In September, Comrex activated its new Gagl cloud service, which delivers conferenced audio from multiple contributors to the company’s hardware codecs in high quality. Now that it’s in the field, we asked Senior Director of Sales and Marketing Chris Crump for an update.
Radio World: Chris, what kind of initial interest have you had since previewing it at the beginning of the year?
Chris Crump: As most of us have discovered, most broadcasters have really learned to love working from home. And while certain shows only work well in the studio, getting high-quality remote contribution is something that folks are still keenly interested in.
We’ve had lots of broadcasters and live content creators who have subscribed to Gagl for that very reason. Whether it’s as an emergency “work-from-home” back up, bringing together remote hosts for a podcast session, or for bringing in an expert panel of remote guests, Gagl’s popularity has been growing at a fairly fast clip.
RW: You told me there are relevant applications for this tool in radio’s election coverage. Can you describe how that setup might work?
Crump: One of the key design applications for Gagl was election coverage. The idea is simple. Reporters from campaign headquarters or polling places can connect into the Gagl interface using the web browser on a smartphone or laptop. With a good headset, up to five reports (callers) are Gagl’d together. The producer/moderator can mute individual callers or all can be on the air at the same time. All callers in the Gagl have their own mix-minus and the audio is studio quality with very low delay. The moderator will connect the Gagl to an ACCESS Rack or BRIC-Link IP codec back in the studio so the on-air hosts take talk to the reporters in the field.
RW: How is such an arrangement different from what a station would have done in the past?
Crump: Traditionally, reporters might call in using a mobile phone, which reduces the quality of the audio significant with very narrow band and often distorted audio. Or it would require managing a fleet of codecs in the field. Gagl simplifies the process and dramatically improves the audio quality in the process.
RW: Any other tidbits to share from the first few weeks of Gagl’s use in the marketplace?
Crump: Comrex customers will be pleased to know that they can try out this new subscription service for free for two weeks. Since this fall’s within the midterm elections period, we’ve seen a huge surge in trial activations. With so much competition for audience attention, a service like Gagl can make a huge difference in the quality of content that broadcasters and live content creators can provide their listeners.