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User Report: EMF Upgrades With GatesAir Custom Furniture

Design aims to combine looks with functionality

User Reports are unpaid testimonials by users who have already purchased gear. A Radio World Product Evaluation, by contrast, is a freelance article by a paid reviewer who typically receives a demo loaner.

ROCKLIN, Calif. — From our network operations center in Rocklin, Calif., the Educational Media Foundation Broadcasting produces and broadcasts the Air1 and K-Love music radio content. We deliver this programming as a centralized head-end to more than 400 radio markets in our network.

As part of a recent upgrade at our Rocklin headquarters, we purchased and installed custom furniture from GatesAirvia broadcast equipment dealer SCMS. This furniture has elevated both the look and functionality of our facilities, including our four on-air studios and a control room.

We were looking to take a fresh design approach — with efficient ergonomics enhanced by clean modern styling — and GatesAir custom furniture fit the bill beautifully. With this upgrade, the layout of the room was designed with a “visual friendly” look to enhance photos, video footage and conversational experience for the on-air talent.

The difference between what we had before and what we have now is night and day. Before this upgrade, the technical layout of our studios was inefficient, with tall racks of equipment piled on top of the studio consoles, blocking everyone’s view and creating a need to extend beyond reach to access functional equipment. Whenever visitors toured the facility, they would peer into the studio’s window, and see the back of the DJ who would have to stop tending to the on-air product to turnaround and acknowledge them.

Fast forward to today, where our jocks now sit in sleek, modern, visually pleasing studios with finely-crafted grayish-black solid-surface furniture and with a better view of the windows all around. At the center of the layout, which is identical for all four of our production studios, the GatesAir furniture draws your attention, and fits each room’s unique space and operational requirements.

With the freedom to customize the desks any way we wanted, we chose a nonsymmetrical, three-tiered configuration that includes a high 39-inch surface where the show host can stand up and work. A second, standard 36-inch sit/stand counter height surface provides contoured cutouts to accommodate seating for up to four people, including co-hosts, news people and guests.

The desk’s third level has an ADA-compliant jettythat extends out at a lower height that’s comfortable for someone in a wheelchair. The lower level also has a contour cutout that allows a handicapped guest’s wheelchair to be pulled right up to the desk. We also installed an on/off cough button module into the desk for the wheelchair position. Prior to installing the GatesAir furniture, we had to prerecord handicapped guests in a separate production room because we couldn’t accommodate them in the on-air studio.

GatesAir gave us the option to outsource or assemble the furniture ourselves. Since it arrived as large, partially assembled modular pieces packed in crates, we found the actual assembly to be very intuitive and everything went together smoothly.

The furniture also allows us to mount our studio equipment and infrastructure components in a way that keep them readily accessible, yet inconspicuous. There’s also a cable trough between the top surface and a plywood panel underneath that allowed us to tuck touchscreen monitor mounts and cables into it for a lower profile so the screens don’t block anyone’s view, and are still easy to see and access.

A few small cutouts on the top of the furniture allow us to drop microphone and Ethernet cables down through the holes and plug them into special faceplates on the underside of the desks. We were also able to surface-mount electrical boxes and fiber panels to the plywood underside of the desks, all without damaging the furniture or ruining its appearance.

So today, instead of being buried by equipment racks as we were with the previous studio layout, our studio equipment is situated neatly and ergonomically on one side of the room and under the desks, making it easier and more convenient for our technicians to service it.

Not only is our new GatesAir custom furniture ideal for our needs, the whole process of ordering and installing it went smoothly without interruption. This was a major decision and investment for us but with GatesAir’s craftsmanship and attention to detail, we have the beautiful, ergonomic studio makeover we were hoping for.

For information, contact Keith Adams at GatesAir in Ohio at (513) 459-3447 or visit