SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten — Here at Caribe Broadcasting/Island 92 we use Simian Remote from Broadcast Software International for all of our remotes. We do a lot of remotes with a very little staff, three employees to be exact. Of them I am the only technical person, so being able to deploy and run a remote on their own is very important.
Boyer’s remote package, complete with mixer and Simian Remote on the iPad. Where we get the most use out of it is the Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta, a very large sailing event here in the northeast Caribbean. Simian Remote on the iPad gives us the ability to control the station with all the functionality as if we were in the studio.
On the Simian Remote screen you actually have the same visual as what is seen in the station, so it’s very easy for people that already know how to run Simian to be able to just start up the app, connect and be on the air. The functionality of Simian Remote is great because you have access to the macros, you have access to change the log, you have access to hot keys, everything that you would have in the studio is available to you on the iPad.
The one drawback with Simian Remote has nothing to do with the app; it’s the fault of the iPad and multitasking — if you need to jump to another app and try to come back to the app, you will need to reconnect and download the log again. We usually end up having a second tablet or also use smartphones to handle this. We have them anyway to access the internet for weather and any other information that we need to get to be able to do the broadcast.
For our remotes we have two delivery systems to get audio back to the studio. The more portable one is using an iPhone app to connect to our AEQ Phoenix codec and then use the iPad to control the station. We use hot keys on the Simian Remote to control a router to switch the audio. The second is a kit I built using a Barix Instreamer IP interface to link back to the station’s Barix Exstreamer. The kit has a little mixer and portable WiMax internet interface.
Either way, we have the ability to arrive onsite, set-up and be broadcasting in a matter of minutes, no matter the technical ability of the user.
Another application that I use Simian Remote for is with my other job as a freelance TV host. For that gig I travel, and on occasion my schedule gets changed at the last minute, and I need to be able to record my shows. With Simian Remote using the voice-tracking function as if I was in the studio.
All I need is a mic, pair of headphones and an iPad and I can do voice-tracking as if I’m in the studio. The app will download the segues needed and that allows me to then record on the iPad the same way I’d voice-track in the studio on regular Simian. It will then upload the voice-track as a WAV file to the station’s Simian server and insert it into the log.
I have high hopes for the Simian Remote app that will be coming out for the Android. Knowing Android and its ability to do multiple windows I have hopes that this will solve my only issue with the app.
For information, contact Marie Summers at BSI in Oregon at (888) 426-8434 or visit www.bsiusa.com.