Of Processors, Pepsi, and Peru

Jonathan ZevallosGrupo RPP’s audio engineer Jonathan Zevallos stopped in at the Wheat factory recently. Grupo RPP is the largest commercial radio group in Peru, and it recently acquired four AirAura spectral audio processors for its main FM stations along with 27 VP-8 digital audio processors for the group’s FM translators.

During Zevallos’ two-day visit, our Processing Systems & Support Engineer Mike Erickson spent some time getting to know Jonathan and Grupo RPP. A fan of Pepsi products, Jonathan was surprised to learn that New Bern is the birthplace of Pepsi-Cola. Of course, his friends at Wheatstone made sure he got a tour of the Pepsi plant before heading home to Peru.

Even though our North Carolina Spanish was hard to understand at times, we were able to communicate with Jonathan through translator Stephanie Weil (a Wheatstone factory test engineer who is from Colombia and also happens to be Mike’s wife) and through the universal language of audio.

WS: Now that you’ve had a chance to look around the factory, what do you think of it?

JZ: I am very impressed by the care and detail that goes into the manufacturing of Wheatstone products. It makes me feel confident that the products I purchase will be built well and last a long time.

WS: Thanks, Jonathan. Tell us about your stations. Does each of your stations have different audio processing goals, for example?

JZ: We have six music stations: Studio 92, La Mega, 102.1 Oxigeno, Radio Felicidad, Capital Radio and an online station called Corazón.  Our listeners come from all different backgrounds and demographics and we have different formats tailored to meet their tastes. Above all the goal is a quality audio signal. Each format has a different flavor, so there is some tailoring of the processing to meet the production values of each format. Some formats have more dynamic range in the source material than others and we adjust the processing accordingly.

WS:  Broadcasters tell us that so much has changed in broadcasting over the years, such source material but also listener expectations because of mobile devices, for example. Are you also experiencing the same changes in Peru?

JZ: Yes. But digital processing has advanced a great deal. There is more room with modern audio processors to actually create a sound that is unique. This is why we want to take advantage of the most modern hardware available.

WS: What did you like best about what you heard from the AirAura?

JZ: I was drawn in by the compressor. Most audio processors on the market don’t have a multiband compressor. Many go right from an AGC to limiters. Having the compressor and the amount of control in the compressor as it interacts with the AGC helps you create presets that are perfect for the different formats we have.

WS: We enjoyed your visit, Jonathan, and hope you come back to visit us again at Club Wheat.

JZ: Thanks to everyone at Wheatstone for giving me the opportunity to travel to the factory and see what goes on in the design and building of the hardware. I had a very good time in New Bern!

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