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User Report: WXPN Upgrades With Logitek Helix

Long-time Logitek client likes touchscreen technology

Logitek HelixThe author is director of engineering for the WXPN Radio Network.

PHILADELPHIA — WXPN(FM) is a long-time user of Logitek consoles — and by “long-time” I mean decades.

I arrived at the station in February, 2002. At that time we were looking at products to replace an aging Logitek Perfectionist console. We’ve used the original ROC-10, Remora, and Numix consoles at our facility since 2002. Their long life is backed up by the fact that our original Remora-4, purchased 18 years ago, is still in service!

Last year, we decided it was time to replace the two remaining Numix-12 consoles that had been installed in 2004, and of course we checked out Logitek to see what was available from them. We wanted to have a similar feature set to the Numix but with a smaller footprint — however, we didn’t want to lose any physical controls such as the number of faders on the surface. Having the console sit on the tabletop rather than requiring a furniture cutout was also an important consideration for us.

Our search resulted in the purchase of two Helix-12 consoles. The Helix series is Logitek’s entry into touchscreen control of audio consoles, and it’s nice. These consoles provide really easy access to bus assignments, EQ, limiter and compressor controls. Our two new Helix units are in the backup on-air control room, which is mostly used for production, and in our newly redesigned “World Café” production studio. “World Café” is produced by WXPN and distributed by NPR to over 200 U.S. radio stations.

I’ve been working with Tag Borland and John Davis at Logitek for my entire time at WXPN. They have guided me through my initial introduction to the world of networked audio systems, two major system expansions, multiple upgrades, and thousands of questions. It’s rare to nonexistent to work with the same people at the same company for so long. Their knowledge of the product, ease of accessibility for support and pleasant and calm demeanor is unmatched in the industry.

With this installation, since we were dealing primarily with a console replacement in each studio, we really didn’t need assistance from the factory. My only issue was a problem with source names not displaying — but if I had read the manual, I would have saved myself and John a five-minute phone conversation.

We have a range of users at WXPN, ranging from college students who have never entered a radio station to serious radio veterans. They’ve always enjoyed our Logitek consoles, but of all the different features offered over the years, I’ve received the most positive comments on the touchscreen features on the Helix. It’s so much easier for users to access the various controls, and something as basic as panning two sources opposite to each other during a recording for easier post production is now used more often than ever. We also rely on aux sends for a handful of important tasks, and our users have commented that the way the touchscreen displays the on/off status along with the touch controls is superior to the mechanical push button type on older consoles.

Logitek continues to be a very good value for the money, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.

Radio World User Reports are testimonial articles intended to help readers understand why a colleague chose a particular product to solve a technical situation.

For information, contact John Davis at Logitek Electronic Systems in Texas at 1-713-664-4470 or visit www.logitekaudio.com.

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