N.C. — When Mark Thompson and partner Brian Phelps of KLOS(AM)’s
“Mark and Brian Show” retired, ending a 25-year span at the top
of Los Angeles market ratings, Mark realized a new opportunity had
presented itself. He could continue his passion for talking to and
building an already loyal and sizable ever-growing listening
Thompson is shown taking calls that his producer/call screener Jordan
had prepared using the pre-talk function.
his new endeavor, he would continue taking listener calls, stating
opinions and discussing topical views much as he did from the KLOS
success that he was leaving. He recruited his entire family as host
participants and with his wife Lynda as his co-host launched a daily
family issues podcast presentation.
Mark’s studio near Charlotte, N.C., was built to
provide a connection with co-host Brian at KLOS’ Los Angeles
facility. From Mark’s home studio he had control of switching and
mixing functions and effects, all of which were located remotely in
L.A. When the decision was made to convert the studio into a
full-functioned recording and distribution center, a plethora of new
hardware and services was needed.
of the first and most concerning questions Mark had was, “How will
I be able to take phone calls from my listeners?”
answering that question, Mark tried to provide satisfying answers to
more questions that immediately followed, such as, “How many
callers can be on at the same time?” “Will the callers be able to
hear each other?” “Are you sure can I see the screeners
comments?” “Can I put the callers on-air myself?” and “Do we
need to buy a PBX now?”
It was already determined that AVT’s Magic telephone
hybrid line of products included a model suitably sized and priced
for this application.
had been reassured that AVT had a product that would not require the
expense or complexity needed to install a PBX or typical proprietary
phone instruments, and that they would deliver a solution for each of
the other strategic needs he requested.
I suggested we use AVT’s Magic TH6 telephone hybrid
Magic TH6 accommodates up to six caller lines and can be optioned
from POTS, ISDN or VoIP services and was the perfect size for Mark’s
needs. With any of the phone service configurations you choose to use
the Magic TH6 does not require a PBX or proprietary and specially
configured extension telephones.
system can be configured to operate without a single phone
instrument. All of the telephone interconnects for answering,
screening and processing a call — be it on air, on hold, gathering
caller data or forwarding to another line — can be accomplished
with nothing more than a few simple connections to your mixing
console or mixer router engine and an IP connection to your computer.
If you want a private handset or operator’s headset
the TH6 has jacks already there for you to plug into. Additionally
your call-screener handles callers through the call-screening
computer and with the “pre-talk” streaming option no audio wiring
is needed at the call screening location on the LAN.
single-rack-space system arrives with individual hybrids, digital
echo cancellers, AGC and audio expander stages on every caller line.
This processing produces superb and consistent audio even when all
lines are conferenced together and every caller can hear the
in-studio hosts and all other callers with great clarity.
software-defined mixing and switching matrix allows the TH6 system to
service two independent studios simultaneously. Each studio can be
assigned two faders and with a separate caller screening audio
channel for each program. Or, if you want, each caller line can be
assigned its own audio output into your console.
TH6 provides plenty of audio interface, with four digital and two
analog I/Os in addition to two wired handset/headset connections.
Optionally, up to four pre-talk streaming clients can be used without
additional audio cabling.
we did not use the Magic TH6 as a true two-studio system, we made use
of the second studio connections allowing us to configure these I/Os
so that the identity of selected caller voices could be disguised by
altering them with an external effects generator. Now, we can do this
also without external equipment since AVT has added a “Voice
Disguise” function, which changes the voice of the caller so that
the listeners cannot recognize who it is.
system can be configured to auto-answer calls and move those callers
to hold so they are able hear the main program, an external hold
signal or a prerecorded message stored in the system. Also standard
are GPI/GPO connections.
TH6 arrives with a full-featured call screening software package.
Ideal for use with a touch screen, the display is clear and bold for
the presenter to easily select a caller on-air and then return to
hold, or to drop at the end of the conversation. There is no need to
go to another vendor for screening software that does the job you
need to accomplish. As many as four workplaces can be optioned for
on-air and screening control.
available software options include a “game show” DTMF analyzer
that can determine which caller has responded first with the correct
a DTMF button push.
optioned VoIP system can further be upgraded to include HD Voice that
allows 7 kHz bandwidth to be received and transmitted on calls to and
from telephones that are HD Voice-compatible.
have to admit, our expectations in regard to this product were high —
and still the AVT Magic TH6 has exceeded these expectations. We can
only recommend the product as well as AVT’s fast and competent
support before, during and after the installation. If you want
quality and sophisticated simplicity, you should go and get some
information, contact Ulrike Lauterbach at AVT in Germany at
011-49-911-5271-0 or visit www.avt-nbg.de.