TV News September 2017


Volume 4, Number 9

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-- Scott Johnson, Editor

Nine Old Analog Habits Worth Breaking

EmptyPackHere are nine analog habits you can do without now that IP audio networking has arrived:

Old habit: Hardwire all audio sources and destinations into the console, also known as “painting yourself into a corner.”

New habit: Plug in one Ethernet cable for all audio routing and forget about it.

Old habit: Set up one studio for one purpose.

New habit: Put that studio to work 24/7 serving multiple purposes. Reconfigure the IP audio console for any purpose on the fly or ahead of time using presets and salvos.

Old habit: Load up the audio mixer and head out of town for a remote.

New habit: Mix from the comfort and convenience of your home studio. IP audio networking at the remote venue side and IP audio networking at the home studio make it possible to send audio feeds home across a long-haul link for in-house production, where you can turn remote mics on or off, control levels, and trigger IFB

Old habit: Accept that you’ll experience something akin to blind panic should the main studio go dark and you’re about to go live.

New habit: Should the unthinkable happen, simply move to another studio across the hall or elsewhere in the IP audio network. Any IP audio mixer in the network can access any source in the network, route presets to or from anywhere, and bring up another studio’s program bus.

Old habit: Spend hours setting up for a remote news or sportscast.

New habit: Get used to more free time. If it’s on the network, it’s routable, programmable and accessible – often automatically. For example, when a field reporter’s mic turns on, WheatNet-IP can automatically send a mix minus back to the field reporter’s headset for IFB.

Old habit: Rack up the hardware.

New habit: Go virtual instead. IP audio drivers replace sound cards, GPIO cards and external switches. Apps such as WheatNet-IP’s ScreenBuilder let you arrange faders, meters, buttons, timers and other widgets on a touchscreen, which can be tied to events and devices on the network for any purpose you can imagine.

Old habit: Make sure you have the mobile phone numbers for remote team members before they leave the studio.

New habit: Use your existing IP audio network as an IFB backbone instead. Trigger cross points in the network for routable IFB between the news studio and remote talent.

Old habit: Hoard wires, cables and any gear that might be useful for interfacing to the variety of signal types you’re bound to run into.  

New habit: Unclutter the engineering room and unify signal routing through IP audio networking. Ingest native analog, microphone, AES/EBU, SPDIF, AoIP, MADI, and HD-SDI into the WheatNet-IP, and convert to any audio output -- analog to digital, AES to IP, microphone to AoIP or MADI to AES67.

Old habit: Plan elaborate contingencies for failsafe and disaster recovery.

New habit: Here’s a much better plan: Share resources and programming dynamically across multiple stations, with automatic switch-over from one to the other during emergencies. No elaborate planning needed. For example, each WheatNet-IP I/O BLADE access unit is self-correcting and can reconfigure itself in an emergency. In fact, each BLADE in the network can recover settings for the entire studio operation!

IP Onboard for Immersive, Personalized Audio


We’ve seen IP audio consoles get smaller, more adaptable, more capable, and, in truth, stranger looking. One console-like appliance that is recognizable to anyone familiar with WheatNet-IP audio networks is the SideBoard, a surface that contains all the faders and controls typical of any control surface but in a 4 RU rackmount chassis. Another interesting appliance is the TS-4 or TS-22 talent station, which is essentially a console all rolled into a small turret for putting mic controls, source selection, headphone volume and all the other necessary functions in front of talent.

EQ Gesture 1We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what IP audio networking can do.

We can now source, route, mix, and send to air from just about any surface imaginable, in some cases without touching a single physical fader.

We know of announcers broadcasting from a remote location using a touchscreen interface that is essentially a bank of faders, knobs and other software widgets on a flat screen monitor recessed into the furniture. Virtual surfaces like this are becoming more popular, thanks to the advent of apps such as Wheatstone’s ScreenBuilder app that make it possible to create GUIs with the drag and drop of a widget on a screen, which can then be scripted for controlling devices and various elements in the IP audio network.

Not only can audio programming today function in a console-free environment, it can be more tightly routed and integrated with automated production systems such as Grass Valley Ignite, Ross Overdrive, and Sony ELC through IP.

In fact, much of what we’ve learned about software apps is directly transferable to hardware. IP audio consoles such as Wheatstone’s configurable LXE are removing the limitations of a fixed surface by providing a completely reconfigurable architecture. Instead of mapping switches, buttons and knobs to a particular function that can never be changed, the LXE’s surface controls are completely programmable – and continually re-programmable – through a GUI similar to ScreenBuilder. Any button anywhere on the surface can be programmed at any time for talkback, cue, start/stop or for toggling between functions, which can also be tied to different elements such as microphones.

LXE Tablet

In this new world of the expandable, adaptable and transformable broadcast console, there’s also something else going on: a fresh, new way of interacting with audio. One of the more noticeable features of new consoles like the LXE are their intuitive GUIs, which make them not only the ultimate user interface between announcer and listener/viewer but also between announcer and audio as well. Being able to “pinch” the right amount of EQ or boost/cut frequencies using touch just scratch the surface of what these powerful platforms can do.

All of that is going to be more and more important as sound engineers add more channels to their workflows for immersive audio, as they add more control parameters to those audio mixes for the personalized sound experience, and as they continue to reach a wide audience with a myriad of playback requirements for cable, broadcast, web, even mobile.

Wheatstone at Clive Davis Studios NYC, 9/12/17

LonThe IP model of audio transport (AoIP) provides a unique combination of features that are well suited for today’s emerging remote At-Home production model. Integrated routing, processing, mixing, and control spread across interconnected devices on an IP network can be used to build a venue-side matrix of audio and control that includes mic-ingest, local mixing, low latency IFB, and control-logic from local or remote inputs. The resultant audio streams can then be transmitted to a distant At-Home production facility via AES67 (AoIP) for synchronization with the accompanying video streams.

Come join NY AES as Lon Neumann from Wheatstone Corp. walks us through the new era of IP remote production.

IBC IP Showcase. We’ll Be There.

IBC IP Showcase

Venture over to room E106 while you’re at the IBC in Amsterdam this month, and check out the IP Showcase demonstrating real-world IP applications for production, playout and contribution. Our WheatNet-IP audio network will be there to demonstrate AES67 compatibility in an overall system based on SMPTE ST 2110, which defines AES67 as the audio element in the transition to IP.

Also, be sure to stop in at Wheatstone stand 8.C91 to get a personal demonstration of IP audio networking and to get all your questions answered regarding live remote production.

Your IP Question Answered


Q: Why do I need an IP audio network specifically for broadcast?

A: IP networks weren’t originally intended for real time audio/video delivery. IP networks distribute packets in a non-deterministic manner, which can lead to dropped packets or noticeable jitter as the number of packets go up and traffic increases on the network. IP audio networks made for broadcast purposes such as WheatNet-IP use QoS technology to assure seamless audio transport and to mitigate synchronization and audio quality issues. In short, unlike the enterprise IP network, these systems talk both IP and audio. In addition, because they’re broadcast-specific, IP audio networks are designed to ingest audio from microphones, production automation systems and other sources as well as control and manage audio devices across the network.




  • Fanshawe College (London, ON) purchased five L-12 control surfaces, five L-8 control surfaces, a SideBoard surface and E-1 virtual mixer, plus six TS-4 talent stations and eight WheatNet-IP BLADEs through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • RNC Radio (Montreal, QC) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console and WheatNet-IP NAVIGATOR 3 software through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • AMI Radio (Toronto, ON) purchased a WDM audio driver for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • KERA-FM (Dallas, TX) purchased a WDM audio driver through BSW.

  • WDNG-AM (Anniston, AL) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console, Aura8-IP multimode audio processor, NAVIGATOR 3 software and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs.

  • Hubbard Radio (Seattle, WA) added a WDM audio driver to an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • CBC (Quebec City, QC) purchased several I/O BLADEs and GP panel for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Ron Paley Broadcast.

  • WATV-AM (Birmingham, AL) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console, M4IP four-channel mic processor BLADE, and other WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs.

  • KVAN-FM (Tucson, AZ) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console, Aura8-IP multimode audio processor and WheatNet-IP audio network NAVIGATOR 3 software.

  • Cogeco (Montreal, QC) purchased eleven TS-4 talent stations through Marketing Marc Vallee.

  • Cumulus (Birmingham, AL) purchased an I/O BLADE and drivers for an automation project.

  • Townsquare Media (Grand Rapids, MI) purchased an L-12 control surface and WheatNet-IP I/O BLADEs. 


Click for the rest of Who's Buying Wheat

Wheatstone Continued:

  • Townsquare Media (Cedar Rapids, IA) purchased an IP-16 digital audio console and M4IP-USB four channel mic processor BLADE.

  • Radio Globo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) purchased twelve WheatNet-IP audio drivers for an existing system.

  • Y&B Technology Co. (Beijing, China) purchased two PR&E NetWave consoles.

  • Shantou Radio (Shantou, China) purchased an LX-24 through Audio Design Company.

  • Entertainment Network (Mumbai, India) purchased an IP-12 digital audio console and WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs through Horizon Broadcast.

  • Ushodaya Enterprise Private Limited (Hyderabad, India) purchased four IP-12 digital audio consoles and two IP-16 digital audio consoles through Horizon Broadcast

  • GED Broadcast Equipment (Beirut, Lebanon) purchased an I/O BLADE and two M4IP-USB four channel mic processor BLADEs to for a project in Muscat, Oman.

  • Family Life Radio (Bath, NY) purchased a WheatNet-IP I/O BLADE to expand an existing system. 

  • WGBH-FM (Boston, MA) purchased four I/O BLADEs for an automation project.

  • Reach Media / Radio One (Dallas, TX) purchased a WheatNet-IP I/O BLADE to expand an existing system.

  • KPRS-FM (Kansas City, MO) purchased an IP-16 digital audio console, four TS-4 talent stations and an M4IP-USB four channel mic processor BLADE.

  • Sinclair’s WTVH-TV (Syracuse, NY) purchased an E-6 control surface.

  • Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) purchased five LX-24 control surfaces.

  • KTRS-AM (St. Louis, MO) purchased a WheatNet-IP I/O BLADE to expand an existing system.

  • VOA (Washington, DC) purchased a WheatNet-IP 8-channel audio driver.

  • NY1 / Charter Communications (New York, NY) purchased a DR-9 Director’s Panel for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network.

  • KNUJ-AM (New Ulm, MN) purchased a TS-4 talent station and I/O BLADEs for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network through Radio DNA.

  • Penn State University (State College, PA) purchased an Aura8-IP and BLADE for an existing WheatNet-IP audio network. 

Audioarts Engineering

  • Subcity Radio (Glasgow, Scotland) purchased an Air-4 console.

  • Oakwood Broadcast (Mississauga, ON) purchased an Audioarts 08 console.

  • Audio Design Company (Hong Kong) purchased two Air-4 consoles and two M2 dual channel mic processors.

Wheatstone Audio Processing

  • Townsquare Media (Odessa, TX) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.

  • Townsquare Media (Rochester, MN) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.

  • Townsquare Media (Abilene, TX) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.

  • Mello FM (Montego Bay, Jamaica) purchased an FM-55 audio processor.


  • Revolution Radio (West Palm Beach, FL) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Great Eastern Radio (West Lebanon, NH) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • KFSH-FM (La Mirada, CA) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Lisa Dent Radio (Chicago, IL) purchased a VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Entercom (Seattle, WA) purchased a VoxPro7 digital audio recorder/editor.

  • Fanshawe College (London, ON) purchased two VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editors.

  • Crista Ministries (Seattle, WA) purchased two VoxPro 7 digital audio recorder/editors through BSW.

 Comparing Wheatstone Television Audio Consoles

In this video series, Phil Owens takes Scott Fybush through each of the Wheatstone TV Audio consoles, explaining functionality and outlining similarities and differences. 


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