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Medialaan Renovates Qmusic and Joe Facilities

With an investment of some €3.1 million, the new studios will go on air this spring

BRUSSELS — “Our current radio studios were first used 10 years ago and it’s time to renovate,” said An Caers, director radio at Medialaan. “We are now building two new state-of-the-art radio studios. Combining audio and video, the studios are futureproof and ready for new digital initiatives.”

The current studios of Joe and Qmusic are on the top floor of Medialaan’s building and the new facilities will be located right at the public entrance, stretched alongside the main corridor. “The idea is to have the on-air studio’s open and visible, with Qmusic as an eyecatcher in the main entrance with lots of passage during public recording sessions, and Joe in the central hallway,” said Bas Boone, team leader of radio engineering Medialaan. “In doing so, we highlight our two radio brands.”

The new setup will comprise six on-air studios and four editing/production studios. The on-air studios, with incorporated cameras for visual radio, are all facing public areas with 6 x 2.5 meter bulletproof glass walls. The 1200 square-meter ground floor radio department with plenty of daylight will offer room for some 100 people, working on flex desks. All offices are facing the street — an auditorium, meeting rooms, cafeteria and leisure facilities are centrally located between the offices and on-air studios.

“A novelty is that all of the studios are equipped with so-called acoustical speed gates,” continued Boone. “No more doors, but acoustic panels, they enhance the feeling of making content,” he said. “We make more than radio: alongside our two main channels in simulcast FM and DAB+, we operate three extra DAB+ channels and lots of streamed thematic channels and massive social media content. This huge production of content must reflect on the whole floor.”

IdealAcoustics is managing the acoustics and noise control, while studio equipment is being provided and installed by Amptec. All studios and production facilities are connected via AoIP, combining Dante with a DHD fiber protocol.

[Read: DAB+ Gains Ground in Belgium]

“We’re building quite traditional on-air studios,” admitted Boone, “But we implement the newest technology — it’s our ambition to put in place an extremely mobile hybrid concept, allowing us to produce radio anywhere. Today we’re concentrating on architecture combining the management of the consoles, the playout system and editorial newsroom software.”

The new radio studios, which are being built around the concept “The nature of Joe” and “Q urban loft,” will go on air next spring.