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Exhibitor Preview: ENCO at the NAB Show

Ken Frommert talks AI, synthetic voices and the cloud

With the 2024 NAB Show just a couple of days away, Radio World is asking exhibitors about their plans and expectations.

Ken Frommert

Ken Frommert is the president of ENCO.

Radio World: What is the most important technology issue or trend for radio engineers and facility managers in 2024? 

Ken Frommert: Navigating a fast-growing universe of AI applications. The rapidity of AI development can appear overwhelming, but there is no question that many of the tools coming to market now are effective, easy to use and beneficial to business operations and technology workflows. The upside is huge.

RW: In what way(s) will AI-based tools change radio broadcasting workflows most substantially?

Frommert: AI can help to automate the entire content workflow, including creative processes and the insertion of dynamic content. Our SPECai solution is an example of the former, leveraging generative models to create multiple scripts within seconds and then creating an audio file of synthetic speech for the winning script.

The voice sounds very human, and the user can adjust how the voice sounds. After selecting a music bed, the client has a complete spec commercial ready to go that was created right there on the spot.

RW: What news will your company feature at the convention — any new products or services? 

Frommert: We will also show aiTrack, which we previewed last year but have enhanced with more features. aiTrack is a module that can be turned on within the DAD automation infrastructure. aiTrack represents the dynamic content side of the equation. It is more of a voice tracking application, and like SPECai uses synthetic voices to produce natural-sounding and engaging content between songs or at scheduled times.

aiTrack will also be available in our WebDAD remote production workflow, and WebDAD adds DAD’s familiar Presenter on-air interface. Our customers will see us continue to tighten the workflows between DAD and WebDAD in ways that further streamline DAD systems in the studio.

RW: Are there any other important technology trends that you’d like to comment on? 

Frommert: Cloud-based access will continue to grow in stature with the radio broadcast community. Content producers especially need remote access to improve production and on-air workflows from anywhere, and engineers want the freedom to manage their automation systems from engineer. The cloud provides that and we will see more of that coming to fruition.

RW: What else will you be watching for at the convention?

Frommert: It’s probably no surprise that we will be looking at AI development from other exhibitors, both on the radio and TV side. Virtual production is also of big interest to us, given our launch of the Qimera virtual production workflow at last NAB. I see potential to use this technology in visual radio applications as well.

ENCO booth: W1743