Radio World Buyer’s Guide articles are intended to help readers understand why their colleagues chose particular products to solve various technical situations. This month’s articles focus on products for radio remotes and sports.
Radio Sintonía is the reference station on the FM band for the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, which recently was the subject of intensive news coverage due to a volcanic eruption on the neighboring island of La Palma.
“We transmit on six different frequencies to provide the best geographical coverage possible to reach our listeners,” said Technical Director Iván Travieso Gómez.
“Our budget is limited, but we are devoted to serve the community and we focus on making what we call ‘street radio,’ with coverage of local sports, events and tourism on the island.”
The station obtained the AEQ Talent audio codec in 2020, but unlike many stations, it wasn’t concerned primarily with “radio from home.”
“Even if we also have been producing programs from home during pandemic lockdowns, we focus on taking the radio out into the street to interact with our community. Also, out in the open, COVID is less contagious than indoors. Further, the fantastic climate of the Canary Islands allows both sports or other events to take place outdoors.”
While the codec is suitable for personal use, the station seldom uses it for a one-man show.
“Talent has an ancillary line and Bluetooth connections. Therefore, we can use it as an ‘OB unit.’ Sometimes we connect it to a 16-channel live sound console, a headphone amplifier, some wireless microphones and a 3G/4G router and we take the radio out to any plaza or town square.”
Through the Bluetooth link to a smartphone, the team can receive calls and make them part of the program, usually using WhatsApp, which Travieso Gómez said provides very good sound quality.
He likes the simplicity of the Talent control surface and the fact that its Talent Pilot app allows them to manage the unit from a phone.
On the studio PC, the free ControlPhoenix application is installed, which allows him to manage the Talent codec in the field as well as the Phoenix rack-mounted codec at the studio. “We can monitor the status of both in real time and, if required, intervene to modify some configuration parameters or resolve other issues.”
The application shows the connection status and VU meters of both audio inputs and outputs. It also allows them to route signals to the headphones and control the gain.
Radio Sintonía uses the Opus algorithm included in AEQ’s codecs and the free registration on its SIP server. “It saves us from having to complicate our lives setting up one of our own, an effort and cost that is beyond our budget and capacity.”
Travieso Gómez said the Talent has helped the station stay close to its listeners and even improve its audience figures.