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Kicking Off the 2017 Summer of Products

We begin the annual roundup of new broadcast gear


It’s new equipment season again! Radio World’s “Summer of Products” feature is all about new gear that has come onto the market in recent months, especially during spring convention season. Here and in the next several issues we feature equipment that caught our eye. Send ideas to [email protected] with “Summer of Products” in the subject line.

Rycote Hits a Home Run With the Baseball

Though it looks more like a gray tennis ball than a baseball, the Baseball from Rycote is a new windscreen option.

It is designed for use with boom microphones to prevent annoying “swooshes” that come from moving the boom too fast. 

The inside of the Baseball is made of open-cell foam and an open cavity. It is fitted with a soft, though durable, plastic/rubber thermoplastic elastomer end-cap that secures the Baseball on the mic and provides an effective seal against wind.

It is available in two sizes: 19/20 mm for the DPA 4018, Sennheiser MKH 8050 and Schoeps CMC641 long supercardioid microphones, and 24/25 mm for the Sennheiser MKH 50.

Suitable for sports stations and programming — especially those with visual radio programs.

Price: $39.95.

MXL Displays New Broadcast Microphone

MXL, the studio microphone division of Marshall Electronics, has a new broadcast microphone.

The BCD-1 is a dynamic cardioid end- or top-address model.

It is designed to minimize side noise, has a built-in shockmount and a “tuned” grille to eliminate internal reflections. MXL specs the BCD-1 at 40 Hz–15 kHz.

The debut version comes in black. Price: $249.95.

Wheatstone Releases Second-Gen FM-55

The Wheatstone FM-55e multiband processor retains the functions of its FM-55 functions and adds enhanced iAGC controls and a new bass processor design.

The iAGC, a five-band intelligent gain controller, is coupled to a five-band limiter and stereo generator, plus five-band stereo enhancement and program adaptive L-R control for multipath mitigation, according to the company.

Wheatstone Processing Systems and Support Engineer Mike Erickson said in an announcement, “The FM55e is another step forward in the creation of processing that is naturally loud, where stations that are on a budget can still sit at the grownups’ table.”

The 55e is compatible with WheatNet-IP, and it can deliver baseband192 digital MPX.

Current FM-55 owners can upgrade their units to 55e with a free software reload, to be available later this year.

Roland Releases VR-4HD AV Mixer

Music and A/V specialist Roland has a new A/V mixer that might be right for stations wanting to dip a toe in the shallow end of video.

The portable VR-4HD has three HDMI input connectors compatible with a variety of equipment and offering 1080p/1080i/720p video resolutions. A fourth input includes a scaler to support video and computer resolutions along with supporting analog RGB and component input, as well as HDMI, so older devices can be used as sources without the need for external conversion equipment. HDCP is supported for input of copy-protected content from devices such as Blu-ray disc players.

An 18-channel audio mixer offers three-band parametric EQ, reverb, a compressor/gate on the mic inputs and level/multiband EQ on the master mix. The VR-4HD supports auto-mixing, echo cancel, audio follow and up to 500 ms of delay for lip-sync between audio and video. Its audio mixer can mix the four XLR microphone inputs, unbalanced stereo inputs on RCA and 1/8-inch mini connectors, along with the audio embedded in the four HDMI inputs. The final mix can be outputted via XLR or RCA and embedded into the HDMI output.

A loop-back audio capability via USB 3.0 port can bring in audio from a connected PC using a conferencing software such as Skype and return audio to the PC without any audio feedback courtesy of the echo cancellation feature.

MultiCam Combines Social With Visual

MultiCam Systems has introduced Dynamic Social Media Moderation, a set of social media moderation tools for its automated visual radio solution, MultiCam Radio. It will give operators control over which tweets and Facebook comments to show, as well as the ability to filter and move approved content into the display queue; and quickly overlay graphic scenes to enhance the mood.

The company says its MultiCam Radio solution offers a convergence of reliable server and switching hardware, and feature-rich software that brings together artificial intelligence, speaker detection, automated graphics, and live streaming and podcasting capabilities. The unified solution brings dynamic visuals to life for the broadcaster seeking new ways to engage and build digital audiences.

The company points to better social media integration as an important pain point to solve in the evolving visual radio landscape, from both operational and experiential perspectives. It says its tool set makes it easier for broadcasters to moderate and deliver an engaging social media platform, while audience interaction is encouraged through the ability to share video content and provide input across the social network.

Wohler Presents Audio Monitor

Audio specialist Wohler Technologies has a new rackmount monitor.

The single-RU AMP1-2SDA provides two-channel monitoring for up to 16 input channels, analog and/or digital sources.

The front panel offers two-speakers, adjustable volume and balance controls, two 26-segment LED meters, source selector, screen, average phase indicator, balance control, headphone output and volume control.

Options include an AES input for additional input of eight pairs of AES audio on a 25-pin D-sub and an analog input with an additional input of eight pairs of analog audio on two 25-pin D-subs.

WinMedia 2017 Features Improved Synchronization

WinMedia 2017 automation and visual radio software allows users to assign audio output to two devices simultaneously.

The audio or video clip being played is sent directly to two outputs at the same time by just pushing one button, without requiring the user to re-encode or synchronize the video stream to be inserted in the audio stream.

The company, which develops its audio drivers in-house, says the encapsulation delay of the new version is just 12 ms and that the audio is sent simultaneously on air via a physical sound card such as Digigram, Axia Livewire, Wheatstone, a video card such as Blackmagic or a virtual device like Network Device Interface.

The system’s NDI, developed in collaboration with NewTek, allows for the transfer of content to a TV control room, software or production software.

Wedel Software Adds Digital Contract Signing

Wedel Software has added digital contract signing to its MediaSales Quote application.

Wedel says that with this module, MediaSales Quote lets sales teams add a customer signature to their device and immediately send a confirmation message to both the customer and their team, while automatically updating the customer file. With digital contract signing, users no longer have to deal with paper contracts and immediately have their documents in digital format.

The application allows signatures to be added on touchscreen devices and keeps track of information such as GPS location, IP address and device details. In addition, the system provides a full audit trail and is integrated into the rest of the workflow, thus if contract revision is required, a new signing request can be sent.

Omnirax Builds the Contour

Omnirax Furniture Co. specializes in technical furniture. It recently introduced the Contour series of ergonomically superior workstations.

The Contour series is available in adjustable-height (motorized sit/stand) or fixed-height models; three sizes; multiple rack configurations; built with American-made steel; and with a choice of finishes. Other finishes are available at an additional charge.

The adjustable height models have Bosch German motors and four-position programmable controllers with numeric readout.

Contour is a range of products designed to create a work environment that fits a client and its way of working. It also brings work closer, allowing users to wrap work around them for an intimate studio experience, Omnirax says.

Contour is available in approximately 5-foot-, 6-foot- and 7-foot-wide models. The base configuration is two rack bays by three rack spaces. Nearly any configuration can be built, including adding rack spaces and making the larger CS6 and CS7 with additional rack bays or one-piece tops.

Rack bays are positioned within easy reach and angled for neck-neutral sightlines, either sitting or standing. They are open in the rear for access to gear and wiring, with cut-outs in the modesty panels to feed wires back to the wire trays beneath the desk.

Contour desktops are constructed of high-pressure laminate over “green” particleboard cores trimmed with durable tee-molded edges.

Omnirax says that courtesy of its CAD/CAM manufacturing process, with 0.005-inch tolerance, clients will get a precise fit and finish on their studio furniture. The Contour series is shipped flat-packed, with specialized tools and simple, clear instructions.

Options include fully-articulating Omnirax KMS keyboard/mouse shelf, 7500 VESA mount monitor arm and SpaceCo CPU holder.

Countryman Displays B6 Connectors

Countryman Associates, known for small lavalier microphones, thinks it has now covered every conceivable connection option for its tiny B6 omnidirectional lav microphone.

According to the company, “new detachable connectors span more than 400 models of equipment from AKG, Shure, Sennheiser, Lectrosonics, Sony, Wisycom and many additional equipment manufacturers. The connector types include 3.5 mm, Hirose, TA3F, TA4F/Tiny QG, TA5F, LEMO and XLR (for use with phantom powered equipment such as digital recorders and mixing consoles).”

Countryman Associates President Chris Countryman said, “Due to its unusually small form-factor, our B6 omnidirectional lavalier has proven to be incredibly versatile. Because of its popularity, we regularly receive requests to make the B6 better able to interface with a wide range of equipment.”

In addition, Countryman has upgraded construction for a tougher and more RF-resistant connector, the company says. The connectors are available individually.