WABE Revamps With Harris Broadcast
— Studio redesigns represent more than a technology change in the
radio broadcast facility. Essentially, they can create a seismic
shift in the personality of the entire operation.
New Studio 4 at WABE(AM)
Broadcast and its PR&E studio solutions helped us achieve that
complete change in look and feel at WABE(AM) in Atlanta — along
with technical upgrades that have introduced new operational
efficiencies across the facility.
has served the Atlanta region since the 1950s as a public
broadcaster. The station broadcasts classical music and NPR news
programs to listeners online and over the air. The new design has
injected new life and energy into that mission.
design initiative focused on the upper floor, with new furniture,
production and on-air equipment to support the existing Studio 1 and
Studio 2 spaces. A large conference room was stripped and converted
into Studio 4. (Studio 3 remains downstairs and was not part of the
seeds were planted through drawings to map out electrical
requirement, and ensure the desired furniture layouts would fit in
each room. A local electrician established new runs to a
generator-connected UPS to bolster on-air protection. The Harris
Broadcast team recommended using Cat-5 trunk cables for the best
performance. The redesign also included new soundproofing for each
studio prior to delivery of the furniture.
chose Harris Broadcast PR&E Smoothline furniture for each studio.
The desks are very clean and low-profile and blend in well with the
complementary cabinets. The surfaces are spacious to the point where
clutter is not an issue. A sturdy overall build supports all critical
on-air and production equipment.
chose the sit-down designs, which replace stand-up desks in Studios 1
and 2. This ensures that our hosts are seated and well within reach
of on-air consoles without uncomfortable stretching. Furthermore, the
Smoothline designs build boom mics, headphone jacks and associate
amps and audio settings directly into the surfaces — giving each
host and guest complete control from their positions.
ability to handle weight is extremely important to the overall
operation. Each surface accommodates PR&E NetWave consoles and
three monitors connected to a central computer. Smoothline cabinets
atop the surface house CD players, mic processors and other source
equipment. Studio 4, now the largest of the group, adds an underneath
Smoothline cabinet for power amplifiers and audio processing
like that Harris Broadcast punches intelligently placed holes for
cable runs and equipment connections in advance of delivery. This
makes most of the process plug and play. All holes were in the right
position for mic booms, harnesses and cable trays to expedite
custom furniture designs include a grayish top with black trim that
looks very sharp, and blends well with the surrounding environments. Studio 1 is our main on-air studio, with one host and one guest
position. Studio 2 serves mostly production needs, with one host and
two guest positions.
4 opens up new possibilities for WABE with its much larger size (23
feet x 15 feet), accommodating one host and four guest positions at
the larger desk. We expect to use this space for talk shows and live
entertainment down the road. We will also move annual pledge drives
to this studio as the quarters are far more spacious than the
previous location in Studio 2.
the studio redesign also opened up the opportunity to improve audio
distribution and source sharing across the facility. SCMS, the sales
arm for this project, recommended a PR&E VistaMax to tie
everything together. This feeds audio to every studio and console,
with extra redundancy through hard-wiring to network and satellite
systems. This ensures we can still feed audio and reprogram
destinations easily if the facility network goes down for any reason.
the NetWave consoles bring new simplicity to the on-air and
production operation, with plug-and-play modules for operational
flexibility, along with clean, easy-to-read VU meters to check audio
levels. Overall, they look very nice and add to the clean, modern
feel of the studios.
all, the entire project has boosted morale across the facility. This
was a very old building that was built in the 1950s. Bringing in new
equipment, furniture and cabinets has created new energy, and
provided a cutting-edge feel that expands what we can do as a radio
station. In this way, the project truly represents a seismic shift in
personality at WABE. The Harris Broadcast PR&E team and solution,
with contributions from SCMS, played a significant role in making it
information, contact Brian Clifford at Harris Broadcast in Ohio at
(513) 459-3714 or visit www.harrisbroadcast.com.