Better is the enemy of the good

Author: dipl. Ing. Markus Stocker, MEDIA ENGINEERING, Schweiz, June 2014

Truly amazing things happen in Switzerland. Two of the most beautiful radio studios have paved the way to an even
better looking one! The integration of
Radio 105 into one of the two studios of Radio 1 in Zurich led to a lack of a
preproduction studio. A new studio was needed and built-into what was the former Green Room. The goal was to
clearly exceed the high technical standard, design and ergonomy of the already existing studios which were judged
by some knowledgeable celebrities (such as Jay Tyler, CSO
Wheatstone) as the "most beautiful studios ever seen".

A 12 channel split version of Wheatstones flagship LX-24 series mixer was built into a custom made table. Its height
is - of course - electrically adjustable and made out of an artificial stone-like (but still warm) material with LED illuminated
edges. Any light color is possible but it always switches to red when one of the mics is active. The latter are dynamic
type and feed a Wheatstone
M4 microphone preprocessor before streamed into the WNIP Audio-over-IP network. All
headphone signals as well as all telephone feeds and returns are level adjusted and processed with a very low delay
Aura8ip processing blade from Wheatstone, truly a marvel in todays world of audio gear.

The integration of the new WNIP system in the older non-AoIP system was done with the help of MADI interfaces. The
older system was equipped with a MADI-plug-in card and the WNIP system was expanded with a
MADIblade. A fiber
optical interconnection made it possible to transfer 2 x 32 stereo-channels in between the two systems in both directions.
It's really a highlight in a broadcasting engineer's life to interconnect so many audio signals between so very differently
built and designed systems with one mouse click! Several dozens of hours of soldering XLRs and laying out audio cables
are saved that way, an amazing experience indeed!

A great speciality is the control room monitoring speaker system. It consists of two very high quality 360 degrees mid/high
loudspeakers and a subwoofer. With this arrangement the talents enjoy a great sound not only in the middle of the stereo
triangle but practically all around the room. The same is true for the studio guests opposite of the DJ. Here headphones
are fed by two TS-4 and one TS-22
talent stations. The latter uses the Wheatstone programmable button feature to also
control the height of the studio table.

A large number of computer monitors and touch screens are used. All these are so called medicine electronic devices and
as such bright white. This leads - together with a slightly lower position on the DJ side - to a very light and friendly look
and an unblocked view from the DJ to the studio guests. The monitors show Wheatstones mixing console control screen,
the telephone rsp. codec system, the playout system on two screens plus a recorder/editor and a general internet
browsing PC. The two monitors at the guest rsp. news place are mirroring any two of the DJs monitors.

The entire equipment and studio furniture is held in bright white. It's only the computer monitors that add some colours and
- of course - the Wheatstone LX-24 mixer as a contrast element. A modern power saving 2700K LED illumination of the
room leads to non fatiguing over all atmosphere which can be adapted to practically any mood (and radio program) with
the help of a dimmer. These design elements make the small room perceived much larger and very comfortable - a very
recommendable trick actually.

For other great ideas contact Markus Stocker, MEDIA ENGINEERING or WHEATSTONE CORPORATION in New Bern


MOSCOW, RUSSIAN FEDERATION    Michael Gorbatschow, the last president of the Soviet Union, has taken over Russias
former number one but in the meantime runned-down radio station „Radio-1“. A new name was chosen: RADIO-1-KULTURA.
And a complete rebuilding of all technical equipment was necessary. This project was managed through Michael Gorbatschow
as part of one of his business activities in his „Gorbatschow Center“ and MEDIA ENGINEERING.

Good knowledge about the difficulties and keypoints for the successful launch of a new radio station was important. And a pro-
fessional and experienced partner for the engineering part as well as a truly userfriendly operating surface in the studios were
a MUST. Both targets were achieved in time through using the experience and special products of MEDIA ENGINEERING.





The new studio installations were set up in 3 weeks.Emailing back and forth some technical details between MEDIA ENGI-
NEERING and RADIO-1-KULTURA plus a trip for the final approval of all technical equipment to Switzerland were outperformed
with record breaking speed. Due to the year long good relations with the technical director Alexander Stukanj a perfect
solution for the new studio complex could be found quickly. A clear and strict „unité de doctrine“ together with a profound
knowledge about the professionalism of all partners are keypoints in such timecritical tasks.

As the most important part in the new studio the mixing console MEMIX from MEDIA ENGINEERING was chosen. This
feature loaded but simple to operate on-air-mixing-desk is having a unique mechanical layout due to its flat operating units.
This is allowing to put computer monitors and manuscripts were they belong. No oldfashioned meterbridges are wasting the
best and most valuable space in the studio. The manufacturing quality of the console is such that one doesn’t have to expect
any serious services within the next 8 to 10 years. This is especially important in a country where it’s sometimes still a
problem to get quick access to certain spare parts and components.

The hard disk audio system VIVA-NT from the Spanish manufacturer ASPA was chosen as the main broadcasting tool. It is
running 24 hours a day on PCs with a 1GHz Pentium-3 together with two mirrored 70GB harddrives and it‘s working with
ISO/MPEG-1 Layer-II soundcards from ASPA under WINDOWS-2000. The VIVA-NT hard disk system is working without any
problems at all, very stable and it’s very simple to operate too. The DJs just love it. Today RADIO-1-KULTURA is working on
the translation of all tags and lables in order to show Russian cyrillic letters throughout the whole system.

Former East German manufacturer of professional microphones MICROTECH GEFELL (MTG)
is the supplier of all the micro-
phones used throughout RADIO-1-KULTURA. Years ago there was no Russian Government House not having at least one
microphone from MTG. Today this same manufacturer is supplying microphones to Russia again. For RADIO-1-KULTURA the
dynamic types model MD-110 and MD-120 were evaluated due to their clear sound and the ease of use, especially for appli-
cations with speach. To all microphones so called pop-killers were added, what is a quite unique and seldom seen feature in

Audio level metering in RADIO-1-KULTURA is done with a unique piece of gear: the DORROUGH loudness monitor 40-A. This
LED-meter with its typical eye-brow shaped scale is showing the actual program loudness plus the absolute maximum peak
at the same time. This is a very practical thing in setting levels for FM broadcasting for the DJ (like an artist, watching the
loudness bar) as well as the technician (as an engineer, watching the peaks spot LED ) are satisfied with one and only one

Besides some usual studio peripherals like CD players, MiniDisks, DAT drives and telephone hybrides RADIO-1-KULTURA is
equiped with two NEUTRIK handheld measuring devices. The audio generator MINIRATOR MR1 and the audio analyzer
MINILYZER- ML1 are garded like jewels for such goodies are rare in Russia. With these beautiful devices in the hands of an
engineer all levels just must
be within the specs. And this is really what they do, from the studio in Jubilejnij Prospekt, 60-68,
Moscow all along the lines to the broadcasting & transmitter center in Balaschikha some kilometers northeast of Moscow.