Professional Audio Technology Pty Ltd is proud to announce it has recently supplied and configured 10 Lawo crystal On-Air consoles, 3 voice booth crystal frames, a NOVA73 HD Core router and a large VSM system to SBS – Special Broadcasting Services in Sydney.
The new system has been supplied, configured and commissioned in two phases. The first phase consisted of the replacement of SBS’s main Radio MCR router with a NOVA73 HD core router controlled by a VSM system. The VSM system not only controls the main matrix of the LAWO MCR router, but also serves as the main on-air scheduling system via its VSM Control scheduling software. All on-air studios and production booths also have VSM LBP17 router panels for easy source selection from the MCR in each location. The MCR VSM system, which consists of two fully redundant VSM servers, provides operators not only with LBP50 and LBP51 LCD button panels as routing controls, but the hardware panels have also been mirrored onto custom designed VSM virtual panels on touch screens. This approach was taken to provide easy access and operation to operators, while also having fully redundant switching capabilities should either the hardware panels or PC’s fail.
VSM Scheduler is used by the SBS traffic department to maintain the entire SBS Sydney Radio schedule and to control all on-air contribution switching on the LAWO HD Core router. Extensive cooperation between VSM’s manufacturer LSB Broadcast Technologies, SBS’s Traffic department and Professional Audio Technology took place to customise the VSM scheduler to SBS’s requirements, including special functions within the VSM Scheduler and custom designed operator screens for remote terminals.
With the first phase of this project completed and the VSM system and the LAWO NOVA73 Core router commissioned earlier this year, all focus has now shifted to the commissioning of all on-air studios and voice booths in Sydney. Professional Audio Technology’s MD Patrick Salloch noted “SBS and Professional Audio Technology worked very closely together to make sure that the routing and scheduling system cut-over was implemented without any glitches, while taking all of SBS’s unique requirements, redundancy and ease of operation into account. It made sense to ensure we got the first phase spot on before we moved on to the console integration in the studios.” Solutions Architect and Project Manager Francis Fung commented “It was crucial to not interrupt our 24/7 on-air operation while cutting over to the new system. PAT were extremely helpful in working together with key SBS stake holders, liaised closely with operators, the project department and the German manufacturers to ensure the successful commissioning of phase one of this project.” James Vicary – Operations Manager for SBS Radio added that “…this has been a fantastic team effort between all parties involved so far. We are looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship between SBS, Professional Audio Technology, LAWO and LSB over the coming years.”
Phase two of this project has already begun and all console cluster custom configurations have been finalised and tested prior to the final install. Alan Liddelow – PAT’s Technology Specialist outlined that “…it was crucial to emulate some of the screen layout within VisTools to provide On-Air Talent with a similar feel when operating the new LAWO consoles. A fine balance had to be met between emulating the old technology while introducing newer and far advanced features. Close cooperation between the SBS Operations Department and PAT made this possible, while taking full advantage of the flexibility of LAWO’s VisTools control software.”
While SBS Radio has 3 stand alone on-air studios in their Sydney facility, the radio complex also accommodates three studio clusters consisting of two on-air studios which both can remote control one voice booth. These studio clusters required custom configuration whereby each on-air studio can control all parameters in the voice booth remotely, so that on-air producers can take control of all technical aspects of a program while the on-air talent can concentrate on the program itself. Various other custom functions such as integration of delay features, talkback and hybrid control were included in each studio’s configuration. All custom configurations were completed by Professional Audio Technology in Australia.
(Pic's above: SBS CAR4 during commissioning; Alan Liddelow, Patrick Salloch from PAT and Francis Fung from SBS)