IP-Audio Revisited

Checking in with KSGN-FM, two years later

17 July 2007, Redlands, California, USA

When it came time to upgrade their facilities, Bruce Potterton, Chief Engineer for KSGN FM knew he wanted a system that was cost effective, but would easily change along with station requirements. As a stand-alone Class A FM station programming Christian A/C, Bruce knew he’d never have the type of budget larger, corporate-owned stations typically receive for such projects. Armed with the determination to have digital consoles while still controlling costs, he selected Axia Audio’s Livewire networked audio system.

Eager to upgrade KSGN’s facilities, Potterton soon became convinced that networked audio was the wave of the future. “We looked at just about every system on the market,” he says. “While we did find a competing product that was a bit less money, I felt that the overall level of quality and flexibility offered by the Axia system more than offset the price difference. After reading Axia’s white papers, the technology made more sense to me and really became appealing. Knowing that Axia Audio is a member of the Telos family, I felt even more comfortable.”

“As I came to understand more about the technology,” says Bruce, “the ability to interconnect everything with CAT-5/6 line became increasingly appealing. Audio-over-Ethernet represents a dramatic reduction in cabling expenditures, and when it comes time to expand the system, you just place a node at the destination and run a single Ethernet cable to it. This makes expansion far easier than with conventional wiring—not to mention the fact that I spend a lot less time crawling around.”

KSGN’s initial setup consisted of two Axia SmartSurface consoles and StudioEngines, along with sixAnalog Audio Nodes, four AES/EBU Digital Audio Nodes, a GPIO node, and network switches. Potterton also installed a Telos TWOx12 phone system, integrating it with the Axia network.

As luck would have it, station growth dictated modifications shortly after the initial deployment, and Potterton was ready. “Our expansion actually coincided with a move, and as part of the facility upgrade we added four more Nodes. Everything integrated very well with our existing equipment, and as part of this expansion, we even incorporated an analog console into the system, in our small dubbing/production suite,” continued Potterton. “For the most part, this is a stand-alone production facility…this is where we have our Router Selector node located so that we can select any source on the Axia network and run that program into or out of the console. Integrating our analog console into the network was a seamless experience. The Axia system ‘plays’ very well with third-party equipment.”

Potterton isn’t the only member of the KSGN staff that is enthusiastic about Axia’s networked audio system. “The talent absolutely loves working this way and the Axia console has really been a hit,” said Potterton. “The console’s ergonomic layout is fantastic. It’s extremely flexible, and everyone finds the system very intuitive. The air staff caught on to the basics in no time at all and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single grumble about the learning curve. I’ve created individual profiles on the board so that at the single touch of a button, the entire layout is exactly as the air talent wants it to be.”

With a few years of Axia experience under his belt, Bruce reflected on the overall system. “For me,” he said, “the most significant aspect of this system is the incredible amount of flexibility it offers. The use of Ethernet cable, coupled with the ability to have the various Nodes local in the studio, enabled us to significantly reduce our cabling costs. I configure all signal routing and others aspects of the network using Axia’s PathfinderPC software, which gives me control over the entire system—every node on the network—from one centralized location. It’s a terrific application.”

“For those with concerns about networked audio in the radio environment, I can comfortably say this isn’t an issue,“ adds Potterton. “The ability to run the entire network over a single line of cable makes for a dramatic reduction in your studio’s cabling costs, system expansion is much easier, and making network modifications are handled via a mouse and some very intuitive software.”

“It’s flexible, it’s easy, and it works. That’s the bottom line.”


To read the complete text of our interview with Bruce Potterton and other Axia clients, please visitwww.AxiaAudio.com/interviews/. Comments or questions? Contact Clark Novak at +1-216-241-7225, or email cnovak@AxiaAudio.com.


Axia, a Telos company, builds Ethernet-based professional IP-Audio products for broadcast, production, sound-reinforcement and commercial audio applications. Products include digital audio routers, on-air control surfaces, DSP mixers and processors and software for configuring, managing, and interfacing networked audio systems.