The author is station manager of KASO/KBEF Radio.
MINDEN, La. — KBEF(FM) and KASO(AM) run a combination of local- and satellite-oriented programming. Pristine Systems’ Control Room-7 has been more than capable of handling the sometimes tricky transitions between the two during our broadcast day.
Since CR-7 is designed from the ground up to take advantage of Windows 7, everything you need to access is easily located on the attractive 1,920 x 1,080 high-definition main display. A weather forecast is at the top of the screen which constantly updates temperature and weather conditions. One click pulls up an extended forecast for our local area. There are also automatic time and temperature announcements using our own voices.
One new feature of CR-7 that we like is the “Card Viewer.” We use it to streamline different announcements and broadcast schedules. Anyone from any computer in the station can update the cards so jocks on air get the information
The Hot Keys are a nice feature in Control Room 7. When in satellite mode, hot keys display the liners, sweeps and jingles. In local hours they can play any audio on the system, from music, commercials, music beds, jingles. Add any file you want on-the-fly for those last minute changes.
We also use it for local ball games. The names of the files are easier to read and the buttons (48 of them!) can be color-coded for organization. With its own input on the board, it’s easy to mix in with music and other programming. The optional USB Hotbox, which not only has a button for every one of the hot keys, also allows you to easily perform many of the functions on the live-assist side.
Nothing is more frustrating than having a local satellite spot set too long or too short. Control Room-7’s new time scaling feature stretches or compresses your breaks to the correct length. We now have a uniform sound between local and satellite with this one feature alone. With 48 controllable relay closures, additions to our growing list of satellite-driven programs are easily handled.
Since we balance between local and satellite hours several times a day, background recording of the network commercials is important. Control Room-7 handles these with ease. We also carry several sports networks and are able to easily transition between games and local programming with no issues at all.
We use Natural Log software for traffic and it integrates well with CR-7. The audit log feature also allows quick troubleshooting, keeping lost advertising dollars to a minimum.
Control Room-7 can also send “now-playing” data to our streaming web server, our website and RDS encoder.
CR-7 offers complete remote control from other computers, iPhones, iPads, Android and most other smartphones. This is great when you are away from the studio for making quick changes or running a ball game or remote.
Control Room-7’s built-in recorder, which is available on both production and on-air machines, is great for simple cuts for news or recording a program live while running a shift on-air. For most production and ripping music, we use Adobe Audition and can be ready to play within minutes.
As always, Pristine Systems’ technical support, when needed, has proven to be readily available and able to handle any problems quickly. Plus, the fact that their background is in radio, the software is written with radio in mind.
Overall, Control Room 7 has been a tremendous boost to our stations, giving us greater flexibility to offer a wider variety of programming and has shown to be able to handle anything we have thrown at it.
For information, contact Kevin Loper at Pristine Systems in California at (310) 831-2234 or visit www.pristinesys.com.