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Hot FM Moves Into Virtual Realm With Lawo

Zambian station uses crystalCLEAR and RƎLAY to heat up the country’s airwaves

Hot FM in the Republic of Zambia, is using Lawo’s crystalClear and RƎLAY virtual mixing radio consoles in its new studio, which went on air Aug. 1.

The commercial station, based in the country’s capital and largest city, Lusaka, with almost 2 million inhabitants, is active with numerous on-location live broadcasts, news coverage, and interaction with listeners via social media platforms. It covers the region on three separate FM frequencies.

Hot FM owner, Oscar Chavula, stated in a press release that touchscreen mixing brings with it many advantages because it’s easy to learn and use. “In the field, a computer with RƎLAY and a 4G telephone connection makes it possible to originate high-quality remote broadcasts with much less equipment and very little setup time,” he said. “We are the first in Zambia to do this and the innovation is here now.”

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The crystalCLEAR virtual mixing console features a software-based control surface and is driven by a multi-touch interface on a high-resolution computer display controlling the Lawo Compact Engine. RƎLAY software implements computer virtualization technology adapted from the IT industry, letting broadcasters mix, route, and process AES67 audio streams and computer audio via standard WDM or ASIO interfaces.

“HotFM is one of the most modern radio stations in Africa — that’s why they chose Lawo,” said Meck Phiri of Lawo’s Zambian sales partner, Meck Media Consult. “Lawo radio products are AES67-compliant, easy to use, and future-proof. HotFM will deploy Visual Radio shortly; Lawo’s standards-based AoIP infrastructure makes that possible.”