ORLANDO, Fla. WLCC(AM) is a regional Mexican-format station serving the Tampa Bay area. Earlier this year our lease ran out on our existing studio facility, which gave us the opportunity to move to a better location about a mile away.
Since we had to move the studios, we decided this was the time to upgrade our air studio from its old analog console to a modern digital system. At about the same time, Frank Grundstein, director of sales for Logitek, came to Orlando, where I’m based, to do an SBE presentation on their new JetStream system.
The JetStream is an integrated console engine with IP audio networking in a small package. A single unit can handle up to 64 channels of analog I/O, digital I/O and microphones, and offers onboard audio processing and profanity delay plus GPI/O.
I was impressed by its size; this complete IP audio system has the same footprint as a standard audio processor. I also liked the fact that it could be installed using the StudioHub+ standard. I had decided to use StudioHub for wiring at the new facility and this made the JetStream as close to “plug and play” as you could get with a console system. With the new studio installation being done by one person (me), ease of installation was critical.
At the SBE meeting, Frank also did a demo of Logitek’s new Pilot control surface. The Pilot is an inexpensive, modular console that connects to the JetStream with a single cable. It’s available in multiple sizes and has a simple tabletop design.
After I saw the products at the SBE meeting, I went to station management with a recommendation that they purchase the JetStream and Pilot for WLCC. As I was showing them the Logitek options, we went over Logitek’s vScreen utility which, among other things, can provide a “virtual console” for control of the JetStream. The GM said, “If we can do this virtually, why do we need a physical console?” So when we placed our order with Logitek, we just ordered a JetStream with vScreen control. But after a couple weeks of operation, WLCC’s PD and operators convinced the GM that they really needed a physical surface in front of them, so I called Logitek again and ordered a Pilot-12 to go with the JetStream.
Our installation couldn’t have been easier. A couple of weeks after placing our initial order, I received a small box from Logitek containing the JetStream Mini. I couldn’t believe we had this much capability in such a small unit.
The JetStream was placed in the TOC right next to the AudioVault automation system. Microphones, mic processing, two computers and the CD players in the studio were wired back to the TOC via StudioHub, with everything connecting to the JetStream with RJ-45 connectors. Monitor, cue and headphone feeds were wired back to the studio in a similar manner. A few weeks later, when we received our Pilot-12 surface, installation took less than five minutes. We connected the cable to the JetStream and plugged in power, and we were up and running.
Right now we are using the JetStream in a non-networked mode. Our production rooms, which are still using Mackie 24.8 consoles and Digidesign Pro Tools equipment, feed the JetStream as single I/O paths. However, it’s nice to know that when we are ready to network our studios, we will have an inexpensive upgrade path via JetStreams and Logitek control surfaces.
Remote access to our JetStream-based studio is great. Our PD and afternoon personality, Luis “El Vampiro” Briceño, hosts a weekly remote broadcast which is transmitted to the studio from his PC using Windows Media Encoder, where it is received on a PC in the studio. We use Symantec’s pcAnywhere remote program to control the studio PC as well the AudioVault AVAir screen. A Comrex STAC with Web interface controls the phones, and he connects with Logitek’s vMix to the JetStream for a complete remote without a local board operator. The really cool thing is the remote can be anywhere in the world where there’s a reliable Internet connection.
When I first saw the JetStream, I knew this was what I wanted for WLCC. I didn’t even look at other options. It was the right size, right price and right type of installation for us. As far as I’m concerned, the Logitek JetStream is a real winner.
The author is a contract engineer with WLCC(AM).
For information, contact Frank Grundstein at Logitek in Texas at (610) 642-2487 or visitwww.logitekaudio.com