(10mb pdf)
TELOS ALLIANCE | COMPANY HISTORY
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Steve Church invents Telos 10,
the world’s first DSP adaptive
telephone hybrid, and first
DSP based product for
radio broadcast.
Cutting Edge debuts Omnia.fm
Digital Audio Processor.
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Telos Audioactive Encoder
pioneers hardware-based
MP3 streaming.
Telos introduces ProFiler
automated program archiving.
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Telos Systems Founded.
Zephyr Xport becomes the
first codec to use advanced
aacPlus audio coding.
Cutting Edge becomes
Omnia Audio and introduces
the Omnia.am and Omnia.net.
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Frank Foti designs Vigilante
audio processor at WHTZ,
New York.
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Telos ONE Hybrid.
Console designer
Michael "Catfish" Dosch
joins Telos.
Omnia.6-EX debuts with
simultaneous FM, HD RadioTM,
DAB processing.
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Telos introduces hybrids and
multi-line talkshow systems
for ISDN phone lines.
Omnia/Crown develop
Processing Card for
Crown Transmitters.
Cutting Edge Unity 2000
audio processor.
Omnia introduces Omnia.3
Axia division of Telos
is launched.
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Cutting Edge merges
with Telos Systems.
"
Telos Series 2101 debuts;
world's first whole-plant
talkshow system.
Telos develops Digital
Dynamic Equalization
adaptive hybrid EQ.
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First Livewire-connected
studios built.
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Axia introduces Element
and 100th Axia control
surface ships.
Omnia.6FM introduced.
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Zephyr surpasses the
14,000 mark in sales.
Zephyr Xstream pioneers
low-delay MPEG AAC-LD coding.
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#1 Station in Los Angeles
upgrades to Omnia.
SmartSurface networkable
control surface shown at NAB.
Telos introduces MP3
for real-time webcasting.
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Omnia-5EX debuts, first HD
Radio processing for AM.
Omnia.6-fm premieres,
world’s first 96 kHz/24-bit
broadcast audio processor.
Telos Zephyr introduced;
combines MPEG Layer-3 and
ISDN for CD-quality remotes.
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Livewire Audio-Over-Ethernet
technology unveiled.
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Omnia.5 audio processor
for FM and AM.
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TELOS SYSTEMS
TELOS-SYSTEMS.COM
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Telos 10 telephone hybrid,
the ISDN codec and Axia
Livewire tech voted among
most influential innovations
of broadcasting’s first 100
years by readers of
Radio magazine.
Omnia F/XE released,
specially engineered
for file-based audio
processing and encoding.
Axia iProFiler software
introduces "purely networked"
audio logging.
New Nautel transmitter
line includes Livewire
IP-Audio interface.
Axia debuts
OpenAoIP.com and the
Livewire Limitless License
to encourage equipment
interoperability.
"
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Telos debuts Hx1 & Hx2
POTS hybrids; 1,500 are
sold within a year.
Omnia supplied technology
for the first FM-HD surround
broadcast in the world over
WZLX, Boston.
Telos announces
VX, the world’s first
VoIP phone system
designed for broadcasters.
Telos debuts Zephyr/IP,
or “Z/IP”, for use on public
Internet data links,
and Nx12 POTS/ISDN
Talkshow System.
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Omnia.11 begins
shipping to radio on
November 11.
Axia RAQ and DESQ
compact AoIP mixers
introduced.
Axia introduces IP
Intercom, world's first
broadcast intercom
for AoIP network. Axia
iQ console debuts.
Linear Acoustic
provides products and
technical services for
NBC’s coverage of the
2012 Olympic Summer
Games in London.
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Linear Acoustic
partners with Dolby
to develop next
generation of DTV
audio products.
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Omnia.11 on-air in all
Top 10 US markets.
Linear Acoustic
provides 24 AERO.qc
units and technical
services for NBC’s
coverage of the
2010 Olympic Winter
Games in Vancouver.
1000th Axia console
placed in service.
!
Telos ProSTREAM
hardware Internet
processor / encoder
is introduced.
Steve Church
receives NAB Radio
Engineering
Achievement Award.
Linear Acoustic provides
upmixing products and
technical services for NBC’s
coverage of the 2008
Olympic Summer Games
in Beijing.
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Telos Z/IP ONE IP
codec debuts.
Linear Acoustic merges
with Telos Systems, bringing former Dolby product
manager Tim Carroll's
extensive television audio
background to the mix.
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7000th Omnia ONE ships.
Steve Church and Skip
Pizzi co-write Audio
Over IP reference book
for Focal Press.
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC
LINEARACOUSTIC.COM
Linear Acoustic recognized
by the National Academy
of Television Arts and
Sciences with a 2010 Technical EMMY® award for
audio/metadata loudness
control technology.
Axia simplifies IPAudio with world’s first
zero-configuration AoIP
switch in PowerStation
console engines.
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AXIA AUDIO
AXIAAUDIO.COM
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Omnia A/XE software
combines Omnia audio
processing with
streaming encoder.
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OMNIAAUDIO.COM
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TELOS-SYSTEMS | OMNIA AUDIO | AXIA AUDIO | LINEAR ACOUSTIC
TELOSALLIANCE.COM
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TELOS ALLIANCE | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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COMPANY HISTORY
28 YEARS: 2
?=>91
A NOTE
FRANK FOTI: 37
RADIO PROCESSING
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A NOTE
KIRK HARNACK: 7
BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
OMNIA.11: 38
OMNIA.9: 40
OMNIA ONE: 42
WPOZ ORLANDO AND OMNIA.11: 44
CODED AUDIO
FOUR STEPS TO THE BEST
PHONE CALLS EVER: 8
OMNIA A/XE: 46
TELOS VX: 12
OMNIA.8x: 48
TELOS Nx: 18
TELOS iQ6 TELCO GATEWAY: 20
Hx1 AND Hx2 DIGITAL POTS HYBRIDS: 21
TELOS PROFILER: 22
ON THE ROAD WITH TELOS VX: 23
OMNIA F/XE: 47
STREAMING SUMMARY: 49
GOOM RADIO: 50
STEREO GENERATION &
SYNCHRONIZED TRANSMITTER MANAGEMENT
OMNIA.SG: 51
CODECS
ZEPHYR XSTREAM: 26
ZEPHYR XPORT: 27
Z/IP ONE: 28
iPORT: 29
THE IP WAY TO HEAR FROM THERE: 30
STREAMING AUDIO
TELOS PROSTREAM: 34
STREAMING SOLUTIONS: 35
4
FM-STEREO TRANSMISSION USING
SSBSC MODULATION: 52
TELOS SYSTEMS
TELOS-SYSTEMS.COM
1H91
A NOTE
MICHAEL DOSCH: 61
CONSOLES
ELEMENT: 62
OMNIA AUDIO
OMNIAAUDIO.COM
AXIA AUDIO
AXIAAUDIO.COM
LINEAR ACOUSTIC
LINEARACOUSTIC.COM
<9>51B13?ECD93
A NOTE
CHRISTINA CARROLL: 105
COMPANY HISTORY
LINEAR ACOUSTIC: 106
POWERSTATION: 68
MULITILINGUAL, MULTI-STUDIO IP-AUDIO AT
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY: 70
LOUDNESS MANAGERS
iQ: 74
DELIVERING QUALITY SOUND
A FAREWELL TO LOUDNESS: 108
iQ6 TELCO GATEWAY: 79
AERO.air: 110
RADIUS: 80
AERO.one: 111
QOR.16: 81
AERO.lite: 112
RAQ AND DESQ: 82
AERO.1000: 113
AXIA ACCESSORY PANELS: 84
LOUDNESS: THE LISTEN TEST: 114
AERO.file: 116
ROUTING
AERO.mobile: 117
AXIA ROUTING CONTROLLERS: 85
PATHFINDER: 88
LOUDNESS QUALITY MONITORS
LQ-1000: 118
INTERCOMS
LQ-1: 119
IP INTERCOM: 86
UPMIXING | TRANSCODING
STUDIO SOFTWARE
UPMAX: 120
iPROFILER: 90
LA-5269: 121
iPLAY: 90
SOFTCOM: 90
SOFTSURFACE: 91
MONITOR
LAMBDA: 122
iPROBE: 91
IP-AUDIO DRIVER: 91
NETWORKING
xNODES: 92
AUDIO NODES: 93
LIVEWIRE: CONNECTED: 94
AXIA PARTNERS: 95
AoIP IN BROADCAST ENGINEERING: 96
TELOS-SYSTEMS | OMNIA AUDIO | AXIA AUDIO | LINEAR ACOUSTIC
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TELOS
The Age of Content Creation
Compelling, attention-getting programming brings talent, listeners, experts, and events together. The result is
content - the “Content is King” kind of content. Creating
content requires tools that work and don’t get in your way.
Phone hybrids, talkshow systems, remote-broadcast codecs
- these are the tools of compelling content creation.
Other tools connect your content to new audiences over
new media. Sophisticated streaming tools, brimming with
audio clarity and rich meta-data are bolting into racks
around the globe.
On the pages that follow, you’ll see content creation and
distribution tools that work for you. You’ll use them daily.
They’ll connect your talent with listeners, experts and
events with hardly a second thought about the incredible
technology inside.
Thank you for your own dedication, ideas, and comments.
Please tell me how you’re creating content with Telos, and
how we can help you do that even better.
My best,
Kirk Harnack
Vice President, Telos Products
7
TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
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nascent, slower Internet, competing and incompatible standards, and very low bitrate codecs that didn’t sound good.
Today VoIP has grown up to be the world-class telephony
player. And VoIP over Session Initiation Protocol (“SIP”) is the
standard with which old telcos, new providers, and end users
are all connecting. SIP is the protocol that we broadcast engineers will be getting familiar with, too.
WHY VoIP FOR BROADCAST?
VoIP has already taken the business world by storm, increasing the flexibility of office phone systems and PBXs while simultaneously lowering maintenance and equipment costs. In
fact, most Fortune 500 companies have replaced their older
PBX systems with VoIP for just these reasons.
One hundred thirty-six years ago, Alexander Graham Bell
spoke the famous sentence "Mr. Watson—Come here—I want
to see you". Chances are good that you’re still using that same
technology today when you put phone callers on-air.
Broadcasters have used Plain Old Telephone Service (“POTS”)
for some or all of the talk path from listener/callers or interviewees to the studio. We’ve used POTS for breaking news reports as well as sports coverage and for remote or “outside”
broadcasts. As the least-common-denominator technology,
POTS is still the technical glue that connects newer digital
services together, often at the broadcast studios. And, while
ISDN gave us a digital audio path to the local telco switch,
we’ve had no chance to upgrade the audio codecs employed
in ISDN telephony, as ISDN was a direct, functional replacement for analog POTS. Moreover, ISDN - like POTS - is a circuitswitched technology with the attendant limitations and expenses that become anomalous in today’s packet-switched,
Internet-centric age.
As limited in quality as POTS may be today, it’s still better
than Mr. Bell’s early work with analog telephony. The same is
true with Voice over IP (“VoIP”). Early efforts suffered from a
8
VoIP is a natural for broadcasters as well, interconnecting
the phone system with audio interfaces, phone sets, console
controllers, and PCs running screening software by way of
efficient, low-cost Ethernet. Using VoIP, you can finally share
phone lines among multiple studios and route caller audio
anywhere in your facility, easily and instantly. Got a hot talkshow that suddenly needs more lines in a certain studio? Just
a few keystrokes at a computer and you’re ready — no delays,
and no cables to pull. A VoIP talkshow system can even connect
with your business office’s VoIP PBX to allow easy call transfers.
But VoIP from Telos isn't just business-class VoIP; it's tailored
to the requirements of broadcasters. Every incoming line
has its own fifth-generation Telos Digital Hybrid, our most advanced ever — packed full of technology engineered to extract
the cleanest, clearest caller audio from any phone line, even
noisy cellular calls. Multiple lines can be conferenced with superior clarity and fidelity. Smart AGC ensures truly consistent
caller audio levels. New Acoustic Echo Cancellation from FhG
removes feedback and echo in open-speaker studio situations. And should you choose to use SIP Trunking telco services, calls from mobile handsets with SIP clients will benefit
from VX’s native support of the G.722 codec, instantly improving caller speech quality. The quality of nearly all calls is
improved, too, thanks to less transcoding and no 4-wire to
2-wire (digital to POTS) transitions.
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Work with your Incumbent phone provider or a Competitive provider to convert your existing POTS lines to SIP Trunks. This can
be the best way to bring telephone calls into your facility. However, in many regions, the old Incumbent telco is less prepared
to bring you SIP Trunks than a Competitive carrier is. Don’t hesitate to check out SIP services from competing carriers. Some
competitors will offer the physical connection, too, such as a
new T1 path or an alternate copper or fiber IP connection to your
facility. Other Competitive carriers require that you supply your
own IP connectivity. Consider getting a dedicated data connection for your SIP Trunk service and using MPLS (a type of Quality of Service protocol) or at least Packet Prioritization through
your router. What if you just can’t convert to SIP from the phone
company? No worries, you can still take the next three steps toward better phone audio by using a “gateway” device. Gateways
convert POTS (or T1/E1 or ISDN) to VoIP over SIP; exactly what
you need to upgrade in steps 2 through 4.
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Many broadcasters bring SIP or ISDN into their facility, but then
convert these connections to the lowest-common-denominator, POTS, for connecting to their older on-air telephone
hybrids. This dual conversion - to POTS and back to 4-wire (inside the hybrid) - only compromises quality. The Telos VX Engine
is chock-full of SIP-native phone hybrids. Indeed, instead of
switching multiple phone lines to a couple of hybrids, the VX
Engine terminates each SIP call with its own, dedicated hybrid
for unmatched clarity and superior conferencing.
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
TELOS-SYSTEMS.COM
9
TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
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FROM TELCO
AGC/EQ
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TO STUDIO
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FREQUENCY
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Most phone hybrids have either no audio processor or just a
basic audio limiter or compressor - not enough when caller
audio is so variable in quality. If you want your callers to sound
consistently great, with similar loudness and frequency response call-to-call, then audio processing designed specifi-
EQ
FROM STUDIO
cally for callers is what you want. The Telos VX delivers clear,
clean caller audio from fifth-generation Telos Hybrid technology,
including Digital Dynamic EQ, AGC, adjustable caller ducking,
and send- and receive-audio dynamics processing by Omnia.
Wide-band acoustic echo cancellation from Fraunhofer IIS
completely eliminates open-speaker feedback.
LAN PORT
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Great sounding phone calls on every show implies flexibility in
operation. It’s no good to have the best new equipment stuck
in one studio when you have to move to another temporarily.
That’s why using a networked on-air talkshow system is critical
to producing great-sounding callers every day. A networked
on-air talkshow system lets you move from studio to studio,
keeping exactly the same show structure, including your Warm-
10
line and Hotline. No matter which studio you’re in today, you
get the same clear, consistent caller audio. A networked talkshow system affords full supervision of all line appearances, so
it’s easy to share desired lines across some or all studios, and
even with a business PBX. Call screening is flexible, too, with
no special or separate wiring needed; you get full call screening
capabilities anywhere on the network.
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For the last couple of years, Joe Talbot, Product Manager
for Telos, has been helping dozens of broadcasters execute
these four steps. From single stations to worldwide networks,
Joe and Telos users are bringing the absolute best telephone
quality possible to their programming.
Together they’re demonstrating that it's possible to dramatically improve audio quality and operational flexibility, while
reducing costs and the number of components in the studio
on-air phone system.
WHEN CONSIDERING SIP TECHNOLOGY JOE SUGGESTS
CONSIDERING THESE QUESTIONS:
» How can we keep as many phone lines as possible in the
four-wire domain?
» How can we make the system as reliable as possible while
still consolidating delivery facilities?
» How can we best position ourselves for the future of telephony, which will be 100% IP?
» How can we identify the best service provider choices in our
area and for our situation?
» How can we make these dramatic changes without adding
complexity or adversely changing our users' experience?
» What are our risks and what is our fallback plan? How much
system and manufacturer, the licensing and maintenance
costs should be considered when choosing a PBX. In several
locations, we've found that it would be relatively simple to connect the VX directly to the PBX — but then found out that the
arbitrary licensing costs to the PBX vendor would be several
thousand dollars.
We’re finding that SIP providers will often assume that you
want the G.729 compressed codec, not understanding that
audio quality is a primary concern that you're willing to pay for.
Never lose sight of why you are making changes in the first
place! Generally speaking, you’ll want your SIP provider to
deliver call using the G.711 codec as a minimum.
Consider how your lines are delivered and how many you actually need. You will get fewer channels (17) on a T1 IP connection
than a TDM T1 connection (23). If capacity is an important issue, your best choice is to have SIP trunks delivered in some
other (non T1) fashion if possible, or simply use a SIP gateway,
bringing in TDM on a PRI from the carrier, then converting to
SIP. That scenario is all digital and four-wire.
We’ve learned that the Incumbent (ILEC) phone companies
often are usually not the best choices for SIP service at this
time. They can be mired in old technology, plus can suffer from
a “not invented here” attitude. Competitive (CLEC) phone companies are often into SIP technology with “both feet” and are
committed to delivering excellent quality and reliability.
backup do we need?
Thinking about office and studio phone integration, we’ve
learned that engineers should consider more than “is this PBX
SIP capable” when shopping. The overall “openness” of the
My best,
Kirk Harnack
VP, Telos Products
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
TELOS-SYSTEMS.COM
11
TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
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VX is the world’s first VoIP (Voice over IP) talkshow system.
It’s incredibly powerful, very flexible, and highly scalable … a
powerful whole-plant broadcast phone system that’s also economical enough for stations with just two or three studios.
system CPU with audio interfaces, phone sets, console control-
VoIP is a natural for broadcasters, interconnecting the phone
lers, and PCs running screening software by way of efficient,
low-cost Ethernet. Using VoIP, you can finally share phone lines
among multiple studios and route caller audio anywhere in your
facility, easily and instantly. Got a hot talkshow that suddenly
VX connects to traditional POTS and ISDN telephone lines via
standard Telco gateways. But it can also connect to VoIP-based
PBX systems and modern SIP Trunking services to take advantage of low-cost Internet-delivered phone services. Using
standard Ethernet as its data backbone, VX significantly eases
the cost of phone system installation, maintenance and cabling,
while making it easier than ever for talent to take control of
their phone system. VX is truly the future of broadcast phones.
needs more lines in a certain studio? Just a few keystrokes at a
computer and you’re ready — no delays, and no cables to pull. VX
can even connect with your business office’s VoIP PBX to allow
easy call transfers.
But it’s not just VoIP — It’s VoIP from Telos. Every incoming line
has its own fifth-generation Telos Digital Hybrid, our most advanced ever, packed full of technology engineered to extract the
cleanest, clearest caller audio from any phone line, even noisy cel-
With Telos VX, you get the flexibility and low cost of modern
telephone SIP networking joined with power digital signal and
audio processing. You can move and share lines between studios
at the touch of a button. VX is naturally scalable, capable of
serving even the largest of facilities — while remaining surprisingly cost-effective for even single stations with more modest
needs. To make the most of this networked environment, we’ve
built VX around the VoIP standard.
lular calls. Multiple lines can be conferenced with superior clarity and fidelity. Smart AGC ensures consistent caller audio levels.
New Acoustic Echo Cancellation from FhG removes feedback and
echo in open-speaker studio situations. And should you choose
to use SIP Trunking telco services, calls from mobile handsets
with SIP clients will benefit from VX’s native support of the G.722
codec, instantly improving caller speech quality.
VX uses Ethernet as its network backbone, a powerful yet simple
VoIP has already taken the business world by storm, increasing
the flexibility of office phone systems and PBXs while simultaneously lowering maintenance and equipment costs. In fact, most
Fortune 500 companies have replaced their older PBX systems
with VoIP for just these reasons.
way to share phone lines among studios and connect system components. VX plugs right into Axia IP-Audio networks, connecting
multiple channels of audio and control via a single Ethernet RJ-45.
If you don't have an IP-Audio network yet, that's OK; VX works
with Telos audio interfaces to provide analog or AES audio and
GPIO connections that work with your existing studio equipment.
12
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651DEB5C1D17<1>35
There are lots of VoIP systems for business, but only VX is built
with broadcasters in mind. Here are a few of the benefits VX
brings to your studio:
» Works with nearly any type of phone lines - POTS, T1/E1, ISDN
and SIP Trunking telco services - via standard gateways for maximum flexibility and cost savings. » Standards-based SIP/IP interface integrates with most VoIP-based PBX systems to allow
transfers, line sharing and common telco services for business
and studio phones. » Standard Ethernet backbone provides a
common transport path for both studio audio and telecom, resulting in cost savings and a simplified studio infrastructure.
Connection of up to 100 control devices (software or hardware)
is possible. » Modular, scalable system can be easily expanded
to manage a network of up to 20 studios, each with a dedicated
Program-On-Hold input – truly a “whole-plant” solution for onair phones. » Up to 16 hybrids, with as many as 48 active calls
(up to 4 per hybrid), may be placed on-air concurrently. » Each
call receives a dedicated hybrid for unmatched clarity and superior conferencing. » Native Livewire integration: one connec-
tion integrates caller audio, program-on-hold, mix-minus and
logic directly into Axia AoIP consoles and networks. » Connect
VX to any radio console or other broadcast equipment using
available Analog, AES/EBU and GPIO interfaces. Audio interfaces feature 48 kHz sampling rate and studio-grade 24-bit
A/D converters with 256x oversampling. » Powerful dynamic
line management enables instant reallocation of call-in lines
to studios where demand is greatest. » VSet phone controllers
with full-color LCD displays and Telos Status Symbols present
producers and talent with a rich graphical information display.
Each VSet features its own address book and call log. » Drop-in
modules can integrate VX phone control directly into your Axia
mixing consoles. » Clear, clean caller audio from fifth-generation
Telos Hybrid technology, including Digital Dynamic EQ, AGC, adjustable caller ducking, and send- and receive-audio dynamics
processing by Omnia. Wideband acoustic echo cancellation
from Fraunhofer IIS completely eliminates open-speaker feedback. » Support for G.722 codec enables high-fidelity phone
calls from SIP clients.
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The VX Engine is the heart of the system. A fan-free 2RU rackmount device with enormous processing power, the Vx Engine
provides all the call control and audio processing needed for
the system. VX is Web-based, so remote control and configuration are a snap – you can work with it from any place you can
get online.
The VX Engine’s platform is so powerful, it provides a hybrid for
every line, allowing multiple calls to be conferenced and aired
simultaneously with excellent quality. Incredibly advanced DSP
hybrids make caller audio sound its best, no matter what kind
of line or phone the caller uses. Smart AGC coupled with Telos
three-band adaptive Digital Dynamic EQ and a three-band
adaptive spectral processor are part of the toolkit; send audio
gets a frequency shifter, AGC/limiter and FhG’s Advanced Echo
Cancellation technology to eliminate open-mic feedback. Call
ducking and host override round out the package.
With VX, choice comes standard. Want to use traditional phone
services, like T1/E1, ISDN, and POTS? The Vx Engine works with
standard telco gateways from Patton, Cisco, Grandstream and
others. Want to use a VoIP-based PBX or SIP Trunking telco service? VX Engine uses standard SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
and RTP (Real-time Transport Protocol).
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
FC5D!"
The VSet12 phone controller is an IP-based phoneset with two large,
high-contrast color LCD panels that provide line status and caller information using easy-to-understand Status Symbol displays. Use
them like a traditional Telos controller –select, hold and drop calls
as normal. Map phone lines to individual faders for greater control
— even assign a group of lines to a single fader. Additional controls
lock calls on-air, start external recording devices, and queue calls for
sequential airing. There’s a built-in address book and call history log,
and the display screens deliver detailed line status, caller information,
caller ID and time ringing-in or on-hold – perfect for error-free production of fast-paced shows.
FC5D&
The VSet6 phone controller is a six-line version of the VSet12. Like its
big brother, it has a large, friendly color screen with animated Status
Symbol icons, and controls for 6 phone lines. With all the control functions of the VSet12, it's great for secondary studios or other locations
where only six lines of control are desired.
FC5D!
The VSet1 phone controller provides convenient single-line access
to your VX system in news booths, voiceover stations, etc., where
control of multiple phone lines is not necessary. Its bright display
screen and intuitive controls let operators easily hold, drop and step
through queued calls.
3?>C?<53?>DB?<<5BC
Console Controllers: Live calls or pre-recorded, interviews or audience participation, one thing’s certain: phone segments are an integral part of today’s fast-paced radio. Wouldn’t it be great if talent
could take control of phones without ever having to take their focus
from the board?
They can: Axia Element and iQ IP-Audio consoles can be configured
with built-in phone controllers. This sophisticated integration helps
shows run smoother, since phone controls fall immediately to hand.
Talent enjoys phone controls right on the board to dial, answer, screen,
and drop calls without ever diverting attention from the console.
And, since the console now communicates directly with the phone
hybrid, mundane tasks such as mix-minus generation, recording device activation and playback of pre-recorded conversations can all be
automated, allowing talent to focus on doing what they do best
— their show.
14
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FH9>D5B6135C
VX Audio & Logic Interfaces let you connect VX to any non-networked radio console or other broadcast equipment, using standard
analog or AES/EBU interfaces. A GPIO Logic interface provides control
logic where needed.
HC3B55>By Broadcast Bionics
VX, NX & iQ6 come complete with XScreen from Broadcast Bionics.
When they asked if they could use these products as a platform for
their new XScreen product, it took us about a millisecond to say
“yes!” Partly because we believe in open standards and the benefits of partnerships, but also because we think XScreen is very cool.
XScreen’s interface gives screeners and hosts tons of information
and control using sophisticated visual talkback, including a drag and
drop database of all calls for your show as well as a phonebook and
visual warnings for persistent or nuisance callers. A fully-functional
copy of XScreen Lite is provided to all VX customers, but an upgrade
to the full XScreen client software adds even more features, including extended call history, an enhanced phonebook, prize management, powerful GPIO functionality plus more. XScreen, deployed as
part of a Livewire network, also enables call recording, editing and
console integration directly over the network.
FHBy Broadcast Bionics
Link multiple VX Engines together to provide the power, scale and
resilience required for even the most demanding of installations. VX+
facilitates networking and transfer of shows between multiple sites.
VX+ adds enhanced functionality to VX including outgoing announcement and voice mail capability. VX+ runs as a Service on a Windows PC.
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
@19><5CC8??;[email protected]
B514IC5D2B?1431CD
1H919>CD1<<1D9?>
The Telos VX is a “facility wide” on-air telephone system. That means multiple studios, multiple stations, multiple shows minimal hardware requirements. With VX, there’s no need for the maze of discrete cables once required by a multi-line talkshow system. All VX components are linked with Ethernet,
so a single CAT-5 cable provides connection to the telco interface, line switching commands, data communication between the VX Engine and VSet phones, transport of caller audio to mixing consoles,
return of mix-minus and program-on-hold audio to the caller, data messages (such as call notes and
IM) between producer and talent, Livewire audio call recording, and transfer of recorded call files from
the producer to the studio.
Telco is delivered via IP through a POTS, ISDN or T1 gateway device, a SIP PBX, or a dedicated IP circuit
using SIP Trunking. Got an Axia Livewire AoIP studio network? Telos VX will plug right in. Audio inputs
and outputs are Livewire real-time audio channels and travel over your existing Axia system just like
the rest of your audio. Axia console GPIO ports can be used for “phone ringing” tallies or remote control of profanity delay units. It’s the seamless integration of studio phones, mixing consoles and
routing network you’ve dreamed about! The diagram below shows just how easy it is to combine VX
with your Axia network.
LAN PORT
WAN PORT
VX ENGINE
POWERSTATION
TELCO GATEWAY OR PBX
LLIVEWIRE-CAPABLE DELAY
VSET12
VSET12
AXIA CONSOLE
XSCREEN
16
“LINE RINGING” LIGHT
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RADIO ONE, WASHINGTON DC
>?>1H919>CD1<<1D9?>
Don’t have IP-Audio networking yet? Not to worry… VX will work with all console brands, networked
or not, via VX Audio and Logic interfaces – compact 1RU breakouts that put multiple I/O channels right
where you need them. This diagram shows a typical studio with an analog mixer, using VX Analog and
GPIO logic interfaces to connect the console and other broadcast equipment.
WAN PORT
LAN PORT
VX ENGINE
ETHERNET SWITCH
VX ANALOG INTERFACE
GPIO VX INTERFACE
TELCO GATEWAY OR PBX
DELAY UNIT
VSET12
VSET12
CONSOLE
CONSOLE
ROUTER
ORORROUTER
“LINE RINGING” LIGHT
XSCREEN
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
D5<?C>hD1<;C8?GCICD5=C
3<51>3?>C9CD5>D31<<AE1<9DI—5F5BI<9>55F5BID9=5
Find a radio facility where caller audio quality is important,
and chances are you'll find a Telos Nx Talkshow System. Nx12
twelve-line and Nx6 six-line systems deliver the cleanest, most
consistent call quality possible from even the most challenging
calls. Nx systems combine multiple advanced telephone hybrids
(each with their own AGC, noise gate, and caller override dynamics) with Telos' famous Digital Dynamic EQ, a sophisticated
multiband equalizer which analyzes and adjusts received audio
spectral characteristics so that calls sound smooth and consistent despite today’s wide variety of phone sets and connection types. But there's more: Nx systems feature caller audio
sweetening by Omnia, special echo cancellation to tame tricky
VoIP and cellular calls, and anti-feedback routines to tackle the
acoustic feedback that plagues open speaker applications.
Telos Nx6 and Nx12 systems can be ordered to work with your
choice of POTS or ISDN (BRI) phone lines, and work with a variety of
control surfaces, including the Telos Desktop Director, Call Controller and Console Director drop-in module. Of course, there's
also an Ethernet connection for use with call screening software
(and one-click connection to Axia IP-Audio networks). With Nx
talkshow systems, talent and producers both benefit from unique
Telos features that help make shows run smoother, faster and
more error-free, such as our exclusive Status Symbols visual call
management icons that clearly show line and caller status.
18
Nx6 works with up to 6 telephone lines and Nx12 with up to
12 lines, and each have four hybrids for extra flexibility in fastpaced talk environments. They both feature a useful dual studio
mode‚ that allows a single system to power phones for two studios simultaneously, each with its own Program-On-Hold input.
Out of the box, you can connect 4 control surfaces (phones,
screener PCs or console directors) for flexibility in commanding
your calls – or up to 8 surfaces using accessory power supplies.
Function keys on Desktop Director and Call Controller devices
let you command GPIO-style outputs for push-button command of profanity delay systems and recorders.
Nx6 and Nx12 work flawlessly with any mixing console; both
come standard with analog I/O, and Nx12 can be outfitted with
an optional AES interface that allows direct access to all four
hybrids individually. But should you happen to have Axia IP consoles, Nx talkshow systems connect directly using just a CAT-5
cable. That one connection takes care of all audio I/O, on-hold
inputs, hybrid control and GPIO. Drop-in modules available for
Axia Element consoles let users easily take control of their Nx6
or Nx12 system right from the console. Choose the Call Controller
module with onboard hybrid controls with Status Symbol displays, or the standard four-fader module for a fader-per-hybrid
European operating style.
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Most importantly, Nx systems make your call-in segments
sound great thanks to a host of sophisticated DSP and audio
processing routines. There's our famous Digital Dynamic EQ
and a symmetrical wide-range AGC and noise gate from the audio processing experts at Omnia Audio for caller consistency,
and with adjustable caller ducking to help your hosts keep control of the conversation. Finally, a sophisticated pitch shifter
and studio adaptation routines help keep feedback from appearing when taking calls with open speakers.
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But wait - there's more. Nx6 and Nx12 feature Caller ID on both
analog POTS and ISDN telephone lines, and feed that data over
Ethernet to your call screening application. Speaking of Ethernet, Nx systems ease setup and administration with their builtin Web servers; just hook a computer to the network to perform
configuration and remote monitoring functions. Systems will
work happily with either POTS, ISDN-S, or ISDN-U lines — just
tell us when you order. Or, split the difference: with Nx12, you
can specify half POTS, half digital line interfaces.
45C;[email protected]?B
Telos Desktop Directors are your premiere choice to make, take and screen calls with
your Nx phone system. These sophisticated, yet easy-to-use phonesets make fast-paced
production a snap. And caller management has never been simpler, thanks to intuitive
Telos Status Symbols — clear, easy to read graphical icons that convey line and caller
status at a glance.
Desktop Director helps you screen calls quickly and efficiently using deluxe features like the
built-in handset, speakerphone or optional headset. Hosts receive immediate information
about line availability, on-hold and ready-for-air queue status from Status Symbol icons.
An extended version for use with Nx12 can control all four hybrids individually.
31<<3?>DB?<<5B
The Telos Call Controller is a simplified, cost-effective option for call screening and on-air
control. The Call Controller connects to the Nx6 or Nx12 in the same way as the Desktop
Director. It uses an external, user provided, telephone for call screening and studio telephone
operation. Simply connect the Call Controller to your Nx system, then plug in any compatible
analog telephone and you’re on your way. Like the Desktop Director, Call Controllers have
large buttons and intuitive Status Symbols to help talent keep track of line and hybrid status.
31<<3?>DB?<<5B6?B5<5=5>D3?>C?<5C
These drop-in modules for Telos Element 2.0 mixing consoles let talent take command of
Nx6 or Nx12 right from the board, making for smoother, more error-free shows. Two rows
of hybrid controls with easy-to-read Status Symbols icons are flanked by dedicated faders;
coupled with Element's built-in dialpad, talent can make, take and bring callers to air without ever taking their eyes off the board.
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS
D5<?CYA&D5<3?71D5G1I
=E<D9<9>[email protected]?>5C=145C=1BD5B
A multi-line phone system that connects to your console with
can connect up to 12 control devices at once — phones, PCs or
just one cable? Smooth, detailed caller audio — even from cellu-
console controllers — to take charge from nearly anywhere.
lar callers? Meet iQ6, the Telco gateway for Axia's new iQ console.
Separate Send and Receive level meters for each hybrid are con-
iQ6 plugs right into your Livewire AoIP network, saving you mon-
veniently located right on the front panel for extra monitoring
ey and time by eliminating the cost and labor of old-fashioned
confidence.
discrete I/O, cabling and soldered connectors.
How does iQ6 sound? Like a Telos, of course! Inside, two of our
iQ6 puts audio, hybrid control and backfeed for six phone lines
most advanced hybrids handle up to six phone lines (POTS or
onto one skinny CAT-5 cable. Setup is simple: plug it into your
ISDN — let us know which when you order). Those hybrids are
Axia network, do some fast web-based configuration, and your
equipped with Digital Dynamic EQ and adjustable smart-level,
talent can control iQ6 right from their Axia iQ console — there’s
symmetrical wide-range AGC by Omnia to keep callers sounding
an iQ Telco expansion frame that puts hybrid control and Status
clean, clear and spectrally consistent call after call. An adjust-
Symbols information icons right on the mixer’s surface, so talent
never has to take their eyes off the board to take a call.
able caller override lets you dial-in just the right amount of call
ducking. Our subtle, inaudible pitch-shifter helps prevent openspeaker feedback. And conference linking lets you set up high-
You can also pair iQ6 with Telos Vset phones and their full-col-
quality conferencing between callers at the touch of a button —
or, high-contrast display screens. iQ6 is extremely flexible: you
no external equipment needed.
JASON WISNIESKI, iQ6 PROJECT MANAGER
"The iQ6 realizes the Livewire dream - one connector for all your studio audio
and control - and brings it to telephony. It really brings home the benefits of
running a Livewire-based studio. I love that it's powerful as its own system,
and very flexible when paired with an iQ Console System."
20
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8h!1>48h"4979D1<@?DC8I2B94C
@[email protected]?>5C>5F5BC?E>454C?7??4
In the mid-1980s, Telos pioneered the very first digital adap-
Audio processing tools include a new symmetrical wide-range
tive telephone hybrid. Since then, our POTS phone hybrids have
AGC and noise gate by Omnia, with adjustable gain settings to
earned a worldwide reputation for extracting clean, clear caller
help keep caller audio smooth and consistent from call to call.
audio from even the most difficult calls.
Studio adaptation and a subtle pitch-shifter help prevent feedback in open-speaker situations. Adjustable caller override im-
We’ve pioneered plenty of improvements to POTS hybrid tech-
proves performance even further, and allows you to individualize
nology in the past 20 years, and the Telos Hx1 and Hx2 represent
the degree to which the announcer ducks the caller audio. Fi-
the highest state-of-the-art in hybrid performance. Advances
nally, our famous Digital Dynamic EQ, coupled with an adjustable
in DSP have been pretty great as well. We’ve used every bit of
smart leveler, keeps audio spectrally consistent from call to call.
knowledge gained to make Hx1 and Hx2 the best, most advanced
POTS hybrids we’ve ever made, without much doubt.
On the front panel, you’ll find EQ Meters for each hybrid that
tell you exactly how much DDEQ is being applied. Next to those,
Inside the single-hybrid Hx1 and dual-hybrid Hx2, you’ll find Telos
separate Send and Receive level meters monitor each hybrid.
processing technologies that take the POTS hybrid to a new level
There’s also an animated line status display that visually in-
of consistently superior performance, regardless of telephone
dicates when a line is ringing in, on air, on hold or available. A
line characteristics. This advanced hybrid technology brings new
complement of Take, Hold and Drop buttons complete the front-
standard features that sweeten and control caller audio better
panel control set.
than ever before; features you won’t find in other POTS hybrids.
Around back, you’ll find a switchable mic/line input, balanced
Hx1 and Hx2 have Auto-Answer, caller disconnect detection, so-
analog receive-out output, RJ ports for Telco line and phoneset,
phisticated new audio-leveling and anti-feedback routines for
input level adjustment, and a DB9 remote control connector
enhanced open-speaker applications, call screening and line-hold
with GPIO closures for hybrid control and status indicator lamps.
features, and front-panel send and receive audio metering —
Need digital I/O? No problem — Hx comes in an AES/EBU version
plus much, much more.
with built-in sample-rate converter.
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS | APPLICATION ARTICLE
D5<[email protected]?69<5B
=E<D9381>>5<=E<D9CDB51=1E49?1B389F9>[email protected]
Telos ProFiler is the efficient, set-and-forget way to automatical-
one stereo or two mono streams; add more audio cards to capture
ly log your radio station’s program audio. Forget tape decks and
as many as eight mono streams simultaneously on a single PC.
expensive logging hardware — ProFiler runs on any Windows
ProFiler is ideal for stations required by law to log program con-
PC to produce time-stamped audio archives you can listen to on
tent, and since you can also listen to “live” audio over IP as it’s
standard MP3 players.
being logged, it’s great for Production Directors and morning
show producers, program consultants or group PDs. Perfect for
22
Each ProFiler package includes a Telos audio card with pro-level
competitive monitoring, too – log other stations along with your
balanced audio inputs and buffered parallel closure inputs that
own to fine-tune your formatics. An integrated audio browser
you can use as a start/stop trigger, or to let an active microphone
lets your production crew tag segments and export them as WAV
trigger a high-quality capture mode. The starter kit lets you log
files for further editing.
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?>D85B?14G9D8D5<?CFH
B51<G?B<[email protected]
We’ve been busy as beavers lately, shipping Telos VX broadcast
tocol), even though it’s a standard. Some of them charge extra
VoIP phone systems to clients around the world. They’re now
licensing per extension or for SIP capability. Some support only
running in radio and television stations and connected to PBX’s,
SIP trunks. But VX is amazingly flexible, and our crack Telos Sup-
dozens of telephone service providers, and many different
port team can help you hook up VX to just about whatever you
types of hardware.
happen to have.
The Telos VX is a “whole-plant” broadcast telephone interface
Even if you just want to keep your POTS service because your
that delivers the best quality telephone audio possible today. It
PBX is stuck in the ‘80s, we’ve been working with Patton Electron-
helps you make the most of lines and trunks, making them avail-
ics to make using their advanced SIP gateway products easy to
able in any studio at any time.
buy and implement. You always have a direct SIP upgrade path.
We’ve got you covered.
I get to see radio stations everywhere!
Naturally, I’m accustomed to only the finest accommodations.
You can even use VX to get rid of that wall of old auto-answer
telco couplers. The VX can be programmed to answer a line, or
several lines in a hunt group, and feed great quality audio to
those lines and/or receive audio from them.
A VSet phone and a computer are all that’s needed to record broadcast-quality remote drops. Tampa’s Cox cluster uses smartphones with G.722 to achieve
“HD Voice” remotes.
One of the things that I get to do is go to stations and broadcaster
get-togethers like SBE meetings, NAB and the like, where I see a
lot of old friends and always make more. I get plenty of questions,
sure, but I also get to hear a lot of great ideas from clients about
how they use the VX system. It’s the best part of my job. We’ve
learned a lot over the past year from our friends and colleagues,
and even phone companies (if you can believe that!).
Some of the best VX installations are where the office and studio
phones are connected together. This means that you don’t need
multiple phones in the studio, and you can do things like transfer
calls from the front desk directly to the studio. It’s great to have
just a single, powerful VSet telephone in your studios. The other
thing is, with this kind of 100% digital “four-wire” line connection, the audio quality is really, really impressive.
Our clients have installed and tested the VX with many of the
most common PBXs out there. As I write this, there are VX systems connected directly to PBX products from Avaya, Cisco, NEC,
Mitel, Nortel and open source Asterisk. Now, not every model
from these manufacturers supports SIP (Session Initiation Pro-
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TELOS | BROADCAST PHONE SYSTEMS | APPLICATION ARTICLE
?>D85B?14G9D8D5<?CFH
Block diagram of VX installation at Corus, Winnipeg, shows how VX integrates
AXIA AUDIO
OVER IP
NETWORK
172.27.3.254
SHAW SIP
ETHØ
10.185.16.46
VX ENGINE
ETHERNET SWITCH
ASTERISK
PBX
SHAW
VX “LAN”
PORT
172.27.3.200
VX “WAN”
PORT
192.168.1.2
192.168.1.254
VOIP NETWORK
192.168.1.1
ETHERNET SWITCH
192.168.1.252
LAMP DRIVER
INTERNET
ROUTER
FIREWALL
POTS
GATEWAY 1
LINES
MIC ON INDICATOR INPUT
(MUTE RINGER)
192.168.1.253
POTS
POTS
GATEWAY 1
PROGRAM ON HOLD FEED
AUDIO TO CALLER
AUDIO FROM CALLER
COX MEDIA
CORUS COMMUNICATIONS
One of the coolest VX installations I’ve seen was down in sunny
Up in balmy Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, our friends at Corus
Tampa, Florida, where our friends at the Cox stations use their
Communications get phone service from Shaw Cable. Shaw did a
VX, not just for phone calls, but also for remotes! Once they got
great job of providing SIP trunking, an example of another excel-
connected to their IP Phone service provider, PAETEC, they set up
lent option for studio phone service. Depending on your location,
their VX system so that their street team’s iPhones and Android
there are often more service provider options than you think,
phones could call right into any control room, and go live instant-
and they’re worth considering seriously. The Corus stations also
ly, using the wideband G.722 codec. They found free apps at the
have stations coming from their Mitel PBX and lines from MTS,
iPhone store, and made a few simple setting tweaks so that all
the local utility telephone company.
the street team had to do was dial the studio’s 4 digit extension
Take a look at the diagram above, and you’ll see that Corus in-
number! These remotes are fast, easy and toll-free. No special
stalled an Asterisk PBX to add voice mail, call detail recording,
setup is needed at either end to make the call; it’s completed
Network Time Protocol (NTP), and VPN access for maintenance.
over the 3G or 4G network, or using available WiFi. The system
In the ultimate act of recycling, they made it out of an old spare
will even “talk” to other vendors’ codecs, without complication.
PC, and just kept coming up with more uses for it.
Patton SmartNode VoIP gateway.
Telos Partner companies Broadcast Bionics and Neogroupe have
created special software products that extend and enhance VX
capabilities. Bionics’ PhoneBOX is a database driven software
suite that makes screening and airing phone calls easier. With an
emphasis on operator work flow, Caller ID and ANI information
are used to sort, filter and track callers, ensuring that the best
callers get on the air.
Using our partner Patton Electronics’ powerful gateway products is another way to bring lines directly into your VX from
legacy providers, or equipment. Patton has ISDN PRI, BRI and
POTS gateway devices available, and we work closely with them
to make your installation easy with standard configurations, or
customization, as desired.
24
Joe Mauk at Peak Broadcasting's KMJ in Fresno, California liked
what he saw in both VX and PhoneBOX, and understood the system's potential. He recognized that a combination of the two
would be a particularly good fit for his six-station cluster, which
included not one, but two talk stations.
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Talent at KMJ uses VX, controlled with PhoneBOX software, to take calls to air.
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“wideband” codec, which the VX system supports, for remote
broadcasts and live news reports. The routing flexibility that
Asterisk provides would give him many other options as well.
The remaining problem was that there were still some old,
copper-loop POTS numbers being used with the old 1A2 system. Joe decided that the numbers could be ported over to one
of the local-exchange carrier PRIs that feeds his office PBX as
DID numbers. The on-air calls then come into the station on the
4-wire Bearer channels of the PRI, thence routed to the Asterisk
PBX for use with the VX (and, simultaneously, to analog PBX
stations with the old 1A2 gear). The result: complete call routing flexibility, Caller ID support, and a simple fallback solution
in case of trouble.
Do VoIP phones work with analog consoles?
Screener’s position at KMJ says the answer is “yes.”
The number port went as expected. The Millenium PBX, the
Asterisk PBX and the VX were configured, and a few test calls
made. Then, Broadcast Bionics set up PhoneBOX via remoteconfiguration. The system works flawlessly!
One other thing: KMJ has a wireless Internet provider in the
building. We used this to our advantage, adding some off-site
VoIP extensions and a couple of trunks via the wireless provider, with great success. Peak Broadcasting now effectively has a
backup provider for local service in case the PRI lines, or their
PBX, goes down. And they’re also able to use the VX’s G.722
codec support for remote broadcasts, and for high-quality
news actualities from reporters in the field using iPhones.
These are just a few examples of the power and flexibility of VX.
Ask any VX client, and they’ll likely rave about its ease of use
and cost-effectiveness. They’ll probably also tell you that one
day, all broadcast phones will be VoIP-based. Luckily, you don’t
have to wait for “one day.” With VX, that future is here, now!
Joe Talbot
Product Manager
Telos Systems
His first step was to figure out how best to get lines into his
system. The stations were using a large 1A2 key system with a
mix of Telco POTS lines and PBX extensions. His goal, as always,
was to get the lines delivered in some 4-wire fashion (best
quality = least cross-talk). The direct-inside-dial PBX extensions
posed no problem, as they were 4-wire from the phone company, delivered on a Primary Rate Interface ISDN circuit. There
was some 2-wire at the PBX extension line card — but that
didn’t matter, as we wouldn’t be using those circuits.
Joe needed to use a PRI gateway device or an Asterisk PBX to
accept traffic from KMJ’s Eon Millennium PBX, and then convert
it to SIP to keep the traffic 4-wire all the way. Ultimately, Asterisk was chosen because Joe also wanted to use the G.722 7 khz
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TELOS | CODECS
[email protected]=
D8525CDG1ID?851B6B?=D85B5D=
The Telos Zephyr is the best-loved broadcast codec in the world,
and for good reason: Zephyr pioneered the concept of the ISDN
codec in the first place! Zephyr saves you time and money. A
Zephyr Xstream at your studio becomes a “universal codec,”
connecting with every popular ISDN codec for full-duplex, 20kHz
stereo audio. Using ISDN you can transmit and receive two mono
channels to and from separate locations, even transmit and decode streaming AAC and MP3 audio over Ethernet. And in the
field, Zephyr Xstream is a powerful remote tool, with intuitive
step-by-step operation, context sensitive help, and a simple user
interface that eases operation for non-technical personnel.
Zephyr models with built-in mixers and Phantom microphone
power help reduce equipment inventory and setup time. Each
Zephyr Xstream model has a range of standard MPEG coding
options, which include MPEG Layer-3 and MPEG AAC for indistinguishable source-from-input audio at only 128 kbps. Zephyr
Xstream can also be used for LAN and WAN IP streaming of MP3
or AAC over properly managed networks. And Zephyr’s AAC coding includes error concealment to inaudibly recover from a lost
packet or two, and an adjustable packet jitter buffer allows you
to easily accommodate different networks.
There are three Zephyr Xstream models with capabilities tailored to fit your needs: The standard rack-mount Xstream, the
Xstream MX rackmount with built-in DSP mixer, and the portable
Xstream MXP, a ruggedized portable version with mixer that’s
ready for the road.
26
651DEB5C1D17<1>35
» Ethernet ports for remote control via LAN or WAN, and for
connection to your Livewire AoIP networks. Bring audio from
any codec anywhere in the world directly to your Axia network.
» MPEG AAC (Advanced Audio Coding). The new standard for audio coding permits true CD-quality stereo transmission with a
connection speed of just 128 kbps. Xstream includes exclusive
Error Concealment technology to prevent the occasional network glitch from being heard. » Low-Delay MPEG AAC-LD coding. Using AAC-LD, you’ll enjoy crystal-clear audio quality with
greatly reduced encoding delay for smooth, natural bidirectional
remotes. » MPEG Layer-3 coding for compatibility with the largest number of third-party codecs. When using MPEG Layer-3, a
unique Dual Receive mode is enabled to allow reception of independent audio streams arriving from two distant ISDN lines
– great for bilingual broadcasts. » Hand-in-glove operation with
companion Zephyr Xport portable codecs to facilitate reception
of 15kHz audio using a POTS field connection. » A V.35/X21 option to allow connection to serial synchronous data equipment,
for use with dedicated lines, Switched 56 circuits or satellite
services. » An Auto Receive mode that quickly determines the
correct coding algorithm for incoming audio streams.
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When you’re going on the road, you want a codec that won’t
weigh you down. At just seven pounds (3.18 kg), the small, light
Zephyr Xport is the perfect companion. At the heart of Zephyr
Xport is a custom DSP-based modem, optimized for maximum
performance with audio codecs. Exclusive Telos technology lets
Xport use a standard analog phone line (or digital phone line, with
the optional ISDN interface) to connect with any Zephyr Xstream
ISDN codec; a full-featured mixer with mic and line inputs (and
selectable audio processing by Omnia) completes the package.
A Zephyr Xport in your remote kit makes your studio’s Zephyr
Xstream a “universal codec,” since you can use either POTS or
ISDN to connect with your studio. You save the cost, studio rack
space, training time and telephone lines needed to support dedi-
651DEB5C1D17<1>35
» Superior sound: aacPlus™ coding gives you the best-quality
audio of any POTS codec, even at low bit rates. » Optional
ISDN capability. You can plug Xport into any POTS outlet and
dial your studio’s Zephyr Xstream; an easy upgrade lets you
plug into digital phone lines as well for ultimate flexibility no
matter where you’re broadcasting from. Two Xports can even
share a single ISDN line! » Super friendly operation: Xport is the
easiest-to-use Zephyr ever. Anyone can make it play. » Ultra
mobility: Xport is light-weight, portable, durable. You can tuck
it into a flight bag! » Self-contained design: No wall-warts to
lose or worry about; Xport has an internal auto-ranging power
supply that works anywhere in the world.
cated POTS and ISDN codecs — not to mention console audio
inputs and mix-minus outputs.
With Zephyr Xport, you get ISDN audio quality with POTS economy. Xport is the world’s only POTS codec that talks to the Zephyr
Xstream ISDN codec. You get the most reliable connections and
the best audio, too.
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
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TELOS | CODECS
[email protected]?>5
[email protected][email protected]:1GC>?D1E49?
Broadband Internet is everywhere, which makes it ideal for live
from the lowest possible delay and the highest possible fidelity.
remotes. Unfortunately, public IP links are also notoriously er-
But if congestion starts to occur, Z/IP ONE automatically low-
ratic. You might be lucky enough to get a good connection… but
ers bit rate and increases buffer length to keep audio flowing at
even if you do, it might deteriorate during your broadcast. What
maximum quality.
to do? Cross your fingers and hope for the best? Or reduce your
bit rate, sacrificing audio quality in hopes of making it through
Another way Z/IP ONE extracts excellent quality from even not-
your show?
so-excellent IP connections lies in its use of a new codec based
on low delay AAC: Advanced Audio Coding-Enhanced Low De-
With Z/IP ONE, the newest member of the Zephyr family, you
don’t have to compromise audio quality for a solid connection.
Z/IP ONE helps you get the best possible quality from public IP
networks and mobile phone data services — even from connections behind NATs and firewalls.
lay (AAC-ELD), which gives excellent fidelity at low bitrates with
nearly inaudible loss concealment and very little delay. (You have
your choice of standard high-performance codecs too, including
AAC-HE, AAC-LD, MPEG4 AAC-LC, MPEG2 AAC-LC, G.711, G.722 and
even linear PCM.)
Telos collaborated with Fraunhofer (the developers of MP3) to
develop a unique coding algorithm that adapts to changing Internet conditions on the fly, helping you maintain quality and
stability. We call it ACT, short for Agile Connection Technology,
Z/IP ONE’s front panel is friendly and simple to use. Naturally,
there’s a built-in Webserver too, for remote control and easy
configuration using any Web browser. Our exclusive Z/IP Server
and only Telos has it. Using ACT to sense and adapt to the con-
service, free to Z/IP owners, lets you easily get around NATs and
dition of your IP link, Z/IP ONE delivers superb performance on
network firewalls for fast connections to your favorite loca-
real-world networks. It delivers reliable audio despite varying
tions. Around back, you’ll find convenient XLR ins and outs, a
network conditions, and without the need to fiddle with settings
Livewire port for IP-Audio, WAN jack for connection to “the out-
or codecs.
side world”, and even a parallel port for GPIO contact closures.
All in a compact, 1RU package.
Z/IP ONE adapts dynamically to minimize the effects of packet
loss and jitter. When the bits are flowing smoothly, you’ll benefit
Z/IP ONE. The convenience of the Internet — the sound of Telos.
651DEB5C1D17<1>35
» Z/IP ONE is wireless capable and can connect to IP networks
via Wi-Fi, EVDO, and UMTS. » Exclusive Agile Connection Technology (ACT) automatically senses network conditions and
adapts codec performance to provide the best possible audio. » Largest choice of high-performance codecs: AAC-ELD,
AAC-HE, AAC-LD, MPEG Layer-2, MPEG-4 AAC LC, MPEG-2 AAC
LC, G.711, G.722 and linear PCM. » Dual IP ports for separate
streaming and control. » Easy browser setup via built-in Web
28
server. » Push mode for one-way network connectivity such as
satellite broadcasts. » Multiple push mode, push to multiple
destinations. » Sophisticated NAT traversal support. » Convenient directory server, no need to know another device’s IP address. » Transparent RS-232 channel for audio side channel or
metadata, e.g., RDS. » 8-bit parallel GPIO port for signaling and
control. » Slim 1RU form factor fit is equally at home in a studio
rack, remote kit or road case.
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Talk about “high-density” equipment: the 2RU Telos iPort saves
network via Ethernet; compressed MPEG streams go out on the
you money and rack space by housing eight stereo MPEG codecs
same cable — eliminating expensive, space-consuming convert-
in one small device. A pair of iPorts on each end of a QoS-con-
ers and connectors. Or, use the separate WAN connection to
trolled IP link can send and receive 8 channels of bi-directional
send your audio over an outside network. Not using Livewire
stereo MPEG audio. Or, use iPort as a one-way “push” link to en-
yet? No problem – just pair the Telos iPort with an Axia analog
code and deliver 16 channels of broadcast-quality one-way audio
or digital audio node to make a standalone high-density audio
to a remote destination.
codec package.
With its ability to send multiple MPEG channels over IP connec-
How do iPort streams sound? Fantastic. For years, Telos has had
tions, iPort is perfect for audio transmission over VPNs, satellite
a tight working relationship with Fraunhofer IIS, the inventor of
links, Ethernet radio systems, and Telco or ISP-provided QoS-
MP3 and co-inventor of AAC. The encoding algorithms inside
controlled IP services. You can use iPort for studio-to-transmit-
iPort are genuine FhG, not some no-name knockoffs. A full range
ter links, network distribution systems, multi-channel links to
of state-of-the-art codec types and bitrates are supported; the
remote studios. You can use a QoS-enabled IP link between two
highest-possible quality implementations, running on a powerful
studios with Livewire networks, put an iPort at each end, and
Intel floating-point processor. Choose AAC-LD for delay-sensitive
pass audio and GPIO between locations as if they were just next
applications, AAC-HE and AAC-HEv2 for low bitrate requirements,
door. Paired with an appropriate server, you can even use iPort to
standard MPEG AAC for best quality and resilience to packet loss
generate multiple channels of MP3 or AAC for Internet stream-
at higher bitrates, MP3 and MP2 for legacy applications.
ing, broadcasting to mobile phones, and audio distribution systems… the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
You’d expect all this to cost a lot, but it doesn’t: we built iPort on
a single industrial motherboard, rather than the usual “multiple
iPort uses the Livewire AoIP standard for I/O. A single Ethernet
DSP cards in a frame” approach. Together with the Livewire-
cable is all that’s needed for all inputs, outputs, GPIO and remote
only audio interface, the iPort costs a fraction of legacy card-
control. Uncompressed 24-bit/48kHz audio goes in from your
frame designs.
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
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29
TELOS | CODECS | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
[email protected]?851B6B?=D85B5
[email protected]>[email protected]?>5C=1;[email protected]@19B
TELEPHONY: it’s the technology for electronic transmission
of voice, fax, or other information between distant parties.
Indeed, broadcasters are all about connecting remote sounds,
ideas, and voices with our audiences. Telephony is elemental
to broadcasters.
technology is generally less expensive than the equipment and
services it replaces.
We receive or gather - TV folks say “ingest” - audio programming from satellites, telephone callers, remote talent via codecs, and downloaded audio files. We assemble this audio and
mix with local content - talent, commercials, traffic, weather then we broadcast the resulting program audio to our listeners.
Keeping with the telephony theme, it’s becoming clear that
IP telephony is displacing the traditional connections with
which we grew up. And broadcasters using IP telephony in
its many forms are noticing something - it frequently sounds
better than the POTS or ISDN service it’s replacing. This improved audio quality is possible, and now even practical, along
several key paths in a broadcaster’s operation. Even better, IP
Telephone calls carried in whole or in part by IP sound better than those carried by traditional transports - all other
things being equal. Improvements come by dint of better quality phone instruments, “4-wire” connections from end to end,
endpoints negotiating best codec usage, and even from intelligent and powerful audio processing in an IP phone system
designed for on-air use.
HERE ARE SOME REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES OF IMPROVED
AUDIO QUALITY USING IP TELEPHONY:
rector reports that all phone calls – even from traditional phones
– are sounding clearer and are easily intelligible. Audio levels are
brilliantly consistent, too, even from reporters and newsmakers
calling in from the other side of the globe.
» At radio stations where a Telos VX IP phone system is installed,
radio talkshow hosts, DJs, and call screeners are telling me their
callers sound noticeably better - clearer - and with less of that
“cell phone distortion”. Show hosts spend less time asking a
caller to “repeat that, please” and more time in real conversation.
» A major, worldwide television news network upgraded to a
Caller audio levels are consistent, too. Board ops hardly touch the
Telos VX IP phone system. The network’s audio engineering di-
phone fader, as the call-to-call level is dependable.
LAN PORT
WAN PORT
VX ENGINE
POWERSTATION
TELCO GATEWAY OR PBX
LLIVEWIRE-CAPABLE DELAY
VSET12
VSET12
AXIA CONSOLE
XSCREEN
30
“LINE RINGING” LIGHT
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» Calls originating from IP-based phones are beginning to use
next town, or to a broadcaster in another country, is as easy as
better-sounding audio codecs. Phone and computer apps now
using instant messaging software.
afford wideband voice quality calls using the stalwart mono
broadcast codec, G.722. Newer codecs are coming, and will go
Broadcasters are covering sporting and other location events
into Telos IP telephony systems so broadcasters can enjoy even
using IP codecs. Often times a broadcast engineer will have
better calls — both from listener/callers and from “remotes”
several IP connectivity options, depending on the venue. While
or outside broadcasts. IP telephony lets us use phone apps to
a wired Internet connection is nearly always best, there are
communicate with better codecs, giving us great quality voice
options for WiFi and cellular 3G, 4G LTE and WiMax across a
remotes over convenient cell phones.
growing wireless landscape. Dialing and connecting is easy for
non-technical talent, and there are never any long distance call
charges, even while covering extra innings, overtime periods,
or that city council meeting with a never-ending agenda.
We thought IP-audio would make a good backup StudioTransmitter Link (STL), but now broadcasters are using the
Telos Z/IP ONE and Telos iPort at robust bit rates, while relegating their traditional STL systems to backup duty.
» On the high-end of audio quality, a parallel of IP telephony
Why? Better audio!
includes dedicated stereo IP codecs and mid to high bit-rate al-
If the bandwidth is available, high bitrate AAC or even linear
gorithms, such as AAC and its derivatives. Stereo IP codecs are
PCM is the way to go. And higher audio sampling rates are
replacing ISDN codecs. They’re also replacing other audio con-
typical of IP codecs as compared with digital RF STL systems. A
nection devices including T1, E1, and RF-based STL systems.
48 kHz audio sampling rate gives full 20kHz audio end-to-end
More real-world examples of technical success begin with the
glamorous life of professional voice-over artists.
-perfect for full-time STL, even to HD Radio transmitters, and
Whether home-based or in a commercial studio, voice-over
artists are sending coded audio at far higher bit rates than is
possible over ISDN. No long distance call charges, either. VO
studios need just a good Internet connection and an IP-audio
codec such as the Telos Z/IP ONE. Connecting to a studio in the
IP-Audio is a dream come true for broadcasters networking
studio quality audio contribution applications.
with other stations to cover local or regional programming.
Whether over a corporate WAN or the public Internet, programs of interest over a region – or nationwide – are easily
shared and distributed by IP audio codecs.
RADIO ONE, WASHINGTON DC
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
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31
TELOS | CODECS | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
[email protected]?851B6B?=D85B5
One network in New Zealand, PungaNet, blazed this trail in
2009 by connecting some 25 radio stations in different cities
and towns around the country. Their multi-channel system,
based on the Telos iPort, allows for one-to-one sharing, oneto-a-few distribution, or one-to-all coverage. Ad hoc networking is easy, too, as stations share talent, programs, and air-time
across the network.
A legacy broadcast network in the U.S. is connecting remote
talent in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and London
with editing and production studios over both their corporate
WAN and the public Internet. High-quality audio along with IFB,
tally lighting, and intercom uses the same IP connectivity,
saving money and keeping the connections simple.
32
IWI RADIO MAP
A well-known French broadcaster is connecting Paris and
Bordeaux for show talent, voice-over, and commercial production. A Telos iPort in each city provides eight bi-directional,
low-latency stereo connections, plus GPIO signaling.
A multi-language European broadcaster recently employed
IP-audio to keep hundreds of programs on-air, with no interruption while moving studio operations to a new building.
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A regional broadcaster in the U.S. is using Telos Z/IP ONE IP
codecs exclusively for high-quality, reliable STL duty to eight
transmitter sites. Some are close-by while a couple are hundreds of miles away. The AAC coding algorithm at 320 kbps
delivers unimpeachable stereo audio to most sites. Lower bit
rates using HE-AAC are configured for sites with less IP bandwidth available. A robust IP connection strategy ensures at
least two Internet connections at each location, with automatic
switching or sharing provided by smartly-configured routers.
There is a theme common to successful IP-audio implementation by all the broadcasters mentioned here; it’s a good
working knowledge of IP configuration and some basic routing knowledge. While these skills are important for success
in IP-audio implementation, they’re not difficult to come by.
Indeed, Telos is here to help. As a member of the Telos family, you’re entitled to free, personal Tech Support, every day,
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around the clock, by phone or e-mail. All Telos equipment manuals are online, ready to view or download to your computer or
tablet. You also have access to Telos white papers, and our Tech
Blog at TelosAlliance.com/blog.
IP technology is here to stay. Literally billions of devices connect with each other every moment of every day using Internet
Protocol. Together let’s make broadcasting, audio sharing, and
connecting with talent and listeners, better, easier, and of the
highest quality. The awesome flexibility of IP is right at your
fingertips.
My best,
Kirk Harnack
VP, Telos Products
The Telos Alliance
ANALOG & DIGITAL TELEPHONE TALKSHOW SYSTEMS | ISDN & IP BROADCAST CODECS | INTERNET PROCESSING & STREAMING
TELOS-SYSTEMS.COM
33
TELOS | STREAMING AUDIO
IOAN RUS, PROSTREAM PROJECT MANAGER, TELOS
"ProSTREAM takes the pain out of streaming; as there is no PC to manage,
it makes streaming about as easy as you can get. Plus, with the combination of Omnia processing and genuine Fraunhofer AAC and MP3 encoding,
ProStream consistently gives you the best audio quality so you can be
proud of your streams."
D5<[email protected]?CDB51=
9>D5B>5DCDB51=9>79>12?H
Broadcasters often ask “How do I stream audio to listeners over
and optimizes audio especially for bit-reduced encoding, so your
the Internet?” Up 'til now, the answer too often included mini-
streams always sound fresh and alive.
jacks, poor-quality sound cards, a PC to maintain, and a collection
of software that didn’t always play nicely together.
The best part: Telos ProSTREAM is neatly self-contained in a 1RU
box. Just slide it into a rack and it’s ready to go – no more running
ProSTREAM makes netcasting a lot easier. There’s no PC needed;
your mission-critical audio over crash-prone PC hardware and
ProSTREAM is a single box – an appliance – that simplifies get-
operating systems.
ting your audio streaming on the ‘Net. How easy is it? Just send
audio to your ProSTREAM, make a few setup selections and you’ll
be streaming your audio perfectly to most any stream server or
streaming service for worldwide distribution.
An intuitive Web interface puts you in total control of your audio streams, with remote control of all functions via a standard
browser. But there are convenient front-panel controls too, so
you can manage your most-frequently needed functions right
34
ProSTREAM combines Omnia audio processing (to make Inter-
from the rack. Adjust audio input levels, define a metadata
net-delivered audio sound its best) with the latest and most
source, select a processing preset, codec, bitrate, and target me-
widely used audio codecs. ProSTREAM even lets you embed
dia server. There’s also a built-in headphone amp with 1/4” jack
stream metadata, in all of the most popular formats.
and volume control for monitoring input or output audio.
Broadcasters know that Telos is the codec expert — and
ProSTREAM comes standard with studio-grade analog inputs
ProSTREAM puts all of our expertise into a single, integrated
and outputs, which can be changed to AES/EBU with an optional
streaming appliance. ProSTREAM uses genuine MPEG encoding
card. On the input side, you can use Livewire IP-Audio as an audio
algorithms from FhG, the inventors of MP3, to ensure the most
source. And on the output side, ProSTREAM delivers fully pro-
artifact-free sound quality at whatever bit rate you choose.
cessed, unencoded audio as well as encoded audio, giving you
Encode directly to MP3 or MPEG-AAC streams, and then feed a
another source for processed sound. Full network connectivity
Shoutcast, Wowza, Icecast, Live365 or Adobe Flash Media server
is provided via two Ethernet jacks, one for the LAN (including
for distribution to your listeners.
Livewire) and the other for the WAN and streaming.
To make your audio really sing, ProSTREAM comes with sweet-
No matter what your audio source or how you stream, ProSTREAM
ening from Omnia Audio, the world leaders in audio processing
delivers flawlessly optimized audio that sounds terrific. Pure.
for broadcast. The exclusive Omnia 6(168670 process shapes
Free of artifacts. And alive with character.
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=?B5CDB51=9>7C?<ED9?>C6B?=D5<?C
81B4G1B5?BC?6DG1B5/D8538?9359CI?EBC
D5<[email protected]?BD
Encode 16 Web streams using one box? It’s possible with the iPort MPEG Gateway. iPort contains
16 stereo MPEG-AAC codecs that can be employed to encode your Internet audio. iPort generates standards-based MPEG streams that you can feed to any SHOUTcast, Steamcast, or other
SHOUTcast-compatible servers, or to your station’s stream replication provider, for distribution
to Internet listeners. AAC, AAC-HE, AAC-LD and MP3 formats are all supported, at a wide variety of
bit rates. Imagine being able to encode all of your plant’s Web audio using a single 2RU hardware
appliance! iPort features a built-in Livewire interface for single-cable audio, control and data connection to Axia IP-Audio networks. Don’t have an IP-Audio network yet? Just connect iPort via
Ethernet to an Axia audio node for standard AES or analog I/O.
?=>911H5
Omnia A/XE is a streaming-based audio processor and encoder which can process audio for a
variety of applications, bitrate-reduced and linear. Omnia A/XE is software only, no special cards
required. It runs in the background as a Windows service, can be fully-managed and configured
remotely with a web browser, and can even process and encode multiple streams in various
formats simultaneously. Each program input can be processed and encoded in multiple ways,
and sent to multiple servers simultaneously. Processed audio can also be sent to a local sound
device for monitoring. Combines genuine Omnia audio processing with the Fraunhofer MP3 and
AAC codecs for high quality. High-performance, low memory footprint, native application. Encode
directly to MP3 or AAC, feed a Shoutcast-style or Windows Media Server in the MP3 format, or
stream to Adobe Flash clients through a Wowza Media Server. You can also pair Omnia A/XE with
your existing Windows Media, Real, mpgPRO or MP3 streaming encoder.
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OMNIA
In railroad lingo, there's a phrase highballing down the
mainline which refers to a train that has gained speed,
making good time, and won't be denied.
Think of Omnia in the same vein as its iron horsed brethren.
Today, we're not only highballing but working and striving
to further improve broadcasting as a medium. The market
place has welcomed Omnia.11 and Omnia.9 with open arms,
and as of this writing there are over 7000 Omnia. ONE units
processing audio all over the world. Going forward, there
seems to be no limit, as we're in the midst of more exciting projects, products, and technology endeavors.
We are leading the effort regarding the use of Single Sideband Suppressed Carrier (SSBSC) as an alternative means
to transport FM-Stereo. The goal of this is to verify a reduction in perceived multipath on FM. Well, broadcasters report they are able to broadcast their stereo signals
with less annoyance due to multipath by using the SSBSC
method. This technology is available in both Omnia.11 and
Omnia.9. Look for a tech paper on this topic within this
NOW! catalog.
Another example of Omnia yet again enabling successful
broadcasters to remain leaders in their marketplace.
Frank Foti
CEO, Telos Alliance
Founder and President, Omnia Audio
37
ART REIS, CHIEF ENGINEER, WPWX CHICAGO
OMNIA | RADIO PROCESSING
"The overall audio quality is dramatically superior to
what he had before. One of the things that the staff
noticed right away, was that vocals on songs jump
right out better than we have ever heard before.”
?=>91!!
5F5BID89>7I?E851B9CDBE5
Before you read any further, it is best to understand that the
Omnia.11 is not for everyone.
adjust internal parameters for optimum performance across a
Probably not even for most.
A major part of this technology, the new Density Detector, en-
Omnia.11 is strictly for mission critical processing, where maximum firepower is required in an extremely competitive
environment.
38
broad range of material.
ables Omnia.11 to properly handle hyper compressed content.
The AGC system cannot be fooled due to heavy density, or by
older source material which contains high peak-to-average levels. The density-detector keeps Omnia.11 operating on-target,
Omnia.11 is effortlessly loud. Thunderous bottom end, sparkling
highs, and crisp, clear voice reproduction. All with that trademark punch and clarity which makes Omnia the required audio
processor of the highest-rated radio stations in the world.
at all times.
A warning: Many adopters are genuinely startled by the lack of
a traditional “processor sound” when the unit is first deployed. The low level distortion and artifacts, long accepted as part of
the fundamentals of processing, are now almost completely
gone and certainly not perceptible to the ear.
ers which sound amazingly transparent.
The firmware in Omnia.11 takes advantage of software capabilities never before possible. The results are dynamics algorithms
that were once only a dream of the processing enthusiast.
AGCs, Compressors, and Limiters analyze music in real time and
method literally analyzes the audio content in both the ampli-
Traditional limiting technology has often resulted in various
forms of audio corruption. Omnia.11’s new LoIMD technology
coupled with smart gain reduction algorithms, now have limit-
All AGC and limiting algorithms employ an auto acceleration/
deceleration mechanism, which tunes out perceptible intermodulation distortion. The attack/release functions adjust
themselves based upon content density. This breakthrough
tude and frequency domain, then adapts the timing networks
- on the fly - to transparently control the signal, without the
control being heard. The result is revealed in added detail,
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JEAN-PHILIPPE DENAC, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, RFM PARIS, FRANCE
“For my station, I needed to get a sound that is powerful,
but unique in that it sets us aside from the competition.
Today, RFM has, by far, the best sound of any FM station
in Paris, thanks to Omnia.11."
loudness level.
mission performance, possibly reduce multipath, and provide
increased protection to the baseband spectrum.
Special attention was paid to the behavior of live voice quality.
Read more at:
The improved performance of the AGC and limiter functions
omniaaudio.com/downloads/white-papers/MPX-SSB-White-Paper.pdf
generate live voice clarity and impact far beyond that which
A front panel touch screen GUI, on a 10.5" diagonal screen, provides ease of use and enhanced metering and diagnostics. Remote access is via any web browser, as well as a local onboard
WI-FI connection. Laptops to iPads will have access.
clarity, and quality, yet maintaining the desired competitive
was previously possible.
The bass enhancement algorithm is a key feature of the Omnia.11.
Low end is now broadcast with recording studio-like punch and
impact, with no traditional side-effects whatsoever.
Another advantage is selective SSBSC (Single Sideband Sup-
Livewire, AES/EBU digital and analog I/O come standard. Headphone soft "patch points" are available for listening through
the processing chain.
pressed Carrier) technology, standard on Omnia.11. This is a
method to potentially improve conventional FM-Stereo trans-
Fanless cooling design built into a rugged 4 RU chassis.
38??C5I?EB?=>91!!
» OMNIA.11 FMHD
Featuring independently controlled analog and HD/digital
processing paths.
» OMNIA.11 FM
For those who have no need for HD/digital processing.
More information at: OMNIAAUDIO.COM/11
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
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39
OMNIA | RADIO PROCESSING
?=>91)
1<<I?E31>9=179>51>4=?B5
Omnia.9 is based on a completely new platform which is unlike
anything ever offered within the Omnia family. Not only is the
platform completely different, but the feature list is far more
extensive than that of any other processor ever offered by
Omnia or any competitor anywhere in the world.
There is literally NOTHING else on the market which comes
close to the versatility of this processor.
Versatility with no compromise whatsoever on processing power.
The Omnia.9 will simultaneously process FM analog, HD-1 and
(optional) HD-2, and HD-3, each independently controlled.
Omnia.9 will also simultaneously encode and process the internet streams of FM analog/HD-1, (optional) HD-2 and HD-3
again, each independently controlled.
Omnia.9 features exclusive “Undo” technology: a source declip-
40
over-processed CDs, so common in today’s contemporary music.
An onboard, Psychoacoustic Composite Embedder allows 100%
audio peaks in stereo (potentially up to 140%), within 100% total
modulation. This creates about 3dB extra treble headroom.
Selectable patch points are available for convenient auditioning of the audio signal at any point of the processing chain
without affecting listeners. Built-in RDS encoder, dynamically
update-able. HTTP push support for automation, such as dynamic RDS and streaming song titles, preset recall. Studio Output with very low latency for talent monitoring.
Another advantage is selectable SSBSC (Single Sideband Suppressed Carrier) technology, standard on Omnia.9. This is a method to potentially improve conventional FM-Stereo transmission
performance, possibly reduce multipath, and provide increased
protection to the baseband spectrum.
ping algorithm, and program-adaptive multiband expander
Read more at:
which removes distortion from source material. This corrects
omniaaudio.com/downloads/white-papers/MPX-SSB-White-Paper.pdf
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BOB NEWBERRY, CLEAR CHANNEL BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA MARKET ENGINEERING MANAGER.
"I have never been this excited about an audio processor in quite a while.
Words like 'loud' and 'open' might seem mutually exclusive at first but the
Omnia.9 achieves this goal splendidly. The fantastic 'de-clipper' that restores
the waveforms of badly recorded music is worth the price alone!"
651DEB5C1D17<1>35
» Each processing core is separately fully adjustable and has se-
keyboard with several layouts (QWERTY, QWERTZ, AZERTY, Dvor-
lectable 4, 5, 6 or 7 bands » 3-stage wideband AGC with adjustable
ak and ABC sequential) for easy setup and preset name typing »
sidechain equalization » Program-dependent multiband compres-
Psychoacoustic distortion-masking composite clipper, enabling
sion » Multiband look-ahead limiting » Selectable phase linear high
a full 3dB of added high-frequency headroom compared to
pass filter, 15, 30 or 45 Hz » (For Digital) Two-band final look-ahead
previous processors, for both high fidelity competitively loud
limiting » On board streaming supports encoding to MP3 (Mpeg-1
FM audio even at 75us pre-emphasis » HTTP push support for
Layer 3), MP2 (Mpeg-1 Layer 2), AAC, HE-AAC (including RTSP/3G
automation, such as dynamic RDS and streaming song titles,
for streaming to mobile phones), Ogg Vorbis, WMA and WMA Pro
preset recall » Dayparting (scheduled preset selection) » Com-
» 7 inch front panel touch screen » Full remote control » On-screen
posite pass-through (relay bypass) for your backup processor.
38??C5I?EB?=>91)
» OMNIA.9 FM+HD+STREAM PROCESSING AND ENCODING
FM plus HD-1 and single stream processing with
multiple encoding.
» OMNIA.9 FM+3HD+STREAM PROCESSING AND ENCODING
FM plus HD-1, HD-2 and HD-3 plus three separate streams
processed with multiple encoding.
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
OMNIAAUDIO.COM
41
OMNIA | RADIO PROCESSING
MARK WILLIAMES, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING FOR MOODY RADIO GROUP
"Several of our stations are processing with the Omnia ONE, which
is the processor which I recommend to many of our stations which
are not necessarily in big markets, but want to sound like they are."
?=>91?>5
D85?>[email protected]?35CC?BD81D31>381>75G9D8I?EB>554C
Omnia ONE features the same processing topology that made the original Omnia processors
famous, but at a price which is remarkably affordable. Available for FM, AM or Multicast applications. Application can be changed with simple software download, so your investment is ready
for present and future utilization. Less than five years after introduction, there are currently over
7000 Omnia ONEs in service throughout the world.
?>56=
42
?>51=
» Wide-band AGC for smooth, “hand on the pot” gain riding. »
» Livewire connectivity. » Web Browser remote interface. » Wide-
Four-Band AGC to add dynamic EQ enhancement for consistency
band AGC provides smooth, “hand on the pot” gain riding. » Select-
and to build density before the limiter stages. » Five-Band peak
able phase rotator. » Time-aligned, dynamically flat crossover.
limiter using feedback limiters for the lower two bands (optimized
Four-Band AGC to add dynamic EQ enhancement for consistency
for bass punch and lower mid-range warmth) and feed-forward
and to build density before the limiter stages. » Four-Band peak
limiters for the upper two bands. (optimized for sparkling upper
limiter using feedback limiters for the lower two bands (optimized
mids and highs) » Time-aligned, dynamically flat crossover. »
for bass punch and lower mid-range warmth) and feed-forward
Selectable phase rotator. » Advanced, fully distortion-controlled
limiters for the upper two bands. (optimized for sparkling upper
pre-emphasized final limiter / clipper. » Integrated digital stereo
mids and highs) » Advanced, fully distortion-controlled pre-em-
generator with advanced peak control, two composite MPX out-
phasized final limiter / clipper. » Selectable Low Pass Filters suit-
puts, SCA input and 19kHz output. » Full remote control via RJ-45
able for NRSC, HD AM, or any ITU installation. » Full remote control
Ethernet port using built-in web interface.
via RJ-45 Ethernet port using built-in web interface.
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TOM NELSON, DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING FOR AMERICAN PUBLIC MEDIA AND MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO
"We chose the Omnia ONE Multicast primarily because of how
it sounds. It manages low bitrate material beautifully, far better than anything else on the market. That, and Livewire capability
makes the Omnia ONE Multicast a no brainer for us."
?>5=E<D931CD
?>[email protected]?
» Exclusive 6(168670 technology to minimize artifacts as well as
» Engineered for full-bandwidth studio applications that require
restore the fullness and depth that bit-reduction steals. Our DSP
minimal delay throughput and maximum audio quality. » Four
gurus teamed up with the codec experts at Telos, the folks who
Bands of AGC » Four Bands of limiting » New "Bypass" settings
introduced broadcasters to MP3 and MPEG AAC, and together,
for the final look-ahead limiter and Bass EQ sections » Time-
they developed 6(1686, a unique way of processing your audio
aligned, dynamically flat crossovers. » Selectable phase rotator.
to pre-condition it for HD Radio multicasting, specifically tailor-
» Automatic input failover on loss of audio. » Analog, AES/EBU
ing it for the bitrate that you will be using. » Wideband gain rider
and Livewire inputs and outputs. » External AES/EBU Sync input
followed by Four Bands of AGC, Four Bands of limiting, 6(1686
to synchronize output sample rate to external reference. » Full re-
and Omnia's proven low-distortion look-ahead Final Limiter. »
mote control via RJ-45 Ethernet port using built-in web interface.
Time-aligned, dynamically flat crossovers, selectable phase rotator, analog, AES3 and Livewire I/O, automatic input failover on
loss of audio. » Full remote control via RJ-45 Ethernet port using
built-in web interface.
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
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43
OMNIA | RADIO PROCESSING | APPLICATION ARTICLE
[email protected]?J?B<1>4?1>4?=>91!!
1G9>>9>73?=29>1D9?>
WPOZ President and CEO Jim Hoge
DESCRIBE THE SPECIFIC PROCESSING NEEDS THAT YOU
HAVE WHEN PROCESSING THE FORMAT OF WPOZ.
Our genre, AC Christian, has battled poor production for years.
The limiter and clipper architecture of the Omnia.11 does help
to undo the damage of sloppy recording and poor mastering.
However, the biggest problem facing every station in the top
markets is PPM encoding. This encoding puts a mid to high
frequency buzz in everything. We have found that careful adjusting of the Omnia.11's limiter output mix will alleviate the
damage from Arbitron encoding. This is something we have
not been able to do with any other processor.
One of the great success stories of the past year or so has been
the phenomenal ratings explosion of WPOZ (http://zradio.org)
in Orlando Florida, currently the #1 radio station in the market.
With about 60 signals available in the region, competition is
fierce. Therefore, leading stations know how important it is
to take nothing for granted, especially when it comes to the
overall impact and appeal of their station's audio. Incorrectly
processed audio can adversely affect long term listening and
jeopardize ratings potential.
As WPOZ President and CEO Jim Hoge points out, an Omnia.11,
which they deployed some months ago, dramatically improved
the station’s dial presence beyond that of any other station in
the market at the time:
“When we first fired up the Omnia.11, we were suddenly bigger
and brighter than any other FM in the region. The contrast was
amazing, absolutely amazing. We quickly established a unique,
clear sound that was roaring loud, yet totally distortion free. I
have been very impressed.”
Mr. Hoge went on to report that the Omnia.11’s treatment of
the HD-1 has been “equally as impressive. The HD side never
sounded anywhere near this good”.
So we sat down with Jim Hoge and asked him to expand on his
thoughts about the Omnia.11:
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE OMNIA.11 IN TERMS
OF AUDIO PERFORMANCE?
The tradeoff with any audio processing is loudness at expense
of distortion. The Omnia.11 has broken down this wall where one
can dial in the punch and loudness to gather cume yet retain
the clarity to keep this new found audience listening longer.
44
CAN YOU TELL ME HOW OMNIA.11 HAS IMPROVED
MUSIC REPRODUCTION AND VOICE?
High-end clarity is the most noticeable improvement. Because
of that, we had to go back in and readjust all the mike processing as the talent became much brighter. This is a PD's dream
come true (pun intended!)
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HOW IS IT AN IMPROVEMENT OVER WHAT YOU WERE
PROCESSING WITH BEFORE?
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE OMNIA.11 TO OTHER
STATIONS? (NOT COMPETITION, OF COURSE!)
Our previous processor, which is a “latest and greatest” from
another company, has been relegated to the "B" chain. No matter which preset we tried, including all the new ones with the
new controls, nothing could equal the clarity of the Omnia.11.
Absolutely, and we have told many friends around the country of our great success with the Omnia.11. And, yes, at least
one of our competitors did find out what we are using and
installed an Omnia.11 here in Orlando right away!
HOW DOES WPOZ AUDIO QUALITY AND LOUDNESS STACK
UP AGAINST THE OTHER STATIONS IN THE MARKET
Let's see. We installed the Omnia.11's in January 2011 and,
since then, have been either number one or two in the ratings
monthlies ever since. We also noticed a couple of unbiased,
positive comments posted on the Orlando message board on
the website radio-info.com.
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
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45
OMNIA | CODED AUDIO
?=>911H5
[email protected]<5D5C?<ED9?>6?B1E49?CDB51=9>7
Hardware Requirements:
» 32-bit Windows XP and later » Minimum 512MB RAM
» 20MB free hard-drive space » Network Interface Card
Attain total control of your audio streams with Omnia A/XE, featuring genuine Omnia processing for your audio workstation.
Sound which is pure, clean and compelling.
Omnia A/XE can process audio for a variety of applications,
bitrate-reduced and linear. It runs in the background as a Windows service, can be fully-managed and configured remotely
with a web browser, and can even process and encode multiple
streams in various formats simultaneously.
Encode directly to MP3 or AAC, feed a Shoutcast-style or Windows Media Server in the MP3 format, or stream to Adobe Flash
clients through a Wowza Media Server. You can also pair Omnia
A/XE with your existing Windows Media, Real, mpgPRO or MP3
streaming encoder.
The new Virtual Patch Cable allows Omnia A/XE to receive, pro-
cess, and send audio to other software on the PC. Internally encoded Shoutcast or Wowza server streams can be “tagged” with
“now-playing” information received from automation systems
or another application. We’ve even built-in a scheduler to allow
streams to be started and stopped at specific times, as well as
processing presets can be changed on a schedule, perhaps processing the morning show differently than the afternoon one.
Included with A/XE is a license to the multi-channel version of the
Axia IP-Audio driver. Customers with a Livewire installation can
use the Axia IP-Audio driver to read or write audio directly from
the network without the need for hardware audio cards.
Omnia A/XE features adjustable wide-band AGC with a threeband compressor/limiter, IIF EQ and low-pass filter, and a precision look-ahead final limiter to prevent clipping. Resulting
streams are cleaner, clearer, and with more presence and detail.
WOLF KOYGYN, WOLFONTHENET.COM/KHWL
"The Omnia A/XE has breathed new life into our alternative rock streaming service. I bought one of
those familiar ‘radio station in a box’ automation solutions, but the built-in processing was pretty
lame. So, I bypassed the processing and encoding and popped in the Omnia A/XE for those portions
of the chain. Wow. I just can’t get over the improvement in sound quality."
46
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?=>916H5
[email protected]<<I5>79>[email protected]?431CD1>469<5?B979>1D9?>
Hardware Requirements:
» Windows XP and later » 20MB free hard-drive space
» Microsoft.NET client framework 4.0 » Internet access
Omnia F/XE is a file-based audio processor and encoder application. It combines Omnia audio processing with the Fraunhofer
MP3 and AAC codecs for high quality file prep for podcasting
or filebased streaming. For live processing and encoding, see
Telos ProStream (page 34) and Omnia A/XE (page 46). Omnia
F/XE is software only, no special cards are required. Able to read
PCM, WAV, MPEG Layer-2 and MPEG Layer-3 source files.
PLUS: » Featuring
genuine Omnia processing to improve audio
levels, loudness and perceived quality. » Can automatically send
the output file to an FTP server. » Will notify the user by email
if problems are detected. » Logs are kept during processing so
you can find the source of a problem. » Read metadata from external files and embed the information as ID3 tags in the output
files. » Encode the output audio using MP3 or AAC (including HE
AAC and HE AAC v2), or save linear PCM WAV audio files. » Core
processing and encoding uses high-performance, low memory
footprint, native application » Drop files on FileProcessor for
on-demand processing and encoding, or automate your work
using FolderBot to watch folders for new files and automatically process them as they arrive. » You can define multiple
configurations in FileProcessor. Each configuration can process
and encode the files with a different set of parameters or send
the output to different locations. This makes it easy to define
and reuse project-specific configurations. » FolderBot watches
one or more folders and automatically processes the files as
they are added to the folder. Files can be handled differently
based on the watched folder. CODECS: » MP3, AAC, HE-AAC,
HE-AAC v2. The highest quality codecs from Fraunhofer.
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
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47
OMNIA | CODED AUDIO
?=>91(h
5978D49C3B55D?=>[email protected]?35CC?BC
9>1C9>7<5>5DG?B;54E>9D
Wherever multiple instances of coded audio processing is re-
unique processing architecture is designed to work ahead of any
quired, you will find the Omnia.8x.
bit reduced audio coder to reduce artifacts and improve overall
Omnia.8x dramatically improves the sound of your streams with
the power, punch and purity of Omnia audio processing.
But Omnia.8x doesn’t process just one audio stream. Omnia.8x
combines eight separate 3-band stereo Omnia processors in a
single networked appliance for on-demand processing of multiple HD Radio channels, sat-casting, Internet audio, studio production, podcasting, headphone feeds, etc. Multiple audio processors
for full-bandwidth studio applications that require minimal-delay throughput and maximum audio quality.
audio integrity. Omnia.8x conditions and enhances to make sure
that your coded audio sounds as good to your listeners as it does
in your studio.
Connects to your Axia Network using a single CAT-6 cable for all
I/O; pair with an Axia Audio Node for use as a standalone multiple-stream audio processor. Second-generation DSP processing
platform is fan-free for cool, silent in-studio deployment and is
equipped with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, dual-redundant internal power supplies with automatic switching for complete peace
of mind. Auto-sensing power supplies, 90VAC to 240VAC, 50 Hz
We started with algorithms modeled after those used in our pop-
to 60 Hz. 100 Watts. Rackmount, 2RU. (Not designed for final AM
ular Omnia platform, then refined them even further. Omnia.8x’s
or FM transmitter processing).
KENT HATFIELD, VP TECHNOLOGY AND OPERATIONS WXXI ROCHESTER, NY
"We were very pleased with the results of the Omnias in the first two
streams, so we went with an Omnia ONE for the third. The audio quality is great, and the units have been very reliable and trouble-free. Just
plug them in, set them up and go."
48
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CDB51=9>7CE==1BI
?=>91)?=>91?>5=E<D931CD1>[email protected]?CDB51=
?=>91)
As well as processing for analog FM and HD/DAB, Omnia.9 can also encode
your internet streams (HD-1 is standard, HD-2 and HD-3 optional). It has
completely separate processing cores for analog and digital, and all popular
codecs are built in. Setting up internet streams can be troublesome. Omnia.9
puts the good, stable encoders right in the audio processor. It makes sense
since the audio is there already, it’s on the network already, and Omnia.9
has plenty of CPU left over to do it. Not only does it make setup a breeze, it
also ensures the absolute highest audio quality, because there is no chance
of glitches or audio degradation beyond what the chosen codec itself does.
Omnia.9 also has digital outputs to feed your existing HD encoders, however
it does not do the on-air HD/DAB encoding.
?=>91?>5=E<D931CD
Omnia ONE Multicast is a hardware solution, specially engineered for the
challenges of coded audio distribution.
Even very low bitrates can be effectively managed by Omnia Audio’s exclusive
6(168670 technology, a standard feature in the Omnia ONE Multicast.
6(1686 minimizes artifacts as well as restores the fullness and depth of
the audio transmission unlike no other method. 6(1686 enables the audio
processor to modify its own architecture in real time and in response to
ever-changing program content. Simply stated, 6(1686 has the ability to
“sense” what must be done to a signal in order to best tailor it for output
to a codec. As program content changes, it “rearranges the algorithms” to
accomplish this goal. The uniqueness of the 6(1686 technology makes it
highly suitable not only for codec pre-conditioning (or provisioning), but
also for a range of other highly specialized signal processing challenges.
Features include Wideband gain rider followed by Four Bands of AGC, Four
Bands of limiting and Omnia's proven low-distortion look-ahead Final Limiter.
Time-aligned, dynamically flat crossovers, selectable phase rotator, analog,
AES3 and Livewire I/O, automatic input failover on loss of audio. Full remote
control via RJ-45 Ethernet port using built-in web interface.
@B?CDB51=
With ProSTREAM, the professional Internet streaming solution from Telos,
you don’t need separate devices for audio processing, encoding and streaming; all of these functions are included in a single 1RU device. To make your
streaming audio sound its best, ProSTREAM first employs audio processing
from Omnia to ensure the smoothest, cleanest possible audio for your Internet stream. Processing functions include wideband AGC, 3-band combined
compressor/limiter, high-frequency equalization, an adjustable-bandwidth
low-pass filter, and a final Look-Ahead limiter. There's also exclusive 6(1686
technology that analyzes audio content and adapts processing algorithms
to optimize it for your selected bit-rate. After processing, ProSTREAM uses
genuine MPEG encoding algorithms from FhG, the inventors of MP3, to ensure the most artifact-free sound quality at whatever bit rate you choose.
You can encode directly to MP3 or MPEG-AAC, and feed any Shoutcast-compatible media server, or a Wowza server for streaming to Flash clients. ProSTREAM comes standard with studio-grade analog I/O, and also works with
Livewire IP-Audio systems, taking audio directly from your network.
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
OMNIAAUDIO.COM
49
7??=B149?
OMNIA | CODED AUDIO | APPLICATION ARTICLE | STEREO GENERATION
'[email protected]?G5B542I?=>91?>5=E<D931CD1>41H5
GOOM Radio is one of the world’s most popular streaming ser-
We are always hearing compliments about the quality of our
vices, with 7.2 million regular listeners each week tuning into sev-
streams from our audience.”
enty-four different programming choices from studios in Paris
and New York City.
Omnia ONE Multicast and Omnia AX/E are used exclusively to process every one of the fifty-three GOOM programs for France, and
the twenty-one GOOM Programs for the US in MP3 and HE AAC
stream formats.
SO, WHAT ABOUT SETUP?
Omnia ONE Multicast was very easy to set up. We started with a
factory preset and then — in some cases depending on the format of the stream — we adjusted the processor. The only limit is
where you want to stop and the loudness level you want to create. When you have a facility like GOOM with so many processors
GOOM’s audio consultant David Perreau explains why Omnia ONE
to set up, Omnia ONE is great because storing and uploading the
Multicast and Omnia A/XE were the choices across the board:
presets is very easy.”
“The main issues we can have with low bitrates when you broad-
David concluded: “I have never had a single problem with any of
cast with MP3 or MP4, is the fact that if your processor works
the Omnia ONEs or Omnia A/XEs that we have at GOOM Paris and
more on the density aspect to create loudness, you will hear
GOOM New York City.”
more artifacts on the program material. Ordinary processors
have this problem.
With the Omnia ONE — and its exclusive 6(168670 algorithm
designed especially for lower bitrates — the processor works
more on the dynamics aspect to create loudness, to control the
The high quality streams of GOOM — powered by Omnia ONE
Multicast and Omnia A/XE can be accessed at:
GOOMRADIO.US (NEW YORK)
GOOMRADIO.FR (PARIS)
output of the audio stage and to increase the punch and the dy-
And don’t forget to check out audio consultant
namics of our sound. The final result sounds punchy, with no arti-
David Perreau’s site at: WWW.YAKUDAAUDIO.COM
facts. We actually use the high quality of our streams as a selling
point because they sound so good.
DAVID PERREAU, AUDIO CONSULTANT, YAKUDA AUDIO
50
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Omnia.SG lets you keep the on-air processor at the studio,
where it's convenient, while keeping stereo generation at the
transmitter, where it belongs.
This synchronization is achieved through the use of a GPS re-
Designed to compliment your existing audio processing,
Omnia.SG is modeled after the same stereo generator used in
Omnia audio processors. Omnia.SG provides stereo generation
and includes a selectable composite clipper and base-band
filter for crisp, clean loudness.
The GPS clock sync is used, for example, when a station puts
It's the best of both worlds: clear, digital stereo generation and
the convenience of locating your processing at the studio.
tion, noise, and the stereo pilot detector may switch back and
ceiver with a 10Mhz clock input, easily deployed at each station's transmitter site.
a booster on the same frequency to fill behind a mountain or
tall buildings which block the main transmitter, but is in the
primary service area. Unless the stereo encoders are precisely
synchronized at both transmitter sites, there could be distorforth between the two stations noisily, along with other potentially annoying behavior when a listener is in a spot where
both signals are received equally. The Omnia.SG with clock
?=>91C7G9D83<?3;CI>3
sync option eliminates this problem by synchronizing the
As an option, Omnia.SG can now be ordered with a built-in GPS
clock sync, designed to assist with the synchronization of stations that are on the same frequency, or on closely-spaced adjacent frequencies.
sites precisely via GPS.
Omnia.SG users can update to include the GPS clock sync option.
Contact Omnia Audio for details.
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OMNIA | FM-STEREO TRANSMISSION | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
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ABSTRACT
FM-Stereo transmission, employed in worldwide broadcasting,
proposals, decided upon a system that was of similar design from
has been in place since 1961. The system uses double sideband
both Zenith and General Electric.
suppressed carrier (DSBSC), within the multiplex baseband signal, as means to transport the stereo sound field to the receiver.
This method, while robust and reliable, is prone to the effects
of multipath. This paper will discuss an optional method utilizing single sideband suppressed carrier (SSBSC) modulation as
an alternative for broadcasters. SSBSC is backward compatible
with existing radio receivers. Benefits which are perceptible to
a listener include: a reduction in multipath induced distortion,
The rules governing stereophonic performance have not been altered since the mid 1980’s (in the USA) when they were modified
to allow an additional 0.5% total modulation (maximum of 110%
total), for every 1% of SCA modulation, when an SCA was being
utilized. The rules governing the requirements of the FM-Stereo
baseband signal are quite explicit, and leave little room for improvement of the stereo transmission system.
additional protection to spectrum used for RBDS, SCA, and HD
A quick refresher course on FM-Stereo transmission, courtesy of
Radio® signals. There is an additional, separate benefit in the re-
subpart 73, of the FCC Rules and Regulations:
ceiver which improves the signal-to-noise ratio when SSBSC is
transmitted and the receiver is designed to capture the SSBSC
§ 73.322 FM stereophonic sound transmission standards.
signal. SSBSC for FM-Stereo has been deployed recently, under
a. An FM broadcast station shall not use 19kHz +/-20Hz, ex-
experimental authorization from the FCC, with ongoing testing in
cept as the stereophonic pilot frequency in a transmission
the lab, and in the field.
system meeting the following parameters:
COMPETING FOR EVERY POSSIBLE LISTENER
1. The modulating signal for the main channel consists of
FM radio has a good fight on its hands. As a media transom to the
public, it battles a multitude of additional delivery services like
never before. Until recently, the competition was from television,
phonograph records, compact discs, or tape. Actually FM-Stereo
has outlived numerous media forms such as the long playing re-
the sum of the right and left signals.
2. The pilot subcarrier at 19kHz +/-2Hz, must frequency
modulate the main carrier between the limits of 8 and
10 percent.
cord (LP), cassette and 8-track tape, mini-disc, soon the compact
3. One stereophonic subcarrier must be the second har-
disc (CD), as well as a few others. Now, with the advent of good
monic of the pilot subcarrier (i.e., 38kHz) and must cross
quality portable audio playback devices, and wireless streaming,
the time axis with a positive slope simultaneously with
there are many additional franchises available to steal the listen-
each crossing of the time axis by the pilot subcarrier. Ad-
er away from radio. What can FM radio do, technically, to improve
ditional stereophonic subcarriers are not precluded.
sonic performance so a listener has less reason to abandon it as
an outlet?
HD Radio® was introduced to the marketplace within the last
ten years, and it’s still trying to make an impact on the casual
listener. What’s needed, in the meantime, is an improvement to
the existing infrastructure, which does not require any change or
added expense to the listener. Within present day radio listening,
FM is still the preferred choice. Recent technical research and development unveiled a unique way to improve the performance of
FM-Stereo. What follows is the result of those efforts, along with
a recommendation for FM broadcasting.
4. Double sideband, suppressed-carrier, amplitude modulation of the stereophonic subcarrier at 38kHz must be used.
5. The stereophonic subcarrier at 38kHz must be suppressed
to a level less than 1% modulation of the main carrier.
6. The modulating signal for the required stereophonic
subcarrier must be equal to the difference of the left and
right signals.
7. The following modulation levels apply:
i. When a signal exists in only one channel of a two
channel (biphonic) sound transmission, modulation
SILVER ANNIVERSARY OF FM-STEREO
of the carrier by audio components within the base-
In April of 2011, it marked 50 years since the Federal Communica-
band range of 50Hz to 15kHz shall not exceed 45%
tions Commission (FCC) approved FM stereophonic transmission
and modulation of the carrier by the sum of the am-
in the United States. The Commission, after evaluating fourteen
plitude modulated subcarrier in the baseband range
of 23kHz to 53kHz shall not exceed 45%.
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ii. When a signal exists in only one channel of a stereo-
Note the 30kHz difference in the L-R subcarrier of the two side-
phonic sound transmission having more than one
bands located at 23kHz and 53kHz. This is generated by the DS-
stereophonic subcarrier in the baseband, the modu-
BSC process of (38kHz – 15kHz) for the lower sideband at 23kHz,
lation of the carrier by audio components within the
and (38kHz + 15kHz) for the upper sideband at 53kHz. During an
audio baseband range of 23kHz to 99kHz shall not ex-
instance of multipath, as the multiple reflections of the FM car-
ceed 53% with total modulation not to exceed 90%.
rier arrive at, and then become demodulated in the receiver, the
The FM-Stereo system, as described above, has worked quite
well for 50 years, but not without challenges. Most notable is
multipath distortion, especially in areas of congested buildings,
hills, and/or mountainous terrain. Also, radio broadcasters have
added incremental signals within the multiplexed spectra. Radio
Data Services (RBDS) based at 57kHz, as well as a 92kHz SCA can
time delay difference created by the multiple carrier reflections
will offset the phase of the upper and lower sidebands. During
the demodulation process and decoding, stereo separation at
these frequencies is reduced, along with generated distortion, as
the recovered L-R level is negatively altered due to phase shift
brought on by multipath.
additionally occupy the signal. The modulation index of the FM
Bandwidth of the conventional analog FM channel is allocated for
carrier is further reduced with each and every added signal, thus
99kHz of spectrum use. The FM-Stereo system requires 53kHz
increasing the sensitivity of multipath distortion in the receiver.
(0Hz – 53kHz) of this available real estate. The remaining 46kHz
Since the inception of stereophonic broadcasting, there has been
no technical change to the infrastructure of the Zenith/GE system at all. The FCC rules are quite specific regarding the multiplex
spectrum, and its interoperability as a system. Considering the
above mentioned challenges, and the alternatives a listener now
has, it makes practical, as well as good business sense to inves-
(53kHz – 99kHz) is used for RBDS and SCA services. Common
practice requires the use of audio processing to insure proper
peak level and bandwidth control of the various signals present
in the multiplex spectrum. Current generation processors are capable of creating near-theoretical multiplex signals. In these cases, there are little, if any, transmission difficulties for the signal.
tigate improvements to the present system. It stands to reason
Some broadcasters choose to employ a form of processing
that any means proposed must be backward compatible with ex-
known as composite clipping. This technique inserts a hard lim-
isting stereo receivers. After 50 years of marriage to FM, a silver
iter (clipper) at the output of the stereo baseband generator,
anniversary present seems to be in order!
and will induce up to as much as 3dB of clipping to the multiplex
signal. These devices provide no additional filtering to remove
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES FOR FM-STEREO
unwanted harmonic content from the clipping process. The ad-
Multipath is easily the largest annoyance to a radio listener. Broad-
ditional harmonics will cover the entire 46kHz, and beyond, used
cast markets located in cities with many large downtown build-
for RBDS and SCA services. This creates interference and distor-
ings, and/or mountainous terrain, suffer even more on account of
tion to those signals. Also, these harmonics may interfere with
it. Increased multipath is a direct result of low modulation index
the digital carriers generated for HD Radio, as these carriers are
within the FM carrier. As more spectra is utilized within the multi-
set 120kHz out from the main channel carrier.
plex signal, the index of the carrier is reduced. The following condition creates maximum stress of the FM-Stereo system, and gener-
Alternate Approach: Single Sideband Suppressed Carrier (SSBSC)
ates the lowest modulation index: A single audio channel, either
What if we were to take the FM multiplex signal that looks like the
Left or Right only, utilizes the most amount of spectra within the
one in Figure-2 …and transmit it like the one in Figure-3.
system. By example, a 15kHz tone in the left channel only, will produce multiplex spectra at 15kHz, 19kHz (stereo pilot tone), 23kHz,
Figure-2
and 53kHz. Each of these signals will reduce the modulation index
to its smallest level, which increases sensitivity to multipath in the
receiver. Figure–1 is an illustration of this.
Figure-1, 15kHz, Left channel only
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Figure-3
1950’s. A possible reason why DSBSC was chosen over SSBSC
was in part due to the complexity involved to design and build
OMNIA | FM-STEREO TRANSMISSION | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
SSBSC circuitry, reliably, in the world of analog electronics. Even
though SSB technology has been utilized considerably in communications overall, it does require additional technical attention, when deployed in the analog realm. There was some work
done on this topic during the mid 1980’s in New York City [2]. It
appears that effort encountered various challenges due to the
state of analog technology available at that time.
Today, SSBSC generation, and decoding is easily accomplished
An alternative approach for stereo transmission would be the
use of single sideband suppressed carrier (SSBSC) as the mechanism to carry to the L-R payload. The lower sideband is chosen
as it reduces the occupied spectrum from 53kHz down to 38kHz.
In order to support the correct L+R/L-R matrixing in the receiver,
the amplitude of the lower sideband is increased by 6dB. This offers numerous benefits to the receiver:
1. Reduction of occupied bandwidth in the L-R subchannel
range increases the FM modulation index by a factor of two.
This directly reduces multipath distortion.
2. Narrows the overall FM transmission bandwidth and re-
reliably, with digital designs that are possible on numerous platforms. Prior to advances in algorithm development, and firmware, SSBSC – while possible – was not an easy implementation.
Hence the reason it’s been awhile, since 1997, before the concept
is capable of coming to life.
TECH FINDINGS
Implementing SSB modulation of the L-R signal is relatively easy
to accomplish using DSP. Figure–4 is a spectral diagram of a 15kHz
single channel tone using DSBSC system. Figure–5 is the same
condition, except SSBSC modulation is utilized.
Figure–4, 15kHz tone, single channel, DSBSC
duces degradation of stereo performance caused by finite
bandwidth of passband filters, cavities, multiplexing systems, and antennas. If adopted internationally, this further
benefits broadcasters where 100kHz channel spacing is
used in some countries, as compared to the 200kHz spacing used here in the USA.
3. Creates additional and significant protection for RBDS, SCA,
and HD Radio signals. Note: With the HD Radio power increase, reduction of the composite spectrum benefits conventional receivers due to less demodulation overlap of the
HD Radio signal.
4. Backward compatible with all existing modulation moni-
Figure–5, 15kHz tone, single channel, SSBSC
toring systems.
5. Backward compatible with conventional receivers.
6. Less harmonic content generated throughout the channel spectrum when composite clipping is employed in the
transmission audio processor.
7. Improvement of demodulated signal-to-noise (SNR) by 4dB
in receiver, when SSB is transmit, and multiplex decoder is
of SSB design.
The concept of utilizing SSB modulation for the L-R payload is not
without precedent. A white paper [1] on SSBSC transmission was
presented by William Gillman at the 1997 NAB Engineering Confer-
54
ence. Reviewing Mr. Gillman’s paper, and subsequent testing by
Note the 6dB increase in level of the SSB carrier in Figure–3. This
this author, confirms his findings. Since 1997, when Mr. Gillman’s
illustrates the manner in which the L+R/L-R mathematics are up-
paper was published, technological advances in transmission
held, when decoded in the receiver.
firmware makes this concept much more plausible.
Easy to observe the significant difference in spectrum used. The
In researching SSBSC for this paper, it was a considered method
DSBSC method forces the single channel condition of 15kHz to
during development and testing of FM-Stereo during the late
exist across a broad range. The fundamental is at 15kHz, and the
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two sidebands are at 23kHz and 53kHz respectively. The DSBSC
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Figure-10, DSBSC, 15kHz L-Ch, +/-75kHz Dev
example illustrates the fragility in faithful reproduction of stereophonic high frequencies during instances of multipath. The
group delay at 15kHz, 23kHz, and 53kHz becomes non-linear, during multipath, and this is why stereophonic high frequencies are
so fragile, and easily distort, during multipath.
Compare the spectra of Figure–4 with that of Figure–5. The close
proximity of the 15kHz fundamental and the 23kHz SSB carrier improves high frequency robustness during multipath. Due to the
closeness of these two frequencies, there is less adverse affect
when multipath non-linearity is in existence, thereby high frequency stereophonic performance is audibly improved.
RF CHANNEL OCCUPANCY
SSB subchannel modulation enables efficient FM channel occupancy. The following examples illustrate FM deviation at +/75kHz.
Figure-11, Peak Level, 15kHz, L-Ch
Using the Bessel null method, 31,189.4Hz creates the first carrier
null, when +/-75kHz deviation is achieved. As a reference level,
Figure-8 illustrates the deviated RF spectrum, and Figure-9 the
input peak level at the modulator.
Figure-8, +/-75kHz Deviation, 31,189.4Hz
Next, a SSBSC composite signal comprising 15kHz in a single
channel, 19kHz pilot, and lower sideband of 23kHz are depicted in
Figure-12 showing RF deviation at +/-75kHz, and Figure-13 showing peak modulation level.
Figure-12, SSBSC, 15kHz L-Ch, +/-75kHz Dev
Figure-9, Peak Level, 31,189.4Hz
A DSBSC composite signal comprising 15kHz in a single channel,
19kHz pilot, lower/upper sidebands of 23kHz and 53kHz are depicted in Figure-10 showing RF deviation at +/-75kHz, and Figure-11
showing peak modulation level.
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Figure-13, Peak Level, 15kHz, L-Ch
SSBSC AND MODULATION PEAK CONTROL
Implementing SSB can be accomplished using numerous tech-
OMNIA | FM-STEREO TRANSMISSION | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
niques. The most common method is through use of the Hilbert
function, where a 90 degree broadband phase shift is used to
cancel the undesired sideband. It can also be achieved using
a Weaver modulator, or a low pass filter set to critically limit
the desired passband, and the undesired sideband is removed
through filtering. All of these methods provide satisfactory
SSB operation, but there is a critical element that must be considered…peak control of the overall MPX signal. In each of the
afore-mentioned SSB methods, there will be alteration to the
phase relationship of the sideband signal. This alone will generate overshoot to MPX encoded signal [3]. It is paramount that
SSB modulation must not add any overshoot to the signal, and
it must not add any unwanted non-linear components, in the
Notice the reduction in utilized RF spectrum. The signal shown
form of audible overshoot peak limited harmonic content, i.e.
in Figure–12 will pass through narrow cavities, combiners, and
clipping by-products. The sonic performance of the SSBSC mod-
mal-adjusted antennas with better stereo performance than the
ulator must perform sonically, exactly the same as the DSBSC
broader signal shown in Figure–10.
counterpart. Switching from DSBSC mode to SSBSC should not
Additionally, there are less sideband pairs of the carrier signal.
Less sideband pairs equates to less signals, which can be interfered with during instances of multipath.
In the United States, FM channel spacing is maintained at 200kHz.
This is a bit of a luxury compared to the rest of the world where
channel spacing is usually 100kHz. Consider the probability of
less channel-to-channel interference when SSBSC transmission
could be used. This would appear to be an improved alternative
to the ITU BS-412 MPX power regulation, which is now in force in
change the resulting sound in stereo separation, audio quality,
and peak control.
Theory indicates that a 90 degree phase network, in the form of
a Hilbert filter will cause overshoot to a square wave. What’s interesting is by adding a second Hilbert function, the overshoot
is removed, and the square wave is recovered. Use of the double
Hilbert function has been referred to as the “Dilbert” function [4].
An example of this is provided in Figure-15.
Figure-15, Hilbert Affect on Square Waves
some European countries.
method is added spectral protection to RBDS, SCA, and HD Radio
services as observed in Figure–14. Single channel only pink noise
is used to generate the baseband signal with SSBSC modulation.
Notice the extremely wide guard band that exists between 38kHz
Normalized Amplitude
2
Another mentioned benefit SSB brings to the transmission
1
0
-1
-2
and where the first SCA carrier would appear at 57kHz. The reduc-3
tion in cross-talk to ancillary services is exceptional!
0
0.001
0.002
0.003
0.004
0.005
0.006
0.007
Time (Seconds)
Figure-14, Reduction in Cross-Talk to Ancillary Services.
400 Hz Band Limited Squarewave
Hilbert Transform of Squarewave
Dilbert Transform of Squarewave
Just as an audio processor is known to employ non-audible
methods to eliminate peak overshoots in the required 15kHz
low pass filters, there are non-audible algorithms employed
in the SSBSC generator which insures that any overshoots are
eliminated, and done so without any sonic change or affect to
audio quality. Figure-16 is a screen capture from a digital oscilloscope that was measuring real world MPX signal at the output
of an audio processor. Figure-17 is the spectral reproduction of
the same signal. Note exceptional peak control along with the
well maintained spectrum around the 19kHz pilot, and the sharp
drop off after 38kHz.
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It has been theoretically calculated [5], and technically demon-
Figure-16, MPX Peak Control, SSBSC
strated, there is roughly a 4dB broadband improvement in recovered signal-to-noise performance of the SSBSC transmit/receive
function, as compared to the conventional DSB transmit/receive
iteration. When transmitting SSBSC, and decoding only the lower
sideband spectra (23kHz – 38kHz), an interesting event occurs.
Stereophonic noise is about 10dB better for decoded 15kHz. This
is due to the frequency inversion of the lower sideband. The triangular noise is lower at 23kHz, where 15kHz resides in the lower
sideband region of the L-R signal, as compared to lower frequencies, which are located near 38kHz and triangular noise is greater.
Figure-17, MPX Spectra, SSBSC
Figure-19 is the recovered noise floor of a DSBSC transmission/
reception. Compare the amplitude of the noise floor at 15kHz in
this figure with that of Figure-20, which is the recovered noise
floor of a SSBSC transmit/receive system.
Figure-19, Recovered Noise, DSB
SSBSC AND DECODED SIGNAL-TO-NOISE
Another known challenge for the system is the compromised signal-to-noise (SNR) level when broadcasting stereo. FM transmission noise will rise in a triangular fashion at 6dB per octave over
the channel’s passband range of 0Hz-99kHz. This is the product
of the modulation/demodulation process. The use of preemphasis in transmission, along with complementary deemphasis in
demodulation, improves the high frequency noise response. It
has been generally accepted that FM-Stereo suffers a 23dB overall noise penalty compared to monophonic broadcasting. This is
due to the rising noise floor over the subcarrier range of 23kHz
Figure-20, Recovered Noise, SSB
– 53kHz, as compared to the SNR over the range of 0Hz – 15kHz,
which is used for mono. Figure–18 is an illustration of the composite baseband signal, and it shows the 6dB/octave noise floor
slope of an FM channel, as it would appear at the output of an IF
section in a receiver.
Figure-18, FM System Noise Plot
Consider the annoying hiss a listener hears at the output of the
FM receiver. The predominant range of audible hiss is the high
frequencies. As observed in Figure-18, there’s an improvement
of 10dB in signal-to-noise in the audible hiss range. Hopefully,
this might encourage receiver manufacturers to consider adding
SSB decoding into conventional receivers. The above test results
were realized using a SSBSC stereo decoder designed and implemented, real time, in MatLab by the author.
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Figure-22, SSBSC
REAL WORLD ACTIVITY: IN THE FIELD, AND IN THE LAB
OMNIA | FM-STEREO TRANSMISSION | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
Transmitting SSBSC modulation of the FM-Stereo signal can be
done right now! Software exists to implement this method today. One minor item must be addressed: FCC rule 73.322, section
(A), subpart (4) which states “Double sideband, suppressed-carrier, amplitude modulation of the stereophonic subcarrier at 38
kHz must be used.” Seems there was a time, when rule 73.322(A)
(4) was required. Times have changed. Both transmission and reception firmware have improved significantly to enable a change
Notice there is virtually no difference between the two plots.
in the rules and regulations governing FM-Stereo, at least to al-
Had multipath distortion been more severe for either mode,
low the use of SSBSC as an option for the broadcaster.
the amount of crosstalk into the Right channel would have in-
At present, based on the theory, testing, and findings presented here, the FCC allows Experimental Authority (EA) operation,
which enables broadcasters to implement the SSBSC transmission method. Benefit occurs immediately to those whom employ
SSBSC, especially those in areas of rough terrain with significant hills, and mountains. As of this writing, SSBSC is on-theair in multiple major markets, and all users report a reduction
in perceived multipath. The general consensus is how a mobile
receiver operates less in the blend function. As the radio comes
out of blend, when SSBSC is used, the appearance of added high
frequency content is perceived. Many radios reduce the high
frequency range, along with blending stereo separation during
creased. This test therefore indicates that SSBSC offers no perceivable degradation to the FM service signal.
TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL…
In addition to those broadcasters whom are using SSBSC under
an EA from the FCC, there is continued testing being done in the
lab. The topic is also an active action item within the AM FM Audio Broadcast (AFAB) sub-group of the National Radio Systems
Committee (NRSC). As with any consideration to possibly change
the rules, testing, data gathering, and system evaluation must
be done. Additionally, viability must be shown to indicate public
benefit.
instances of multipath. In some cases the change is quite notice-
To this extent, criteria has been brought forward to propose
able, and in others it has been observed to be a small improve-
tests which would help answer questions regarding the feasibil-
ment. It should be noted that severe multipath will cause annoy-
ity of SSBSC as an optional transmission method to the present
ance to either form of transmission: DSBSC and SSBSC.
means. What follows is the body from a paper offered by John
While most feedback is of the subjective anecdotal variety, there
Kean, of NPR Labs.
has been some initial lab testing done to determine, at the very
“Conversion to a single-sideband suppressed carrier stereo sub-
least, if SSBSC offers any degradation to FM service. Using a mul-
channel for FM broadcasting represents a technical change in
tipath generator, that offered repeatable multipath profiles in a
terms of FCC rules that is sufficient to require thorough docu-
controlled environment, it was possible to gather data from a re-
mentation in the public record. Indeed, comments filed recently
ceiver operating under an impaired signal. Testing was done with
with the NRSC suggest that while a SSBSC system may offer
DSBSC and repeated for SSBSC. A simple test of transmitting a
benefits, such as reduced noise and interference to IBOC digital
1kHz tone in a single channel, and then monitoring the recovered
sidebands, the system also may increase FM audio distortion un-
Left/Right channels in a mobile receiver would indicate any deg-
der multipath reception conditions [2][3]. These potential issues
radation between DSBSC and SSBSC. The test was done over a
should be evaluated objectively and made available to the radio
twenty-four second period. Figure-21 illustrates the plot of the
industry through the NRSC. This paper discusses a suggested ap-
transmit 1kHz tone in the Left channel, along with any crosstalk
proach for tests that can determine the compatibility of SSBSC,
that spilled over into the Right channel due to hits of multipath.
as well as potential improvements offered by SSBSC.
The multipath instances can be observed as the sections of the
Left channel where the signal degrades. Figure-22 is the result of
the same test done in SSBSC mode.
Figure-21, DSBSC
Evaluation of a new transmission standard may be considered in
three main areas:
» Receiving compatibility with the host station’s signal
» Potential for reception enhancements
» Effect on stations on adjacent frequencies
(allocation compatibility)
The first area, compatibility with the host, may be considered for
the following:
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» Stereo FM
Coverage enhancement is a simpler, and optional, consideration.
» SCA subcarriers (including digital SCAs)
The improvements could be determined by changes in audio
signal-to-noise ratio with stereo FM receivers equipped with
» RBDS digital subcarriers
suitable SSBSC decoders. NPR Labs’ standard approach uses a
» Extended Hybrid IBOC sidebands
frequency-weighted quasi-peak psophometer, compliant with
ITU-R Recommendation 468-1, which correlates well with listen-
SSBSC generates modulation peak overshoots and increased
er’s assessments of noise-limited reception. A more comprehen-
sideband amplitudes, at least theoretically, which may increase
sive test would include multipath reception conditions, to ensure
audio distortion of the demodulated FM signal under multi-
that the potential improvements are not degraded by multipath
path reception conditions. It is essential, then, to test the above
propagation effects.
transmission modes with multipath propagation. NPR Labs has
worked extensively with both over-the-air and laboratory-simulated multipath; in our experience, laboratory simulated multipath can be made indistinguishable from over-the-air multipath
conditions, and they avoid the signal instability, environmental
noise and signal interference that hinder the accurate comparisons. These other degradations can be added in controlled
amounts to the receiver under test, if desired, although they do
not appear to be necessary for this testing.
The test of effects to reception on first and second-adjacent
channels is conducted similar to the above: WQPSNR is measured by psophometer as the ratio of undesired (SSBSC) carrier
to desired carrier is varied. The RF protection ratio at which the
same WQPSNR is achieved with SSBSC, relative to standard DSBSC, is noted. The undesired carrier should be modulated by an audio program signal, or simulated program signal, that represents
the RF spectral occupancy of typical FM stations. More than one
program modulation could be considered, such as high-density
The difficulty with fixed multipath scenarios, whether over-the-
music and low-density music. The test matrix would tabulate the
air (stationary) or simulated, is that they represent only one
change in RF protection ratios against a variety of receiver types.
condition, requiring measurements or audio sample recordings
Again, a more comprehensive test should introduce multipath
with many separate amplitudes and phases of the “paths” to
profiles to the matrix to ensure that multipath propagation does
represent the scenario. NPR Labs has been successful in putting
not increase the RF protection ratio” [6].
the scenario “into motion,” causing the scenario to pass through
many combinations of amplitudes and phases within one time
interval of the multipath simulator. Multipath profiles should
As of this writing, the author is in the process of assembling a
proposal for the AFAB subgroup of the NRSC that will propose
formalized industry testing of the SSBSC transmission method.
include an urban condition (short path delays with higher amplitudes), rural (longer path delays with lower amplitudes relative
to the direct path) and a no-multipath condition.
IN CLOSING…
An opportunity presents itself to our industry. The chance to im-
The time interval of the multipath simulator, including multipath
prove the sonic performance of conventional FM-Stereo radio.
fading, can provide an audio sample for assessment by listeners
Even if a subtle improvement, through reduction of perceived
in a controlled subjective test. Listeners provide the basis for fair
multipath, offers the possibility of people listening longer to FM
and understandable ratings of reception quality. NPR Labs has
radio, everyone gains. Together, equipment designers, receiver
also used Fast Fourier Transform analysis to produce frequency
manufacturers and broadcasters can work together to further
distribution histograms from digital (wave file) recordings of
investigate the viability of SSBSC as an optional transmission
the multipath interval, thereby providing an objective measure
method. Thus far, the initial results look very positive, based on
of the distortion products. Either method is appropriate to this
feedback from broadcasters. It is possible that some hurdle ex-
study: the listener-based tests are more expensive but simpler to
ists, and hopefully through joint, mutual effort of our industry,
interpret, while the FFT analysis is faster and permits more con-
we’ll be able to determine what to do, should that be the case.
ditions to be tested.
It must be noted there is an extremely large and positive interest in this topic. Should the reader desire to become involved,
It is important to test reception compatibility with a variety of
please contact this author, or a member of the AFAB subgroup
receivers, as the impacts may vary with the internal architec-
of the NRSC.
ture and performance of the receiver. A test matrix involving the
quality rating with different multipath profiles for each receiver
After 50 years of stellar operation, a modification to the rules
would be an appropriate output to demonstrate the levels of
and regulations governing FM-Stereo, would be a wonderful way
compatibility. The matrix could include other processing condi-
to celebrate this technology! More importantly, the benefactors
tions for the SSBSC transmission as well.
are the general public-radio listeners, as audible annoyances will
be suppressed, and in some cases, eliminated. At a time when
Testing compatibility with RBDS and IBOC DAB are simpler since
broadcasters are looking to find every possible way to enhance
the failure of digital reception can be used to determine the po-
their customers (the listener’s) experience, this change in the
tential impact of SSBSC transmission. It is possible that severe
rules would benefit everyone. This concept offers total upside,
degradation of analog FM stereo occurs before failure of digital
with – as of yet -no downside at all.
reception. This would simplify the extent of these tests.
For references and acknowledgements see:
omniaaudio.com/downloads/white-papers/MPX-SSB-White-Paper.pdf
AUDIO PROCESSING | FM | FM+HD | AM | MULTICASTING | CODED AUDIO | STUDIO APPLICATIONS
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AXIA
Ever since Axia introduced broadcasters to the world of
studio IP-Audio, we've been having a blast. Early on, there
were future-minded broadcasters who got it right away.
Others took some time to appreciate the power and flexibility of networked audio. Now of course, the technology
has become so successful, it's hard to find anyone not
planning or installing AoIP studios.
It's mainstream tech now, and other companies have
hopped on the bandwagon, but Axia remains the most
popular approach to IP-Audio by a wide margin: there
are more than 3000 Axia consoles and 25,000 Livewire
equipped broadcast devices in service around the world
every day. Maybe it's because we invented the technology.
Or maybe it's because we keep inventing cool things.
Take, for instance, our new xNodes: compact second-generation IP-Audio interfaces that fit in half the space of first
generation nodes. With dual redundant Ethernet ports and
power sources. They can operate on Power over Ethernet
links, sync to IEEE 1588 clocks, and have audio performance
specs that would make recording engineers jealous.
We also keep expanding our selection of mixing consoles,
like the modular Element (the most popular IP console in
the world), the full featured mid-size iQ and Radius, and
the new, compact, fits anywhere RAQ and DESQ 6 fader
consoles.
We’ve taken the hassle out of IP-Audio by putting a zeroconfiguration, built-for-broadcast network switch in our
PowerStation and QOR integrated console engines. These
devices speed IP console installation by aggregating the
console CPU, power supply, DSP mixing engine and loads
of audio and logic I/O into a single, fanless rack unit that
can be quickly deployed anywhere.
There's IP Intercom, the only intercom system for broadcast that uses IP-Audio to easily connect intercom stations
around your plant and connect those stations directly to
your on air console, allowing talent to take broadcast quality intercom audio to air at a moment's notice.
There are new products from Telos that connect to Livewire
networks, like the VX broadcast VoIP talkshow system and
the iQ6 six-line system that integrate into Axia consoles using just one CAT-5 cable for audio, control and mix-minus.
And ProSTREAM, the networked streaming appliance that
can process and encode audio directly from your network,
then send it to your streaming provider for delivery to thousands of Internet listeners.
And we’ve opened our technology with the ground
breaking Livewire Limited License, sharing Livewire's inner
workings with a host of broadcast technology companies eager to include Livewire connections on their own
broadcast hardware and software products.
As you're planning studio upgrades in the future, remember:
Axia offers the most complete line of products, the most
advanced technology, the most compatible partners, and is
backed by the largest and most driven group of AoIP fanatics
you'll find anywhere.
Michael “Catfish” Dosch
President, Axia Audio
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AXIA | CONSOLES
5<5=5>D
31>1B149?3?>C?<525?F5B5>79>55B54/
?><I96I?ED89>;7??45>?E78B51<<I9C7??45>?E78
SILVER
BRONZE
Building great consoles is more than punching holes in sheet
metal and stuffing a few switches in them. Building a great
console takes time, brain-power and determination. That’s
why we’ve hired brilliant engineers who are certified “OCD”:
Obsessive Console Designers, driven to create the most useful,
powerful, hardest-working consoles in the world. And that description certainly fits Axia’s modular Element 2.0 mixing console. Scalable from 2 to 40 faders, Element is the ultra-reliable
dynamo at the center of over 3000 Axia-powered broadcast
studios around the world.
We launched Axia in 2003 to make digital mixing consoles —
but with a twist: Axia consoles would be integrated with the
routing switcher, and networked to share resources and capabilities throughout the studio complex. This intelligent network of studio devices gives your talent consoles that are more
powerful and easier to use than ever. Our team of engineers
blended the best ideas from old-school analog consoles with
innovative new technology to produce bullet-proof boards that
can actually make shows run smoother and sound better.
And we invented a way to network studios, consoles and audio equipment using Ethernet. It’s called Livewire, and it’s now
an industry standard. Livewire carries hundreds of channels
of real-time, uncompressed audio plus synchronized control
logic and program-associated data on just one skinny CAT-6
cable. And, because Axia networks are intelligent Ethernet-
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based routing systems, machine logic always follows source
audio. Simply load a source on any fader – in any studio – and
that fader’s controls are immediately communicating with the
source device. Thanks to this scalable network technology, integrated router control is a standard feature of every Element.
Board-ops told us they wanted a powerful console that’s still
easy to use: user-friendly, but with all the power of a full-on
production board. Element is! Show Profiles can recall each operator’s favorite settings with the push of a button — audio
sources, fader assignments, monitor settings and more. Each
jock’s Show Profile contains personalized mic processing and
voice EQ settings that load every time they’re on the air (so the
midday guy will stop badgering you for “just a little more low
end”). There’s even a “panic button”: one key-press returns a
Show Profile to its default state instantly.
Powerful? You bet. Element has 4 Program buses plus 4 Aux
sends and 2 Aux returns, and 16 5-channel “virtual mixer” that
lets you mix multiple audio streams using virtual faders. Every
voice channel has studio-grade compression, de-essing and
gating courtesy of the processing experts at Omnia, plus threeband parametric EQ. There’s even built-in headphone processing to save the cost of a separate side-chain.
More convenience: fully-automatic mix-minuses; one for each
fader if you need it. Mix-minus settings are saved for each
audio source, so that sources, backfeed and machine logic all
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load at once. And every fader has a “Talkback” key to communicate with phone callers, remote talent or other studios
using the console mic.
Axia’s Livewire Ethernet backbone makes it easy to integrate
and control all kinds of different devices on the same network
and those controls are right on the console, where they’re most
useful. For instance, phone hybrid modules with dedicated faders to control Telos talkshow systems; there’s even a dial pad
so jocks can dial, pick up, screen and drop calls without diverting their attention from the console.
Our IP Intercom system connects to the Livewire network
too; drop-in Element modules place multi-station intercom
controls right at jocks’ fingertips too. Talent can now easily
figuration changes. With our new SoftSurface companion software, you can even take direct remote control of Element from
your office, home, or anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
There’s more to building a great board than just features, of
course. Consoles have to perform flawlessly 24/7, 365 days-a
year, for years at a time. So Element is fabricated from thick,
machined aluminum extrusions for rigidity and RF immunity.
Power supplies are hardened for reliable, continuous uptime,
and fan-less for silent in-studio operation. Modules are hotswappable, of course. Silky-smooth conductive-plastic faders
actuate from the side, so grunge can’t get in. High-end optical rotary encoders mean no wipers to get dirty or wear out.
And our avionics-grade switches are rated for more than 5
million operations.
take broadcast-quality intercom audio directly to air with just
a couple of button-presses.
You can administer Element remotely, a password-protected web
server lets you examine the state of the console and make con-
So, are Axia consoles over-engineered? You bet. Not everyone
appreciates this kind of attention to detail, but if you’re one
who seeks out and appreciates excellence wherever you may
find it... Element is for you.
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5<5=5>D
AXIA | CONSOLES
[email protected]?>C
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Pair your Element with Axia StudioEngine, an extremely powerful mixing and processing device based on a blazingly-fast Intel
processor. Each StudioEngine is fanless, has dual-redundant fieldreplaceable power supplies, and has so much CPU power, it can
outperform the very largest digital or router-based consoles, with
multiple simultaneous inputs, outputs, mix-minus feeds, monitor signals, EQ and voice processing. Or, choose the PowerStation
integrated console engine instead.
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Each Element fader module
includes an overbridge-mounted
information panel. Status Symbols
give information at a glance
about phone lines, talkback
activity and more.
Say goodbye to mix-minus hassles.
Element automatically generates
backfeeds for all sources that need
them. Status Symbols tell you when
they’re active.
Premium-quality 100mm
conductive-plastic faders are
silky-smooth, but built to last. All
Element modules can be ordered
with motorized faders for remote
control operation or integration
with audio delivery systems.
Film-Legendable Switch Module
with fixed-function buttons is available in 5-button or 10-button sizes.
Backlight colors are changeable,
too. Use PathfinderPC software
to assign buttons custom routing
functions, audio device controls
and more.
Integrated, custom-molded finger
guards help ensure error-free operation. Element features LEDs in
all lighted buttons.
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Telos Call Controller module with built-in
faders lets you control advanced Telos
phone systems right from the board.
Status Symbols icons inform operators
of line and caller status with just a glance.
Element intercom modules work with Axia IP Intercom
system to provide easy inter-studio communications right
from the console. Makes it easy for talent to put broadcastquality intercom audio on the air, too. Available in 10- and
20-station modules with OLED or film-cap displays.
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PowerStation is the integrated console engine that works with
Element. PowerStation is an all-in-one titan that makes it easier than
ever to install IP-Audio studios. Inside that ruggedly handsome case
you’ll find a super-powered DSP mixing engine, husky ready-foranything power supply, plenty of digital, analog and mic I/O, EQ, voice
processing — and even a custom, built-for-broadcast Ethernet switch
with Gigabit connectivity.
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We use superior-quality parts to
ensure long, reliable service. Longlife conductive-plastic faders,
aviation-quality switches, and rearscreened polycarbonate surfaces
that won’t chip, crack, peel or lose
their markings are just a few of the
things clients have found to love
about Element consoles.
Need to conduct an interview
instead of playing music? Press the
Show Profiles key to load a saved
console “snapshot” instantly.
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4-Fader modules accommodate
any source from the IP-Audio
network — mics, line sources,
computer playout systems or
anything else. Special SET and
HOLD keys provide dedicated
on-fader control of Telos broadcast telephone hybrids.
Full-featured Monitor/Navigation
module features independent
source selection for headphone,
control room and studio monitors.
Speed keys and context-sensitive
SoftKnobs work with the on-screen
display, enabling board-ops to
quickly customize console options.
Also available: Monitor + 2-Fader
module combines monitor and nav
functions with two faders — perfect for news or voice-over studios,
dubbing stations, or anywhere
space is at a premium.
Push the Record Mode button to
instantly reconfigure the board for
recording phone bits, interviews, etc.
Numeric keypad lets you dial phones
without ever leaving the board.
Programmable SmartSwitch modules
with LCD displays built into the control
buttons are available in 10-button and
5-button sizes. Use PathfinderPC’s Panel
Designer feature to create conditional
multi-salvo router events that launch
with a touch. LCD text and backlight color
can change dynamically.
High-impact Lexan overlays with color and printing on the back,
where it can’t rub off. We don’t just stick the Lexan to the top of
the module like some folks do: our overlays are inlaid on the milled
aluminum module faces to keep the edges from cracking and peeling — expensive to make, but worth it. For extra protection, there are
custom bezels around faders, switches and buttons to guard those
edges, too. Element modules will look great for years, and are available in your choice of Bronze or Silver.
IP-AUDIO STUDIO NETWORKING | AoIP CONSOLES | AUDIO INTERFACES | IP INTERCOMS | ROUTING AUTOMATION
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5<5=5>D=?4E<5C
AXIA | CONSOLES
2E9<4I?EB5<5=5>D
Your station is customized to your listeners. Shouldn’t your
console be customized to your talent? Mix and match a variety of Element module types with enhanced features to suit
your station’s operational needs. Like integrated controls for
phones, codecs and intercoms, EQ modules designed to speed
off-air production, even motorized faders for remote control or
integration with your delivery system. Choice is good!
$6145B
31<<3?>DB?<<5B
The 4-Fader module is the heart of
The Call Controller module has two
any Element. Use it for any source: line,
faders plus integrated line switch-
mic, hybrid, phone or codec source.
ing controls with Status Symbols for
controlling advanced Telos broadcast
phone systems.
FADER OPTIONS:
STANDARD
MOTORIZED
FADER OPTIONS:
STANDARD
MOTORIZED
BRONZE
SILVER
BRONZE
SILVER
CD1>41B4=?>9D?B
[email protected]=?>9D?B
Space-saving 2-Fader + Monitor
Monitor/Navigation module has de-
module has two faders in addition to
luxe monitor, headphone and pre-
numeric entry/dial pad, basic Moni-
view controls. Numeric entry/dial-
tor/Headphone controls and Soft-
pad can be used with Element phone
Knob overbridge control set with
modules; convenient profanity delay
alphanumeric display.
controls can be linked to your external delay unit.
FADER OPTIONS:
STANDARD
MOTORIZED
BRONZE
SILVER
BRONZE
SILVER
66
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CHUCK KNAPP, CHIEF ENGINEER, KMST
@B?4E3D9?>
The Production module gives your talent direct access to frequently-used
production options, such as Send bus
levels, EQ settings, and panning tools.
"I would highly recommend the Axia system for any
broadcast facility. Installation is fast and easy. The system is very affordable and lends itself to expandability.
We installed our Axia system in Aug of 2008 and have
had zero failures so far! Also important, the factory support has been prompt, knowledgeable and extremely
professional! We love our Axia system!"
Includes overbridge selector panel
with alphanumeric source display.
BRONZE
SILVER
69<[email protected]
C=1BDCG9D38
Film-cap switch modules with 5 or
5 and 10-button SmartSwitch mod-
10 buttons give talent access to
ules feature backlit LCD displays;
often-used machine-control or GPIO-
functions, colors and text can
triggered routing commands. LED
change dynamically in response to
button backlights can be individually
user input. Use Axia PathfinderPC
changed to any of 8 colors.
software to program SmartSwitches with custom salvos, machine-
BRONZE
logic commands or other complex
SILVER
routing operations.
BRONZE
SILVER
! 1>4 " CD1D9?>
?<549>D5B3?=
! CD1D9?>69<[email protected]
9>D5B3?=
10 and 20-station OLED Intercom
10-Station Filmcap intercom module
modules, part of the Axia IP Inter-
has 10 LED-lit film-cap buttons for
com system, put broadcast intercom
economical on-console IP Intercom
controls right in the console. High-
integration. Station presets and GPIO
resolution OLED displays indicate
functions are programmed using
preset stations; presets and GPIO
any standard Web browser.
functions are programmed with a
standard Web browser.
SILVER
BRONZE
SILVER
BRONZE
IP-AUDIO STUDIO NETWORKING | AoIP CONSOLES | AUDIO INTERFACES | IP INTERCOMS | ROUTING AUTOMATION
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67
@?G5BCD1D9?>
AXIA | CONSOLES
D859>D57B1D549>45CDBE3D92<53?>C?<55>79>5
This is PowerStation, the muscle behind our best-selling Element
Best of all, there’s that zero-configuration Ethernet switch that’s
2.0 mixing console. PowerStation combines four separate devic-
built specifically to handle IP-Audio. No settings to tweak, no
es — a DSP mixing engine, a console CPU and power supply, audio
configuration code to upload – just plug it in and go. There are
I/O, GPIO and a custom, built-for-broadcast Ethernet switch –
even two Gigabit ports with SFP, to connect to other studios via
into one unit, a self-contained console engine that’s engineered
fiber or copper. No other console company makes AoIP this easy.
to ensure years of reliable, trouble-free service.
And there’s more. Want more audio I/O? Simply connect a PowPowerStation makes it easy to get your studios up and running.
Just connect PowerStation to your Element 2.0 console (it only
takes a single cable), plug in your audio devices, and perform
some fast web-based configuration. Add power and you’re on
the air. It’s that simple!
PowerStation Main is where you start. Inside is a bulletproof mix-
erStation Aux to instantly double your mic, analog, AES and GPIO
ports. PowerStation Aux also adds a redundant, backup power
supply with built-in switchover. Most redundant supplies protect only the console, but with PowerStation, the mixing engine, audio I/O and network switch are protected as well —
another Axia exclusive.
ing engine capable of powering Element consoles of up to 40 faders. There’s a massive fanless, convection-cooled power supply.
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Naturally, PowerStation is over-engineered to Axia standards.
There are two Mic inputs, four Analog inputs and six outputs, two
Every part of PowerStation is chosen for its ability to give con-
AES/EBU inputs and two outputs, and four GPIO ports, each with
stant, uninterrupted service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365
five opto-isolated inputs and five opto-isolated outputs. There
days a year. There are no compromises: PowerStation uses only
are 14 100Base-T Ethernet ports with Livewire for single-cable
best-of-the-best components, like studio-grade mic preamps
connection of Telos phone systems, Omnia audio processors
and 24-bit, 256x oversampling A/D converters, a rigid, EM-tight
and other Axia equipment, as well as gear from our huge list of
chassis, an ultra-reliable DSP platform (not a common PC moth-
Livewire partners. Two Gigabit ports with SFP enable connection
erboard) and a hardened power supply designed for unfailing
to other studios via copper or fiber.
service, even in the harshest environments.
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PowerStation and Element combine to make a networked broadcast console that doesn’t need a network. It’s completely selfcontained: it works flawlessly as part of a large network, but if
you unplug its network cable, it’s completely unaffected. Think
of it as an “island of reliability.”
Not only does PowerStation make it easy to build stand-alone,
independent studios, it also makes it easier than ever to network
them together. Simple Networking allows up to four PowerStations to daisy-chain without the need for a separate switch (although you can add one to expand your Axia network — up to
10,000 stereo streams).
It’s easy to build IP studios with PowerStation. With 32 built-in
I/O ports, DSP mixing engine, console CPU, bulletproof power
supply and network switch all in one fan-free enclosure, you’ll be
making great radio in no time.
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=E<D9<9>7E1<=E<D9CDE49?
AXIA | CONSOLES | APPLICATION ARTICLE
[email protected][email protected]?<925BDI
In the decade since IP-Audio networking technology first debuted to the broadcasting community, thousands of studios, from large to small, have been built around it. Still, in conversation, people not familiar
with the technology still ask, “Is AoIP really robust enough for round-the-clock radio?” On those occasions,
the exciting operation that is Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, located in the Czech Republic capital of
Prague, comes quickly to mind as a shining example of just how robust Audio-over-IP is.
The impressive new home of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
For more than 60 years, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
Bill Cline inspects RFE’s Axia “test studio,” September, 2007
have been broadcasting news, information and discussion to
millions of listeners throughout Europe and Central Asia. RFE/
RL, as it’s commonly known, originates more than 1,000 hours
of programming per week, in 28 languages and broadcast to
more than 20 countries. That’s a lot of programming, and it
requires a stout infrastructure to keep it all running smoothly,
hour after hour, 365 days a year.
Originally headquartered in Munich, Germany, RFE/RL moved to
Prague in 1995. For the next 13 years, they occupied what had
been the Soviet-era Czech Parliament building in historic Wenceslas Square. It served its purpose, but the structure had been
built to fulfill a different kind of mission – one almost diametrically opposed to the one it now served, as a free disseminator
of news and information. As the service approached its sixth
decade and looked to its future, it was clear that to both grow
and update, it would have to move to a new HQ.
The plan, as it evolved, was this: relocate RFE/RL to a new,
modern, purpose-built facility in Hagibor, outside of Prague’s
bustling center. RFE’s new house would be big, with more
than 200,000 square feet to contain the activities of over 500
employees daily.
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RFE/RL’s Director of Broadcast Engineering, Bill Cline, was intimately involved in the new studios’ design. He liked the flexibility of networked audio, and oversaw the building of studios
using Axia consoles and IP-Audio networking equipment in
2007; the success of those tests confirmed that Axia Livewire
AoIP was up to the operational requirements of a large operation like Radio Free Europe’s.
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RFE/RL’s Central News Room, providing news and information for 27 different language services.
In 2009, the new RFE/RL headquarters was placed in service.
It is one of the largest radio origination facilities in the world;
in addition to radio programming, the new facility houses an
enormous news gathering organization and TV distribution
facilities as well. The radio broadcasting “suite,” if something
so large can be called that, consists of 49 on-air and production studios. Axia consoles and IP-Audio equipment are the
basis for them all. While large, this is well within Axia’s system
capacity, which is able to route and transport up to 30,000
stereo audio channels.
ity to monitor any of its programs from anywhere in the fa-
Among RFE/RL’s unique operational requirements is the abil-
streams at once.
cility. With so many studios producing programs in so many
languages, this may seem like no small undertaking! However,
Axia and Telos technology and equipment make this easy and
elegant. Banks of Telos iPort MPEG Gateways are employed to
handle the task. These devices connect directly to Axia networks; using iPort, RFE converts all of its audio programming
directly from Livewire IP-Audio to Multicast MP3 streams,
which are available at listening stations or on PCs anywhere
in the facility. Each iPort is capable of encoding up to 16 MP3
RFE/RL studio setup features super-redundant distributed core/edge architecture with multiple network connection paths.
Diagram illustrates only a small portion of the RFE network.
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AXIA | CONSOLES | APPLICATION ARTICLE
This rack of Telos iPort codecs provides 96 MP3 audio streams that RFE/RL
employees can audition from anywhere in the 6-story plant.
Studios are equipped with Axia Element 2.0 mixing consoles
of various sizes. Some are large production studios with
control of associated on-air rooms, with large, 28-position
consoles. Others are outfitted as combination production/
broadcast booths, with smaller mixing boards. All make use
of editing stations from D.A.V.I.D. Systems, an Axia partner.
These systems connect directly to the Livewire network using
the Axia IP-Audio Driver for Windows; this eliminates a significant amount of discrete cabling, and bypasses the need for
hardware audio sound cards as well.
One of the 49 studio spaces equipped with Axia Element consoles, Telos broadcast phone gear.
A touch of the Show Profiles button can instantly reconfigure the entire board.
The studios are further customized for their users through the
use of Show Profiles, a console “snapshot” capability that’s
built into Axia consoles. These console configuration presets –
up to 99 of them - can be saved on each Element console allowing source selections, channel assignments, audio EQ settings,
and even monitor source preferences to be stored in named
Profiles that talent can select in seconds. With so much going
on, this is essential for RFE/RL, whose operators regularly use
the feature to completely reconfigure an entire console to a
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Satellite feeds likewise travel around the facility via IP, with
uplinks and downlinks arriving at their destinations as lowlatency, routable Livewire real-time audio.
personalized layout at a moment’s notice. And of course, onconsole control of call-in systems, editors and codecs helps to
streamline operations even more.
In a facility of this size, reduction of discrete cabling results in
significant cost savings. More networked equipment integration is achieved through use of Telos Nx-series multi-line phone
systems and Zephyr Xstream ISDN codecs in-studio, which connect to the Livewire network using a single CAT-5 cable.
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Bill Cline shows off the meter/status wall in RFE/RL Master Control.
One of the most impressive places in the new RFE facility is
Master Control. The nerve center of the radio operation, Master
Control allows RFE engineers to monitor every audio feed in the
facility, as well as satellite up- and down-links (including Voice
of America backup links), signal status with channel audio metering, network bandwidth utilization – right down to information as granular as the status and output levels of each studio’s
program audio outputs. All of this is arranged on a massive array of flat-panel screens that occupy the space of nearly an entire wall. It’s a truly remarkable sight. Engineers can also make
system-wide routing changes to the Axia network, using hardware button panels mapped to routing commands customized
using Axia PathfinderPRO routing control software.
RFE/RL began officially broadcasting from its new HQ in April,
2009 – nearly 3 years ago as of this writing. During that time,
its Axia IP-Audio consoles and network have provided unfailing 24/7 service, to the great satisfaction of all involved. So
when someone next asks the question, “Is AoIP really that
good?” I’ll smile and ask a question in return: “Have you heard
about Radio Free Europe?”
Clark Novak
Marketing Manager
Axia Audio
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AXIA | CONSOLES
D85C=1BD3?>C?<56?BD8?C5
G8?D89>;6?BD85=C5<F5C
We know you. You're the guy who stays up late, prowling the Net
surface to the QOR.32 integrated console engine with just one
for new ideas, reading the newsgroups and listserves. The guy
cable. Then add audio inputs using CAT-5, perform some fast
who worked all weekend getting that new studio ready for Mon-
Web-based configuration and, presto! your new iQ console is
day morning. You’re creative, energetic, and excited about what
ready to broadcast.
you’re doing. You’re the independent thinker.
as a self-contained, standalone console in an individual studio.
sive console designers is never satisfied with success. They’re
But should you wish to expand and network with other studios,
always trying to top their last breakthrough, working constantly
iQ is ready to grow with you. Simple Networking lets you daisy-
to devise new and more inventive ways to save a dollar. Always
chain up to four QOR.32 engines without the need for an external
asking “what’s next?”
Ethernet switch. You can add faders, eight at a time, to create
The answer to that question is iQ. More than just a pretty face,
iQ is a control surface with mixing engine, analog and AES audio I/O, Livewire audio connections, machine-control logic and
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Thanks to all those built-in goodies, iQ is perfectly happy working
Axia works just as hard as you do. Our dedicated team of obses-
consoles as large as 24 faders. With your choice of optional expansion frames, you can even control telephone systems and
GPIO routing functions right from the console.
a zero-configuration, built-for-broadcast Ethernet switch, all
More smart stuff: iQ remembers. Four Show Profile memory po-
rolled into one easy-to-deploy package. Connect the iQ control
sitions let you set, save and recall snapshots of console settings
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RADIO MIRCHI SHOWS THEIR iQ SOME LOVE!
RADIO HTTY, CZECH REPUBLIC
for later use. High-resolution Organic LED meters offer switch-
to withstand even the beatings a weekend overnight jock can
able VU or PPM metering styles, and the ability to meter two,
give. LED button lighting, long-life conductive-plastic faders,
three, or all four buses at once. There are OLED displays on every
and anodized surfaces with laser-etched markings that can’t
fader that provide source assignments, pan & balance settings,
ever rub off.
fader options and more — which means no additional computer
monitors or mice to clutter up your studio.
And like all Axia consoles, iQ is built solid, like a Mack truck,
But the most clever thing about iQ might just be its price. A
16-fader iQ costs about half what you’d expect to pay for a console with all these features. Now that’s smart, don’t you think?
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AXIA | CONSOLES
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iQ meters use bright, highresolution OLED displays for
instant readability, with VU or
PPM metering options.
Meters, clock and timer are all on
the meter bridge - no external
monitor needed.
You won’t need to cut up your studio furniture for iQ — it’s designed
to sit right on the countertop. Just one slim CANBus cable connects
the surface to the QOR.32.
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Options knobs give fast access to
source selection, pan and balance
and other frequently-used controls.
Turn them to make an adjustment,
push them for even more options.
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One-touch Record Mode button
makes it easy for operators to
quickly record phone calls or other
off-air bits for later playback.
Studio Monitor controls include
Talk To keys for board-op communications with in-studio guests, or
remote codecs and phone callers
using Talk To Backfeeds function.
Light bulbs? Not here. Bright, longlife LEDs illuminate all iQ buttons.
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Monitor and headphone choices
include all four Program buses plus
two external audio sources.
Show Profiles let you save
frequently-used console configurations for instant operator recall.
Like its big brother, Element, iQ
generates an automatic mix-minus
for every source that needs one.
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The Telos iQ6 broadcast phone system works with Telos VSet phones,
or with the hybrid controls built into your iQ’s Telco expansion frame.
Connect it to the QOR.32 console engine with a CAT-6 cable, plug in
your phone lines, and start taking calls.
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What’s better than great-looking?
Long-lasting. iQ’s anodized
machined-aluminum surfaces are
laser-etched. No painted markings
to rub off or fade.
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The 10 programmable keys on each
side of the 6-Fader+User Buttons
expansion frame can be mapped to
GPIO functions for control of audio
devices or other logic commands.
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Full-featured Telco controls include
Next, Xfer, Block and Hold keys.
6-Fader Telco expansion frame has built-in 6-line controller that
works seamlessly with the Telos iQ6 phone system. The familiar
twin hybrid controls use OLED displays with exclusive Telos Status
Symbols for instant caller information; dial pad lets operator dial
out directly from the console.
Like all Axia consoles, iQ is built
tough. These 100mm. conductiveplastic faders feel smooth as silk,
but they’re built to handle the punishment 24/7 operation dishes out.
iQ’s high-resolution OLED fader
displays normally show the source
that’s assigned to each channel
strip, but change to give additional
information when operators choose
new audio sources, adjust pan & balance, or perform other tasks. They
can also work with the Soft Keys just
below to trigger GPIO commands,
step automation events and more.
Desktop-mounted iQ frames don’t
need a furniture cutout. Remove
the end moldings to attach frames
together, or keep them separate the choice is yours.
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AXIA | CONSOLES
38??C5I?EBYA
Like all Axia systems, iQ is customizable and scalable. The QOR.32 integrated console engine contains the console’s mix engine, CPU, power supply and 32 audio I/O connections, and supports
console sizes from 8 to 24 faders. Start with an eight-fader iQ Main Frame, then add expansion
frames with more faders and capabilities to tailor iQ to your studio’s needs. Gigabit Ethernet lets
you connect to a larger Axia network; Simple Networking lets you daisy-chain up to four QOR.32
without the need for an external Ethernet switch.
YA=19>6B1=5
The heart of your iQ console; can be installed as a standalone console or connected to an Axia
studio network. Has three dedicated stereo Program buses, plus a stereo utility bus that can
be used for phone calls, off-air recording, or as a fourth Program bus, eight faders, automatic
per-fader mix-minus, high-rez OLED program meters and channel displays, Studio and Control
Room monitor controls and an integrated Talkback system. For bigger consoles, add one or two
iQ expansion frames to build boards of up to 24 faders. Flexible mounting system allows desktop,
drop-in and even rack-mounted operation.
YA([email protected]>C9?>6B1=5
Double the size of your iQ instantly! Plugs into the QOR.32 integrated console engine to add eight
more faders to your iQ Main Frame. Like all iQ frames, it comes equipped with Axia’s rugged anodized machined-aluminum surface, conductive-plastic faders, aircraft-quality switches and LED
button lighting.
YA&[email protected]>C9?>6B1=5G9D8EC5B;5IC
Put machine control and GPIO-triggered routing commands at your operators’ fingertips with this
iQ expansion frame. In addition to six additional faders, 10 User Keys can be software-mapped to
control audio delivery systems, send contact closures or route GPIO commands to studio devices.
YA&6145BD5<[email protected]>C9?>6B1=5
Puts integrated phone system control right where it belongs: on the console, to help eliminate
distractions and errors. Along with six silky-smooth conductive-plastic faders, this frame includes
on-the-board hybrid controls for our new Telos iQ6 six-line telephone hybrid (more details opposite). The learning curve is low: exclusive Telos Status Symbols readouts on sharp-as-a-tack OLED
displays, along with familiar twin hybrid controls, make easy work of busy call-in segments.
A?B#"
The QOR.32 integrated console engine is a DSP-based mixing engine with onboard I/O, GPIO, console power supply and custom-built, configuration-free Ethernet switch. You’ll find plenty of I/O,
including 4 mic inputs with selectable Phantom power, 16 analog inputs, 2 AES/EBU inputs, 8 Analog outputs, 2 AES/EBU outputs, 8 GPIO machine-control logic ports (each with 5 opto-isolated
inputs and 5 outputs), and that powerful integrated Ethernet switch with 6 Livewire 100Base-T
ports (4 with PoE), 2 Gigabit ports (RJ-45 & SFP), and 4 CANBus ports for console expansion. Sure,
that’s plenty of I/O, but if you need more you can instantly add it just by plugging in Axia xNodes or
Audio Nodes. QOR.32 is convection-cooled for utterly silent, fan-free operation.
A?B#"213;[email protected]@[email protected]@<I
The QOR.32 Backup Power Supply is a hardened, auto-switching power supply that is perfect for facilities where redundant power backup is required. Connects to your QOR.32 console engine in less
than a minute using a single cable that supplies failsafe backup power with automatic switchover
should the need ever arise.
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Up to now, adding phone support to your console could be
time-consuming. iQ6 (the new Telco gateway from Telos designed for iQ consoles) makes it simple: one CAT-5 connection
to your QOR.32 console engine, and hookup’s done.
iQ6 works with the iQ 6-Fader Telco expansion frame to give
operators seamless, on-console control of incoming lines and
callers. Take calls, dial out, step through pre-screened callers
without ever taking your hands or eyes off the board. Familiar Telos Status Symbols icons let board ops know what’s what
with just a glance.
You want off-console control? No problem. Use a Telos VSet
phone, with its big color screen and animated icons, to make
short work of pre-screening tasks or use the provided XScreen
software from Broadcast Bionics for a full-featured software
screening environment. iQ6 accepts POTS or ISDN phone lines,
and comes equipped with two high-performance Telos hybrids
with Digital Dynamic EQ — the same advanced hybrids found
in our Nx phone systems.
Naturally, since it's part of the iQ system, iQ6 saves you money
and time. It plugs right into one of the Livewire ports on your
QOR.32 console engine, eliminating tedious soldering of discrete I/O cabling and connectors — drastically reduces installation time, too. One skinny CAT-5 cable carries six lines’ worth of
audio, hybrid control and mix-minus.
BALLYFERMOT COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION IN DUBLIN, IRELAND
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JIM REESE, MANAGER OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY, KUT
"I will not build
a studio without Axia
ever again."
B149EC
AXIA | CONSOLES
=?B521>76?BI?EB2E3;
Everybody knows you get what you pay for. And sometimes,
quite a bit less. Ever notice how “affordable” radio consoles are
usually missing stuff? Important stuff. Trying to do a radio show
with a board like that is like trying to open a can with a spoon:
you might succeed eventually, but you sure won’t enjoy it.
able between VU and PPM styles, and high-resolution OLED displays for each fader show source assignments, audio options
and more. Show Profiles can be saved and recalled to instantly
load frequently-used console configurations.
Because it’s so compact, Radius is the perfect standalone con-
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At Axia, we believe that having a reasonable equipment budget shouldn’t mean having to settle for a stripped-down, poorly
built, featureless plastic excuse of a console. We’ve decided you
should get more than you pay for — much more. Meet Radius,
the IP console that proves you can have your cake and eat it, too.
sole, but Gigabit ports on its QOR.16 integrated console engine
Radius is the easiest AoIP console ever. Just connect the 8-fader
mixing surface to the QOR.16 integrated console engine, plug in
your sources and power, and you’re ready to make great radio!
Radius has three stereo Program buses and a stereo utility bus
that can be used for recording phone calls and off-air bits, or as
a fourth Program bus. Radius generates automatic mix-minus
for phone callers and remote talent, helping ensure seamless,
error-free shows. Bright multi-segment LED meters are switch-
back out to the net.
let you connect it to other studios too. Radius’ network gateway lets you load either 8 or 12 audio sources from anywhere
in your Livewire network, while sending either 4 or 8 locallyproduced streams (depending upon your configuration choice)
Like all Axia consoles, Radius is built for long-lasting reliability,
ready to stand up to anything your operators throw at it, with
an EM-tight steel frame, anodized machined aluminum work
surface with etched markings that can never rub off, silkysmooth conductive-plastic faders, aircraft-quality switches and
rotary controls, and OLED high-rez displays on every fader.
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No external monitors needed;
easy-to-read segmented LED
meters are built right in.
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Three stereo mixing buses plus
a stereo utility bus for plenty
of mixing capacity.
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Clock and event timer,
right where you expect them.
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Quickly record phone bits
or off-air segments using
one-touch Record Mode.
Silky-smooth, side-loading
100mm. conductive-plastic
faders beg for your touch.
High-resolution OLED displays
show source assignments,
pan and balance information,
Soft Key actions and more.
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Four Show Profile slots let
operators recall frequentlyused console snapshots.
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Monitor section gives board ops
control of control room and studio monitor sources and volume.
Machined aluminum construction.
Built tough for 24/7/365 use.
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Audio I/O, GPIO, console CPU, super-duty power supply, even a network switch, are all built
into the QOR.16. Just plug in your mics, CD players, codecs, profanity delays, whatever. There
are 16 audio I/O ports: two Mic inputs with switchable Phantom power, eight analog inputs
and four analog outputs, and one AES/EBU input and output. QOR.16 also has four GPIO logic
ports for machine control of studio peripherals, six 100Base-T ports for Livewire devices, and
two Gigabit ports with SFP for connection to the outside world. And you can daisy chain as
many as four QOR engines without the need for an external Ethernet switch, making installation even more economical.
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Plenty of professional, balanced
mic, analog, AES and Livewire
I/O in a fan-free 2RU chassis.
Built-in Ethernet switch lets
you network devices and
studios easily.
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Rugged, built-in super-duty
power supply. No line-lumps
or wall-warts on Axia gear.
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It doesn't just look cool - it stays
cool, thanks to beefy heat-sinks
and fan-free design.
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MILOS NEMCIK, AXIA PRODUCT SPECIALIST
AXIA | CONSOLES
"Remember those old, boxy boards that used to be in every
radio studio? They were about as efficient to use as a Diesel locomotive (and nearly as big). RAQ and DESQ, our newest Axia consoles, do more than those old clunkers ever
would, and use a lot less space to do it. Smart, efficient,
elegant...just the way it should be."
=55DB1A1>445CA
[email protected]<9J543?>C?<[email protected]<[email protected]?:53DC
Sometimes, you don’t need a big console, with all of its bells and whistles. What you want is something you can tuck into a rack, or place on a countertop without taking too much space. A mixer
whose small footprint belies its big capabilities.
Sure, you could rummage around in the closet for an old mixer, and you’d probably find one, complete
with peeling blue paint and held together with packing tape and rubber bands. “C’mon, it’s 2012,” you
think. “Do I really want my talent creating programming with something that needs a battery to make
its meter bounce?”
Introducing RAQ and DESQ, two new special-purpose IP consoles from Axia. These slim units fit neatly on the corner of a desk, or in a 4RU rack space; anywhere you need a little bit of mixer. Compact,
yes, but don’t let that fool you — they’re packed with IP-Audio goodness. Which means they easily
out-class and out-perform mixers that take up a lot more room.
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RAQ is a six-channel mixer over-engineered the Axia way, with super-duty rotary faders, aluminum front-panel, high-resolution OLED displays for channel assignment and metering, heavy-duty
switches with LED lighting, and four Show Profile snapshot locations you can use to store and
instantly recall favorite console configurations. One touch, and presto! Your favorite sources are
loaded, monitor source configured, and bus assignments made. RAQ has two stereo mixing buses,
plus a Preview (cue) bus, which makes it the perfect rack-mount utility mixer.
(By the way: If the design of RAQ looks pleasingly familiar, take a peek at the photo on the bottom
of Page 25. That PR&E Stereomixer was also designed by our own Michael "Catfish" Dosch, about 25
years ago! Just goes to show that you can't keep a great idea down.)
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DESQ is a six-fader console too, but in a form-factor that lets it fit just about anywhere there’s a few
inches of spare space: DESQ is only 16 inches (39.9 cm) square. It’s got a machined-aluminum work
surface to take all the tough stuff jocks can dish out. Our familiar 100 mm. side-loading faders feel like
silk under the fingertips, and you’ll also find our familiar avionics-grade switches with LED lighting,
OLED channel and meter displays, four-source monitor section with two external locations that can
be reassigned “on the fly”, and an OLED time-of-day clock and event timer. Like RAQ, DESQ also has
four Show Profile console snapshot locations, and push-and-turn Options knobs at the top of each
fader that give instant access to fader source assignments, pan/balance, and input gain trim.
RAQ and DESQ also have “big board” capabilities you won’t find in other consoles of this size. Like
automatic per-fader mix-minus. Built-in EQ available for any voice or codec source. And the ability to
instantly load new local or networked sources to any fader with just the turn of a knob.
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RAQ and DESQ are powered by our QOR.16 integrated console engine. It’s fanless: silent and convection-cooled, so you can deploy it anywhere — even next to the mic. A single cable connects it to your
RAQ or DESQ mixer. It’s got everything: two Mic inputs, eight analog inputs and four analog outputs,
an AES/EBU input and output, four machine-logic GPIO ports, and eight Livewire ports, four with PoE
to power studio accessories like Telos VSet phones and Axia xNode audio interfaces.
Although they’re perfectly suited to standalone operation, RAQ and DESQ are IP-Audio consoles too,
ready to connect to a Livewire network. That’s thanks to the zero-configuration Ethernet switch
with Gigabit that’s built in to every QOR.16 (and every other Axia integrated console engine, too).
And here’s the kicker: one QOR.16 can power two RAQ or DESQ mixers — or one of each!
Despite all these features, RAQ and DESQ are so cost-effective, broadcasters are coming up with
creative, new uses for them. We figured folks would use them for news booths, dubbing stations
and guest performance mixers, but audio pros are also telling us they’d be ideal for broadcast remote kits, mobile trucks, for shipboard broadcasting, or as personal mixers. What else could you use
them for? The possibilities are endless...
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[email protected]>5<C
AXIA | CONSOLES | ROUTING
3?>DB?<G85B5I?EG1>D9D
Axia consoles are nearly synonymous with “flexibility.” You can save show settings and recall them in an instant… customize backfeeds and routing salvos…
share audio sources and control throughout your facility… and that’s just the
beginning. Axia helps you customize your studio too, with accessory control
panels that work seamlessly with your consoles to give talent fast access to
headphone, mic and select switching controls.
=933?>DB?<
@B?4E35B=93
The Mic Control panel gives talent or
Designed especially to suit the needs
guests remote control of their mic
of busy talk show producers, the Pro-
channel. Press the Talkback key, and
ducer’s Mic Control panel provides
you open a comm. channel to the
control of microphone On/Off/Mute
board operator. There’s a handy Mute
functions, and includes two special
key for those “frog-in-the-throat”
Talkback keys so producers can easily
moments, too.
converse with studio remote talent.
(For all Axia consoles.)
(For all Axia consoles.)
[email protected]?>5C5<53D?B
The Headphone Selector panel lets
=933?>DB?<
[email protected]?>5C5<53D?B
talent control their own headphone
Why choose when you can have it all?
feeds. Turn the knob and control the
Combination Mic Control/Headphone
volume. Push the knob, scroll through
Selector panel gives talent remote
the list of available sources, and push
control of headphone source and vol-
again to “take.” Preset buttons are
ume, mic channel on/off, and includes
provided for instant access to two pro-
Mute and Talkback functions.
grammed sources.
(Element consoles only.)
(Element consoles only.)
69F5;5I2EDD?>
Five-key Button Panel can be placed
6?EB;5I
C=1BDCG9D38
wherever remote control of contact
Four-key SmartSwitch has illuminat-
closures or routing commands is de-
ed, dynamic LCD keys that can change
sired. Film-legendable keys contain
text based on conditional logic mac-
LED backlights with individual color
ros you construct in Pathfinder using
settings, and work with Pathfinder
simple drop-down tools.
routing controllers to put fingertip con-
(Element consoles only.)
trol right where it’s needed.
(Element consoles only.)
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69>[email protected]?>DB?<:ECDG85B5I?E>5549D
Axia control panels, used with Axia Pathfinder routing control tools,
let you put routing power anywhere — in a studio turret, a TOC
control panel or an equipment rack. These accessory control panels
work with Axia’s Pathfinder software and Pathfinder Core routing
control hardware, allowing you to map routing commands – from
simple contact closures to complex logic-driven events – to any
button for fast execution. .
Film-cap controllers (in rack-mount, cabinet-mount and Element
console drop-in versions) with backlit keys can be illuminated
with a choice of colors; keycaps are film-legendable for quick
function identification. SmartSwitch panels have dynamic, backlit
LCD buttons that can change color and text with user activation.
And the rack-mount 8-button SoftSwitch panel has high-resolution OLED buttons that can be loaded with user-created bitmaps
for instant function identification.
8-BUTTON OLED SOFTSWITCH BUTTON PANEL
A family of three Routing Control Panels (X1, X2 and XY) allow convenient on-the-fly routing of networked sources from anywhere
in your facility. X1 and X2 controllers let you route any networked
audio source to a pre-selected fixed output; XY controller lets you
dynamically route any source to any output of your choosing.
The Axia Router Selector Node enables fast, easy selection of any
source on your IP- Audio network. There are eight convenient
front-panel pushbuttons you can map to frequently-used sources,
while the “tuning knob” and display screen allow browsing your
entire network; perfect for news booths or dubbing stations where
only one active feed is required. The Router Selector also provides
a selectable amplified feed to headphones as well as analog/digital inputs and outputs. Great for allowing non-technical folks to
easily move audio from external sources (like field recorders) into
the Axia network.
9 AND 17-BUTTON SMARTSWITCH PANELS
ROUTER SELECTOR NODE
5, 10 AND 15-BUTTON FILMCAP PANELS
X1, X2 AND XY ROUTER CONTROL PANELS
CABINET MOUNT BUTTON CONTROLLERS
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BRIAN URBAN, CHIEF OPERATOR, KUT RADIO
[email protected]>D5B3?=
"Building a new production room, we started
loading equipment on a cart at 12:15. We went
to lunch at 1:45 with the room usable. That's
how easy the installation is."
AXIA | INTERCOMS
7?18514*D1<;1=?>7CDI?EBC5<F5C
IP Intercom comes in several rack-mount and desktop styles,
plus drop-in modules for Axia Element consoles. Mix and match
to build your customized intercom system!
Imagine a digital intercom system with no central matrix. Actually, don’t bother — we’ve built one. Axia IP Intercom saves on
cost, space, and installation time, and eliminates special plug-in
cards altogether. It’s real plug and play that works every time —
even when you need to add a station, or reconfigure the ones
you’ve got.
Everybody knows the advantages of IP and Ethernet – low cost,
easy installation and maintenance, efficient infrastructure.
Thanks to its efficient Ethernet backbone, installing IP Intercom
is a simple single-click connection. Of course it’s easily scalable:
plug as many stations into your switch as you want and add on
from there. Then start talking! And if you move to a new location, you can just pick up the gear and take it with you — there’s
no expensive, hard-wired, custom-cable multi-pair infrastructure mess to deal with.
Don’t have an Axia studio network? That’s OK. You’ll still save
money and increase efficiency by choosing IP-Intercom; it’s a
stand-alone system with I/O that will accommodate multiple
consoles. But if you do have an Axia system, you’ll get seamless
console integration that gives your operators benefits other
systems can’t. For instance, you can take broadcast-quality
intercom audio directly to air. And you can feed IFB audio directly to intercom callers.
IP Intercom gives you unlimited full-bandwidth access to any
studio, news or sports venue, office, hallway, broom closet or
wherever. Talk and listen to individuals or groups hands-free,
with no echo or feedback — IP Intercom features exclusive AEC
advanced echo cancellation from Fraunhofer Labs (the inventors of MP3), so there’s never any open-mic feedback during
conversations. Ever.
IP Intercom system is completely digital. Other intercom systems try to make you think they’re digital by piping their analog
signals over CAT-5 cables, but the last thing you need during a
breaking story or transmitter failure is hum and buzz getting
between you and the guy you need to talk to. With IP Intercom,
there isn’t any.
So you’ve gotta be a genius to use it, right? Actually, anyone
with an index finger can operate this system with ease. The
web interface makes setup simple. Sharp, high-contrast OLED
displays are easy to read from anywhere in the room. And our
clever callback feature makes sure you'll never miss a call, no
matter what you're doing.
9>D5B3?=By Broadcast Bionics
Expands Axia Intercoms to two or more geographically diverse sites over a corporate WAN or even the Public Internet. Intercom+
runs as a Service on a Windows PC providing reliable gateway connectivity with Livewire-connected Intercoms nearby or far away.
Speak freely with colleagues at remote Axia studios and enjoy convenient cueing and collaboration. Intercom+ even maps your
enterprise network and allows you to manage all your intercom units from a single location and simple GUI.
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93"
The IC.20 twenty-station intercom panel has 20 presets presented on high-resolution
OLED displays for quick contact with frequently-called stations. There’s a keypad and display for fast access to stations system-wide, plus group talk and auto-answer functions.
93! [email protected]>45B
The IC.10X Expander pairs with the IC.20 panels. It adds 10 station presets (each with
a sharp 10-character OLED display, and talk and listen keys) to your existing IC.20 for a
total of 30 station presets. A single Ethernet connection is all that’s needed for hookup.
93!
IC.10 has 10 station presets with OLED displays. Like its big brother, the IC.20, it has a
built-in speaker, front and rear-panel mic connections, 4-pin locking headset jack, analog
I/O presented on both XLR and RJ-45 connectors, and a GPIO connection for speaker mute/
dim and external line-status tallies.
93!
The IC.1 ten-station intercom panel has ten LED-backlit film-cap buttons that can easily be
labeled with station names. Buttons are programmed using the built-in Web interface and
any browser.
93" 45C;[email protected]
Desktop version of IC.20 puts intercom access on any studio surface. Perfect for producers’ or screeners’ positions, operations centers, etc.
93!4
IC.1D has 20 preset stations presented on LED-backlit button caps; an economical way to
add intercom function to any space.
5<5=5>D=?4E<5C
Add IP Intercom directly to your Axia Element mixing console! Several drop-in modules
make it easy to quickly take broadcast-quality intercom audio to air, or record off-the-air.
See Page 67 for more details.
C?6D3?=
Axia Softcom Intercom for Windows makes any networked PC a part of your IP Intercom
system! The easy user interface mimics the IC-20 control panel, with preset locations for
20 frequently-called stations. Auto-answer and hands-free functions are supported, and a
drop-down station finder gives instant access to stations not pre-programmed.
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1H91B?ED9>7
AXIA | ROUTING
@?G5B1>46<5H929<9DI1DI?EB69>[email protected]
IP-Audio is much more than just an easy way to connect audio gear using Ethernet. An IP-Audio network provides sophisticated, high-speed links between every device in your studio. Once everything's
connected, it's a cinch to use the data routing capabilities of the network to send audio anywhere you
want it. Change air studios at the touch of a button... automatically switch satellite feeds to air... even
listen for dead air and automatically switch to backup audio.
With Axia, you can make use of a wide variety of hardware and software-based tools designed to
help you easily harness this power. After all, what good is power without control?
@1D869>45B
B?ED9>71ED?=1D9?>
Axia’s Pathfinder family of router control tools let you customize and command your entire Axia network. Using your choice of graphical software or networked appliance, you can easily build extremely
sophisticated routing functions like automated events, custom on-screen control panels — even
change the entire network on a timed schedule if you like. Pathfinder can even give you peace of mind,
by sensing silence on critical paths and patching around it automatically — then sending you an e-mail
to let you know what happened. And that’s just the start. Pathfinder can keep automatic logs of your
studio network’s routing operations — route changes, GPIO changes, user button presses, and more.
Create sophisticated routing “scenes” with Boolean logic that automatically watch for and react to
specified events, using a unique graphical editor that eliminates tedious script writing.
Pathfinder Panel Designer even lets you construct custom on-screen controls that can be deployed
on PCs across your network. Or, map custom features to rack-mounted button panels and user keys
mounted right in the console.
@1D869>[email protected]?6DG1B5
Designed for automated routing in small to medium-sized facilities, PathfinderPC gives you networked control of up to 25 Axia devices. This full-featured system runs on Windows PCs and allows
you to construct and execute route or scene changes based on scheduled events, GPIO closures or
Silence Detect trigger events. Using the client application, you can log in and change routing from
anywhere you have network or Internet access. Use PathfinderPC to attach events to Axia SmartSwitch, SoftSwitch and Film-Cap button panels, or construct on-screen “virtual” controls that can
run simultaneously on up to 10 PCs.
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MIKE SPRYSENSKI, MARKET ENGINEERING MANAGER, CLEAR CHANNEL , ORLANDO, FLORIDA
“The on-site training with Pathfinder was fantastic and definitely has put
us down the right path on getting the new AIR, Master Control, and Talk
studios online for 5 of my 7 stations in the coming months. My plan is to
continue installing Axia gear for the rest of the studios including Production Rooms, Newsroom, and other studios until everything is converted
over to the Axia platform. As I have said before, Axia has the best support
in the broadcast business and it has made me a customer for life!”
@1D869>[email protected]?C?6DG1B5
PathfinderPRO, the enterprise version of Pathfinder, contains all of the features found in PathfinderPC
plus additional capabilities tailored to facilities with large physical plants or complex operational
requirements. PathfinderPRO supports server “clustering” – running simultaneously on two connected,
yet independent computers – for the ultimate in redundancy and security.
PathfinderPRO all of Axia devices and supports as many end-user connections as your CPU can handle.
PathfinderPRO can directly control console VMix virtual mixers, Element 2.0 motorized faders, Show
Profile changes, and more. PathfinderPRO doesn’t stop at just controlling your Axia equipment. Complete delivery system integration is at your fingertips with Sine Systems ACU-1, Pro-Bel and BTools
protocol emulators, plus support for routing and translating of serial, TCP and UDP ports.
Snap-in real-time metering and Web browser controls provide added options for user-designed
software panels. Browser controls even support multimedia audio and video, allowing embedded A/V
streaming displays in software mini-panels.
@1D869>[email protected]?
The new Pathfinder Core PRO network routing appliance builds on years of routing experience to
deliver the power of Pathfinder software in a dedicated hardware device — no Windows server
required. You program Pathfinder Core PRO via the Web browser on your PC, using the intuitive
graphical interface provided by its built-in webserver. Pathfinder Core PRO gives you peace of mind
by moving your critical routing controls from PCs to purpose-built hardware. It also gives you freedom — freedom from concerns about software compatibility, automatic OS patches, and computer
hardware limitations.
Pathfinder Core PRO is fast, efficient, and simple to use. Just connect the 2RU appliance to your network with a CAT-5 cable, assign an IP address, and Pathfinder goes to work, automatically detecting
your Axia audio sources, destinations and GPIO ports. In just a short time, you’ll be ready to build
routing commands as sophisticated (or simple) as you can imagine. Using Boolean logic, you can
construct powerful new Core Events command sets to initiate anything from a single route change
to system-wide, cacscading scene changes.
Pathfinder Core PRO is fanless, with dual-redundant, field-replaceable Telecom-grade power supplies and embedded Linux platforms to ensure the ultimate in reliability. And, for the ultimate in
distributed redundancy, two or more Pathfinder Core PRO appliances may be "clustered” to provide
automatic, distributed backup of your vital routing functions.
IP-AUDIO STUDIO NETWORKING | AoIP CONSOLES | AUDIO INTERFACES | IP INTERCOMS | ROUTING AUTOMATION
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CDE49?C?6DG1B56B?=1H91
3?>DB?<3ECD?=9J53?>>53D
AXIA | STUDIO SOFTWARE
[email protected]?69<5B
Axia's networked version of the popular Telos ProFiler logging
software lets you simultaneously capture up to 24 stereo audio
channels to time-stamped MP3 audio logs directly from your
Axia IP-Audio network — no audio cards required.
iProFiler is an all-in-one program audio logger, aircheck skimmer, and remote listening application. The iProFiler suite includes software that lets you record, manage and play back
archived audio files on any standard Windows PC. Modes include logging (continuous archival storage), skimming (records
only when talent mic is open), reverse skimming (records only
when talent mic is closed), and SmartSkimming (low-bitrate
logging switches to a higher bitrate when talent is on-mic for
best quality captures).
Production Directors and program producers love the integrated audio browser that lets them tag segments and export WAV
files for editing. And you can listen to “live” audio over IP as it’s
being logged — perfect for program consultants or group PDs.
[email protected]<1I
Axia iPlay PC software allows any Windows PC to listen to
streamed audio directly from your Axia network. Give PC monitoring capabilities to PDs, GMs and sales staff using their existing computers. Choose from a list of all available audio, or
use the eight user-programmable preset buttons for quick
access to favorite channels; on-screen level display meters
auditioned audio.
C?6D3?=
Make any networked PC with a sound card part of your Axia IP
Intercom system. Axia SoftCom software works just like our
rack-mounted Intercom hardware panels, with preset locations
for 20 frequently-called stations. Auto-answer and hands-free
functions are provided; an easy drop-down station finder gives
instant access to any station in your facility. Convenient site
licensing lets you run SoftCom on any – or every! – PC in
your network.
90
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C?6DCEB6135
New SoftSurface Virtual Console software for Windows gives
you powerful real-time control of your Axia Element mixing
console from home, office, or anywhere an Internet connection
is available. Take direct remote control of your Element, or, pair
SoftSurface with an Axia StudioEngine to create a “virtual console” without a physical mixing surface. SoftSurface makes an
ideal companion for existing consoles; it’s also the perfect audio
mixing solution for limited-space locations.
[email protected]?25
Axia iProbe is an intelligent network maintenance and diagnostics suite that consolidates managing, updating, and remotecontrolling your Axia system into one easy-to-use software
application. There’s a powerful Auto-Documentation feature
that queries and documents configuration settings for every
networked Axia device — great for administering large networks. The Organizer tool lets you perform many advanced
tasks, such as gathering Axia Audio Nodes into logical groups
for easy management and single-point administration of group
settings. iProbe also helps with software version control, making it simple to upload software to single or multiple devices,
back up device configuration, and more — all from the comfort
of your home or office.
[email protected]?4B9F5B
The Axia IP-Audio Driver lets you send and record as many as 24
stereo channels of PC audio directly to Axia networks via Ethernet — no sound cards needed. It also provides GPIO-like start/
stop and other control functions over the same network. It’s
available with the latest versions of high-end Windows audio
delivery and editing software applications such as those from
BSI, Burli, DAVID Systems, Dalet, ENCO, iMediaTouch, Netia,
RCS, WideOrbit, and Zenon Media (to name just a few) and for
Linux-based Rivendell through Paravel Systems — more than
20 systems and counting. Ask your favorite delivery-system
provider if their software is Livewire capable. A single-stream
version is also available for use with production workstations
or individual PCs.
IP-AUDIO STUDIO NETWORKING | AoIP CONSOLES | AUDIO INTERFACES | IP INTERCOMS | ROUTING AUTOMATION
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91
h>?45C
AXIA | NETWORKING
G?B<4C=?CD14F1>[email protected]?9>D5B6135C
One day, all audio equipment will be networked. Until then, there
support let you stay fully informed, should an xNode’s power or
are xNodes, the world’s first self-configuring AoIP interfaces.
connection status change.
xNodes give you an easy way to add non-networked audio devices to your studio network. And they pack a lot of I/O into a very
small space.
xNodes are easy to deploy, too. They’re fanless, so you can tuck one
anywhere you need I/O. They’re compact: two xNodes fit side-byside in a single rack space using a simple rack-mount kit. Or, mount
xNodes nearly configure themselves. Just plug them in and they
them to walls, ceilings, under countertops, using the optional sur-
go to work, configuring channel numbers and even signal names
face-mount kit. 5 different xNodes provide analog and AES ins and
(editable by you) all by themselves. In just moments, you’re ready
outs, microphone inputs and GPIO logic ports, wherever you need
to start sending and receiving network audio.
them. No need for “home runs” to a central rack – one CAT-5 cable
connection is all an xNode needs to interface multiple channels of
xNodes are loaded with features designed to ensure the uptime of
bi-directional audio to your network.
your network. Dual Ethernet ports can provide redundant connections to separate network segments. Redundant power capability
Finally, xNodes have amazing audio specs. They operate at a net-
with automatic switchover enables xNodes to run on house mains
work sampling rate of 48 kHz and have high-resolution 32-bit float-
or PoE (Power over Ethernet), letting the network switch itself sup-
ing-point SRC chips with an astonishing dynamic range. Coupled to
ply power, and enabling easy single-cable setup in places where AC
studio-grade sample rate converters, xNodes produce a “sweeter,”
power isn’t practical. Built-in Syslog servers with a configurable
more natural audio quality — clients routinely tell us of noticeable
event filter and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol)
sonic improvements after the installation of their Axia network.
[email protected]?>5h>?45
Microphone xNode has four professional-grade microphone preamps with selectable
Phantom power and software-adjustable gain. There are also four balanced analog line
outputs to conveniently deliver headphone and studio monitor feeds back to your talent. Inputs and outputs are presented both on easy-to-install RJ-45s and high-density
DB-25s, to suit your connection preference.
1>1<?7h>?45
Analog xNode has 8 mono or 4 stereo balanced line-level inputs and 8 mono or 4 stereo
balanced line-level outputs, on RJ-45 and DB-25 connectors. Each input is switchable to
accommodate either consumer-level -10dBv or professional level +4dBu sources. The
short-circuit protected outputs can deliver up to +24dBu before clipping. Axia uses only
studio-grade A/D/A converters and low-noise components, so that each Analog node
provides superior audio performance for high-end studio use.
15C52Eh>?45
AES/EBU xNode has 4 AES/EBU inputs and 4 AES/EBU outputs. Left and right input signals may be split and routed independently as mono signals. Stunning performance
specs include 48 kHz sampling rate, 126dB of dynamic range, and <0.0003% THD.
Sample rate conversion is available on all inputs; the unit can also be synchronized to a
house clock to provide sync to your entire Axia network.
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=9H54C97>1<h>?45
Mixed-Signal xNode is your utility player; perfect for places that require a mix of different audio I/O types. It provides 1 selectable Mic/Line analog input, 2 dedicated analog
line inputs, 3 analog line outputs, 1 digital AES3 input and 1 AES3 output, and 2 GPIO
ports – truly a “jack of all trades.”
[email protected]?h>?45
GPIO xNode provides 6 general-purpose logic ports for machine control of studio
peripherals – audio devices, loudspeaker muting relays, signal lamps, etc. – each with 5
opto-isolated inputs and 5 outputs. A logic port can be associated with any audio input
or output and routes control data transparently along with the audio.
1E49?>?45C
[email protected]?9>D5B6135C
B?ED5BC5<53D?B
Axia Audio Nodes are perfect for rack rooms, TOCs,
studio turrets or anywhere else you have audio inputs.
Like xNodes, they’re fan-free and have studio-grade
audio response and front-panel confidence meters.
A built-in webserver makes setup easy using any PC
with a Web browser. Like all Axia gear, they’re overengineered for 24/7 service.
The Router Selector Node’s LCD screen lets users browse
1>1<?7<9>5
[email protected]?>5
The Analog Line Node has eight balanced stereo inputs
The Microphone Node has eight studio-grade mic pre-
and eight balanced stereo outputs, all on RJ-45 connectors,
amps with selectable Phantom power and software-ad-
and each input is switchable to accommodate consumer-
justable gain. There are also eight balanced analog line
level -10dBv or professional level +4dBu equipment.
outputs for headphone and studio monitor feeds. Inputs
and select from a list of all available sources; eight “radio
buttons” provide instant access to favorite sources. There
are analog, AES3 and headphone outputs, and even a convenient analog and AES3 input — ideal for production or
news studios where operators typically both create and
play audio streams.
use XLR connectors; outputs are on RJ-45’s.
15C52E
[email protected]?
The AES/EBU Node provides eight stereo AES3 inputs and
The GPIO Node provides 8 logic ports for machine control,
eight AES3 outputs. Sample-rate conversion is available
each with 5 opto-isolated inputs and 5 isolated outputs
on all inputs; the unit can be used to sync the Livewire
that can be associated with any audio stream.
network to a house clock.
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<9F5G9B5*3?>>53D54
AXIA | NETWORKING
[email protected]>5BC=51>C1=?B5F1<E12<5>5DG?B;
In 2003, Axia introduced Livewire, a real-time AoIP networking system using Ethernet for uncompressed digital pro audio.
Today, Livewire is the broadcast industry’s de facto standard
for networking studio equipment. More than 3000 radio studios are equipped with Axia AoIP networks, with over 25,000
Livewire-equipped devices in service.
We believe that broadcasting’s future is networked. Enabling
broadcast devices to talk intelligently with one another opens
up efficient new ways for talent to operate. Networking removes complexity from the broadcast plant, just as it enhances the way equipment works together. Imagine hooking up a
multi-line talkshow system to your console with just one cable
– and then commanding that system with controls built right
into the board. You don’t have to imagine: Axia Livewire lets
you do that right now, today. Operating more efficiently, decreasing costs of maintenance and installation – that’s what
IP-Audio networking is all about.
until everything in the studio is networked. So, we’ve decided
to make Livewire a gift to the broadcast community: we’ve introduced the Livewire Limitless License (or L3, for short). Under
L3, anyone who wants to put Livewire into their products can do
so without the cost of ongoing licensing fees. We’ve published
our designs, opened our source code and even shared our specification documents and development information with our partners. Even easier – manufacturers can use the little interface
card shown here to add Livewire to their products just by plugging it into their designs. Companies like Studer, Orban, MAYAH
and AEV have already jumped on board, with more to come.
LIVEWIRE® INTERFACE CARD
Plenty of broadcast companies share our networked vision,
and have become Axia Partners, producing software and hardware that “speaks Livewire” natively. But we won’t be happy
@1BD>[email protected]?4E3DC
Here are just some of the products from Axia partners that
connect directly to Livewire networks:
25-SEVEN AUDIO TIME MANAGER
FRAUNHOFER CONTENTSERVER
94
AUDIOSCIENCE 6585
LIVEWIRE SOUND CARD
SOUND4 IP PCI
AUDIO PROCESSING CARD
INTERNATIONAL DATACASTING
SFX4104 EXP SATELLITE RECEIVER
PARAVEL SYSTEMS iROUTE
NAUTEL VS1 FM TRANSMITTER
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G8I4?5C1H91?EDC5<<[email protected]?>C?<5/
G5€F57?D3?>>53D9?>C
Did you know that there are over 3000 Axia consoles on the air? That's more than all other AoIP consoles … combined. Is it because
our ads are so irresistible? Our marketing guys think so... but, no. It€s because broadcasters know that a network€s value increases
with the number of devices that talk to it. And nobody connects to more IP-Audio devices than Axia.
With this huge installed base of broadcast studios around the world, we€ve attracted dozens of partner companies, all offering
LivewireTM compatible products. A device with a Livewire port is instantly available to any other device on the network. So, if you€re
shopping for IP consoles, be sure you ask: "How many partners do you have?" Because a network that only plays with itself isn€t very
well-connected... is it?
0RISTINE3YSTEMS
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5F?<ED9?>
AXIA | NETWORKING | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
[email protected]>2B?1431CD5>79>55B9>7
This year we celebrate a decade since the first public demonstration of AoIP. Does that seem too long a time? It’s not — although officially revealed a year later in 2003, Livewire actually
debuted at NAB in 2002. Sitting hidden inside Telos display furniture, it was secretly powering the demo of our SmartSurface
mixing console. So it seems appropriate that we look back on
how AoIP began and evolved, see where it has taken us today,
and maybe take a peek into the future.
In October, 2000, Steve Church visited the Real-Time Systems
laboratory at the University of Latvia, bringing with him an
extremely interesting document: a technical outline of a
completely new approach to building audio infrastructure
for a modern radio broadcast facility, based on using standard Ethernet/IP-based protocols and off-the-shelf data
network equipment.
By the late 1990’s, data networking was already present in
everyday activities. There was a good selection of reasonably
priced networking devices and cabling materials on the market, and connecting a basic office data network was a relatively
easy, almost plug-and-play task, thanks to the huge effort that
the computer and data networking industry had been making
for many years.
Two major misconceptions stood in the way of introducing
modern data network technologies into broadcast applications; namely that Ethernet = Internet, and that PC Platform =
MS Windows. In reality, Ethernet is capable of delivering huge
bandwidth at excellent performance and very reasonable cost
— switched-duplex Ethernet links do not suffer from the problems that are so common on the Internet. And x86 hardware
was a universal high-performance processing device that could
support sub-microsecond timing resolution. The OS was what
slowed things down, not the hardware.
Radio broadcast facilities were no exception — on the office
side, at least. But in the studio? Racks of tremendously expensive special-purpose equipment, and tons of cabling could still
be found there. The equipment at the heart of broadcast radio
was, back then, far behind that of the data networking industry.
Understanding these two fundamental facts allowed Telos to
start one of the most ambitious R&D projects the radio broadcast industry has ever seen. Its successful implementation in
just a few years opened the doors to a major technical breakthrough in many broadcast facilities all over the world.
PRO AUDIO OVER IP? THAT’S CRAZY! OR IS IT?
The work started in October of 2000, at the University of
Latvia, and the beginning was rather academic. A team of
highly skilled software and data networking experts started
examining various performance aspects of the Linux operating
system and switched Ethernet. Many hours of tricky experiments produced CPU/OS and Ethernet throughput estimates,
multicast and QoS behavior test reports, network packet latency distribution graphs at different conditions, and more.
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Compare performance of latency and jitter test
under different load in RTAI
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NAB 2003, Las Vegas.
Compare jitter using MUP and SMO schedulers
(logarithmic view)
Livewire technology receives its first award.
GROWTH
Measurements after Leave, t_between = 225 ms
Somewhat surprisingly, considering the radical nature of our
new idea, those who saw the Axia demonstration at NAB 2003
seemed convinced that it would work. What we didn’t realize is
that, while they approved in theory, they certainly didn’t want
to be the ones whose facilities proved the theory sound!
The first sale of Axia Livewire equipment happened in late 2003,
about half-a-year after its introduction. It was a simple pair of
Axia audio nodes, used as a digital snake to take a few audio
sources between two locations via optical cable.
New York’s WOR
The results were very promising, and soon what had been
research began quickly transforming into software design outlines and pieces of working code. A lab demo of a fully working
Livewire link was set up in June of 2001, at the University of
Latvia in Riga, and we began two years of intensive work devoted to bringing Livewire to broadcasters. We built prototypes of
a networked mixing console, a mixing engine, and audio IO
devices of several types, as well as designed and implemented
intelligent and user-friendly software. In April, 2003, the result
of this highly involved effort of an entire engineering team
resulted in the public introduction of Axia Livewire IP-Audio at
the Las Vegas NAB show.
The first large station cluster with Axia. That’s SmartSurface,
our first console design. It caught a lot of people’s attention.
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In early 2004, after months of showing our new baby around,
the first commercial AoIP studios went on-air at Radio Skonto
in Riga, Latvia, followed closely by Auburn University’s WEGL-FM
in Auburn, Alabama.
After that, acceptance of IP-Audio started growing rapidly.
Broadcasters of all sizes took the plunge, from low-budget college radio, to privately-owned media operating both single studios and networks of all sizes, to big public-funded networks.
By 2007 the total number of studios had reached 500, and accelerated to reach over 3000 active on-air studios equipped
with Livewire by the time of this writing (early 2012).
A few notable events, illustrating the scope of this evolution:
» In May, 2005, New York’s WOR became the first large facility to select Livewire AoIP, choosing it as the basis for its
new facility on Broadway. WOR installed 7 networked studios along with several hundred audio sources.
» In 2006, Minnesota Public Radio in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The steady growth of AoIP didn’t go unnoticed by other equipment manufacturers, who quickly realized the value of making
their products connect directly with the growing AoIP community. ENCO Systems was the first, followed by many other software and hardware manufacturers, covering a wide product
range that grew to include consoles, sound cards, codecs, various processing devices and playout systems. In 2010, Nautel
Ltd. announced the Axia Livewire AoIP interface would be included into one of their transmitter product lines — the “missing link” that finally made possible an all-AoIP broadcast chain.
A few other companies (after first denying that the technology
would work) launched their own, proprietary, AoIP solutions.
Unfortunately, none of these are compatible with each other,
or with other broadcast hardware.
But, good news: the value of interoperability between products
from different manufacturers is clearly recognized these days,
and significant efforts are currently being applied in that direction by several organizations.
installed 20 networked Axia studios. Also, Radio Free Asia
chose to install Axia in their Bangkok, Thailand news center.
» During the next years a number of other highly reputable
broadcasters chose Axia Livewire too – Clear Channel, RTL,
Univision, Southern California Public Radio, and more. At
the same time, many smaller private and public stations in
the USA, Canada, South America, all parts of Europe, India,
China, Australia, and other countries all around the world
decided to go with AoIP as well.
» In 2009, a fascinating government-funded project in New
Zealand called PungaNet utilized Axia AoIP to cover the
whole island with 21 networked studios, interlinked by
means of MPEG-coded channels and a custom-designed
RTP router.
» Also in 2009, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – one of the
world’s biggest and most reputable broadcasters – went
on air with 50 networked Axia Livewire studios from its new
facility in Prague, in the Czech Republic.
Radio Free Europe
THE AoIP LANDSCAPE IN 2012
Today, AoIP has earned wide recognition. This point is driven
home by the multitude of products present on the pro audio
and broadcast market, and in field, ranging from single devices
up to complete multi-vendor system solutions. There has also
been much attention given by the trade press, including hundreds of different articles online and in industry magazines.
There is even a book, Audio Over IP: Building Pro AoIP Systems
With Livewire, published by Focal Press/Elsevier.
Along with this attention have come specialized seminars and
conferences on AoIP technologies organized by the Audio Engineering Society, the NAB, the Society of Broadcast Engineers,
the European Broadcasting Union, and others. There are also
interoperability initiatives and ongoing specification work at
several private companies and International organizations.
Livewire, originally developed by a single company, today is an
open solution providing interface documentation, a complete
reference design, and an off-the-shelf Dolby-E plug-in interface board. Although it is not, and never attempted to become
a formally recognized interoperability standard, Livewire is by
far the dominant AoIP technology in broadcast. It counts over
3000 programs on-air, 25 000 devices streaming a few hundred
thousand audio sources, and more than 30 different broadcast
manufacturers offering Livewire-enabled equipment.
We at Axia are extremely happy and proud to see how the initiative started by us more than 10 years ago has transformed one
dream into reality – the dream of affordable, efficient technology for building pro audio networks.
TECHNOLOGY
Now would be a good time to look at the reasons behind IPAudio‘s remarkable growth, and some of the technologies
now available.
One of 49 Axia studios at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
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WHY IS AoIP SO GOOD?
It’s high tech at an affordable price. There could be many different answers to the question above, but this is probably the
most fundamental one. AoIP leverages decades’ worth of huge
investments by the computer and data networking industry,
offering extremely high technology at mass-market prices.
Custom-designed systems often offer either high technology
or an affordable price, but very rarely both at once. The ability
to do so shines a very favorable light onto AoIP.
The following points are, to a great extent, the benefits of this.
High technology allows building efficient and intelligent applications, which is what AoIP solutions have always been about.
Universal network infrastructure. The inherent capability of
IP networks to multiplex a variety of protocols and applications
on common cabling and interfaces accommodates nearly anything, and in any combination. So the network infrastructure
can be shared by many very different tasks – audio streaming,
machine control, program metadata, even regular office work.
Huge bandwidth over a compact physical media. The most
common lower-layer transport media for IP is Ethernet. Everyone knows how thin an Ethernet cable is, but in terms of raw
digital bandwidth, a 1Gb/s Ethernet link is equivalent to about
300 AES-3 links, or about 500 E1’s, or about 650 T1’s. Which
means significant savings on both the space requirements and
cost of the cabling.
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Ability to operate over different lower layer technologies.
While the copper Ethernet LAN is doubtlessly the most widely used MAC/physical layer for IP, the IP protocol itself is not
bound to any specific underlying protocol or physical transmission media. To mention just a few most widely known technologies, IP can be carried also over ISDN, ATM, MPLS, IEEE 1394, or
DSL links. This fact makes the IP-based transport nearly futureproof, thanks to its ability to propagate through various network types, including mixed-technology ones, and the ability to
survive evolutionary changes in the carrier networks.
Virtual soundcards. A small detail? In fact, it is huge. No other
technology but AoIP allows converting a regular PC into a highquality multi-channel sound card array without spending a cent
for special hardware. The cost of expensive hardware sound
cards is crossed off the list and replaced with a software component at a small fraction of that cost.
The opportunity to use standard software. Being IP-based,
AoIP can immediately benefit from many useful tools developed by the Internet community for rather different purposes.
» IP audio can easily be monitored on a regular PC, using
standard audio player software.
» Device management is made easy – all that you need is a
standard web browser. One might argue that a non-IP system
can do that too, and in fact many do, but it costs to add yet
another hardware interface and a network link just to serve
this one purpose. An AoIP device can get it for no additional
See the empty cable tray?
hardware cost, excepting the tiny fraction of the link bandwidth that the HTTP management takes.
» Inexpensive, up to completely free, diagnostic tools are
available for development and most field troubleshooting
needs. Usually a network protocol analyzer is an expensive piece of equipment, and it may get even worse with
a closed proprietary system, where the manufacturer may
prefer to keep the technical secrets and restrict availability of monitoring and analysis tools to the authorized personnel only. IP networks are probably the only exception,
where complex monitoring and analysis is feasible without
any investment in tools – on a standard PC, using free software like WireShark, for example.
LIVEWIRE
This is what happens when one plans for TDM, but gets AoIP.
Why, exactly, is Livewire so popular? Here are a few reasons:
Flexibility and scalability. Huge physical bandwidth and
packet switching make IP networks nearly limitlessly flexible.
You can easily allocate the entire bandwidth of a 10 Gb/s IP/
Ethernet link to a single media stream — or use it to deliver
one million low-fidelity audio feeds. IP-based solutions scale
easily; any newly installed or reserved capacity can be instantly
allocated for any purpose – no system configuration, and no
network redesign needed. This greatly simplifies planning and
building audio applications, and opens the door to convergence
of audio and video handling systems.
» It’s an open solution, built on the basis of standard technologies.
» It ensures a less-than-1ms network hop delay for low-latency audio streams, and can accommodate over 10,000
sources in every isolated network.
» It employs standard IP over switched Ethernet as the carrier network, and RTP/UDP for audio transport – no proprietary schemes.
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» Livewire’s patented synchronization filtering algorithm in
slave devices ensures exceptional stability in presence of
network jitter, and works equally well both with the original
Livewire sync protocol and the IEEE 1588 (PTP) standard. Under certain conditions, Livewire networks can achieve better
sync performance than IEEE 1588 alone would deliver.
» IP multicast-based routing ensures efficient one-to-many
connectivity, as well as instant setting up, rerouting, and
AXIA | NETWORKING | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
clearing of individual connections.
» Advanced device and source discovery protocol ensures
instant availability of dynamically changing data through-
for IEEE 1588 beginning with the debut of Axia’s xNodes. And of
course, Livewire retains the option for users to operate with its
original sync protocol as well.
To put all this into context, in terms of the RAVENNA framework, the audio streaming part of Livewire would correspond
to a specific profile. Paradoxically, if such a profile were defined,
at the time this is written, Livewire would be the only existing
RAVENNA profile that is implemented in real products, widely
deployed and field-proven.
There is also open specification work in progress yet, especially
at the higher application layers of RAVENNA.
out the network.
OTHER AoIP TECHNOLOGIES?
RAVENNA
RAVENNA (an acronym for Real-time Audio Video Enhanced
Next-generation Networking Architecture) is a new offering
from Lawo, the German manufacturer of ultra-high end broadcast consoles. Just recently they have started to demonstrate
real device prototypes.
Thanks to the popularity of Livewire, some companies have
announced their own competing AoIP protocols, but these are
closed, proprietary solutions, and information about them is
limited. None have achieved wide acceptance in broadcasting.
» Dante: 100Mb or Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 1588-2002, UDP
unicast or multicast, 48/96/192kHz sampling rates, 24-bit
From the fundamental technology viewpoint, in the area of pro
audio, RAVENNA is actually making a second round on the basis
of IETF documents. Although it has its own independent roots,
this effort essentially results in a generalization of the Livewire
solution. RAVENNA follows exactly the same way of thinking as
does Livewire, which is to say that it is aimed at building open
systems on the basis of widely adopted public standards – so
it’s not a surprise that they, too, are building their technology
on IP, UDP, RTP, and the related protocols.
There is a difference in the business model though:
» The Livewire project has been focused on bringing a practical solution to market since its very inception. It was primarily designed for a specific product line, although fully
recognizing the value of being standards-based and open.
The focus on a product resulted in selecting a technically
sufficient, and at the same time economically justified,
functionality set. This precisely defined functionality is consistently supported across the entire Livewire product line,
ensuring universal interoperability.
proprietary coding, Bonjour discovery
» Q-LAN: Gigabit Ethernet or higher, IEEE 1588-2002, UDP
unicast, 48kHz sampling rate, 32-bit floating proprietary
coding, proprietary discovery protocol
» WheatNet: Gigabit Ethernet, UDP multicast, 48/44.1kHz
sampling rate, 24-bit RTP coding
THIS IS NOT AoIP!
Ethernet is not AoIP. Probably the biggest point of confusion
for those seeking an AoIP solution is confusing Ethernet with
IP, since they are nearly inseparable. But there is a significant
difference between technologies built on the IP layer (layer 3)
and those implemented directly on the Ethernet data link layer
(layer 2), or even the Ethernet physical layer. The biggest difference is that non-IP technologies are not routable, significantly
limiting their usefulness.
For example, none of these otherwise great technologies are
AoIP, even though they use an Ethernet transmission link:
» Unlike Livewire, RAVENNA started from offering a highly
generic specification, which taken alone can not effectively
ensure multi-vendor interoperability due to too many variables that are left unresolved in the framework. This will be
» Cobranet – legendary for its time and niche, but it is an Ethernet layer-2 technology
addressed by means of providing precisely defined interop-
» AES50 – Ethernet layer-1
erability profiles – a work currently in progress.
» Ethersound – Ethernet layer-2
» AVB – Ethernet layer-2
As to the actual technical differences in the application overlap
area, there is not much to speak about. Besides allowing multiple interoperability profile definitions, the biggest difference
is the selection of a synchronization method. While Livewire
uses its own synchronization protocol, RAVENNA has selected
the IEEE 1588 (PTP) standard, which simply did not exist yet at
the time Livewire was developed. However, today even this difference starts to disappear, as Livewire has introduced support
100
AVB is not AoIP. Surprised by this? Even with the understanding that AVB is not AoIP, it is often touted as a possible replacement, or even a superior technology. While AVB is a great
advancement in the area of audio streaming, designed to deliver
high-resolution audio at a guaranteed low latency, it’s a pretty
tricky proposition for the system engineer willing to build an
AVB application.
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AVB claims to be an inherent capability of standard networking
equipment, implying that, unlike AoIP, AVB would not require
an engineered network. But when you look closely, this seemingly huge advantage starts fading.
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member, has been created and is working on a draft document.
More information can be read at www.x192.org.
NRJ Networks, Paris
Support of IEEE 802.1AS (subset of IEEE 1588) is mandatory in
all switches and terminal devices. Support of IEEE 802.1Qat,
the Stream Reservation Protocol (SRP), is mandatory too. Since
AVB traffic cannot be routed through network equipment that
is not AVB-enabled, it effectively still requires an engineered
network – at least in terms of careful selection of the switch
models (until such time as AVB is included in all industrially
made switches).
And even with all AVB-enabled network equipment in place, significant restrictions remain. AVB is layer-2, not routable, so the
audio traffic cannot pass the boundaries of LAN subnets. Don’t
even think about WAN links. And only 75% of the bandwidth
can be reserved for actual AVB traffic. While generally this kind
of a restriction makes sense for mixed-application networks, it
robs 25% of the bandwidth from a dedicated audio setup.
WHAT’S IN AoIP’S FUTURE?
No one can say for sure. But there are some things peeking
over the horizon that are worth mentioning.
INTEROPERABILITY
The value of a networking technology is only as great as the
number of devices it allows to interconnect. Users and manufacturers realize this – several interoperability initiatives have
appeared, and some of them have already produced useful
results. These initiatives indicate a new level of AoIP evolution.
World’s largest AoIP mixing console? Likely. This 36-position, 28-fader
Axia Element is in the master control room of NRJ Networks, Paris.
WIDE-AREA AoIP NETWORKS
EBU – ACIP project: The Audio Contribution over IP (ACIP) project lead by the network division at EBU, is perhaps the earliest major initiative that has already produced practically useful
results. Recognizing the fact that more and more equipment
is using IP links for audio contribution, EBU launched a project
group in 2006 to develop minimum interoperability requirements for devices interconnected via IP. Agreement on a common standard was reached in September of 2007. The standard
is based on a number of IETF documents, in particular RTP over
UDP for audio streaming, and SIP for session management. It
also defines a number of mandatory audio codecs to be supported by all compliant devices, as well as a number of recommended codecs. The project proved to be successful – most
of the manufacturers taking part in the plug tests in 2009 appeared compatible.
AES – X.192: The effort started by the EBU ACIP project is
logically continued by the AES X.192 high-performance AoIP
interoperability project, attempting to reconcile the existing
in-facility AoIP networking solutions. This project has chosen
an approach to identify an area of overlap, where the different technologies might be able to interoperate, hopefully with
no, or minor enhancements. A task group, of which Axia is a
Network bandwidth and latency, and (to some extent) the processing power of network devices are the main factors limiting
AoIP applications. But these factors are also the ones we can
observe evolving quickly and steadily. The cost of processing
power is reasonably low, and keeps dropping, allowing network devices to become faster as well as functionally more
capable. Huge amounts of bandwidth are added to backbone
links worldwide every month; more and more connections get
upgraded to high-speed copper and optical links, and new wireless technologies cover low-density areas. This stimulates services that were originally conceived for use only on a LAN to
break the walls of the closed networks and go out to the WAN.
MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) is a technology that
helps greatly here. Although MPLS doesn’t create new bandwidth, it allows utilizing WAN bandwidth for LAN protocols and
applications without any redesign of the latter. It is capable of
tunneling Ethernet frames to transparently link distant clusters
of a virtual LAN.
The Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) is well known and
widely deployed, but has yet to find its way into broadcast
applications. When backbone networks build up sufficient
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bandwidth, AoIP networking over VPLS may become an extremely attractive alternative to today’s point-to-point compressed audio contribution links. As the capacity of the networks grows, a natural trend will be to allocate more bandwidth
to audio links, allowing the use of codecs with less aggressive
compression. As this bandwidth expansion cycle repeats, we
will eventually achieve the ultimate goal of sending linear audio
over WAN links.
Internet2 is a major initiative led by the research and education community. The Internet2 consortium comprises over 200
US universities, as well as corporations, government agencies,
and national research and educational organizations from
over 50 countries. The consortium operates an evolving highperformance network that currently spans the US. It provides
network capacity for educational, research and community
services, as well as actively engages the community in the development of new technologies and Internet applications.
The capability of data transport at multi-gigabit rates over long
distances is opening doors for advanced networking applications in arts and education, including live music performance
over networks, interactive sound production, teaching, and
many other areas.
A SIDEBAR: usually the discussion goes about how technical
limitations narrow the artistic quality. However, it appears that
the networking phenomenon that has become an important
part of our everyday life is provoking new creative ideas itself.
It allows, for example, a group of performers to collaboratively
play music on a networked instrument, or exploit network delay or packet jitter as “sound art”. Also, special music is being
composed for networks, assuming a certain delay between the
participants of the ensemble, in which case the network delay
becomes an inseparable part of the musical composition. To
find out more, simply search the Web for “networked music
performance”, or related keywords, and read on!
102
WHAT’S NEXT?
No one knows the future, but there are, really, three fundamental things we would wish to receive from networking technologies in the coming years:
» Complete transparency to the native resolution of the
source material
» Complete transparency to application functionality
» Zero latency (Ok, let’s be realistic – close to zero)
The good news is that, although it sometimes may be costly,
none of these wishes is fundamentally impossible to realize
even within the scope of technologies known today. It may be
that, one day, processors will be inexpensive and fast enough
to satisfy any fancy application – devices easily handling
message rates at the audio sampling frequency and higher.
Imagine the globe, wrapped in a lightning-fast ultra-broadband protocol-transparent carrier network – no link congestion ever, network nodes forward the traffic instantly, and the
packet overhead is no more an issue. Right now it’s a dream,
but certainly not an impossible one.
And after that? Well, the electromagnetic field is slowish.
Travelling half the globe in an optical fibre takes about 100ms.
Can this be improved?
An old legend from the early years of the 21st century was
telling: “AoIP will never work.” …
Gints Linis
Research & Development Project Manager
Axia Audio
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC
Viewers are listening.
That's what it really comes down to.
The advent of digital may have brought whiplash transformation to television broadcast engineering but something
else changed along the way - audience expectations.
Viewers are more discerning.
Linear Acoustic products and technologies are designed
to manage audio and loudness, help you maintain compliance, upmix, downmix, encode, decode, meter, monitor
every audio function along the path from production to
transmission intuitively.
But our primary goal is audio quality. Our focus remains
on helping broadcasters world wide deliver compelling,
engaging audio that is naturally compliant because it
satisfies viewers.
Viewers are listening.
Christina Carroll
SVP, Global Sales, Telos Alliance
<9>51B13?ECD93
LINEAR ACOUSTIC | COMPANY HISTORY
[email protected]>I89CD?BI
AUDIO UNDER CONTROL
Audio has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and
growing up in the NY area fed nicely into this desire. From repairing headphones in grade school (long before truly understanding what I was doing, and only occasionally bringing them
back to life), to being the chief engineer of my high school and
college radio stations. It was in radio that I developed an insatiable curiosity about broadcast and audio processing in
particular. Thankfully, I had several very patient teachers that
grimaced and looked the other way when I was “understanding” stuff using the disassembly method of learning. Some of
it actually made it back together, and in hindsight, luckily some
of it did not.
TO DOLBY AND BEYOND
Joining Dolby Laboratories in 1995 was a seminal event. There
was not a broadcast group per se, but the market for digital
sound on film was growing and engineers were needed. Spending almost four years on the film stages of New York delivered
in-depth experience with the production of matrix and discrete
surround audio and with the brand new DVD format which
specified the Dolby Digital (AC-3) codec for multichannel audio.
There were two problems with this dream. First, it required everything to be in place all at once to make it work seamlessly.
This might be practical in the lab but reality dictates it will work
out otherwise. Second, there seemed to be so many places
where things could go wrong and it was becoming very obvious
that some sort of overall protection was necessary.
The time had come to take my bag of collected tricks and hit the
road as a consultant to try to help broadcasters and manufacturers take the next steps. However, it quickly became apparent that the technology to avert a potential train wreck would
have to be homegrown.
YEP, WE STARTED IN A NJ GARAGE
Being walking distance from the major television networks in
New York allowed me to experiment with early DTV audio products in some of the worlds most advanced broadcast facilities.
Romantic, isn’t it? Actually, Linear Acoustic was started in the
basement of the house I grew up in and expanded into the garage (and the dining room, living room, and at least one bedroom). It also consumed a good deal of space at Leif Claesson’s
house in California where he turned our good ideas into algorithms. Interestingly, we were never on the same coast during
the entire development but overnight delivery service and the
Internet made us feel like we were in the garage together.
Next stop was Dolby’s San Francisco headquarters to take on
the role of the professional audio product manager. Here a
rogue team of engineers and coding experts developed a set
of products that laid the foundation for broadcasters to tran-
Once we finished the initial development of the first Linear
Acoustic product called the OCTiMAX 5.1, Leif and I showed it at
the SMPTE convention in Pasadena, CA. Thankfully, we caught
someone’s attention.
Almost simultaneously, the AC-3 codec was mandated for use
in the ATSC digital television standard, and soon thereafter was
included in the DVB specification. The rush was on to develop
the tools for this new format.
106
sition to digital video and audio and from mono or stereo to
5.1 channel surround. Never in the history of the company had
so many products been developed in so short a time, but it
was necessary as we were not just adding more channels but
changing the entire path from production to consumer. The
dream was that Hollywood audio quality could be delivered
to the home via broadcast, and for the first time transmission
methods would not get in the way.
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That someone was Steve Smith, the venerable engineering
leader of Liberty Corporation and he was tasked with transitioning his television stations to digital. When we informed
him that we were working on a DTV loudness controller, he proposed that if we could make digital television audio as handsoff as it was in analogue and still preserve the quality that he
would outfit all sixteen of his television stations. Steve and
Liberty became our first customer.
We were working on a shoestring budget creating products
that were being installed by some of the top US television
broadcasters as they began their transition to digital. Every
unit was hand-assembled and carefully tested using tools that
are common today, but were new to the industry then. As with
any brand new product, there were bugs, but most of ours had
four or more legs and were removed with compressed air.
AND THEN WE MOVED TO PA
Soon we outgrew the garage and moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to enable us to bring on some additional engineering
talent and to take advantage of easier access to better quality
high-tech manufacturing vendors.
In Lancaster, we began R&D that resulted in the first ever AC-3
splicer (and they said it couldn’t be done), along with a higher
density audio transport system called e-squared was used on
such high profile events as the Academy Awards and the Country Music Awards broadcasts. We also innovated some metadata
tools and a really slick audio and metadata monitoring system.
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beginning of Linear Acoustic. Our approach supports industry
efforts to solve loudness problems by working on each stage
of the chain rather than just slapping a “cruncher” at the end.
We also have the leading stereo to 5.1 channel upmixing technology called UPMAX and have recently released a new flavor
called UPMAX II to critical acclaim. New software tools allow for
the most advanced file-based audio processing available.
AND THEN WE WON AN EMMY
We are incredibly humbled and honored to have been presented with a 2010 Technical Emmy® award for “The Pioneering
Development of an Audio/Metadata Processor for Conforming
Audio to ATSC Standard” (whew).
We take this honor very seriously and recognize the importance
of remaining active participants in standards creation within
the ATSC for DTV and Mobile DTV, SMPTE, and the EBU to continue to make audio even better.
In addition to having some of the best ears in the industry for
broadcast audio, our ears are also sensitive to your feedback
and suggestions. Our products are based on direct suggestions
(or commands) from customers.
Broadcast is in our blood: it is what we do, it is what we love to
do. It is what links us to you, our customers and our colleagues.
Viewers ARE listening, and so are we.
TIM CARROLL
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, LINEAR ACOUSTIC
In 2008, we proudly joined Steve, Frank and Mike to become
part of the Telos Alliance.
Today, the end of analogue over the air television is a reality
in the US and is in process internationally, and loudness problems are rampant. Sadly, this was predicted.
Thankfully, we are amidst the continuing release of new and
useful products that are the culmination of our work since the
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS MANAGERS | APPLICATION ARTICLE
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Thank you, loudness. Thank you for your spikes, sudden bursts
and consistent inconsistencies. Thank you for transforming
serene, satisfied television viewers into an angry, ear-cupping
citizenry, banding together to complain to their governments.
But most of all, thank you for finally causing the broadcast
industry to bolt upright and recognize a seemingly obvious
truth: TV is more than simply a picture. And for that, loudness
deserves some gratitude.
By reminding TV broadcasters of the importance of audio,
loudness, in a way, has made TV quality better than it might
have been.
When broadcast engineers focus on the real audio issue – delivering consistent quality sound – loudness becomes moot,
consumers are contented, regulators draw back, producers
can be satisfied, and broadcasters are happy.
It is also important to remember that while it is easy to blame
loudness issues on commercial advertisements or other interstitials, it can also be the fault of the programs themselves. A
train crash and explosion might be fine during a matinee but
it is not going to go over very well at 3 in the morning with
kids asleep.
PLEASE MORE PEOPLE, MORE OF THE TIME
Everyone wants your audio signal to be perfect, at least to
their expectations. Who requires it the most? Is it the regulator?
The station manager? The program producer? The consumer? In
reality, it is all of the above but for different and sometimes
opposing reasons.
Each of these targets has their own benchmark for satisfaction. The station wants happy viewers and a happy regulator.
The regulator wants no complaints from viewers.
Ultimately then, the final judge is the viewer. It is the viewers
who create station ratings and thus a place for paid advertising to be shown which generates revenue to buy programming
and pay staff. It is the same viewers who will complain to the
regulator when the audio is not right - especially when there
are unexpected loudness shifts.
The viewer wants consistent audio, then they will not complain
to the regulator and the station is likely safe. How this is accomplished, however, may not satisfy the program producer.
COMPLIANCE OR QUALITY?
Is it possible to regulate an audio signal to the point of being
unlistenable? For some governments, nothing is impossible.
108
Although regulators may specify both a loudness target and
the method for measuring loudness, they will likely not react
unless they receive viewer complaints. However, a regulated
target and a metering specification, if approached blindly, may
result only in the meter being happy.
Just like in the departed or soon to be departed days of analogue, devices can be installed at the end of the chain prior
to transmission that raises or lowers gain depending on how
much the loudness of the incoming audio varies from the target. This is commonly referred to as Automatic Gain Control
(AGC). AGC systems will more or less treat every shift similarly
and will affect the good and the bad. Everything gets a little
something whether it needs it or not.
While there are many sophisticated (and some unsophisticated ways) to accomplish AGC, in reality there is no way for
any machine, regardless of manufacturer, topology, or promise
of magic outcome that can, in real time, know the difference
between a good, intentional loudness shift and a bad, annoying loudness shift. Certainly human generated commands and
even metadata can be used to change or bypass processing for
content that is believed to be good, but this involves a great
deal of effort that has proven thus far not to have been exerted. Television mixers have long been used to the idea that what
was transmitted via analogue means would be different than
what they created and that was just the way it was. In today’s
digital world, there is no technical reason why before and after
cannot match. It happens when films mixed for the big screen
are then transferred to DVD and the same audio coding system
is used for 5.1 channel broadcasts.
TAKE IT IN DOSES
Since machines cannot automatically know the difference, a
better approach is to separate the problem into smaller tasks:
matching average loudness, managing transitions, and delivering appropriate dynamic range.
Taken separately, a much better result can be obtained. For
example, to match the average loudness of programs, use of
BS.1770 along with either manual or automatic control of the
meter based on an anchor element such as dialogue, allows
the overall average to be measured and then a simple overall
one-time level scale to be applied so the target is achieved. This
changes nothing about the content and preserves the intent
of the producer.
Matching average loudness of different pieces of content does
not, however, solve jarring transitions. These occur at program
boundaries and are the result of a mismatch of short term
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SUMMARY
loudness at the junction between the end of one piece of content and the beginning of the next.
Think of a program whose average loudness measures at one
level and a commercial advert that measures at another level. If
the averages are matched by scaling their loudness, then on average they will sound equally loud. However, if a dramatic program is ending with a quiet death scene (as they often do), and
compared to average is quiet for the 60 seconds leading up to
the advert, guess what is about to happen? Yep, the advert will
seem too loud. Guess what else? Meters will be totally happy
since they are looking at longer term averages.
To oversimplify things, this is in fact similar to a dynamic range
issue. It is not the same dynamic range variation as a loud train
crash or gun fight in an action adventure movie, which is expected, but is instead an artificial variation. In fact the difference in loudness in this case may be much less than the gun
fight. However, it is perceived as much worse. Likely this is because disparate elements are being glued together not for artistic reasons, but for financial reasons. The commercial must
play at a certain time, per contract, whether or not it matches
the program that surrounds it. How can this be captured by
any meter? So far, it cannot be, at least not in real time.
One way to fix this is to use the AGC techniques described earlier which to minimize variations. Again, this will keep the viewer
and the meter happy, but the program will have been irreparably changed and the producers will probably not be thrilled
with the outcome.
The other way is to capture it in the program delivery specification. Offering typical ranges for programming and examples
of what might happen at program/commercial boundaries will
enable mixers to take control of the situation and make better
artistic choices than any machine could make.
It is also worthwhile to refer mixers and program producers to
recommended practices that offer guidance on speaker calibration in mix environments. Interestingly, monitoring at levels
closer to what a typical consumer might listen at results in mixes with more appropriate dynamic range. Since the difference
between average loudness and background noise in the mix
room is now smaller, the dynamic range of the program must
also be reduced.
The intention of regulators is to satisfy their human constituents. Meters and loudness targets are well intentioned but
when relied upon as the sole arbiter of compliance often lead
to content that while consistent may be overly so. Like gravy
without the occasional lump, the excitement of variance is
gone. The trick is to preserve the good variance and manage
the not so good variance.
To make this work requires more effort from broadcasters and
program producers. Absent metadata systems to manage all
of this, broadcasters must supply accurate and achievable
program delivery specifications and producers must take into
account the typical viewer and what may or may not be appropriate to deliver to them. Since broadcasters may be legally
required to satisfy viewers, if content does not fit, they may
be forced to make it fit. If both sides know the rules and have
goals that are realistic and mostly aligned, it is possible to
achieve acceptable balance.
The guidelines for making it all work boil down to one rule we
should all post on our walls: don’t upset the viewer stupid!
This is where it all begins and ends. No complaints=happy
regulator=happy broadcaster. The challenge then is to manage
the cost of this satisfaction versus preservation of content. It
can be done.
If not, there are always AGCs that can smooth out everything.
Everything.
Consistent quality sound, delivered with perfectly tuned images. This is what makes great television for program producers,
regulators, consumers and ultimately, broadcasters.
And a final hat tip to loudness, without whom we may never
have made it to this point.
TIM CARROLL
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT, LINEAR ACOUSTIC
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS MANAGERS
Loudness Control, Upmixing, AES and SDI I/O plus Optional Dolby ® Encoding
and Decoding, Nielsen, and Compensating HD/SD-SDI Video Delay
AERO.air ® is audio purity for digital television.
It provides proven loudness control, decoding and encoding,
and unmatched upmixing capabilities. Factory presets ensure audio quality and easy set-up, while experienced users
will appreciate extensive access to individual controls. Adjust
the AERO.air for wideband multi-stage processing, multiband
multi-stage processing, or anywhere in between.
keys provide simple menu navigation and adjustment. The
AERO.air can be controlled remotely via GPI/O, while Gigabit
Ethernet allows TCP control by automation systems.
The AERO.air contains dual redundant power supplies and hard
relay bypass for the digital audio, SDI, and metadata signals,
necessary in mission-critical applications.
AERO.air accepts 5.1-channel and two-channel audio via included AES or HD/SD-SDI inputs, plus dedicated EAS/Aux bypass
inputs. Audio is then processed by the multiband, multistage
ITU-R compliant AEROMAX® loudness cores resulting in smooth
audio with appropriate dynamics. Two-channel audio is automatically upmixed producing a consistent surround-field, perfectly downmix compatible for all stereo viewers.
If present, audio metadata will manage upmixing and improve
loudness control while minimizing impact on source audio. Extensive fallback options enable the AERO.air to compensate for
missing or incorrect metadata.
Industry standard two-channel to 5.1-channel upmixing is
provided by the Hollywood approved UPMAX® and UPMAX II
algorithms. AutoMAX-II provides automatic and GPI or metadata guided control of upmixing without risking loss of center
channel dialogue.
A fully processed selectable LtRt surround or LoRo stereo
downmix of the main program audio is provided at all times for
legacy stereo distribution paths or simple local monitoring. A
6.3mm (1/4”) high-level headphone connector and VGA output
for multi-screen display complete the package.
Extensive standard I/O includes up to ten main AES inputs and
outputs and front panel headphone connector. HD/SD-SDI I/O,
with or without compensating video delay, enables de-embedding and re-embedding up to 16 channels of audio plus SMPTE
2020 (VANC) metadata. All AES outputs remain active when SDI
option is enabled. Embedded channels can be routed through
or around processing. Encoded signals can be de-embedded
and re-embedded.
A bright color display, large rotary encoder, and four control
110
Software options can generally be added in the field. Hardware
options such as Dolby encoding or decoding and video delay
must be factory installed.
[email protected]?>C
NIELSEN OPTION:
Generates revenue critical NAES II and Nielsen Watermark audience measurement codes. AERO.air precisely inserts these
signals for maximum code recovery – after audio decoding and
processing and before transmission encoding.
DOLBY DECODING OPTION:
Allows reference quality decoding of Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby
Digital Plus (E-AC-3), and Dolby E content from any AES or SDI
input signal.
DOLBY ENCODING OPTION:
Two Dolby Digital (AC-3) and/or Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) encoders for 5.1 plus stereo audio.
15B?19B9C1F19<12<59>DG?F5BC9?>C*
AERO.AIR (DTV):
AERO.air (DTV): Provides 5.1 channel loudness control and upmixing and outputs full-time 5.1 plus a stereo downmix.
AERO.AIR (5.1):
AERO.air (5.1): Supports full 10-channel 5.1 + 2 + 2 and 5 x stereo
modes, and includes dual upmixers and CrowdControl™ dialogue protection.
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Audio/Loudness Manager for Stereo, 5.1 and 16 Channel Audio HD/SD-SDI I/O
and optional Dolby® Digital (AC-3)/Dolby Digital Plus Encoding
AERO.one® is audio perfection for digital television.
Built in loudness control, metadata control, and optional transmission encoding make AERO.one the ideal choice for stations
that want to provide a seamless, optimum quality experience
for their audience. Now your viewers can be protected from
loudness shifts and loss of surround sound in a simple, cost
effective, compact, and feature rich manner.
times. These signals can be either a stereo LoRo downmix or an
industry standard LtRt surround encoded mix.
Metadata can be applied, if available, via the VANC space of
an applied HD-SDI signal or from a standard serial input to
control of upmixing and processing functions. Extensive protection is provided to prevent audible effects of incorrect or
missing metadata.
AERO.one is well suited for main or backup transmission
paths, providing high quality audio in a feature rich and cost
effective manner.
A highly-visible LED display and simple navigation cluster provide easy function adjustment. Relay bypass of all signals for
trouble-free operation in transmission critical environments.
Like other processors in the Linear Acoustic AERO family, the
AERO.one accepts up to eight pairs of PCM audio (4 pairs via
AES, up to eight pairs via SDI) to handle from two channel up
to dual 5.1+2 channel audio programming. The unit can apply
adaptive wideband and multiband, multistage ITU compliant
loudness control and upmixing to the audio, with or without
metadata guidance, to tame loudness and image shifts while
preserving more of the original content than previously possible.
Available options include internal 5.1 channel Dolby Digital (AC-3)
and Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) Encoding and SNMP monitoring.
Upmixing is provided by the Hollywood-approved UPMAX®
algorithm which provides a compelling 5.1-channel Audio experience while remaining completely downmix compatible.
AERO.one includes the AutoMAX-II auto-detection algorithm to
smoothly and automatically bypass upmixing when 5.1-channel
audio is applied.
Upmixing and processing modes can be controlled by a combination of GPI contact closures and applied metadata.
Downmixed versions of the main programs are available at all
15B??>59C1F19<12<59>6?EBF5BC9?>C*
AERO.ONE (16) – 2+2+2+2 through 5.1+2+5.1+2 channel loudness control plus quad UPMAX upmixing engines and dual
downmixed outputs.
AERO.ONE (V3) – 5.1+2 channel loudness control plus dual
UPMAX upmixing engines and downmixed output.
AERO.ONE (DTV) – 5.1 channel loudness control plus upmixing
and downmixed output.
AERO.ONE (TV) – 2+2 dual stereo programs plus SAP and
CrowdControlTM. CrowdControl dialogue protection is vital
for sports broadcasts, ending the annoying dialogue loss
that occurs in mixes rich in sound effects.
DTV AUDIO PERFECTION FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSMISSION
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS MANAGERS
1E49?<?E4>5CC=1>175B
Cost-effective 2-channel CALM and R128 loudness compliance
SDI pairs. Analogue or AES inputs can be used as sources for
- that’s what AERO.lite™ delivers. Solve inconsistent audio
embedding even if not used for processing. Since all 16 chan-
loudness with a simple set-and-forget, feature-rich stereo
nels are available for de-embedding and re-embedding, pair
processor that incorporates award-winning loudness con-
shuffling can be easily accomplished.
trol tools and extensive I/O. Perfect for main or backup transmission paths.
Designed and assembled in the USA, the lightweight and rugged 1RU aluminum chassis is durable enough for installation
Input and output signal levels are displayed alongside process-
in challenging environments like OB trucks and cramped edit
ing meters, and the optional ITU-R BS.1770 measured LKFS out-
bays. Built on a broadcast quality Linear Acoustic platform, the
put loudness value is provided to give instant verification of
AERO.lite is professional grade equipment.
loudness compliance.
A bright yellow OLED display and integrated rotary navigation
112
Audio can be extracted from any pair of an applied HD/SD-SDI
cluster provide straightforward menu navigation and function
signal, AES, or balanced analogue inputs and routed to the pro-
adjustment. Failover bypass relays on all I/O maintains signal
cessing core. Output is provided simultaneously via the front
continuity. Auto-ranging power supply for worldwide compat-
panel 6.3mm (1/4”) headphone connector, +4dBu balanced ana-
ibility, and sealed, locking 2.5mm DC input connector for avail-
logue outputs, AES output and for re-embedding into any or all
able redundant power supply.
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High Density Metadata Based Loudness Control with Dolby® Coding Processing,
Upmixing, ITU-R BS.1770 Metering, TCP/IP Remote Control, and Redundant PSU
» Fully-Fe
Fully-Featured TCP/IP Remote Control Application
» HTTP an
and Web Server included
AERO.1000™ is a fresh, revolutionary approach to balancing
density, control, and quality. Award-winning loudness control
tools plus extensive I/O in a flexible, expandable, high density
package make the AERO.1000 a wise investment.
it is created during transmission encoding, this metadata requires no operator intervention or special tools - it is a new
version of the DRC part of the Dolby Digital encoder that has always been there. Except it is now effective and uncomplicated.
» Up to 8 AEROMAX® audio engines including UPMAX® »
Applied by default in all consumer decoders, metadata provides DRC that can be disabled in higher-end systems. How
does it sound? Exactly like the high-quality audio control always provided by Linear Acoustic: Exceptional. The difference
is that the audio can remain untouched. Or not. Broadcasters
can choose permanent control where necessary, leaving reversible control for high quality trusted programming.
Linear Acoustic CARBON™ Hybrid Processing » Up to 8 Dolby
decoders and 8 Dolby Encoders » Utility ITU-R BS.1770 loudness
meters » 3GHz HD/SD-SDI I/O with compensating video delay
» Up to 16 channels of AES I/O with reference input » Stereo
+4dBu Analogue I/O » Front panel headphone output » TCP/ IP
remote control and HTTP server » Redundant PSU » Up to 8
Nielsen watermark encoders » DVB-ASI I/O (optional)
F95G5BC1B5<9CD5>9>7=5D5BC1B5=5D5B9>7
Now that the industry is focused on loudness, solutions are
rampant. Unfortunately, sound quality is mostly forgotten in
favor of meter satisfaction. Linear Acoustic has innovated and
ardently supports the approach of getting loudness matched
to target upstream using metering and/or file-based scaling
tools. Leave the final polishing provided by dynamic range control (DRC) as a part of transmission.
Linear Acoustic CARBON™ Hybrid Processing is a patent-pending
hybrid between multiband techniques and metadata. Because
Handling up to 64 channels of audio, encoded or baseband,
AES, SDI or DVB-ASI, AERO.1000 offers extremely high density. Performing control as a hybrid between single-ended
and metadata processing, AERO.1000 preserves quality. Designed and assembled in the USA, the lightweight and rugged
AERO.1000 is a solid investment in performance and flexibility. As new processes are discovered, AERO.1000 will be our
go-to platform for delivering them to the industry.
A bright yellow OLED display and integrated rotary navigation
cluster provide straightforward menu navigation and function
adjustment. Failover bypass relays on all I/O maintains signal
continuity. Dual auto-ranging power supplies for redundant
worldwide compatibility.
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<?E4>5CC
LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS MANAGERS | TECHNOLOGY ARTICLE
D85<9CD5>D5CD
Audio loudness processing is becoming an increasingly important part of the broadcaster’s job as regulatory imperatives
and sophisticated listeners demand more consistent audio levels. Not doing so can risk fines from regulatory agencies and
drive viewers to competing providers that have their audio
under control.
There are many options when purchasing audio processors
from manufacturers worldwide. Any broadcaster that is about
to put out their hard-earned money for a processor needs to
understand the differences between competing techniques
and claims, and most importantly how to evaluate equipment
from different manufacturers.
A logical place to start is with an understanding of loudness
measurement techniques and (where applicable) the regulations that reference them. The ITU-R BS.1770 measurement
standard is the basis for loudness regulation in the US and Europe, as well as other technical regulations. One point of confusion about this standard is that some processing manufacturers claim they are “BS.1770” compliant, even though BS.1770 is a
measurement, and not a processing, standard.
One of the key points of BS.1770 is that loudness is a quantity
that is integrated over a certain time period. While shorter integration times can be used, it is valid to measure entire programs (with an infinite integration time that is reset between
programs). Unlike PPM and VU level meters, instantaneous
loudness measurements have little utility.
This is done for a straightforward reason: audio has dynamics.
Digital audio broadcasts provide a much wider usable dynamic
range than did analogue transmission standards. The average
loudness level of audio content can be measured over time using a BS.1770 while still preserving this dynamic range.
114
Some broadcasters who have evaluated loudness processors
are surprised to see the output loudness level moving. They are
especially sensitive when there are imperatives that give target
loudness levels. Yet these target loudness levels are specified
over an entire program or even an entire broadcast day for a TV
station. Within any normal program there are going to be variations around the target loudness level. This is to be expected,
since the long term or average loudness is what is important.
The type of program content currently being processed will
greatly affect dynamic range as well. Certain types of content for example, some sports with constant crowd noise and nearconstant play-by-play announcers - has relatively constant levels. Other types of content, such as classical music has wildly
varying dynamics. Program producers edit their program audio
with louder and softer portions for dramatic effect. These same
producers will often object if the peak to average ratio of their
programs is drastically altered during broadcast. Listeners with
higher-end audio reproduction systems will also notice more
limited dynamics.
So what is best when processing such varying types of content? As a general rule, preserving dynamics is beneficial. Using
loudness processors with a range of preset conditions greatly
simplifies set up for the broadcaster. Linear Acoustic Audio
Loudness Managers have a range of presets that allow adjustment of all processing parameters. Included in this list are presets that minimally alter the peak-to-average ratio of content
while still achieving target average loudness values. Of course
there are also “denser” presets that have considerably lower
peak-to-average ratio.
Both of these (and all of the other processing presets) will produce audio with long term loudness at the target level. Many
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other devices from other manufacturers will do so as well. So
what are the differences between loudness managers from
Linear Acoustic and others?
While the very definition of an audio loudness processor requires that the output measure correctly on a meter, it is not
nearly enough for that to be the only function. The other
critical aspect of a processor is that… it actually sounds good
while maintaining loudness. No meter yet invented can convey
“sounds good”.
The ultimate test of any audio processing device is a listening
session using the best audio evaluation tool in existence, our
human ears. A near infinite list of subtleties exists when processing signal content with the dynamics of broadcast audio.
Many manufacturers claim to have mastered these subtleties,
but a few listening tests almost always provide a different story. Imagine a ridiculously extreme example: a loudness processor could consist of a gain circuit and a clipper. While it would
stick the loudness meter right on the target value, it would be
completely unlistenable.
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the complexities of the human ear. Fletcher and Munson taught
us in the 1930s that our human ears are not at all equally sensitive to stimuli at different frequencies, and that this response
varies with sound pressure level. Amazingly some designers of
audio loudness processors seem completely unaware of this
work done almost 80 years ago.
So evaluating a loudness processor actually turns out to be a
fairly straightforward process. First, ensure that the candidate
processor will produce the target loudness level over a long
time frame, realizing that there will be short term variations
about the target level due to normal audio dynamics. Almost
every existing processor will achieve this. The next step is quite
simple but will be the real test: listen to the processed outputs
with a wide range of content. Chances are our human ears will
be more revealing than the most in depth data sheet.
Mike Richardson
Director of Products
Sadly this technique is not too far off from some other manufacturers’ current product offerings. Other products are simplistic wide band gain control circuits that completely ignore
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LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS MANAGERS
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AERO.file® brings proven audio technologies developed by
essence to be extracted from a host of popular file wrappers,
Linear Acoustic to the file-based domain. Developed in part-
measured, scaled, and processed, then re-wrapped without
nership with Radiant Grid Technologies, AERO.file eliminates
disturbing other video or data essences.
the need for custom hardware and integrates audio processes
into existing systems and workflows.
Tools can be used for ingest, managing existing libraries, conforming content for different playout services, or any combination.
AERO.file supports WAV, AIFF, MPEG 1 Layer II, MP3, AAC, ACELP,
WMA, AMR and uses SurCode for Dolby® Digital, Dolby Digital
Plus and Dolby E encoding and decoding.
In the TV audio process, upmixing and loudness range control
Operator controls are simplified to choices of loudness target,
tools have proven most effective in the file domain. Advanced
whether to use 2-channel to 5.1 channel upmixing and whether
RadiantGrid transmuxing and transwrapping enables the audio
to use loudness range control.
G85>[email protected]<5C31<9>79C>?D5>?E78
Whether anchor-based such as with Dolby Dialogue IntelligenceTM
or overall average with the relative gating methods of EBU
R128, scaling aligns the anchor or overall average of content.
This can easily be imagined when considering how to match a
commercial advertisement with a program filled with dialogue
and explosions - what do you match with what?
Sometimes programs have a loudness range, that while appro-
116
priate for a movie theatre or a premium channel, is challenging to re-purpose for delivery on other channels and especially
mobile services.
This is where sophisticated loudness range management techniques can be employed. Once scaling is applied to the program, the job of loudness range control (LRC) is dramatically
simplified and the effects are minimized.
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AERO.mobileTM is rich audio clarity for Mobile DTV. Part of convincing an audience that Mobile DTV is an exciting option means
providing them with an enjoyable experience. Viewers are listening. AERO.mobile is designed to ensure viewers not only
hear and understand content, but are surprised by the clarity.
Mobile DTV must overcome physical constraints – small speakers and environmental issues such as background noise. In addition, program audio can range from mono to 5.1 channels and
from faint to screaming loud. These factors combine to impair
intelligibility, make viewing tedious and cause viewers to give up.
Traditional audio processing alone cannot enable diverse audio
content to be reproduced effectively from mobile and handheld devices. In fact, it can make the situation worse. Simple
wideband techniques don’t do enough, and multiband systems
soften important audio cues if overused – both negatively impact intelligibility.
Linear Acoustic MobilizerTM technology was developed based
on extensive research into normal and impaired hearing in both
quiet and noisy environments. By using technology from the
renowned CrowdControlTM algorithm to isolate dialogue elements and combining new multiband techniques designed to
preserve critical audio cues, program intelligibility is enhanced
without the need for heavy handed processing. Mobilizer also
provides pre-conditioning for the low bit rate HE AAC Mobile
DTV audio encoder to maximize its performance at even the
lowest rates.
Importantly, Mobilizer technology has been carefully designed
and tuned to support and enhance systems like Dolby® Mobile
which are being introduced for use within mobile receiving
devices.
The rugged 1RU AERO.mobile is intended to be installed directly
before the mobile audio encoder in either the AES or SDI paths.
Bypass relays are provided to ensure continuous service in the
unlikely event of failure.
A bright LED display, rotary encoder, and four control keys
provide straightforward menu navigation and function adjustment. Dual, redundant, auto-ranging power supplies are available to allow for trouble-free operation worldwide.
DTV AUDIO PERFECTION FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSMISSION
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117
<A!
LINEAR ACOUSTIC | LOUDNESS QUALITY MONITORS
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LQ-1000TM gives vibrant clarity to loudness quality metering.
Supporting the latest ITU-R loudness measurement standards,
LQ-1000 can also include Dolby® Dialogue IntelligenceTM.
surement, especially for long form programming. The LQ-1000
The LQ-1000 difference is in the display. A colorful long-life
OLED groups critical loudness parameters like short, medium
and long term loudness, loudness history, current peak level,
maximum peak level, and the loudness target.
The LQ-1000 now provides logging to a network drive, which al-
Color is employed to represent the roughly 16dB wide loudness
“comfort zone” which is aligned around the adjustable target
level. The visual is simple: blue is too quiet, green is just right,
yellow is getting loud, and red is too loud. The large LKFS loudness number also changes color to better indicate if the number
matches the chosen target.
this feature.
loudness histogram allows loudness trends to be easily seen,
and immediately highlights problem sections.
lows stations to keep a record of their loudness measurements
should they need to examine the data for a particular date and
time. Any LQ-1000 can be updated via software to incorporate
Dolby Dialogue Intelligence is available and provides the most
accurate estimate of loudness possible in an automatic meter.
Pausing integration during non-dialogue sections and reverting
to BS.1770-2 over time, loudness can finally be measured with
accuracy independent of program dynamic range.
The LQ-1000 includes two sets of meters to simultaneously
measure a 5.1-channel program and a 2.0-channel program.
The second meter can alternatively display an internally created
LoRo or LtRt downmix. The meters can also respond to metadata applied as serial data or from the VANC space of an applied
HDSDI signal, showing the effects of dialnorm and coding mode.
True peak metering is also provided.
Loudness history is an essential part of useful loudness mea-
118
Common functions such as measurement Start, Stop, and Reset are controlled by dedicated front panel buttons - no need to
dig through menus. A powerful, high quality 6.3mm (1/4”) headphone output is provided.
A VGA output to feed an external monitor is standard. Options
include Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), and Dolby E decoding, and a 7" remote VGA display.
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SDI, AES, Analogue Inputs Standard, HE-AAC, MPEG-1, Layer II, Dolby® Decoding
LQ-1™ is perfect streamlined metering. When only one single
number is all that is necessary, that number must be correct.
LQ-1 manages complex I/O, Dolby decoding, and metadata to
provide metering accuracy in a compact, cost-effective package.
be detected and logged.
» ITU-R BS.1770 Compliant Metering » Simple display of signals
A downmix of the input signal is available as stereo LoRo or
and loudness » HD/SD-SDI, full 16-channel de-embed » Discrete
AES inputs, downmix AES output » HE-AAC, MPEG-1, Layer II,
Dolby E/D/DD+ decoding » Dolby Dialogue Intelligence™ » Stereo
analogue input » Headphone and +4dBu balanced monitor out
» Selectable LtRt or LoRo downmix » GPI/O Alarms and Control
» DVB-ASI Input (option) » Ethernet for Logging and SNMP (option) » Dual PSU (option) » Fully upgradable future-ready platform
surround LtRt, and is provided simultaneously via the front
LQ-1 provides all necessary I/O, routing, decoding and metadata tools.
ing to BS.1770-2 over time, loudness can finally be measured
Input signal levels are displayed alongside the loudness or dialnorm target and measured loudness is continuously displayed.
Meter running status (start/stop) is shown as well.
Designed and assembled in the USA, the lightweight and rugged 1RU aluminum chassis is durable enough for installation in
Setup is simple. Select the desired input signal and choose to
apply Dolby decoding and metadata if needed. Presets store
diverse configurations and can be recalled from the front
panel or by GPI.
A bright yellow OLED display and integrated rotary navigation
Extensive alarm capabilities can indicate out of tolerance loudness, missing audio channels, corrupt or missing reference or
metadata signals, and errors in Dolby-encoded bitstreams can
panel 1/4” headphone output, +4dBu balanced analog output
and an AES output.
Included Dolby Dialogue Intelligence provides the most accurate estimate of loudness possible in an automatic meter.
Pausing integration during non-dialogue sections and revertwith accuracy independent of program dynamic range.
challenging environments like OB trucks and cramped edit bays.
cluster provide straightforward menu navigation and function adjustment. A medical-grade auto-ranging power supply
provides trouble-free operation worldwide.
DTV AUDIO PERFECTION FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSMISSION
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119
[email protected]=1H
LINEAR ACOUSTIC | UPMIXING | TRANSCODING
%!381>>5<[email protected]=9H5B
UPMAX® delivers smooth transitions. Listening viewers are
aware of programming changes, especially when the image
shifts due to cases where stereo programs can only be reproduced from the Left and Right channels of a 5.1 channel program. This is commonly found in situations where it is not pos®
sible to switch the Dolby Digital (AC-3) encoder. UPMAX is the
simple, well-proven, cost-effective solution.
Based on the original UPMAX 2251, the 1RU UPMAX offers the
most stable and trusted algorithm in use today for both production and unattended upmixing. Output is completely down-
downmix. Factory presets are included for typical applications
such as music and commercials. Further adjustment is simple
and new results can be stored as user-defined presets.
UPMAX includes a utility encoder which accepts 5.1 channels
and produces a two channel LoRo or LtRt output. This encoder
can be independent or it can be fed by the same channels applied to the upmixer.
UPMAX is rugged and perfect for remote OB trucks, post production facilities, network operation centers, local station production, virtually anywhere upmixing is used.
mix compatible and the downmixed result is nearly indistinguishable from the original two channel input.
The resulting “Surroundfield” can be infinitely adjusted via the
Center Channel Width control and the Surround Depth control.
Upmixing can be controlled via the front panel, GPI inputs, or
metadata from serial or VANC (SDI) sources applied to the unit.
Smooth bypass of 5.1 channel signals is accomplished automatically via the AutoMAX-II algorithm.
This allows programming ranging from simple stereo to LtRt to
be appropriately reproduced from a 5.1-channel playback system.
An optional bass enhancement signal for the LFE channel is derived from the Left, Center, and Right channels allowing quick
creation of a subwoofer channel without compromising the
120
A bright LED display, rotary encoder, and four control keys provide straightforward menu navigation and function adjustment.
Dual, redundant, auto-ranging power supplies are standard to
allow for world-wide operation. Bypass relays are provided for
trouble-free operation in transmission critical environments.
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Encode, decode, and transcode the most popular multi-channel audio formats used in television broadcasting in one feature-rich, modular package:
Right out of the box, the LA-5269 can: Encode to Dolby Digital
(AC-3) from PCM, Encode to Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3) from PCM
or transcode from Dolby Digital (AC-3), Encode to Dolby Pulse
from PCM or transcode from Dolby E.
Optionally, it can: Decode Dolby E and transcode to Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), or Dolby Pulse. Encode to
Dolby Pulse (AAC and HE AAC V1 and V2).
All coding is provided by a Dolby-manufactured encoder mod-
time, knowing that they can always update the unit as their
needs change.
Metadata is supported via a serial RS-485 connection and can
be extracted from the VANC space of an applied HD-SDI signal
per SMPTE 2020. Metadata input is frame synchronized and error-corrected to prevent audible disturbances to the encoded
bitstreams. External transcoder input is also frame synchronized, allowing Dolby Digital splicing and smooth transitions
without the need for external AC-3 frame synchronizers.
ule featuring the latest versions of each codec for superior
sound quality.
Because features and codecs can be updated at any time via
software, broadcasters pay for only what they need at the
A bright LED display and rotary encoder with four control keys
provide easy menu navigation. Dual redundant power supplies,
GPI/O, and a hard relay bypass are standard, while SNMP monitoring is offered as an option.
DTV AUDIO PERFECTION FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSMISSION
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121
<1=241
LINEAR ACOUSTIC | MONITOR
@B?65CC9?>1<4979D1<1E49?1>4=5D141D1=?>9D?B
LAMBDATM is the ultimate digital TV broadcast audio monitor.
Designed specifically for the specialized needs of the modern
TV station, LAMBDA combines a unique understanding of audio
and metadata through the entire broadcast chain from production to consumer.
headphone output, or from the rear panel balanced analogue
stereo and AES digital output. A new 16-channel mode allows
all applied audio channels to be displayed simultaneously and
reproduced individually or as a 5.1 downmix.
High-excursion full range drivers with aluminum cones are
LAMBDA displays and reproduces up to sixteen audio channels
via AES or HD/SD-SDI input, and accepts industry standard professional audio metadata via 9-pin serial input or by extracting
it from the vertical ancillary (VANC) space of an applied HD-SDI
input. Audio and metadata are displayed and properly combined to allow for accurate monitoring. A utility audio delay is
included to allow up to three frames of compensation for external video monitors.
Any channel, channel pair, or downmix can be monitored through
internal speakers, via the exceptionally dynamic front panel
122
coupled with metal dome HF drivers in an acoustically tuned
enclosure to optimize frequency response and power handling.
Digital Linkwitz-Reilly style crossovers are combined with low
distortion, high efficiency class-D power amplifiers for exceptional audio quality and loudness.
Loudness metering per the ITU-R BS.1770 standard is also included. In addition to a numerical readout, a thin line indicating
measured loudness “floats” over audio metering to allow quick
verification of program loudness.
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G85>[email protected];G5<9CD5>
Having the UPMAX with us in Beijing this past
summer was like adding a new friend to the
crew. The sound was a nice improvement, and
the support from Linear Acoustic was superb.
We are still learning about new ways to use
UPMAX, and I look forward to using it and working with Linear Acoustic again in Vancouver.
Bob Dixon
NBC Universal
Having great 5.1 surround sound accompany
HD pictures is a necessity with an event of this
magnitude. The Linear Acoustic e-squared system was one of the multichannel audio paths
used for distributing the programs for broadcast. This is one of the most watched broadcasts in the world, with entertainment moments that are preserved for history, so audio
quality and reliability were critical for us.
Tad Scripter
Engineer in Charge for the 81st Academy Awards
The LAMBDA is a top-shelf piece of gear. It is
definitely the future of broadcast facility audio
monitoring.
Joey Gill
Chief Engineer
WPSD-TV
KMOV has been using the AERO.air (5.1) for two
months and we are very happy with the results. The quality of our audio signal improved
noticeably when we placed the unit on the air.
The 5.1 channel synthesizing and audio leveling
is substantially better than with our previous
device. The internal audio/video frame synchronizer function completely cleans up the signal
and has corrected a problem with incompatible
audio frames on switches. Linear Acoustic did
everything possible to ensure that the installation and configuration was correct for our particular needs. I could not be more pleased with
the company or the product.
Walt Nichol
Director of Technology, Broadcast Media
KMOV-TV St. Louis
The Linear Acoustic AERO.one is definitely one
of the easiest-to-set-up pieces of audio processing gear I have ever experienced. Plus, it
sounds great with little or no effort. Having
been in the business for 40-plus years, I have
seen my share of audio processing and this
unit, by far, is my favorite. It “fixes” the levels
the network sends us in a very pleasant way
and makes the viewers very happy.
Modern digital broadcast audio such as 5.1
surround sound and its metadata have made
QC monitoring extremely important to our operations. In our move to a digital environment,
we needed an advanced solution that would
appropriately adjust metering and playback
audio levels throughout the entire broadcast
chain. We chose the Linear Acoustic LAMBDA
based on an expectation of excellent audio quality, and that is exactly what we see. We’ve had
the units in place for several months, and they
have provided exceptional performance across
all three of our channels.
Gene Talley
Director of Engineering/Operations
WPBT-TV
Like many broadcasters, we experienced a lot of
problems with varying audio levels for network
and local programming, particularly during
playout of news and sports. We needed a way
to address this discrepancy in loudness levels
and even out audio volume, and the Linear
Acoustic AERO.air has proven to be a wonderful solution. We noticed a significant difference
immediately upon implementing the processor,
and we haven’t received any comments about
disparities in audio loudness since.
Our viewer complaints concerning audio immediately went to ZERO, and we sound great.
Not much more to say besides today digital stations just plain need one.
Brady Dreasler
QNI
AERO.max 5.1 is IMPRESSIVE and although I am
far passed being able to be impressed, I am
with this gadget. The fact that we were able to
easily insert our EAS as well was icing on the
cake. We put it online with an external Dolby
569 encoder and last night I watched at home
with my wife. Wow! The 5.1 is at the output all
the time, simulated when local stereo is used,
and passed as 5.1 from the network when available. The leveling makes transition between
local and network material seamless, and I do
not hear (or see) my Onkyo receiver switching
surround modes during the breaks either. It has
provided WJCT a very uniform and constant offair sound and fixed dialnorm settings no matter
where the material is coming from. FABULOUS
gadget.
Duane Smith
Director of Technology
WJCT-TV and FM
Brent Robinson, Chief Engineer
KSL 5-TV
After switching our Comcast channel delivery
from analog to digital, we discovered that our
audio levels were out of control and we had
cracking and popping that we could not resolve, causing viewer complaints every day. We
called Linear Acoustic, and they offered to locate and fix the problem for us, leave the equipment in for us to try, and for a very affordable
price - a no brainer. Wow! No more complaints
from the viewers or the boss - just perfect audio at all times, and in full-time 5.1.
Jan Strock
Director of Engineering
WHTM-TV
Our AERO.air was installed and placed into service this past April. The unit integrated seamlessly with our existing equipment, and I’ve certainly been impressed with the overall quality
of the 5.1 surround sound it provides. If that
weren’t enough, viewer concerns over commercial loudness have been virtually eliminated and
we are now prepared as the CALM Act passed
into law.
Moreau Dugas
Engineering Operation Manager
WSVN-TV
Our loudness control problems have virtually ceased thanks to the AERO.air (5.1). The
LAMBDA is a very powerful (and cool) box. I still
need to teach myself how to use it to its fullest
potential and hope to add the AC-3 option later
this year which will make it a huge addition to
my troubleshooting arsenal.
Prentiss Laird
Engineering Technical Manager
CBS 42 KEYE
We own two AERO.air (DTV) units and are extremely pleased with their performance. Both
units were easy to configure and have provided
reliable processing and level control. We also
selected these units for the ease of 5.1-to-stereo downmix. We have agreed to supply our cable providers a direct SD feed for several more
years. This downmix ability provides us with a
single platform solution for both our HD and SD
feeds. We monitor all feeds with our LAMBDA
monitoring unit. It gives us a good handle on
our 5.1 processing and the dialnorm of any feed
on our wideband router.
Jay Nix
Director of Engineering
KSHB-TV
Tom Bondurant
Director of Engineering
WAPT-TV
DTV AUDIO PERFECTION FROM PRODUCTION TO TRANSMISSION
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123
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and logos are property of TLS Corp., all rights reserved. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners,
which are not associated or affiliated with TLS Corp.
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