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AEQ Mar4Suite Pro Flies in the Canary Islands

Production and Routing Are Part of the Offerings of This Automation Suite

The Mar4Suite Pro can be seen on screen, above an AEQ Arena control surface, at Canarias Radio. LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, Canary Islands Canarias Radio’s production center in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands was commissioned on May 30, 2008. The center was equipped by AEQ. Early in 2009, AEQ was awarded the contract for a new production center in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Both production centers consist of two studios (studio-control), an auto control, two booths, and an unattended master control room.

All of the studios, including the booths, are equipped with AEQ’s Arena digital mixers, and are connected to the AEQ BC-2000 D router matrix.

Useful features

Because of the importance of this new broadcast facility medium to the islands, it had to provide reliability, ease of use and technical support immediately available.

It was not easy to find an automation and audio management system that would adapt to our needs, tailor-made to fit into newly created facilities, yet with the support and experience of the professionals who make it all possible.

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Mar4Suite Pro Editing and Mixing Screen.
AEQ’s Mar4Suite Pro automation system, which evolved from the classic Mar4Win system, was the answer. In choosing we relied upon favorable references from other users, such as National Spanish Radio, which has more than 1,500 operational workstations (500 in a single group in Madrid). It was the determining factor that helped us make our decision.

For operational radio stations, an automation system is a critical element that cannot be prone to failure. News, audio production, programming — it’s all there. So, when AEQ explained the advantages of the Mar4Suite Pro, with an SQL Server database engine, broadcasting in a safe mode, automatic local archiving of scheduled content, and broadcast recovery in the same instant as a power failure, we decided we wanted to chance being the first major installation of a new system, instead the last installation of the previous one.

There are many useful features such as a broadcast list editor with a waveform display, live voice-over mixing for program introductions, decentralized information management and a powerful audio and text object search engine.

The Canarias Radio Mar4Suite Pro system has three servers, five broadcasting workstations in the studios, and six editing workstations in the newsroom. It utilizes all of the Mar4Suite Pro’s applications: news receipt, text editing with embedded audio, audio editing and mixing, continuity recording for legal copies and, of course, broadcasting and automation applications.

It should be noted that the May 30th inaugural broadcast was launched without the benefit of preliminary testing because of the reduced installation time allotted. There simply was not time to determine if we selected the right equipment or manufacturer. However, our confidence in AEQ’s supplied equipment was rewarded by not once experiencing a single on-air failure. Because of the short training period for our technicians, AEQ’s technicians were present in the initial critical moments of operation. They were also present from a distance via the Internet. They tracked the daily performance of the new system while our personnel quickly came up to speed.

We are installing the second Production Center in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which of course includes Mar4Suite Pro. But this time the goal is to interconnect the servers with those at Gran Canaries, so any operator can access online content.

Other stations have installed Mar4Suite Pro, and others who have migrated from MarSystem to Mar4Suite Pro. It has been a great experience and a source of pride for us to have taken the leap and we feel we have made the right decision.

The author is project director for Canarias Radio Television.

For information, contact AEQ at (954) 581-7999 or