This is it! The live broadcast - a block away from the Empire State Building where we have a terrific view of the light show. We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Master FM Antenna operation; the first of its kind allowing a dozen FM transmitters to use the same transmitting antenna. Tom Silliman, David Layer, David Bialik, and Scott and Lisa Fybush join Chris Tobin and me.
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Kirk: This Week in Radio Tech Episode 278 is brought to you by the Axia Fusion AoIP mixing console, Fusion, where design and technology become one. By the Telos VX multi-studio, multi-line talk show system. VX is the first broadcast phone system natively supporting VoIP and SIP. And by Lawo and the crystalCLEAR virtual radio console. crystalClear is the console with a multi-touch touchscreen interface.
Hey, the 139th convention of the Audio Engineering Society begins next week in New York City. Plus, we'll commemorate the 50th anniversary of the master FM antenna on the Empire State Building with a big party. Guest speakers, presentations, it's all about furthering the state of the art in audio gathering and reproduction. David Bialik and Scott Fybush join Chris Tobin and me.
Hey, welcome in to This Week in Radio Tech. I'm Kirk Harnack your host. I'm glad to be here. This is the show where we talk about everything from the microphone to the light bulb at the top of the tower and everything in between in radio stations, which are quickly becoming more than just audio providers.
We've got video coming out of a lot of radio stations, have for years too in some markets, like Chris Tobin in New York City. But man, we might have to change the show, This Week in Technical Content Creation or Multimedia. We'll figure out something. Our heart’s in radio. That's where a lot of us got started.
Hey, I'm Kirk Harnack. As I said, I'm the host of the show. Also my cohost from New York City, the best dressed engineer in radio and today he is an art aficionado standing in front of a beautiful painting. It's Chris Tobin. Hello, Chris, welcome in.
Chris: Hello, Kirk. Yes, it's the art form. It's the fall. It's autumn. I thought I'd do something with the colors. I think there's some orange and colors of the fall. Why not have something different?
Kirk: You know, the redneck in me wants to ask, "What is that?"
Chris: I have no idea. It's a very nice painting. The paint itself is raised.
Kirk: Yeah. It looks three-dimensional. There's a lot of oil on that.
Chris: Oh yes. It's very nice.
Kirk: Hey, there's the famous two-shot. I love it. I'm never sure where to look though. How about if I just keep looking at the camera? Our show today, here's what's coming up. We've got David Bialik. I did an interview with him yesterday. We're going to play that where we're talking about a really cool event in New York City.
I teased on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, I teased that David Bialik has actually made arrangements to turn the Empire State Building blue and white next week for a little while. And there's going to be a synchronizing of the lights and some music on the radio in New York City next week, thanks to David Bialik. Well, he had help. It takes a village. In fact, I think Scott Shannon got involved. That's right, Scott Shannon got involved with making all that happen.
So that's going to be cool. He's going to tell us about the event coming up. Also we'll have a few notes about the AES convention coming up end of next week and Chris Tobin will have, as we mentioned, some fall goodies for us, what's happening around New York City, what do engineers get busy with and the author of this calendar is going to be here.
Scott Fybush will be making an appearance on our show to tell you about what's going on. Well, he's heavily involved with next week too. I think maybe Scott got the blue lights and Bialik got the white lights. So we'll check in with that. Our show is brought to you in part by the folks at Axia. Let me tell you about them first and then we'll move on with our interview with David Bialik.
The folks at Axia want you to know about the Fusion console. You may have seen something on Facebook that ran, I think, yesterday and today, Back to the Fusion. Yes, it's 2015, Back to the Fusion, a little play on words there in the movie. Well, the Fusion console is the next generation of AoIP audio consoles from the people who invented AoIP for broadcast and that's Axia.
Axia had to invent some technology because hey, 15 years ago the existing technologies that were out there for putting audio over IP, they wouldn't work for radio. They were not low latency enough and at the time, they weren't routable. So they were hooking up conference rooms to media centers in hotels and other venues and recording studios, but they weren't what broadcasters needed.
So the folks at Axia invented Livewire and just about two years ago, Axia introduced and maybe a year ago, Axia introduced Livewire+. So those things tie in with the new AES67 standard.
Well, let me tell you about the Fusion console. If you're already familiar with the larger console from Axia, the element, then you already know about 80% about what the Fusion console is. It's modular. There are literally 15,000 to 20,000 different consoles you can build with the modules available, different sizes, different modules, different layouts. I think you do a lot of powers of two to come up with that number, but there are a lot of different consoles that you can come up with to make your Fusion.
That means if you need a console with 6 faders, no problem. You can do that. You need a console with 26 faders, no problem. You can do that. In fact, I think you can build a console upwards close to 40 faders or so. It's a lot. You can also outfit your Fusion console just the way you want it.
This is a class console. So you can put in a telephone control module right there and it's got faders built right into that for telephone control and running the volume of your callers up and down. You can easily see which lines are ringing in, which are on hold, what's the next line that you should take on the air based on the amount of time since it's been screened, that kind of thing.
There's also intercom available for this console. So from the front of the console, right there, beautiful OLED displays, you touch a button and talk to the person over in the AM control room. You can talk to somebody in the news room. You can push a button and talk to a reporter who's coming in maybe by satellite or by codec or by whatever means they are. You can push a button and talk right back to them, all kinds of options with the IP-based intercom.
This is cool. The intercom system available with Axia Livewire, that intercom system is full audio bandwidth. That means let's say that you have a reporter in the newsroom and they're working and it's time for a news update, a little tease before the top of the hour.
Well, they have a little intercom module on their desk, they can even have the soft intercom that runs on their PC and they talk in their microphone at full audio bandwidth, 20 Hz to 20 KHz and you can put them on the air from your audio console, from your Fusion audio console and they sound great.
It's only limited by the quality of the microphone that you put on the intercom at the other end. You put a regular intercom mic or you put something really good there if you like. So there's all kinds of options available there.
The Fusion console, it's a beautiful OLED display. Every display shows you the name of the source coming in. It also shows you the confidence meter coming in and the talk back or the back feed levels going back out. If it's a source that can be back fed, like headphones of some talent or a codec or a telephone hybrid or a satellite feed with maybe an IFB auto connect rung in by telephone.
So many options, so cool, check it out, if you would. I'd be grateful if you would. I know the folks at Axia would love to introduce you to this console. A bunch of them are on the air already. It's outselling the Element console by something like four to one.
Check it out at TelosAlliance.com. You can go to Axia Audio. That's the old URL. It will take you to Telos Alliance. TelosAlliance.com and then click on Axia and look for the Fusion console. Awesome console. Wish I could have one at my radio station. I've got an element. I'll upgrade to a Fusion eventually.
All right. Our show, number 278, This Week in Radio Tech, we're talking about what's happening in New York City. Chris, you're going to be around in the city next week, aren't you?
Chris: Yes. I'll be around. The Fall Classic, the New York Mets have made it into the World Series. so that's a big thing this coming week. Halloween will be very fun. There's the Greenwich Village Parade, the Halloween parade that always happens.
A lot of the broadcast engineers are getting ready for those broadcasts for both television and radio. It draws some of the best visuals, so television works out well. And then halfway through the evening, the audio portion of the event becomes very entertaining, so radio benefits. It's fun for all, both visually and audibly.
Kirk: That sounds interesting. Is there typically a seven-second delay on broadcast from that parade?
Chris: Well, everybody has pretty much a delay of some sort these days. There's protection. If it's a news event, you're sort of protected. If it's not, you've got to watch out.
Kirk: We'll hear more about that coming up in a few minutes, plus the other preparations that engineers in a busy place like New York have to make for all the sporting events and the outdoor events. I'm sure you've got all kinds of fall festivals and farmers markets and that kind of stuff. Farmers markets are everywhere, but you crowd 12 million people in the New York City area and you end up with a lot of events going on in a pretty short time and a short distance from each other.
Hey, but first I got a chance to talk to David Bialik. Let's not waste any time. By the way, at the end of the interview, we had a little technical glitch. My picture will go out and I'll take it up from the end of the interview. So let's just run to it. Here's me and David. Let's go.
Hey everybody, welcome in. I am on the line here on a Hangout with David Bialik, who is putting together some fantastic sessions at the AES. Hey David, welcome in. How are you?
David: Hello, Kirk. I'm looking forward to the AES, which starts October 29th here in New York City. We got some great events. As a matter of fact, a guy named Kirk Harnack is going to be hosting one of the sessions as well.
Kirk: Yeah. I'm doing one on Saturday afternoon at 3:15 on the subject of remote audio using IP technologies, however you may be able to get it there. I've got a great bunch of panelist. We'll get to that in a few minutes.
David, with every AES convention, there are a number of special events that come along. Several times, you've been involved in setting these events up. It's been a commemoration of this or an anniversary of that. You've put together the most... the first time I went to one, I didn't know what to expect.
You exceeded my expectations though fabulously in terms of the quality of the event, the speakers, the historical perspective and information that was given. This year, there is a really special event on Thursday night. What's that date, October what?David: Thursday October 29th at 6:30 p.m. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and it's going to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the master FM antenna on the Empire State Building. The thought of doing this started around two years ago. I was sitting in a session at the NAB and Peggy Miles and Rob Bertrand and Shane O'Donoghue were up on a panel talking about the history of the master antenna.
I used to work on a station that had an antenna on the old Alford antenna. I said, "This is really interesting." And then they started saying the dates and I said, "Hold it. That means that this year is going to be the 50th." Okay. The worst thing you can ever do is give David an idea. I decided to put a session together and we got some great people.
Scott Fybush and I put it together and we have Andy Lancet who's the historian for WNYC and New York Public Broadcasting, Shane O'Donoghue who's the director of broadcasting for the Empire State Building, Tom Silliman, who runs ERI and is a legend and Bob Tarsio, former chief engineer of WLTW and has been around broadcasting forever and now president of BDI all to talk about it.
As you know, the audience is going to be amazing on that because you're going to have all the history there. I said, "Gee, that's great. We've got this." I had the session wrapped up. It was probably around January of this year. I said, "Okay, I've got some time. Maybe I can make this a little special." So it would have been sufficient just to do this session. Then I said, "Okay. Let's try having it at the Empire State Building." They have a conference center.
So Shane O'Donoghue went to his bosses and so forth. We got the conference center up on the Empire State Building. Now, that's great. And I said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could go outside afterwards and have the chiefs there and maybe go through the transmitter?" That was great. That would have been sufficient. So we keep loading this up. Then we decide, "Okay, let's go for the long shots now."
So on October 29th, the building is going to be lit in blue and white in honor of the AES and 50th anniversary of the master antenna.
Kirk: You're getting the lights on Empire changed for commemorating this event?
David: Yes. Now, that would have been sufficient. And then Peggy Miles, who helped arrange this whole thing said, "Hey, David, let's make sure that we have some food and drinks up there." You're going to tell everybody the next time what she prepared for up there, but that would have been sufficient. We said, "Okay. This is really great." Empire said, "Okay, since you're lighting the building, there's going to be a lighting ceremony at 10:00 in the morning to commemorate this event." Now, that will be sufficient. I said, "Great."
So this event started snowballing into a monster. Then we decided okay. What can I do to make this really special? And of course, I was like listening to some old music on my stereo over the summer and I said, "Steely Dan's FM, No Static At All, wouldn't it be great if we could do a light synchronization to Steely Dan's FM before the tower lights go to blue and white?"
So with a lot of negotiation and a lot of help from the Empire State Building, at 7:00 on October 29th, CBS FM is going to have Scott Shannon, a man who has marked his career in New York, especially from the Empire State Building, is going to say a few words and announce Steely Dan's "FM" and there's going to be a light synchronization on the Empire State Building for the length of the song. Now, is that sufficient?
Kirk: Wait, there's more.
David: I know. I feel like a car salesman at this point. So the sad thing about this, and this is the sad thing, attendance to the session is going to be limited only because the conference center is not as large as the Javits Center, obviously. So if anybody wants to come, they must go to the tech tour desk at the AES Convention at the Javits Center.
Now, even though the convention starts on the 29th, the registration booths are open on the 28th as well. You register for the convention whether you have a free pass or paid pass, I don't care. You then go to the tech tour desk and sign up. Like I said, it's going to be first come first serve and I hope to see you there.
Kirk: All right. First come, first serve. About how many people will you be able to accommodate, 50, 70?
David: We're figuring 75.
David: Unfortunately, that is the one limiting factor on an event that really had no limits at this point. But this is going to be the highest AES has ever gone.
Kirk: So the event itself for people who do get registered at the tech tour desk, the event starts at what time?
David: Okay. At 6:30, people are going to gather to watch the lighting and then the lighting will be at 7:00. So from anywhere from 7:05 on, people are going to gather at the Empire State Building and there's going to be security to get up there. So no one should have this idea of just showing up. You have to be registered to go, otherwise you're not going to get in. Empire State Building security is tight for very many good reasons.
David: They are a very good host to us for this event.
Kirk: Okay. So when you say gather for the lighting, you mean gather outside on the sidewalk?
David: Some people gather in lighting. There's talk that there's going to be a gathering at some rooftop bars. Everything is still in the works on that. But you can literally walk outside the Javits Center and look up and you'll see that lighting.
Kirk: Oh, yeah, viewing it from a bit away would probably be a better idea.
David: You cannot see the lighting when you're on the building. So there is a little logistic issue there. We're not going to be like in airplanes and have King Kong fling us around. We're going to just watch the lighting and then do it. And it was really great. CBS FM was so excited about helping us with the event and our good friend Rob Bertrand and the crew there really helped out in making this happened.
Kirk: So the program that's going on in the conference room itself, what's going to be discussed there? Who will be speaking?
David: Well, Scott Fybush and I are going to be moderating. Like I said, you have Andy Lancet, Shane O'Donoghue, Tom Silliman, Bob Tarsio and the guest list is a who's who in broadcasting. Yes, we are going to seed the room and make sure a lot of people that should be there are going to be there. I know for a fact that your boss is going to be there, Kirk.
Kirk: Yeah. Frank Foti knows something about the Alford antenna. By the way, tell me about, this is the 50th anniversary of the master antenna, was the one that we know as Alford the first master antenna there?
David: Number one, it's the first master on Empire. We believe it's the first master in the US. I've gotten questioning statements whether it was the first master in the world or not. I'm not sure of that, so I'm not going to say that. But it definitely was probably one of the first and is probably one of the biggest and it's probably the first to serve the major metropolitan area that is the number one DMA in the United States.
Kirk: Now, that Alford antenna, I'm guessing it was in use for 18 or 20 years and then they moved to a newer master antenna.
David: Well, technically it's still able to be used. It's now the backup. It was put up 50 years ago. Back in the late '80s, they started talk about putting a new master on and they did. The new master is now the main master, but the Alford is still the backup.
Kirk: The Alford, that's that one that's two rings all the way around...
David: The observation deck. It has little right angles sticking out.
David: I believe there are 16 elements.
Kirk: It looks like more than that, but you may be exactly right.
David: I'm not exactly sure and I'm not going to be the one to go out and count.
Kirk: So that's great. Check in at the tech tour desk at AES the moment you arrive. Do that first. You can even do it the day during exhibitor setup, right?
David: Yes. Come the 28th. You're smarter to do that. Plus the fact if you're planning on going to the convention, whether just for exhibits or for full session and stuff, it is much better to register on the 28th when there are very little lines than when there are lines going all over the place. Why waste the time when there are great lectures and stuff going on? It's better to be prepared beforehand. But then again, I'm a Boy Scout.
Kirk: I'm not arriving until that night. So me and the family are arriving that 28th at night. So I'll have to register absolutely first thing on Thursday morning, I suppose.
David: Okay. I hope to see you there at the event. I hope some of your TWiRT audience will join us.
Kirk: And everyone is welcome until space runs out, which will be pretty quick.
David: Right. And they must have a ticket because the Empire State Building security will not let you in without a ticket.
Kirk: Let's move on to the other part, the part that we usually talk about when you come on TWiRT. That is the broadcast and streaming sessions, the track, as you might call it because there are a number of session that have to do with broadcast audio and streaming media. We don't have a lot of time left, but can you give us a rundown of what the sessions are? We already know that Kirk Harnack is moderating one of those sessions. It's on Saturday, which is Halloween day at 3:15. Is mine the last session of the track at that point?
David: No. It is not. Actually after that session, I'm producing another special event, which is an audio performance that's going to be held at the Dolby Theater and there's going to be some great actors. It's going to be called "Stories for the Ears: Live Audio Drama and Narration."
We have Barbara Rosenblat, who was in "Orange is the New Black," remember Mrs. Rosa? We have Simon Jones, who was in "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy," and many other actors that are going to be putting together this event and they're going to show how they did the sound effects. They do an amazing show.
That's going to be at the Dolby Screening Room. That you also need to get a ticket for beforehand at the tech tours desk as well. There is also a limit of 75 people going into that room.
Kirk: Okay. And that event again is called what?
David: It's "Stories for the Ears: The Live Audio Drama and Narration." That's 8:00 on Saturday night, Halloween night. You can or can't come in costume. It's fine. I was thinking of dressing up as Kirk Harnack.
Kirk: Oh gosh. Okay.
David: And that's a great event. I sort of outdid myself on special events because on Friday right in the middle of the day at 1:45, we're having a technical session on the production of "A Prairie Home Companion."
Kirk: Oh, really? Okay. How long has that show been going on, 20+ years, 30?
David: I'm not exactly sure. But the really nice thing is this is the last year of Garrison Keillor. It's put together by John Holt, who was with the show when it first started, and we have the current staff. They're all going to talk about everything from how Tom Keith used to do the sound effects live to what they do with pre-recordings and everything. Let's face it. It's a one-of-a-kind show nowadays in the United States.
Kirk: You've brought up three special events that you're working on or working with. A lot of folks including myself have been under the impression that the AES Convention is, like most conventions, it's exhibits and sessions and that's pretty much it.
These special events are so audio-oriented and they give a really in-depth look at a particular phase or area or scenario or task or section of the audio industry between 50 years of broadcasting master antenna, to the Dolby Theater performance, where named actors are going to show all these things and then the one on Friday with the tech session of how they produce "Prairie Home Companion," these are once in a lifetime events.
David: Yeah. I sort of outdid myself this year. Whenever they ask me to volunteer, it's not like I'm given this job every year. Every year they ask me to join the committee and do it. It's not a given even though I have done it for the last 28 years. I have a ball doing it.
We also have some great technical sessions. I have John Storyk talking about building streaming facilities. We have John Keen running a session on streaming audio from the cloud. We're on the cutting edge there. We're also going to have a session for loudness for streaming.
Something that came out this week, I don't know if your viewers can see this, this is the brand new technical document, recommendations for loudness of audio streaming and network file playback. Now, I'm one of the co-chairs of the broadcast and transmission committee, technical committee for the AES.
I put together a subcommittee, which I co-chaired but basically it was run by Bob Katz. We got a who's who involved on putting together a recommendation. It's not a standard yet. Right now it's a recommendation. At least it's going to start the discussion because we don't need a loudness war on streaming. We don't need, with various injection points and so forth, different levels. We're doing this before a calm act has to happen for streaming. So it's really important.
So that's happening. We have Steve Lampen. You must have had him on TWiRT, I'm not sure.
Kirk: Yeah. I have. He's agreed to come back on again. We just haven't gotten around to scheduling him.
David: He's chairing a session on "Audio and IP: Are We There Yet?"
Kirk: Yeah. Good subject.
David: His session is all over the place on IP implementation. I'm really looking forward to that one. Then David Layer is putting in a session, "Audio Measurement for Stream and Broadcast." There's been a lot of talk, especially about a certain processor that was named after a Frenchman. Now we can talk about watermarking audio and so forth. It will be really interesting. I think our buddy Frank is on that panel as well.
We also have a tour of WNYC and WQXR, New York Public Radio.
Kirk: Really? When is that?
David: That's going to be Friday, 1:15 to 4:45. We have a session on audio for adaptive streaming, understanding HLS, DASH and HTML5.
David: That, I think, should be required attendance for anybody that's going to be doing any streaming in the near future.
Kirk: I just did a demo of that technology at the NAB radio show. I just touched the surface. It's a whole new world of streaming and it's really exciting because I think it's a smarter way to do streaming than we've been doing it. I believe the world is going to move toward that. It's going to give audio only content providers and streamers the same benefits that video streamers have had for some years, like Netflix and others, where the stream rate is adaptive towards your connection.
So you can always get a picture, or in our case always get audio, even if it has to be a low bitrate for a few minutes or a few seconds. As soon as your bitrate availability goes back up if you're in a better area or something like that, then your stream rate can go back up. It's an amazing technology. I've got my toe wet in it and it's very cool. So I encourage people to go to that.
David: After that session...
Kirk: And there we go. That was the end of the video. We had a technical problem at the end. I think my computer just got tired of working on that. So just to wrap up what David Bialik and I were talking about, a couple more sessions to mention, and there are a ton of sessions just in the broadcast and streaming media track. If you want to know more about this, go to AES.org and click on the 139th International AES Convention.
As we were talking about there, I'm hosting a session on Saturday, October 31st at 3:15 p.m. called "Broadcast and Streaming Media: Integrating Mobile, Telephony and IP in Broadcast."
And some big names that you know are going to be on the panel there, including Chris Tobin. Andrew Zarian will be on the panel and Paul Shulins, for example, will be there. Davie Immer will be there. He runs a company called Digifon and more. Scott Peterle will be there as well and another that I'm not remembering right now.
So by the way, if you go to the AES.org website, go to this convention and just click on the Super Calendar. I think they call it that, the calendar that lists everything that's going on. Oh my goodness. No matter what you do in audio, this convention has got it for you from broadcast, what we do, to the world of sound effects to the music and the audio that's in gaming. It's just an incredible array of stuff. I can't say enough good things about it. It's really amazing and I'll be looking forward to seeing everybody there.
Hey, coming up on this show, we've got Scott Fybush. He's standing by. Also his wife Lisa is standing by. So we'll have a surprise message from her. Chris Tobin is also standing by to talk to us about what's going on in New York City in the world of broadcast engineering. Yes, the guy who creates this calendar will be on very shortly.
Our show, This Week in Radio Tech moving right along here and brought to you by the folks at Telos and the Telos VX. What's the VX? Well, we haven't talked about in a while here on the show. The Telos VX is a multi-line and multi-studio talk show system. You can get your phone calls coming into all your studios. Hey, who's not doing that now anyway if you're running a broadcast facility?
I just talked to an engineer today though. Several of his colleagues in other cities have already switched over to VX. They're already seeing big savings in their phone bills and they're enjoying better clarity of the phone calls that are on the air. He's about to do that too. He's planning his Telos VX phone installation right now.
Now, you don't have to have an Axia installation in order to install a VX. Probably half of the Telos VX phone systems that get installed get installed at stations that don't otherwise use Axia consoles or such. The Telos VX system is designed to work with any consoles and it's designed to work with a variety of different incoming telephone lines, although we highly recommend that you go ahead and make the jump over to SIP, to VoIP native SIP just coming right into your building, either through a major telco supplier, an alternative telco supplier or an internet-based SIP provider.
There are all different options for doing this depending on what you want to spend, what you want to invest, how much money you want to save and what your call volume is and what your comfort level is with either your internet provider or fiber coming in the building or if you want to keep what you're using now. Maybe you're using PRI lines to bring phone calls in.
There are plenty of videos that we have that are linked from the Telos website. You can go to the webpage that I'm looking at right now at TelosAlliance.com. Go to Telos products. Look for the VX phone system. There you go, that webpage right there at TelosAlliance.com. If you scroll down the right-hand side, you'll see several videos describing VX. Over on the right-hand side, there's the Telos VX webinar. That's called the future of broadcast phones is here now.
There's Telos VX telco and SIP connections. This is where I explain how to take SIP connections and the different kinds that are available from different telephony providers and how to bring those into your Telos VX system. There's also one called "Telos VX in 10 Minutes or Less." This is where our company founder, Steve Church, and one of our top technicians, R&D guys, Maris Sprancis from Latvia, they talk together on this video about bringing the Telos VX into your facility. There's also a video about lines, studios and shows.
So it may be a little confusing, "Hey, I got this Telos VX. What goes in the studios?" Well, the answer is very little goes in the studios. And this video helps make that clear. Then there's another video in which a guy named Derek Murphey discusses the Telos VX system. So lots to see there.
There's a brochure, of course, FAQs, system selection guide to help you compare the capabilities of different Telos talk show systems. If you use, for example, a gateway device to bring phone lines in, Telos has often recommend the Patton telco gateways and those are discussed on there as well.
So if you've got 2 studios or 20 studios, the Telos VX can really help you out. And you know, economically speaking, economically the Telos VX becomes viable typically at about three studios. So if you've got three control rooms or a couple of control rooms and a production room, if you've got that much, you really need to look at the Telos VX system to see about bringing SIP natively into your talk show systems and getting people on the air. Every single caller gets Omnia processing on the call.
Every single call gets his own mix-minus. Conferencing is terrifically easy to do. You literally can conference several people onto one fader and never worry about the volume because everybody is audio processed. So slick. Free call screening software comes along with the system. You're going to love it. I highly recommend it, the Telos VX system from my friends at the Telos Alliance.
All right. It's Kirk Harnack here and Episode 278 of This Week in Radio Tech. Chris Tobin, are you still with us, buddy?
Chris: I'm here. Yes.
Kirk: Oh, good. Well, you know we're friends with Scott Fybush. He has been a friend to broadcasters, especially in the Northeast but all over the place, really, for years and years. He's very old now. He's been bringing us Northeast Radio Watch for a long time and of course, my favorite thing, the Tower Site Calendar. Let's bring in Scott Fybush. Is he there? We got video? Hello. Oh, there he is.
Scott: I'm here.
Kirk: Hey, you look great, man. How are you?
Scott: There it is. I'm doing great. How are you?
Kirk: I'm terrific. Did you get a new camera? It does look good.
Scott: We are finally HD here. Yes. It took a while, but that old thing is somewhere in the trash where it belongs.
Kirk: Good deal. Like I say, it's great to see you. I'm glad to have you back on the show. You and I ran into each other in Atlanta, right?
Scott: We sure did. I was part of the show at the WSB transmitter. That was fun. That was a great night.
Kirk: Yeah. I think that's where I got my copy of this.
Scott: I do believe it is.
Kirk: Yeah. You were kind enough to hand this to me and I'm going to go ahead and send you the payment for this, I promise you.
Scott: Most kind of you. They are available.
Kirk: You deserve it.
Scott: Lisa will be along in a little bit to tell you a little bit more about it, but they are available. We've got all of them here in boxes. I want the boxes out of the house and off to you and engineers who can enjoy it all over the country and all over the world. We get orders from all over the world every year. It's amazing.
Kirk: Well, since we'll bring Lisa on in a couple minutes, let's go ahead and change subjects and talk about the event next week, the 50th anniversary of the master antenna on the Empire State Building. I'm going to duck out of this conversation. I want you and Tobin to talk about this. Tobin is there. I'm going to go there and just be a kid in a candy store. Why don't you two guys talk about this event and the history a little bit of the antenna?
Scott: Sounds good. Hi, Chris.
Chris: Hey, Scott. Well, let's see, the antenna, if you look at the building, you'll see the little T-shaped figures. There are 16 of them, actually 32 total, 16 upper and lower. They're dipoles there at a 45-degree angle. If I remember correctly because I have it somewhere in one of my boxes, an actual document about how the building and the antenna was designed, the patterns it was tested with. It's an elliptical pattern, believe it or not.
So it was the first attempt at trying to create circularly polarized master antenna system. I believe the patent, if I look at this correctly, was written for stacked arrays for broadcasting elliptically polarized waves. That was the Alford antenna.
Scott: That's about right. We're going be hearing a lot about that. One of the guys on the panel, and I'm really excited about this, is going to be Tom Silliman for ERI and Tom's dad had a role along with Andrew Alford in the design of this thing originally. I was up there and I had the chance, I shamelessly took advantage.
I took my kids down to the city a couple of weekends ago and arranged a tour to some little bits that you normally don't get into and we were looking above the 102nd floor and you can see the whole spider web of feed points to each of these antenna elements. Each one is phase rotated 22.5 degrees from the one next to it. So it creates circular polarization. For 1965, this is an amazing design.
Chris: Oh yeah. It broke all kinds of rules. The stories I've read over the years, I've worked in the building. I worked for stations that were on the Alford antenna system. That was part of the main system before it was decommissioned and became the backup broadband system for the new master antenna back in 1984 or 1985.
It's funny. Those of us that are in the audience that are RF people, so you're familiar with diplexers, duplexing and combining RF signals, then you have these cavities of filters that are very large at FM frequencies. Their wavelength is about 5 to 8 feet.
So you've got to think of 12 radio stations. Where do you place these canisters that are about 5 to 6 feet tall and there have to be multiples of them for each frequency and the whole bit.
Well, they were stacked in the catwalks between below the 102nd floor and above the 86th floor in the section of the building that looks like a piece of metal, which it is. That's where the vertical lights, the fluorescent lights were at the time. So you had catwalks in between the E-levels, we would call them. That's where the filters were.
So trust me when we did overnight work and you dropped something, it went down several floors to the very top of the building, which was, I think 81 or something like that. So several stories straight down of a catwalk. You made sure your tools were lanyards on them, like the Royal Canadian Mountain Police with their firearms. It was fun work.
Scott: I learned a lot that I didn't know. The building pulled out a bunch of their archives. I had the chance to go down and spend an afternoon looking through some of these. We're going to be showing off some bit and pieces of them during the presentation, which is going to be neat. One of the things I never knew, at the time the Alford went up, the TV stations, the World Trade Center hadn't been built yet, the TV stations had transmitters that took up most of a floor for each one. So they weren't sure where they were going to put all these FM transmitter rooms.
There was actually a plan that was sketched out early on because they started planning this as early as 1959. There was a plan sketched out where they were going to carve out individual FM transmitter rooms on each of those E-levels. Can you imagine trying to work with that?
Chris: Yes. Actually, I remember working up there and talking to some of the folks and Tom Silliman from ERI, some of the stories he would tell us. It was just amazing. When you think about the time or the phrase "state of the art," so 1965, "state of the art" and here they are putting on top of one of the world's largest buildings an antenna system for multiple FMs, something that was never really done on that scale, when you think of it.
To achieve it at that height and those of us, and Scott, you've been up there, so you know what it's like, the weather conditions at the top of that building are never predictable. It can be a beautiful, sunny day down on street level. But when you get up top, it can be sometimes foggy or it can be very windy and sometimes the moisture gets just enough that if it's during the fall, it can feel like rain or ice on your skin. So that must have been an amazing task to do what they did with that system.
Scott: Oh, absolutely and then with tourists there on the 102nd floor with the radiating element all around there. If you stand on the public 102nd floor observation deck and you know exactly where to peek, you can look down, you can look up and you can actually see those elements right there around you. I'm imagining when that was first powered up at full power, that must have been quite something.
Chris: Oh, absolutely. The running joke for years was standing between the radiators. I think at some point they changed out the glass to be somewhat more attenuated. I don't know if you can see this.
Scott: They did.
Chris: That's a picture of one of the Alfords at 45 degrees, the T-shaped sticking out. That's taken definitely from the 102nd floor observation deck.
Kirk: There are 32 of those in two rings.
Chris: Sixteen on upper and lower rings, 32 total.
Chris: Yeah. I'll dig up that little booklet I have for the antenna system. I'll find it and I'll show it to you when you come to town.
Scott: I'll let you in on another secret too that David may not have mentioned. The bays that are up there right now are actually replacements. One of the original 1965 Alford bays is in the possession of Tom Silliman and will actually be available if you come to this, if you get those tickets like Dave mentioned.
You've got to get them early at the Javits Center, but if you get one and you're able to come up and join us, I believe you'll be able to see and touch and get up close and personal and maybe get your picture taken with one of those original Alford elements. I'm looking forward to that.
Chris: Yes. That's going to be fun. That will be great to do. They did the replacements and upgrades I believe in 1984 so it can handle more power, or a little earlier than that.
Scott: There was a change in Canadian rules that allowed them to add a little more power, as I recall.
Chris: Yes. That's correct.
Scott: Tom will be talking about that too. That's part of his presentation.
Chris: Tom's got some great stuff and he's got some great pictures. There's always that famous one of him on the top of the spire, somebody taking a picture looking down at him and below him is the streets of New York City. It's good stuff. It will be a great time.
Scott: A nightmare for acrophobes everywhere.
Kirk: Is that fear of heights?
Chris: Fear of heights. If you've ever been up at the catwalk just below the spire above the ice shield, it's about 5 feet of metal framing catwalk with a wire rope for a banister, a railing, and then there's about 20 feet of building around you. That's it.
So the two or three times I've had the opportunity to go out on the hatch, which is the very base, so if you want it for a rough reference, very rough reference, the King Kong in the original movie where he's at the top of the Empire State Building, the little circle windows, that's the little portholes that you go out. To be up there at 2:00 in the morning on a clear night with only about 20 feet or 15 feet of building, it's unbelievable. The thought of working up there and building that whole system and what they did in 1960 must have been just fascinating.
Scott: Just being out on 103. I was on 103 last week. That was amazing.
Chris: 103 is great, even inside the mooring mast and seeing all that work. Did you see all the handwritten notes and the dates everybody scribbled in? It's great stuff.
Scott: A lot of familiar names inside that top dome there.
Kirk: You guys have seen something very few people have, the inside of the dome at the top of Empire.
Kirk: All right. I just can't believe how lucky I am that we'll be able to go. I hope I can get in. We're planning on trying to do the TWiRT show. We're going to try to get up there before the event starts and do the TWiRT show from there and we'll talk to people as they come in. That's kind of the plan. I don't' know if it's going to come together. We might have to go with a plan B or even a plan C. I don't know what kind of connectivity we're going to get. Chris Tobin and I are going to try to plan something out for that.
So Scott, do you have your lovely wife handy anywhere?
Scott: I do. I'm going to step out of the frame here and let her step in. It's a little crowded. I have to clean my office. I'm not panning the camera around. You don't want to see it.
Kirk: That's fine.
Scott: We'll switch off here. We'll get Lisa in here for you. Here she is.
Lisa: Yes. We're lucky that Skype is a very tight shot.
Kirk: Hey, Lisa, how are you?
Lisa: I'm good. How are you?
Kirk: I'm glad you're here. You didn't make it down to Atlanta with Scott, though, right?
Lisa: No. That conflicted too much with school and other commitments.
Lisa: I will be in New York next week, though.
Kirk: Good. We'll get to see you there. So I'm holding up in front of me this calendar. I'm not going to be a spoiler here and show all the pictures or anything, but one of my favorite things is we've been talking this show here about Empire State Building and look what's in the back of this calendar.
Lisa: Yeah. We always try to go for a really good vertical shot. That turned out very well.
Kirk: That is an awesome shot. Look at all the antennas. Think of being the landlord. Think of all the rent.
Lisa: Oh yes.
Kirk: Right there. Oh my goodness. Look at all those tenants.
Kirk: So Lisa, I'm going to let you have at it. What can you tell us about the 2016 calendar?
Lisa: This is our, I think, 15th edition. We have a new design this year with new colors. We try to get the colors to go with the tower photos and the seasons. I think they complement it nicely. We always try to have towers from all around the country. So even though it's Northeast Radio Watch, it's not Northeast Tower Site Calendar. The January photo is Miami, which is not Northeast. So even though the centerfold is the Empire State Building, we have other regions. The one on the cover is WVVB . . .?
Lisa: WWV in Colorado. This one was the featured of our "Name the Tower" contest. For the first time this year, we actually had people guess the cover photo and if you guessed correctly, you won the calendar.
Kirk: We should have had Tom Ray because Tom visited that place, one of our former regulars on the show. Now he's an extra special guest when he comes by. But Tom gave us a report from WWV when he went and visited there.
Lisa: That's excellent.
Kirk: He gave us a nice photo tour. I've driven by there but I didn't get that close at all.
Lisa: No. This guy got lucky that way. But we have pictures from all over the region. I don't think we have any international ones this year.
Scott: We have a Canadian.
Lisa: Oh no, there is one Canadian. So we're international too. We also for people who may not know this, we always try to coordinate the photo with the time of year. So your January through March photos are likely to be sometime in the winter.
Lisa: So hard to tell again with the January cover because it's Miami. And of course we have the radio history on all of the squares and people enjoy that. And I as I said, for all the completists, this our 15th year doing it. You can buy the calendar. We also have a limited edition. This is, I think, the fifth year or so that we've been doing that. Forty of our calendars are autographed by Scott and they are hand-numbered.
Kirk: You mentioned the squares. You mean the dates where there's all kinds of events like who signed on here and there. Here's one from December 15th. It says, "In 1986, WNYJ 98.3 Rotterdam, New York, now WTRY signs on." Can I submit dates to you for stations that I'm familiar with and you guys may not be familiar with?
Lisa: Oh, definitely. We try to keep it fresh. So yes, if there are dates you want to send in, absolutely send them in.
Kirk: Will you see the same ones year to year or you try to keep them fresh.
Lisa: They're not the same ones year to year, but just trying to get different ones for every calendar is a lot of work. And then there's always, of course, some questions about just trying to get the records and all of that. So if there's a date, we definitely are interested in it. We are also of course, open to anybody suggesting tower photos too if they will, of course, give us a tour.
Kirk: Okay. I don't know if you can make it down to Mississippi, but I can take you down to a couple of tower sites there.
Lisa: Oh yes. That would certainly be good. Scott's been to Mississippi. I haven't. I don't think Scott saw everything in Mississippi either.
Kirk: One of our sites in Mississippi over the next 6, 9, 12 months, we're going to be making it from a single FM site into a four-transmitter site. It's in a little wide spot in the road called Heads, Mississippi.
Lisa: That would be a cool site.
Kirk: There's no business there, nothing. There's a farmhouse and our transmitter.
Lisa: That would be great.
Kirk: It's a really good tower.
Lisa: Preaching to the converted here, I don't have to tell you about the artistic quality. But we do hope that people who don't work in the business also appreciate the aesthetics of the photos. We try not to do just a whole bunch of sticks. We have different towers and we try to get good lighting. We try to get as much of the landscape in as possible. So we're trying to show the towers and the settings of the towers are pretty.
Kirk: Yeah. They sure are. You've got some great ones for beauty here.
Lisa: Thank you.
Kirk: Here's the website. Why don't you tell us about your website and how folks can order?
Lisa: Yes, Fybush.com. We also offer subscriptions to our website that you get access to Northeast Radio Watch every week plus all of our archives. But if you just want to buy the calendar, you go to Fybush.com and you click on the link to the store and that will take you right to the calendars and this year's edition, the limited edition.
We have some previous calendars of some years if you missed one. If people keep them, we actually also now sell archival bags so you don't just have to stick in a paper folder, you can actually put it in a plastic bag and keep it nice and neat.
Kirk: Cool, for your collection.
Lisa: For subscribing to our site, you register for our site and then there are different subscriptions you can do. If you work in the industry at the professional level, the subscription comes with a free calendar. So that's actually a pretty good deal.
Kirk: It is. Okay. Lisa, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you for getting your husband cleaned up and looking good for our show.
Lisa: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.
Kirk: I'm looking forward to seeing Scott. You said you'll be there too, right, in New York?
Lisa: Yes. I will be there too.
Kirk: Good deal. Hey, Scott.
Scott: Hey, how are you doing?
Kirk: Any last words for us, Scott?
Scott: Buy the calendar.
Lisa: Yes, buy the calendar.
Scott: Catch us around AES, we will have them with us.
Lisa: Yes, we will.
Scott: I'll sign them for you right on the spot. And by all means, this is going to be just... I cannot tell you how excited everybody involved in this session is. It's going to be something. I'm really, really thrilled to be part of it.
Kirk: I agree. Short notice, thanks for making arrangements to be on with us. I appreciate your addition, what you had to say about the event, the 50th anniversary event of the master antenna at Empire State.
As David Bialik said, go sign up for it at the tech tours desk the very moment that you put your feet in New York City, get to the Javits Center, sign up at the tech tours desk. Only 75 people will be able to go to that. There are other tech tours and things going on too that David Bialik talked about.
All right. The Fybush's, Mr. and Mrs. Scott and Lisa, thanks again for being with us.
Lisa: Thank you for having us.
Scott: Thanks for having us.
Kirk: Hey, it's Kirk Harnack on This Week in Radio Tech along with Chris Tobin. Chris, I challenged Chris to come up with some little story, information, kind of a sense of what's going on, oh, building the Empire State, a rediscovered 1930s notebook. That looks good. Cool. Chris, why don't we... I know Skype is like backwards. What book is that? Is that something you stole from the building?
Chris: No. Everywhere I go, I always look for history stuff. I'm all about that. So it just talks about the mooring mast before everything got affixed to it. They're talking about the top of the mooring mast, where they're caulking and getting it ready for the radio antenna.
Kirk: Caulking. I guess there's some caulk involved to get it ready.
Chris: Yeah. And then one of the fun facts is the totally length of elevators hoisting ropes, over 120 miles.
Chris: That's the distance from Philadelphia to New York City roughly.
Kirk: That much rope to hoist up antennas?
Chris: For the elevators to operate in the building.
Kirk: Well, let's run all the elevators down to the basement and take the ropes and see if they'll reach to Philadelphia.
Chris: So the fun time in the city on Halloween. What's that, a week away?
Kirk: You think Governor Christie will let us across the bridge on our way?
Chris: I'm sure for a price.
Kirk: Okay. So Chris, what's going on in New York? What are engineers having to do this time of year? We've just got a couple minutes. Let's hear a story or two about that.
Chris: All right. Well, this time of year, it's near the end of October, you have Halloween. So you have the Greenwich Parade in Greenwich Village. So that in itself is fun to watch, to see, to participate. But covering it can be daunting, but that's going to be fun. That's this coming Saturday, sorry, two Saturdays from now.
And then we have Thanksgiving Day parade. The Macy's Day Parade will be happening later in November. Between then and now, we have haunted houses throughout the tri-state area that people do broadcasts from. So setting up for that, planning these things, usually you start early.
Also the Fall Classic, known to many baseball fans, the World Series has come to New York City. The New York Mets have made it into the World Series. It's just a matter of who they'll be playing, whether it's Toronto or Kansas City. That's going to be a big event for everybody to cover.
So the sports stations who already have an entrenched infrastructure for covering the normal ballgames for the season, that's easy. It's all the other visiting press or media that will be showing up and trying to cover the events. So folks are planning for that right now. It's going to be a very busy month and a half or two months left in a year. So it's going to be good.
And then there's the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center that takes place the first week of December. So just after you've done the Macy's Day Parade coverage, the following week, you're doing the tree lighting. So it gets busy.
Kirk: Now that you mention these things, I forgot about a couple. We sure grow up with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting of the tree. But now you kind of bring home the point. All this stuff happens in New York City.
Kirk: So those of us out here in the hinterlands like Nashville, Tennessee, we enjoy these things coming in on our television sets. It used to be radio. Late at night, I guess, we'd hear New York Stations. But we don't think about the job that engineers have to do in covering all the stuff or providing facilities to get it all covered for radio and for television. That can be a lot of setup and teardown.
Chris: Oh yeah, absolutely. As a matter of fact, most of what I mentioned, the pre-planning for that has already taken place.
Chris: When you get close, you start solidifying everything. But the only thing that wasn't planned for, but there's always a scratch book is for the World Series coverage, whether it's the New York Yankees or the Mets, but this year it's the Mets. Folks are going to be getting ready for that.
I know Channel 11, the Tribune station, WPIX, was already doing some coverage at the ballpark today and talking about all that's going on. They did that at the ballpark at Citi Field where the Mets play in Queens. Then they also had a live OB or outside broadcast shot from the Mets merchandising store in Times Square. So they already have geared up and begun their broadcasting getting around town. So it's starting.
Kirk: So in a city like New York, of course you've got your sports stations and your talk stations and your news stations there. Do music-oriented stations, do they do a lot of outside broadcasts from venues around the holidays?
Chris: Depending on the format. A station like CBS FM as David Bialik mentioned earlier, which is an oldies format, I shouldn't say oldies, it's probably more contemporary, they will do broadcasts from places that make sense for family-oriented stuff. Some of the other music stations will do the same thing.
There are a lot of places that folks go to. There are farmers markets in the city that people come to. They happen all year round, the farmers market, but when it comes to the holiday season, things get a little more spiced up, so it's fun. The music stations do tend to find places to go and do stuff and interact with the audience.
Kirk: Cool. Lots of remote broadcasts, lots of IP. Do you still have a good ISDN there? Can you order that and get ISDN where you want it in the city?
Chris: You can get it. It's not that easy. It's a PRI ISDN or a PBX ISDN depending on who you talk to. It's not the traditional PRI. But the cellular stuff is working really well. I know several stations that are using the cellular modem approach. It's functioning quite well. So you've got to plan it out. If you have ISDN already, most stations keep it, they don't lose it, but getting it can be difficult at times.
Kirk: So part of what you're going to be telling us when you're on our panel, it's an hour and a half long panel and there should be time for everyone to give their story and tell about their area of expertise about using telcos for remote broadcasts over IP. So I'll be looking forward to what you have to say in your particular experience there in New York City.
Then other people will be coming in from other areas of expertise, like Tony Peterle or Paul Shulins from Boston. Our friend Andrew Zarian who deals with Skype almost every day. We should probably bring Suncast in because he's dealing with Skype almost every day too, when it works and when it doesn't.
That interview I did with David Bialik, we did tried to do that with Skype and it was horrible, just horrible. You may know some reasons why. We don't have to go into that. We did a Google Hangout and the quality was as good as I've ever seen.
Chris: Was he at his office?
Kirk: I can't confirm nor deny.
Chris: I could tell by the office furniture and the phone he was using. That's why you were having problems.
Kirk: Hey, there are IT people in the mix here that maybe need to have a conversation with him. We're trying to do media here, folks.
Chris: I can tell you that two weeks ago I did an ad hoc last-minute IP link broadcast setup for two hosts of an internet radio show. We did it from a large broadcasters facility and we had to quickly switch from their in house infrastructure by IP to the engineering office's Time Warner modem because of the packet filtering or shaping or things they were doing to Skype.
Kirk: I was wondering how that happened and now you've explained a lot. Hey, we've never had that good a Skype coming out of there.
Chris: We had to pull a few rabbits out for that one.
Kirk: Hey, hang on. We've got a tip or something coming up here in just a minute. Our show, This Week in Radio Tech is brought to you by the folks at Lawo and the Lawo crystalCLEAR audio console.
Now, I've got to tell you, this is very cool technology. First of all, go to Lawo.com. It's a German company. So pronounce it Lawo, but it's L-A-W-O. And go to the radio console pages and look for the crystalCLEAR. On this page, it's been updated. It's got a new video on the upper right-hand side there of Mike Dosch. He is talking about the features of the crystalCLEAR audio console.
Now, like so many consoles nowadays that are IP-based or have IP capability, you've got a rack-mount box that has your local inputs and outputs, microphone inputs, headphone outputs, line level in and out, AES in and out and it's got an Ethernet port. The Ethernet port speaks... well, of course any standard Ethernet protocol like HTTP so you can browse into the consoles electronics and set things up.
But it also speaks the AoIP standard called Ravenna. It's a European-based standard. And Ravenna is compatible with AES67. So the console also is compatible with AES67, meaning you can make it now talk to other AES67 devices or other audio consoles or systems that are AES67 compliant or compatible.
So that's the gist of the console, the rack mount part that has dual redundant power supplies available. Again, all your audio inputs and outputs and the mixing electronics are all in there. The DSP, the audio processing for the microphones, the electronics and the algorithms that make for the automatic functions, like the auto gain set.
So you get somebody who comes into your studio and maybe they're particularly loud and boisterous. You get them to talk for a moment. You push a button and guess what? Their gain level of their mic is automatically set. You get somebody who's a little bit quiet and a little bit shy and maybe they shy away from the microphone. You get them to talk. You push their button and their gain level is set so that you can put your faders to a normal level and get a normal level from everybody.
You also have the idea of back feed. So everybody, every source that's coming in can have a back feed going back out. So for headphones or earbuds for your talent or for a mix-minus going out to a codec or a hybrid, you get this automatically happening. And you also have the ability to make scenes or shows in the console.
So the control surface, now, I know I talked first about the rack mount part. The control surface is a multi-touch touchscreen monitor. And it's got a PC built in the back of it. And that PC is running this app that makes a gorgeous eight-fader console on the screen. Lots of room, your fingers are not going to make mistakes. It's easy to touch things on the console.
When you do touch a button to make a change or set something up, what you get is a menu that is contextual. It knows what mode you're in, what you're doing. It knows about the source that you have, that the buttons are associated with. So it gives you options that are associated with that source and what you want to do with that source.
Check it out, if you would. Go to Lawo.com and look for that crystalCLEAR console and watch the little video there from Mike Dosch talking about the crystalCLEAR and its features and capabilities. If you want a touchscreen radio console, there you go. Your dream has arrived.
All right, Chris Tobin, any last-minute tips or techniques for us here?
Chris: Last-minute tip, I did a broadcast a week ago from a park. It went very well. It was over IP. We tapped into the park's Wi-Fi system. Hold on. Don't go crazy on me just yet. What I did was the Wi-Fi system had a point of presence coming in, so the main feed coming in for the IP broadband, we tapped to that switch and then used a hardline across using Yellow Jacket cable management over to the stage and we did our broadcast, stereo music broadcast from that event over IP.
However, what I also did as a tip, I logged into my codec device using the park's Wi-Fi, I'm right now logged into a codec, that's a [inaudible 01:09:26] Iqoya, and I used this screen to keep track of the audio levels being fed to the studios. So the board op I can call in advance if there are any issues or just keep an eye on the fact that I'm on the air and things are working so I could walk around and check and see if everything else at the event is taking place with the radio station that I was working with.
So the Wi-Fi was used for monitoring and control with the hardwired Ethernet from the same broadband connection was used for the payload or the broadcast itself and it went flawless. The lost number of packets over a three hour period was 75. The disorder package was zero. Jitter time never got any higher than about a half a millisecond. So things were going really well. Actually, it was a nanosecond.
So my tip is if you're doing an outside event, outside broadcast and you're doing it on IP, try to do a wired connection, take a different approach when you get to that Wi-Fi location and say, "Hey, guys, can we tap into your switch that feeds the Wi-Fi radio system?"
Kirk: Yeah. That's a great idea. How'd you find...
Chris: Believe it or not, the folks that manage the park, it's a private organization, when I talked to their IT department, they were like, "We never had anyone ask that. They always ask us for special Wi-Fi stuff we tell them we can't do because Wi-Fi is not designed that way." "That's why I'm asking for the hard-wired spot."
So sure enough on the back of the administration building on the park premises, they had a switch and I just took an extra port and they assigned an IP address, gave me quality of service to that port, made sure I had some bandwidth and off we went. They loved it. They were happy to work with us. I love it. I didn't want to have to deal with the Wi-Fi because that was all for the public, the visiting folks.
Kirk: That's such a great idea. It really is.
Chris: It worked.
Kirk: I'm just thinking now. There is a bar venue in Downtown Nashville that a local station had been doing a broadcast from every week. I think they still do. They had been using Wi-Fi with their codec, their IP codec. I believe that at some point, they did ask, "Instead of the Wi-Fi, could we run a cable?" So they came in during the week when the bar was empty of people and they ran a cable over to the mixing position where their codec was. That makes sense.
I was just thinking so many venues you go to, public or large public spaces, the church down the road here, they have Wi-Fi throughout the church. I just remembered, I've been there and I know where the closet is. Obviously they've got a closet that's got a switch that you could hose into and all you've got to do is ask, "We're going to do a live broadcast. Instead of using the Wi-Fi, which I know would be a no-brainer, but it may not work very well for us, can we just plug into the switch?"
Chris: And for those of you in the audience who I know right now are saying, "Yeah, but I don't have access to a wire to run to the bar and go form the back room or downstairs up from the basement over to where we are, here's what you think about. You go to the same location to that switch. You plug in the Ubiquiti 5.8 radio into that port. Then you create your own link over to your outside broadcast position within the building.
Chris: So now you've got the wired access, but you control the link. You're not working with their Wi-Fi because you have no idea who else is using it. You're using your own and you've got a great point to point.
Kirk: In the bar, on the regular public Wi-Fi, there's somebody in their running their own Bit Torrent client on a phone and it's just pinging away.
Kirk: That's right. So you go to the switch. You're right. For literally under $200, maybe closer to $150, yeah, you put a Wi-Fi access point in there that only you know about, you and the people that own the building. The SSID is hidden.
Chris: Do a secure password and you're off to the races.
Kirk: Perfect. What a great idea.
Chris: Trust me. It works. I've done it.
Kirk: Yes. Go get both ends of it from... there are other ones besides Ubiquiti. But they make great stuff that we know works pretty well.
Chris: I only said that because I have used the product. I know it works and it gives you a lot of tools to work with. There are several others. Redline is another one. There are several other products out there. The ones I've used and I can honestly say it worked, it was the Ubiquiti ones.
Kirk: Good deal. We are so out of time. Thank you Suncast for staying on a little bit later. This has been This Week in Radio Tech Episode 278. We've had, of course, Chris Tobin with us, the best dressed engineer in radio. Chris, if folks want to reach you, not that you have any time to give away to anybody with your consulting business, but they can reach you where?
Chris: Support@IPCodecs.com. I'm more than happy to respond back. We've had a few emails lately for some stuff. It didn't take too long to answer, so it was helpful.
Kirk: Good deal. If you need to know about doing anything over IP technology, it's becoming a thing, ask Chris about it, Support@IPCodecs.com. I'm Kirk Harnack. I work for the folks at the Telos Alliance at TelosAlliance.com. Suncast has been our producer and I appreciate that. And Andrew Zarian, founder and owner of the GFQ Network, I appreciate his consistency and letting our show be on here every week. We really appreciate it.
We'll see you in New York next week. If you're going to be there, find us and say hi and be sure you come to our session on Saturday afternoon at 3:15 about remote to IP connectivity and doing your broadcast that way. Thanks to also David Bialik and Scott and Lisa Fybush. We'll see you next week on This Week in Radio Tech. Bye-bye, everyone.