In the fall of 2021 Comrex announced a new service that will deliver conferenced audio from multiple contributors to the company’s hardware codecs in high quality. We asked Chris Crump, senior director of sales and marketing, for details. This story is part of our latest Buyer’s Guide on telco and phone system products for radio.
Chris Crump: Gagl is a new cloud-based remote contribution service from Comrex. For those familiar with Opal, it works in a similar manner using a common web browser for remote guests to connect. However, it connects to a Comrex ACCESS or BRIC-Link codec in the studio instead of dedicated Opal hardware.
We created Gagl for morning shows, reporters and guest interview situations where high-quality, low-delay audio is required and interaction between up to five participants is needed.
Wherever there is election coverage round-robin reporting, a Friday Night Football live scoreboard roundup, a highly interactive afternoon drive sports show with remote hosts, a charity telethon with presenters at multiple remote locations, podcasts or just simple one-on-one guest interviews, Gagl is a great solution.
To connect, the guest/contributor just needs a computer or smartphone with one of the commonly available web browsers, a decent quality headset and a good Internet connection.
RW: What sets this apart from services someone might currently use for this application?
Crump: There are several free services and some paid that broadcasters and podcasters are using but one thing that stuck out to us was that audio quality tends to be an afterthought with apps like Zoom and Skype where video is the primary focus. As a result, audio tends to suffer. Automatic gain control and echo cancellation make the audio quality even worse.
So we decided to really focus on clean, low-delay, high quality audio. It is something that we’ve been doing for over 60 years now and where we think Gagl will excel.
Customers that already use our ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs are very familiar with the dependability and superior audio quality these provide. Gagl combines a very simple-to-use guest contributor interface with the broadcast reliable hardware that our customers depend on every day.
RW: Is it available now? What does it cost?
Crump: Gagl will be available about the time this article goes to press. People will be able to sign up for a trial period prior to purchasing a monthly or yearly subscription. Current details on Gagl and a link to the subscription site can be found at https://mailchi.mp/49b8b94b6a97/gagl-updates.
After a free 14-day trial period, Gagl customers will be billed at an introductory rate of $35 USD per month or $350 per year.
RW: Amazon Web Services had some technical issues that may be fresh in people’s minds. Is the cloud-based Gagl safe from problems like that?
Crump: A cloud service is basically an application running on someone else’s computer that uses the public internet. Given the litany of “blackhat” attacks, connectivity issues and power outages suffered by major service providers that we constantly read about, it is clear that no cloud service is immune from service interruptions.
We will certainly do our best to ensure the best results for our customers within the scope of what we can control. We’ve had very good results with our SwitchBoard Traversal Server over the years. As long as the power companies and ISPs hold up their end, we should be in good shape.
RW: What else should we know?
Crump: Comrex customers have overwhelmingly given our support team rave reviews. Technical support is free of charge and available in both English and Spanish. Gagl customers will enjoy access to our world-class support team to help them with hardware and platform-related issues.
More Info: www.comrex.com or +1 (978) 784-1776