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Summer of Products, Part Two

We continue our sizzlin’ coverage in print and online


The Inovonics Simon 614 is an Internet radio monitor.

It can monitor up to four independent Internet radio streams simultaneously. Independent in this case means that the monitoring utility is not time-shared and each stream receives individual attention on a full-time basis.

According to Inovonics, Simon sets up using the front-panel jogwheel and OLED display. Each stream is associated with its own local alarm tallies for stream loss and audio loss. Any stream may be monitored for audio quality using the balanced analog and AES digital outputs, as well as a front-panel headphone jack.

The Simon 614 has an SNMP-compliant Web interface that echoes local stream failure alarms with email and/or SMS-text messaging. Stream failures are logged for follow-up analysis. Accurate audio levels and essential metadata are presented locally on the front-panel readouts and remotely through the Web interface.

The unit has been engineered for compatibility with popular audio network protocols: HLS, HTTP/S, MMS over HTTP or TCP, RTMP, RTSP, RTP, TCP, UDP and TLS, and virtually all encapsulation formats including MP4, OGG, WEBM, MPEG-TS, MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC, AC3, DTS, Vorbis, WMA 9, Opus, MP2, AMR, Speex, ALAC, WavPack and MPEG-4 ALS.



The WorldCast/APT SureStreamer is an add-on device inserted between an existing IP audio codec and an IP network, allowing the user to “SureStream” their audio content between locations. Using either two separate wired Internet connections or one wired/one wireless (i.e., DSL plus 3G/4G), the APT SureStreamer sends the same audio content over divergent paths for increased redundancy. The SureStreamer ensures that one seamless, reconstructed stream is produced by the decoder; drop-outs or interruptions to any of the constituent connections are therefore negated or corrected.

The company says DSL charges cost on average 5–10 percent that of a T1/E1 line, making the cost benefits of operating two public Internet connections versus one synchronous link clear. However, it continues, an open Internet link will not inherently deliver the reliability and clarity that broadcasters would expect from a T1/E1 link. SureStream enables broadcasters to achieve consistent audio quality with no dropouts and sophisticated jitter compensation. The output can remain seamless when one of the contributory links suffers a complete loss of connection while also maintaining a consistent latency; this is useful for remote broadcast applications and local content insertion.

Other novel applications for the SureStreamer are emerging. It can be used as a “remote broadcast hub,” with a connection to software or hardware codec by Wi-Fi or wired connection the SureStreamer can add SureStream protection to remote audio from the ballpark or remote event back to the studio.



The Ampegon TSW product line of shortwave transmitters includes the 100 kW TSW 2100, the 300 kW TSW 2300 and the 500 kW TSW 2500. According to the Swiss firm, the lineup has “major technical advances” in its transmitter control system, the motor drive tuning system and the measurement acquisition system.

The TSW line is fitted with a unified control system with embedded PC and FPGA technology for network-based communication, which includes remote control from anywhere in a LAN environment. A touchscreen on the front panel provides operation.

It also features an integrated DRM modulator, RF exciter, analog and digital audio signal inputs as well as digital processing (filtering, leveling, modulation schemes).

DC motor technology permits faster and more accurate positioning of the transmitter tuning circuits, says Ampegon, leading to automated frequency changes.

The onboard pulse step modulators have 97+ percent efficiency, Ampegon says. They also have short circuit protection and can be switched on and off independently.



Orban says its Model 1600 Optimod-PCN is broadcast-quality audio processing available both as a software-only product for Orban-approved Windows 7 (and higher) computers and preinstalled on a host Windows computer. It is compatible with Windows sound I/O devices that support Windows WASAPI audio.

The host computer can be configured at the factory to run the audio processing software and MPEG4 AAC/HE-AACv2/MP3 streaming audio codecs (from Orban partner Modulation Index) software natively on its Intel processor. Depending on its ordered configuration, the 1600 can run multiples instances of monophonic, stereo or surround processing (up to 7.1 channels), and these can be mixed and matched as required.

The 1600 is suited for mastering, netcasts and digital radio broadcasting, and is suitable for both live streaming and on-demand programming. Optimod-PCN uses the power of Intel’s x86 architecture provide a consistent, well-produced sound by performing stereo enhancement, automatic gain control, equalization, multiband gain control, peak-level control and automatic loudness control.

Orban says its MX peak limiter technology uses a psychoacoustic model to achieve a favorable tradeoff between loudness, transient punch, and distortion artifacts.

Second-generation Optimix stereo and 5.1 surround upmixer provides uncolored automatic upmixing. It also provides downmix compatibility.

Orban Stereo Synthesizer can create a spacious stereo or surround output from mono program material.

Optimod-PCN’s setup, metering and subjective loudness control incorporate contemporary concepts of “target loudness” based on the ITU-R BS.1770 loudness measurement algorithm and on Orban’s third-generation refinements to the CBS (Jones & Torick) loudness controller and loudness metering technology. Users can set and verify the target loudness of the output easily.



The Touchstone controller from Klotz Communications features “Touch’n Tactile” technology, providing operators with advanced ergonomic control and instant access to signal processing and important mixer data, says the company.

With a touch-sensitive LCD monitor and integrated tactile actuators, the Touchstone controller allows for the control of audio processing, software and hardware utilities such as radio mixers, DAWs or audio/video routers as well as program associated data (videos, pictures and text).

Fitted with USB, Ethernet and RS-232 interfaces, the Touchstone controller includes widgets for the management of faders, push-buttons and rotary knobs that can be positioned anywhere on the screen. In addition, users can modify widgets with individual graphics and configure the system to control any device connected to the control network, including routers, DSP engines and other third-party equipment.

In combination with Klotz Communications’ router control software, the Touchstone controller can be configured to control complex routers and console networks. The unit, available in multiple layouts and custom configurations, can also be connected to VADIS equipment.



Microphone and headphone maker AKG has long been known for its K line of headphones, familiar faces to broadcasters. Now there’s a new member of the long-serving K line.

The K553 Pro has a closed-back design and sport hefty 50 mm drivers with the large earpads that AKG uses for much of the K line. They can be folded flat for easy transport.

A 3.5 mm to 1/4-inch adapter comes with them.



Over the past few months, sound library publisher Sound Ideas has added several libraries to its offerings.

The Hollywood Edge is familiar to sound designers and has been used on productions large and small. A release explains: “The Hollywood Edge sound effects have been an integral part of Hollywood production over the years and have attracted testimonials from the likes of Oliver Stone and Martin Scorsese. The Hollywood Edge provided high-end, professional and royalty-free special effects and music for all media use.”

The addition brings along more than a half-a-million effects.

“Voice Kit Sound Effects” has 18,000 featuring babies, children, teens, adults and seniors. The company says it includes “vocal Foley (laughs, coughs, burps, gasps, groans, grunts, screams, yells, yawns, sighs) from all the voice artists, offering a total of 850 adult vocal Foley effects and 209 baby and child vocal Foley effects.” Specialty voices include: “auctioneers, broadcasters, dispatchers, monsters, aliens, munchkins, opera divas and zombies.”

It is available as a three-DVD collection with 24-bit/96 kHz WAV files or downloadable with 24/96 versions along with 16-bit/48 kHz and 16-bit/44.1 kHz WAV files.

“Wind Sound Effects” is a two-DVD collection of 200 24-bit/96 kHz files, that are also available as 24/96 versions along with 16-bit/48 kHz and 16-bit/44.1 kHz WAV files. Each cut is two minutes.

A release says that effects are of “variety of different strengths and kinds of wind are included: light, low, medium, heavy, whistling, whipping and gusting winds. Featured in the collection are both urban and rural settings, broken branches and blowing debris, hurricane strength disasters, eerie howling canyon winds, bitter cold arctic blasts and some gentle breezes.”



Broadcast Electronics says that the new STX 10 10 kW FM transmitter has been designed to offer a combination of audio quality, reliability, redundancy, serviceability and efficiency in a compact design.

With an efficiency of greater than 70 percent AC to RF, according to the company, the STX 10 will save on electricity costs beginning immediately.

The STX 10 is equipped with four power amplifier modules and seven power supplies. Power amplifier and power supply modules are hot-swappable so there’s no reason to take the transmitter off-air to install a spare. The combiner will auto-adjust to the power change when a module is added or removed. Auxiliary power supply options are available for the PA power supplies and controller power supply, providing a redundancy configuration for harsh electrical environments. The transmitter has a redundant cooling system, allowing it to operate at full power with a fan failure.

The STX 10 can fit in a standard 19-inch EIA rack that is 30 inches deep. Not only is it easily transportable to any transmitter location, but the small form-factor also reduces shipping costs.

With IP connectivity at the transmitter site, the STX 10 will provide important transmitter operating conditions and control options from a laptop, tablet or smartphone.



Here’s a problem-solver for a problem you may not have realized you needed solved. Once it is, though, many promising audio production opportunities come to mind. How do you reliably get audio from a laptop/tablet computer into a signal chain? One professional solution is Radial Engineering’s Trim-Two, something of a DI box for laptops/tablets.

The Trim-Two takes the audio from a laptop’s/tablet’s (usually) 1/8-inch headphone output, isolates it, balances it and outputs it to stereo XLR connectors or dual mono. From there it can be sent to monitors or a mixer. It also has 1/4-inch and RCA inputs as well for other pieces of equipment or instruments such as a keyboard. A level control is included. The Trim-Two is passive and needs no power. Like Radial’s other little boxes, it’s made of practically indestructible 14-gauge steel.



Powered monitor maker Genelec has released the 7040A, what it calls an “ultra-compact” subwoofer. The 7040A is designed for music creation, sound design applications and audio and video production work, according to the company.

The 7040A features Genelec’s Laminar Spiral Enclosure technology, which allows the 7040 to achieve a high sound pressure level and move high volumes of air without distortion, Genelec said. It is also designed to complement Genelec’s 8010, 8020 and M030 active monitors.

Calibration of the Genelec 7040A subwoofer to the listening environment is done using DIP switches located on the subwoofer connector panel. These controls address typical monitoring placement configurations.

Using a 6.5-inch woofer and a Genelec-designed Class D amplifier, the 7040A produces 100 dB. External dimensions of the 7040 are 16.125 x 13.75 x 8.125 inches, weighing 25 pounds and it is able to fit into a 19-inch rack.



Microphone maker Sennheiser has worked with digital hardware company Apogee Digital to develop a clip-on microphone system for handheld devices.

The system consists of Sennheiser’s MKE 2 digital lavalier microphone and Apogee’s ClipMic interface/digital converter capable of 24-bit/96 kHz performance. The device connection end features a Lightning connector, which optimizes the system for use with Apple iDevices such as iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches.

Included in the package are a metal windshield, foam windscreen and carrying pouch.

Sennheiser Director Audio Recording Wolfgang Fraissinet said, “The fact that we feed the mobile device with a professionally converted digital signal results in the best possible sound quality.”



Antenna maker Jampro has new FM antennas available.

The J3YF is a three-element FM yagi antenna with two versions available — a medium/high-power model and a smaller low/medium-power model. Maximum power for the high-power model is 13 kW and 5 kW for the lower power antenna.

These are for the 87.5–108 MHz range and can be polarized horizontally or vertically for directional, semidirectional and omnidirectional patterns. The units are made of hot-galvanized steel, Teflon insulators and silicone O rings. They ship with pipe mounting hardware.



The Falcon XT digital audio processor from Axel technology features five-band architecture, dual-band AGCs, three-band equalizer, stereo enhancer, speech detector and four limiters.

An internal stereo generator ensures an accurate MPX signal and the RDS encoder, available as an option, provides two data sets, each with a wide range of services.

These include static programmable PS 60 messages, 16 radio text messages, alternative frequency to receive the best frequency as a function of the “coverage area,” traffic program/traffic announcement to listen to traffic information and functions such as EON, M/S, DI, CT, PI, PTY and PIN. Switching between the data sets takes place by means of serial commands, GPIO or TCP/IP from a radio automation system.

Falcon XT’s MPX power control, brilliance control, expander, overdrive, bass enhancer and harmonizer minimize unwanted noises, the firm says. The unit features analog and digital I/O (over XLR connectors), two independent MPX outputs and two additional inputs with different functionality.

The Falcon XT is fitted with an aux input (SCA) for use with the external RDS encoder as well as an input that allows users to switch audio from another processor MPX so as to create a subnet managed by the automation system. Outputs include audio fault input changeover.

The unit can be controlled remotely via Windows-based client software and receive commands by Ethernet TCP/IP, USB, RS-232 port and four GPIOs.



Founded by former DDA and Soundcraft console designers David Dearden and Gareth Davies, Audient has moved beyond consoles, its initial area of activity, and added preamps and processors. The latest is a small USB interface.

Taking the form of a petite two-channel mixer, the iD14, has two Audient Class A preamps along with a 1/4-inch JFET instrument input. Thrown in is a TOS square optical ADAT input. All outputs to a USB 2.0 port.

The preamps have the expected 48 V phantom power. Burr-Brown A/D-D/A conversion is up to 24-bit/96 kHz. Using Audient’s ScrollControl, the all-metal iD14 expands to offer control over 10 input channels and four output channels. There are also main monitor and headphone outputs.



ENCO Systems’ ENCO 1 is an all-in-one server for radio automation and content management. The company says it can replace individual workstations in a facility and work across a network.

The hardware features space for multiple drives in a mirroring array for redundancy. Additional redundancy comes in the form of dual power supplies and network connections.

A small, inexpensive client box in a control room or studio is all that is needed to communicate with the main server. Not surprisingly, the ENCO Server can be operated remotely for cluster and network service.

Equally unsurprising, the piloting automation and content management software is provided by ENCO, notably its well-known DAD system. The system operates on a “virtual machine” model wherein it uses memory to create separate user environments as needed, making it scalable and able to ameliorate hardware bottlenecks and failures.

General Manager Ken Frommert said, “We’re helping ENCO DAD automation customers reclaim rack space and reduce maintenance, while enhancing the facility-wide control that comes with networked, IP audio technologies; and the redundancy that broadcasters require to protect their on-air assets.”

ENCO recently released DAD 15.0.



Remote control and monitoring equipment specialist Davicom has a new sensor module for its remote control and monitoring platforms. The DVLD-1 is designed to give warning of the presence and approach of potentially hazardous lightning activity in the vicinity of a transmission site.

The company says that it uses a sophisticated statistical algorithm to provide an estimation of the distance to the storm and to reject potential man-made disturbers. It can detect cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning but reject man-made noise and interference. Range of detection is around 25 miles (40 kilometers).

When connected to a Davicom Remote Monitoring and Control Unit, it can be used to switch to an auxiliary power source (UPS) or to temporarily shut down critical equipment during a thunderstorm.


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