen to that game. So they're driving around, they can listen to it on the radio. But they can also hop online now and listen to it streaming through their phone.
They can get added content. So we have those details like maybe it's a basketball game and they've got assists and they've got three-point shots and they've got field goal percentages. So you start to get that added content. Then furthermore, maybe somebody missed the game.
They can now go home or they can wait six months or a week or maybe even years down the road after little Johnnie has grown up and gone through college, maybe he's in the NFL now or maybe he's just doing something completely different and he has kids, and you want to go back and watch that game. Now we have the content storage available, and that's huge.
So radio stations and broadcasters in general, being able to tie in that digital content now, when I still feel like the terrestrial broadcast is the mainstay, but incorporating that digital parameter offers the listener so much more. It also brings them in and allows you to captivate that audience and retain them for longer periods of time.
Kirk: Got you. Yeah, yeah. That's what we're finding with our little stations. I guess, one thing that's crossed my mind, and I could way off base with this, I could be just totally foolish. But a couple other engineers in the business agree with me... I realized, we're engineers, we're not programming, we're not big-time owners... is that broadcasters, maybe, should have jumped in bed with Pandora so that they'd be on a major, major platform that people are familiar with.
For example, I own some radio stations in Greenville, Mississippi. How can I help remind the people in Greenville that if they want to listen to morning news and weather and some fun banter and lots of music and then local information, how can I remind them to not tune in to Pandora but instead, get our web app or go to our website, our smartphone app, I should say, or our website, and listen to our station that way. It doesn't seem like it's necessarily top of mind, where I've got a smartphone in my hand, I've got a dashboard in my car if I'm a modern car, and there's Pandora. How can I solve that problem?
Daniel: Sure. My opinion is that a listener has something they want to listen to. So with a regular radio station, you have different types of programming. You might have your news, you might have your weather, sports, and music. So a listener tunes in and... a large market's a good example. The tune in to a radio station. They say I'm looking for jazz music. Or well, actually, jazz really isn't on the radio.
They're looking for a Top 40 radio. They punch in that station that always plays Top 40. Now a slightly smaller station, you say how can I retain these people? Here's what I suggest and what I hope the industry starts pushing for, is multiple, if you will, multi-cast on the Internet. What keeps a broadcaster, aside from maybe some royalties, from diversifying their offerings?
So maybe you have an R&B station, so your listeners are prone to listen to R&B, maybe classic R&B like Motown, maybe they're prone to listen to a current R&B format. Maybe they're also prone to listen to a throwback hip hop format and the current hip hop format. Well, what keeps us as broadcasters from offering those four streams? Or maybe five streams.
Maybe there's a morning show or a more content-detailed program that can be incorporated with that that the listener can be offered. Or even why can't we develop more advanced apps that allow you to turn on and off content? Perhaps I enjoy listening to updates or rather morning show clips that come out on a Top 40 station. Whereas the next guy just wants to hear the music. Why can't I turn that on and off on my app and we can't delay some of this audio in a separate stream, so that the listener is able to make that choice and be able to incorporate their preferences in, rather than us just saying this is what it is. Because that's really what Pandora does, is they allow you in some way, shape, or form to say, "I dislike this or I like this," and it modifies it to your desire.
Kirk: Any of your stations or any of your talent do maybe a show after the show? Hey, if you want to keep listening to our zaniness, tune in to our online stream or our second online stream" or whatever. Is that a viable way to keep people interested?
Daniel: I think for morning shows it might be, or those shows that are very heavily [inaudible 00:57:11]. It depends on the format. Here we have a throwback hip hop station and an R&B-based station, so it's fairly music intensive. One of our stations that's a throwback hip hop has a very talented kind of... they call it Slim's Playhouse. So it's a bunch of different folks in there doing bits and different things.
I think something like that could have added content, where people might be willing to actually podcast or download that content afterward, or maybe even stream some type of an extended show, or maybe it's just once a week, a live show on the Internet.
Kirk: By the way, I don't know if you saw it, but one of the guys that works at our stations, our hip hop station, DJ Hustleman had some nice things to say...
Daniel: Oh yeah.
Kirk: ...about you and your record-spinning capabilities or talents. DJ Hustleman compliments you, you're something, I tell you right now.
Daniel: I'm jealous and envious of DJ Hustleman's helmet. I want a helmet like that.
Daniel: Because if you haven't seen DJ Hustleman, and I follow him on Facebook. I stalk a lot of people, probably about 2,000 people, including you, Kirk, so watch out. He wears a helmet when he goes out and that's his thing. Is that a real fighter jet helmet?
Kirk: Actually, it's a military helicopter helmet with a glare shield on it, and it was his dad's. His dad was military. And so he wears it both because it's unusual, it's kind of cool, it was his dad's so he's honoring his dad. I've got to tell you, the inside of that thing is nasty. It's worn out. But it's a cool thing.
So hey, tell you what. Let me do a quick commercial break and then let's spend just a couple more minutes talking about how you might imagine people in the future would want to connect with content creators, whether they be podcasters like us or radio content creators, show creators. Is telephony going to be part of that forever or is that going to go away and give way to some other means? Is Snapchat or just instant video with an app, talking to your people at the radio station what's going to be hot. Maybe something else completely.
Hey, our show, This Week in Radio Tech, Episode 274, with Daniel Hyatt, is being brought to you in part by the folks at Axia. And I want to tell you about their console, the Radius console. I just talked to a consulting engineer yesterday and a little bit today as well about hey, he called me and said what's a console that's good for a college radio station? They have a control room and a production room. It would be nice if I could just basically plug stuff together and not have a whole lot of wiring between the rooms. What can we do?
I said well, the Axia Radius is probably a great choice. Its list price for an Axia Radius console plus its mix engine, called the QOR.16, that's right about $6,000. It's very affordable. And so he's very interested. As far as I know, I passed it off to our sales department and they're getting with him to get proper quotes out to him. So two rooms, two consoles, about $12,000 for that.
Then I said now are they going to take phone calls there? He said yeah, they're going to take phone calls from newsmakers and have talk shows, it's a college station. Well, add a Telos iQ6 to that mix. And the cool thing about the iQ6, it's just like the Hx6 phone system, which we've talked about on this show. But it's cheaper.
It doesn't have the audio inputs and outputs. It doesn't have XLR connectors for analog and AES audio inputs and outputs. It just has a Livewire connector and so therefore, the price is lower. There's a bunch of parts missing, but you don't need them if you've got Axia consoles.
So the iQ6 is a six-line phone system that just plugs one jack, Livewire, into the console and hey, these consoles, this Radius console, the QOR.16 mix engine that you get for it, it has the Ethernet switch built into it, and you can connect two studios together just with one Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable to connect a gigabit connection between the two studios and bam, all the sources are available in both sides, and the phone system is available in both rooms, quite easily that way.
Then you plug in a few of the phones, the VSet 6 phones to control the iQ6, and guess what? They're power over Ethernet, you plug them into one of the POE jacks on the back of the QOR.16, you've got power, you've got data, they're on the Axia network for Livewire, and it's just so easy.
So I think they're going to go with that system, and we certainly have at our radio stations in American Samoa and in Mississippi and, let's see, where else? Oh, at this very network, the GFQ network. We're talking through an Axia Radius console here right now, providing proper Mix-minus into my ear, into Daniel's ear, all of our guests get proper Mix-minus automatically.
If you would check these out. Low cost Audio over IP consoles, end-to-end audio over IP. And you know what? These guys that talked to me yesterday, this consultant, they said I need four microphones in an adjacent studio that's all mics. Hey, no problem. Add a mic node from Axia, an xNode, and just by this one node, you've got four mic preamps coming in, you've got four headphone feeds going back out, and one cable will connect it right up to the other two consoles. You can put these mics on from either console.
Check it out on the web. Go to TelosAlliance.com, go to Axia Audio, and then look for the Radius. There is it right there. There's the eight-fader Radius console, and you can also get the QOR.16. If you need more mics, you can plug in a QOR.32 to it as well. Costs a little bit more for that bigger engine with more inputs and outputs. But for most of the use you're going to have, the QOR.16 will work just fine.
All right, thanks to Axia and the Axia Radius console... I highly recommend it... for sponsoring This Week in Radio Tech.
All right, we're with Daniel Hyatt and we're just about ready to go, but Daniel's going to give us his thought on how people are going to interact with their broadcaster or content creator friends in the future. Got some thoughts about that?
Daniel: Well, I'm really excited because I obviously follow the advancements in technology and especially with social networking. I think people are getting into these tighter and tighter groups, where we started a number of years ago, I remember the IRC chat rooms and Yahoo and so forth. Then we got to kind of the MySpace and Facebook era where I've got a couple thousand friends, and now we're really down to your Snapchats and Periscopes, things like that, where you're getting a tighter amount of people in your social network.
Obviously with celebrities with Twitter and Periscope you're going to get thousands of people, but really for me, my Snapchats, I'm taking pictures of the studios. I've got 10, 15 people on there. With my Twitter, I've only got a few people following me because we're talking back and forth about techie things.
So I think we're going to have to find a way to incorporate ourselves into those social networks. I had a nice presentation this morning by a company that actually is going to allow us, or are rather, providing an app in the studio that allows us to call listeners back.
So the listeners can interact, they can send a message that says, "I absolutely love that song, I wish you would call and put me on the radio." We're able to call them back. So it's how can you reach back to the listener, how can you reach back to those people that are listening or watching your presentation. I think it's just going to have to be this two-way communication variable rather than the one-way that we've been used to over the last 30, 40, 50 years.
Kirk: It's going to be interesting, I think. As I mentioned before, my 19-year-old daughter I don't think would ever pick up a phone and call a radio station. She listens to radio as well as partakes of other media sources, listening to songs from YouTube, making a playlist right there. But to discover new songs, she definitely listens to radio. But I just don't know about the telephone calls. I don't know. It's going to be interesting, and I can't wait as...
I wish the mobile carriers would get with the program on better codecs in their phones. I don't know how you feel about this, but my wife and I are both on T-Mobile, and we both have modern phones. She has an iPhone 5, I have a... no, she has an iPhone 6 now, come to think of it... and I have a Samsung Note 4.
When we call each other on the T-Mobile network, we're talking using AMR wideband, and it's 7.5 kilohertz of audio. It sounds really good, actually. Well, way better than a normal telephone call of course.
But if I call my daughter, who's using a different carrier, nothing wrong with that carrier, but there's no interaction between carriers using sophisticated codecs. So I call her on a major... she's on a major carrier. I can barely understand her for the horrible cross-transcoding that's going on between whatever T-Mobile's using for a call that goes out over the PSDN and her. Bottom line is I couldn't put that kind of call on the air in my radio station, it sounds awful. And I guess stations are having to do that.
When we finally get to the point where carriers are all standardized on something, like AMR wideband, and they make that available over VoIP connections, say to broadcasters, I think we're going to live in a much better world as far as audio quality with callers. But we may end up skipping all that with apps and maybe video calling to the station, or as with Facebook you can make calls now to other Facebook users, why not make a "call" to your radio station with their app? Just some thoughts.
Daniel: Well, I have a Note 5 and I didn't realize you could actually make telephone calls on this. I thought it was only apps. So in fact it's funny, because we'll have an emergency at the station or something will happen, it will be a rep who needs a little bit of help with some desktop support or it'll be something in the studio. I almost never get a telephone call anymore, unless it's a remote control, and usually that's an email. But it's always somebody texting me or sending me some kind of a message on Google Hangout or whatever else.
Nobody calls anymore. So I think you're right along the lines there, is how far are they going to push to develop it when everybody just uses text. Plus the other cool thing about Google and Facebook is I think you can send people money now. So it'll just go along with my new idea to start a multi-level marketing campaign.
Kirk: Yeah, there you go. Daniel, I appreciate your time. It's been very intriguing. I know we'll get to talk again. What I'm really excited about you personally being in this business is that you have a lot of big dreams and schemes, and it's great to see somebody who's got plans, who wants to make things better, and you're not afraid to try different technologies to get those things done. So I appreciate your comments. Thanks for keeping up with the Comp-Roc product for those folks who want it, need it, use it, and in case you might need some service on it.
Daniel: Thank you very much for having me on.
Kirk: All right. And if folks want to reach out to you, especially for the Comp-Roc, if they're interested in that product, where could they reach you at?
Daniel: The best way to reach me is directly by email, just email@example.com. That's J-M-H-Y-A-T-T.com.
Kirk: All right, all right, good deal. We'll put something in the show notes about that and I'll check with you, I'll see exactly what we want to put in there.
Daniel Hyatt's been our guest on This Week in Radio Tech, Episode 274. Chris Tobin was with us for most of the show. He's in the middle of an SBE meeting now in New York at the iHeartRadio Theater there.
Thanks very much to our sponsors, who have been Lawo, and the crystalCLEAR console. Also the Telos Z/IPStream line of audio processors and encoders for your streaming.
Then also the folks at Axia and their Axia Radius console. Love that little console, it just does a great job and it can be part of a big audio over IP network if you want it to be, so it's very convenient.
Also thanks to Sunkast for producing this episode, working really hard, fixing Internet connections when they break. Thanks also to Andrew Zarian, who is the founder and owner of the GFQ Network for providing distribution services for us. Thanks very much to all these guys.
Next week we've got an interesting guest coming up. I'll let you know who it is by Twitter or Facebook. Check us out there. Thanks for watching, we'll see you next week on This Week in Radio Tech. Bye-bye for now.