In touch radio.
‘1Live - A Night in Essen’ with two Lawo crystal consoles.
Broadcasting from a busy location without disturbing the on-site audience is a basic principle of WDR’s mobile radio studio operation. Numerous guests, including Xavier Naidoo, visited the mobile studio during the ‘1Live - A Night in Essen’ show, while listeners of 1Live, WDR’s youth radio, were able to observe the process of radio broadcasting first hand in the ‘Café Solo’.
Broadcasting for the entire 10 hours of the 1Live event, the new mobile broadcast studio passed its debut with flying colours. In addition to 1Live’s ‘standard’ programming, live performances by well-known artists, bands, popular newcomers, comedians and authors were mixed using two Lawo crystal consoles in linked OB vans.
In situations like this, one of the Lawo consoles acts as an on-air broadcast console with 16 faders. It features separate pre-fader listen (PFL), fader starts, live switching capabilities, as well as several summing buses for broadcast feeds, sound reinforcement, conferencing, recording and monitoring. With four output channels for music, jingles, pre-produced segments and sound bites, mAirList software provides the radio automation system. The second console, equipped with 12 faders, is used for the entire line coordination (OB vans, satellite uplink vehicles, reporters) and is responsible for the pre-mix. It comes with separate PFL, running independently from the on-air broadcast console, comprehensive KDO functions, signal processing capabilities, and the ability to monitor all lines with pre-conference capability. Furthermore, a DAW for talk and main sum recording is also connected to this console. A MADI extension secures the distribution of audio signals between the two consoles.
As in the past, workstations are available for the editor, presenters and reporters. All workstations and computers are connected via a common server, and files can be directly posted on the broadcast system. Separate sound reinforcement is provided for on-site guests. Broadcasting radio concerts, spoken word, roadshows, and comedy shows, a satellite-equipped vehicle and five production vans are also present for local reporting.
For its main output, 1Live broadcasts an extremely detailed and well-formatted programme. Editors, technicians and presenters therefore need to be presented with an infrastructure that resembles as closely as possible that in the broadcast centre in Cologne. Moreover, all this has to be available in a very short timeframe - ‘on-the-fly’ set-ups. The various components of the broadcast studio are shipped to the venue pre-wired and cased, where the setup takes about four hours. The mobile radio broadcast studio is also used for similar events by WDR 2, WDR 4, and Funkhaus Europa.
Lawo’s console technology was chosen in the context of standardization of the production environment, as well as for the assembly of components for a mobile broadcast studio that provides sound engineers from different programmes with familiar console technology. Furthermore, Lawo excels in terms of flexibility of console configuration, and the personal attention when it comes to programming rather unconventional setups. Had other consoles been used, the implementation of multiple extras would have been significantly more complicated.