User Report: iMediaTouch Logger Does the Splits

Makes Program and Commercial Management Easier for Minnesota Valley Broadcasting
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Author with Broadcast Tools 16.4 switcher and MOTU interface for OMT iMedia Logger system MANKATO, Minn. Radio Mankato is a division of Minnesota Valley Broadcasting in Mankato, Minn. We operate seven radio stations (both AM and FM) from our studios here. Early last year, we installed the iMediaTouch system from OMT Technologies for our stations.

One of the central elements of the iMediaTouch system is the Logger. Simply stated, it records things. That is, indeed, an oversimplification.

Daily duties

Day in and day out, we put the Logger through its paces. We use it for logging (continuous recording of various dayparts) of some stations. Using these files, we can produce "Best of" programs to run on weekends or holidays. In the future, we may also make podcasts available. We do skimming (recording when the mic is turned on) of some stations as well. These audio files can be used by the program director and/or consultant for critiquing and making our stations, and everyone's shows, better.

KTOE is our full-service AM. As such, lots of programs are carried that arrive from various sources. A total of 12 inputs was too limiting, so in addition to the MOTU 12-input audio interface we installed a Broadcast Tools 16.4 audio switcher/router. That combination gives a total of 24 audio sources (the four outputs of the 16.4 go to four inputs of the MOTU). In addition, the Broadcast Tools switcher provides a relay input/output interface.

(click thumbnail)KTOE is an ABC Information News affiliate. We record the top of the hour news every hour — in case we need it. We also record the "Paul Harvey News" pre-feed for broadcast at noon. The relay closures from ABC are wired to the Broadcast Tools switcher. When the "local break" closure is received, the file stops recording, Logger waits the length of the network PSA, then starts recording again. The result is that Paul Harvey's news is contained in two files. We schedule our local sponsor's ad between them. It works flawlessly and runs smooth as silk.

We do the same with various satellite fed programs such as Bruce Williams, Dr. Laura and Kim Komando, to name a few. In addition to receiving relay closures from the various satellite receivers, with the Broadcast Tools switcher in the system Logger can also send relay closures to our satellite receiver controller to switch the receiver to a different program automatically.

Timeshifting

We automatically record our local weather forecast complete with current temperature (fed by another satellite). So even at night, when nobody's home, we have the current weather and temperature for our listeners.

(click thumbnail)Last, but certainly not least, we record three local church services every Sunday. The service times change during the year, but churches want the broadcast to be at the same time, so their parishioners would always know when to listen.

When recording church services, we use another useful feature of Logger. We split the services into 20-minute segments. The service records into three consecutive files. Since the files are not available for play until after they have finished recording, splitting the service allows us to begin broadcast before the service is actually finished recording.

If you asked me about the manual I'd probably say, "What manual?" There is a manual, but you don't need it. Most of the screens are self-explanatory. Once you define the feed it's just a matter of scheduling it. Once scheduled, it runs. Logger is running all the time, 24/7. It runs its schedule, records the needed audio and drops the files on the server for the next time it's needed.

I can't imagine being able to carry the programs we do when we do — unattended — without the iMediaTouch Logger. It's an integral part that makes the magic happen.

Scott Schmeling is chief engineer for Minnesota Valley Broadcasting.For information, contact OMT Technologies at (204) 786-3994 or visit www.imediatouch.com.

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