Your Wish is Our (Software) Command

GP4S_PANELIf you’re like most of us, your relationship with software borders on abuse. You could go down the checklist and not miss a beat. Does it make you feel inadequate? Check. Humiliate you in front of others? Check. Try to control you? Make excuses? Promise to change? Check. Check. Check.

Most audio network manufacturers keep software hidden away for this reason. The less you know about the software, the better. Increasingly, though, we’re letting the genie out of the bottle because we realize customized scripting plays an important role in terms of reducing hardware costs and increasing network usability.

But how easy is it to add a few software routines to your audio over IP (AoIP) or TDM network?

The answer might surprise you. Walt Gander, Operations Engineer for WXPR-FM in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, said he went from not knowing much about networking to writing basic scripts for the WheatNet-IP audio over IP system inside of a few months. Now, he’s pretty much writing his own ticket for customized operational controls as he needs them.

So, too, is Greg Manfroi, CE for WUIS-FM in Springfield, Illinois, whose WheatNet-IP “alarm clock” we told you about a few months ago. He created a simple WheatNet-IP script for an old dial-up remote control switch and is using that to alert the news staff should the early morning guy hit the snooze button one too many times. 

“We have radio and television broadcasters building on their systems in a number of ways, everything from using our wizard GUIs and us sending them off a sample script to people that just go crazy with it,” said Dick Webb, our in-house support technician who is the go-to guy for anything and everything related to scripting commands into the WheatNet-IP or BRIDGE TDM audio network systems.

Although broadcasters will occasionally contract Wheatstone for more advanced custom applications, a good many are doing it themselves using our wizard GUIs, which take the abuse out of scripting custom programs. These are basic scripting programs we’ve developed over time that you can use and customize for your own purposes. Examples of use include setting up a temporary intercom button between a producer and announcer and programming a button to fire off a relay to interrupt on-air program temporarily for an EAS alert.

Wizards are available for programming buttons on our GP panels, TS-22 talent stations and SideBoard control surfaces. Wheatstone periodically provides GP panels custom packaged as modules for different control surfaces.

Scripting wizards can be used to set up scripts for controlling a surface remotely from a panel, for turning a fader channel on or off, for firing presets on audio processors, for sending automation commands, and for changing a preset from a panel without having to be in front of the surface to do it.

Creating your own program routine is often as easy as navigating a checklist of basic choices for types of salvos, destinations and sources. For a little more customization, you can cut and paste an existing wizard script into a work area and make the modifications that will work for what you need.

For example, Walt was able to use one of our GP script wizards to turn the virtual utility mixers in the WheatNet-IP BLADEs on or off, but he needed a few more lines of code for audio ducking during a mid-show break in the live satellite feed of A Prairie Home Companion, which cut away abruptly to silence and then came back on again – at full volume— following the station ID.

Dick Webb sent him a few suggestions for the script and Walt modified it slightly so that when his ENCO DAD automation system gets the satellite closure, the WheatNet-IP ducks the feed for a voice track. Thanks to a few scripted lines of code, Walt can now gracefully fade AUDIO down and up the virtual utility mixer in the BLADE.

Scripting a Wheatstone GP-8 button also solved a recurring problem with switching between two air studios by volunteer hosts, who needed a safe way to change studios without staff intervention. Dick helped Walt, again through modified scripting, to set up the studio equivalent of the two-man rule for triggering a “switch studio” salvo. It now takes a combination of two button presses to activate the salvo rather than just one button that an announcer might accidently press, and inadvertently take the station off the air.

WheatNet-IP and BRIDGE TDM scripting is similar to working in C/C++ or Java and is available to anyone willing to give it a try, according to Dick. To find out more about scripting, email your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..














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