Radio Riyadh steps into digital age with Lawo.

Refurbishment of the Radio Riyadh Broadcast Centre completed.

Lawo has successfully completed the transformation of the Radio Riyadh Broadcast Centre, giving Saudi Arabia’s national radio broadcaster a new fully digital identity.

The contract for the project was signed in 2007, and has been so far-reaching and extensive that it has taken nearly 18 months to implement, staged over several phases in order to keep most of the studios in use during the installation.  All audio equipment in the Radio Riyadh studios has been replaced with state-of-the-art digital solutions, and the installation includes a high degree of networking and other customised features.

Unusually, Lawo has supplied product and expertise via its representative office in Singapore. Technical sales specialist Boon Siong Tan has a long-established relationship with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture and Information (MoCI) and made a convincing case for the ability of Lawo consoles to integrate with the Netia software systems favoured by the MoCI media facilities.

Lawo’s zirkon on-air consoles have been installed throughout Radio Riyadh’s broadcast centre, 8 of them in the production studios and 8 in the on-air studios.  The zirkons are equipped with 16 faders for the on-air application, each offering full DSP capability.  For editing and archiving purposes, Lawo has supplied 13 z4 mixers.  The zirkon consoles have all been customised with the VisTool screen surface for visualisation and an enhanced user interface.

The MoCI and the Radio Riyadh managers chose to work with Lawo because it was able to stagger the refurbishment, carrying out the installation in stages while the network continued to broadcast with its old equipment.  Despite these constraints, the completed installation boasts an exceptional level of networking functionality and has comprehensively enhanced the efficiency of Radio Riyadh’s workflow.

Using a Nova73 HD router as a central router, with full redundancy, allows every zirkon console to be linked via main and redundant MADI connections. The zirkon and z4 desks are networked so that they all have access to the signals required in the control rooms and editing suites.  The Nova73 HD is connected to a Nova17 matrix that will handle the monitoring using a zirkon as its control surface.

All studios are able to share the predefined audio sources with each other.  Each studio can handle switching in its own control room using the VisTool switching page, with detailed indication and labelling displayed on the Vistool screen.

“Radio Riyadh has modernised and digitised at the highest level,” explains Boon Siong Tan.  “The upgrade has given the station seamless digital integration, and enhanced the operation of the Broadcast Centre by enabling them to share audio resources and routing control between different studios.”