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Audio comes first at Urban Brew Studios

Audio comes first at Urban Brew Studios

Audio comes first at Urban Brew Studios

South Africa:

Having moved to a new premises at Ferndale on Republic in Randburg in 2018, Urban Brew Studios has been granted the opportunity to upgrade a sizable amount of its hardware to all-new HD equipment. The key specification for the audio solution was the ability to share resources across the entire facility, leading Wild & Marr to propose a Studer solution able to meet these benchmarks while maintaining an ‘efficient and logical workflow’.

The studio is home to three audio booths each integrated with a Studer Vista 1 22-fader Black Edition console. They are linked to a Studer D23m Digital I/O System via fibre in Urban Brew’s data centre capable of handling 1536x1536 input and output channels. Each studio has a Studer Compact Stagebox which is also connected to the D23m System via Madi optical. Every stagebox can provide 64x64 channels of I/O when fully populated. A Studer Infinity Core was installed to add DSP to the D23m frame.

The Studer Infinity Core installed at the studios can handle four A-Link connections, meaning users can connect four D23m Digital I/O Systems to one core to provide 6,144x6,144 channels. With larger Infinity Cores you can get up to eleven A-Link ports and be able to handle the DSP of 1000 mono equivalent channels at a time.

To provide the resource sharing that the studio required, Studer has an I/O sharing system called RELINK. To achieve this, a virtual Vista console capable of managing all cross-point patching between the Studer equipment was programmed. The result is that the connected Vista Consoles can access every piece of hardware connected to the audio ecosystem. Each compact stagebox is available and RELINK makes it possible for multiple Studer consoles to connect to one stagebox at a time. One console will oversee the mic pre-amp control and the other consoles will be able to use digital trim. Preamp control can be given to any console at the push of a button.

While Studer has a wide array of expansion cards that can be installed into a D23m frame, Wild & Marr decided on Madi to handle the integration between the audio and video router. Two Madi links were installed, providing 128x128 inputs and outputs between the audio and video router, enough channels for video playback as well as standard or multitrack recording.

In addition to the Studer equipment installed, each audio booth also has ENCO HotShot audio playback systems integrated, which can play out four discrete stereo channels, while RTW TM3 units were supplied for the audio operators to measure loudness. TASCAM SS-CDR250N players take care of any CD or USB media requirements, while Comrex STAC Hybrid systems which operate with SIP trunk lines from their PBX were installed for their callers.

Monitoring in the audio booths and control rooms is handled by JBL LSR 305 monitors. In the studios, JBL EON615 loudspeakers on stands were supplied for their audio quality and ability to be moved from studio to studio on a production by production basis.

Due to the mission-critical nature of live television, RF dropout was also a serious concern. Shure’s Axient Digital Wireless was supplied as well as PSM300 in-ear monitors for presenter IFB. Three racks with three Axient Quad Receivers, an Antenna Distributor and a PSM300 IEM (In-Ear Monitoring) unit in each was supplied. The system has Dante capability and is networked to the Dante cards installed into two of the Studer stageboxes. Each of these is capable of 32 channels of Dante over Ethernet, eliminating the need for microphone cables. Shure Wireless Workbench was installed in the audio booths to remotely view and control the wireless RF, battery levels of the bodypack and handheld wireless microphones. 

‘It’s always a pleasure to work with a professional organisation like Urban Brew,’ concluded Wild & Marr MD Gary Furman. ‘All specifications were clearly stated, and this allowed for an accurate proposal from Wild & Marr which met all requirements. The integration of the system was seamless due to clear lines of communication between Urban Brew and our engineers. Overall, it’s a project that all parties are most proud of.’

‘Those in the TV broadcast industry that say “audio follows video” should experience this audio ecosystem in action,' added Dwaine Schreuder, Wild & Marr’s pre-sales broadcast engineer.

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