The Virtual Studio Becomes a Reality

GlassEFingerOnPadTouchScreen 670Whoever said that the laws of physics are merely a suggestion could be on to something.

The entirely virtual broadcast studio is not only possible, but most of the pieces are already in place. A good majority of what stations do today – schedule music, stream it, record news updates, even turn on a mic and preload settings for it -- can be done without ever leaving the WheatNet-IP network. All audio and all the control for that audio now go over IP, from start to finish. You can even run the station board from your laptop at home using our virtual mixer application (Glass-E). Plus, you can spot process satellite feeds, headphone audio, web streams or whatever else comes down the studio line using audio processing that we’ve embedded into our new I/O BLADEs. We are now able to store audio on BLADEs for a number of useful purposes as well, by adding to them optional SD slot and cards; playback of audio clips stored at the transmitter or at any I/O point in the network can be triggered from remotely located consoles or control panels.

GlassEFullScreenOnPad 670And, there’s more to come. “I can see how iOS devices and tablets will make processes and workflow easier in studios,” said our systems engineer Kelly Parker, who is working on that very thing. As some of you know, Wheatstone is developing a suite of applications for tablet/iPad devices. “This is going to make moving from location to location easier. For example, if I need to get into the studio to do voicetracking from the airport, I can do that because it’s all part of the network. I can get into that network from anywhere in the world and make things happen,” explained Kelly.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see where all this could be headed. Will your station ever be parked on a “co-lo” – or a co-located server farm that will handle the entire operation for you? That’s not likely to happen for a while, or at least until issues like bandwidth and the cost of access make such an arrangement practical. If or until then, the need for an affordable, less complicated and much more accessible studio is what’s driving the trend toward increased virtualization of the broadcast studio. Anything above and beyond that is merely a suggestion.

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