WheatNews July 2020

WHEAT:NEWS JULY 2020  Volume 11, Number 7

New Normal?

CovershotBy Dee McVicker

Just when we finally adjust to home studios along comes Radio Zürisee to entirely blow the roof off our new normal. 

Whatever you think radio is or will be, we promise you it doesn’t look at all like Radio Zürisee with its grand ballroom and studio set that includes a fully functional kitchen. DJs roving around an old hotel wearing wireless mics and carrying Tablets isn’t something you see every day. And certainly, you’ve never miked the espresso or pinball machine, and we seriously doubt you’ve ever flung a studio window wide open so listeners could hear the sound of a passing train. 

This is no ordinary station, as you can see here. 

Click on the image below for a gallery of images.


Shown below is a screen capture of the Tablets jocks carry with them during their air shift. DABis800 automation system controls are on the right and on the left is a UI for remote control of the studios’ LXE console surfaces located in two control studios adjoining The Loft. The UI was custom designed using Wheatstone’s ScreenBuilder app. 

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Shown below is the master module for the LXE console surfaces used in both Studio-1 and Studio-2. Notice the 2 x 24 programmable soft button panels to the right. All the important functions are programmed in for instantaneous studio switchovers, selecting monitors, controlling LCD displays in The Loft, and moving the motorized studio table or the PC monitors up or down. Behind all that control is the WheatNet-IP audio network system, a complete centralized studio system for not only moving audio signals around, but also for managing all major tasks with fully integrated logic signals, controls, connection management and discovery. 

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Radio Zürisee is definitely not your ordinary radio station. This private Swiss station plays a mixture of music for all demographics and continues to rank in the top three in its market. Since redesigning the studios and opening up The Loft, Radio Zürisee has gained a large number of new listeners. 

Radio Zürisee Studio Project At a Glance

• Overall studio layout and design, including detailed construction and manufacturing of the studio table: Media Engineering’s Markus Stocker

• Broadcast technology: two 15-fader LXE console surfaces, 14 WheatNet-IP audio network BLADEs, 22 screens made with ScreenBuilder app, and 24 AoIP drivers with floating licenses in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment (VDI)

• IP-based KVM extender system feeding one 49"-curved monitor with a selection of up to 16 PC screens plus special studio keyboard with touch screen: WEY Technology AG, Switzerland

• Playout system with ACI to WheatNet-IP audio network: DABiS800 by DANEXiS, Switzerland

• Automatic studio and The Loft camera system with 9 SDI cams and custom control software and ACI to WheatNet-IP audio network: MultiCAM, Paris

When Analog/Hybrid Consoles Make Sense

REAR v3 flat

“If you’re a small studio and more than 50% of your sources are analog, it makes perfect sense for you to buy an analog or analog/digital hybrid console. At a typical small mom-and-pop station, it’s not unusual to see a couple of analog microphones, an analog telephone hybrid, a couple of channels with automation, and a consumer CD player. Putting all that into an AoIP console surface is going to require way more A/D conversions than it’s worth. That’s one good reason why analog consoles like our 08, AIR-1, and AIR-4, and analog/digital hybrid consoles like Audioarts Lightning are selling, especially right now.” 

Jay Tyler, Wheatstone 

Click here for our Audioarts Analog Consoles

Best Switch Topology for AoIP Redundancy

By Phil Owens, Sales Engineer 

If you’re new to AoIP topologies, we suggest you consider setting up a central core stack of switches in the TOC with edge switches at each studio or group of studios to handle the local I/O. This does two things:

  1. 1. Lets each studio operate independent of the main switch. Should a studio lose connectivity with the central stack for any reason – fire in the TOC, flood, power outage -- individual studios can continue to operate independently via their local switches. 
  2. 2. Provides more efficient networking and traffic control by cutting down the number of “home runs” from the studio to the central core stack; all local I/O is handled by the edge switches. 
  4. StackwiseDWGCisco has a topology called Stackwise, where the back planes of multiple switches in a TOC, for example, can be joined at very high bandwidth (somewhere on the order of 160 gigabits-per-second links) in a daisy chain configuration, as shown above. If any one of the switches should drop out of the stack, the other stack members can still communicate with each other. 


Shown above are smaller, 12-port edge switches that handle the local I/O for the studio and have a trunk connection back to the central stack. For additional redundancy, you can take a baseband connection out of one of the local I/O BLADEs in the studio and run it into the rack room, as indicated by the red arrow above. This gives you a baseband audio connection directly from the studio to the TOC in case you need to quickly patch programming into the RF chain. 

For more details on AoIP topologies, standards and other considerations when designing an IP audio networked studio, view Phil’s presentation:

Set Up a Quick Intercom Using AoIP


Your IP audio networking might be able to form the communication backbone for a temporary or basic intercom system.

All you’ll need is an existing AoIP network that has integrated audio and control, like WheatNet-IP, and a simple microphone, mic preamp, and amplified speakers at each location. 

In the case of our WheatNet-IP audio network, simply connect the mics on each end to the inputs on the nearest WheatNet-IP BLADE (our I/O units that make up the network) and connect the speakers to the output of the BLADE.

Next, you’ll need a push-to-talk button or control at each location. Talkback can be found in talent stations, button panels and mixers already networked into the WheatNet-IP environment (you can also build your own virtual interface with talkback using your Windows® Tablet and our ScreenBuilder application). These can be tied to logic input (LIO) on a BLADE. With a quick crosspoint change using the WheatNet-IP audio network NAVIGATOR software, you can program each TALK button to route the microphone to the other location’s speaker for as long as it’s held down. Note, the only wiring you’ve had to do is to the BLADE at each end. Beyond that, no matter how far apart those two locations are, the network does all the work of getting the signal from here to there.

Most people don’t think of an AoIP audio network as a communications system, but this is just one of the many functions you can implement when your network has audio and control integrated into a single AoIP backbone.



Are you a ScreenBuilder or ConsoleBuilder power user? Register and log onto our Scripters Forum. This is a new meeting place for anyone interested in developing new screens and workflows for our WheatNet-IP audio network. Share scripts, screen shots and ideas with others also developing virtual news desks, control panels, and signal monitors. You’ll find documents, starter scripts and a whole knowledge base available to you for making customized screens like those pictured.

Click to register for our Scripters Forum (it's free)

365 Days Of Wheatstone

Compare All of Wheatstone's Remote Solutions

REMIXWe've got remote solutions for virtually every networkable console we've built in the last 20 years or so. For basic volume, on/off, bus assign, logic, it's as easy as running an app either locally with a good VPN, or back at the studio, using a remote-access app such as Teambuilder to run.

Check out the chart below, and/or click here to learn more on our Remote Solutions web page.

Remote Solutions Video Demonstrations

Jay Tyler recently completed a series of videos demonstrating the various solutions Wheatstone offers for remote broadcasting.

Click for a Comparison Chart of All Wheatstone Remote Software Solutions

The Wheatstone online parts store is now open! You can purchase spare cards, subassemblies, modules and other discontinued or out-of-production components for Wheatstone, Audioarts, PR&E and VoxPro products online, or call Wheatstone customer support at 252-638-7000 or contact the Wheatstone technical support team online as usual. 

The store is another convenience at wheatstone.com, where you can access product manuals, white papers and tutorials as well as technical and discussion forums such as its AoIP Scripters Forum


Curious about how the modern studio has evolved in an IP world? Virtualization of the studio is WAY more than tossing a control surface on a touch screen. With today's tools, you can virtualize control over almost ANYTHING you want to do with your audio network. This free e-book illustrates what real-world engineers and radio studios are doing. Pretty amazing stuff.

AdvancingAOIP E BookCoverAdvancing AOIP for Broadcast

Putting together a new studio? Updating an existing studio? This collection of articles, white papers, and brand new material can help you get the most out of your venture. Best of all, it's FREE to download!


IP Audio for TV Production and Beyond


For this FREE e-book download, we've put together this e-book with fresh info and some of the articles that we've authored for our website, white papers, and news that dives into some of the cool stuff you can do with a modern AoIP network like Wheatstone's WheatNet-IP. 

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-- Uncle Wheat, Editor

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