14 October 2005, Cleveland, OH USA
As one of San Diego, CA's oldest stations, Hi-Favor Broadcasting's Spanish language KSDO/AM 1130 stands at the vanguard of San Diego County's Latino population with its mix of Christian talk and music. As part of a recently completed facility upgrade, the venerable station discovered the benefits of "Less is More" with the installation of a new Axia Livewire Audio Network based around Axia's SmartSurface controller.
In his search for a new system, KSDO's Chief Engineer Rudy Agus was very concerned about not getting locked in, configuration-wise, by conventional hardware. "We wanted to ensure our new system made it convenient to re-route multiple audio sources to different destinations," said Agus. "With most mixing consoles, the wiring of the system is far more complex, time consuming, and expensive, yet they typically lack the flexibility to easily re-configure the setup. If you didn't plan for a particular signal routing configuration, you end up either having to add more wire to accommodate it, or you find yourself making compromises. I felt the traditional approach to signal routing needed to be revisited, and with the Axia system, I found the solution."
"We have a number of sources we rely upon," continued Agus, "including satellite, T-1 lines, ISDN, and a remote vehicle. My primary concern was to not overwhelm the system operators with signal routing challenges. With our Axia system, setting up a new routing configuration is easily handled via the PathfinderPC(R) PC-based software. With PathfinderPC, it's quite simple to see what you're doing, save your setup, and recall it anytime it's needed."
While signal routing issues were an important consideration, Agus wasn't willing to sacrifice ease of use as a means of achieving this goal, and with Axia's SmartSurface controller, he didn't have to. "The on-air talent doesn't always have a technical background," says Agus. "With the SmartSurface, the operator can call any configuration with the press of a button—enabling each person to have the board configured as they want. The SmartSurface makes it a very straightforward, uncomplicated process to control the various audio sources and destinations we use, and its ability to integrate with our playout and traffic logging systems is yet another plus. There's also a very useful one button record mode that makes it easy to capture phone conversations on the fly by immediately re-configuring the setup."
Axia's simplified installation and technical support also impressed Agus, "Since I was working with just a few CAT-6 lines instead of hundreds of wires, there was no soldering connectors or having to crimp cables. I ran the lines, interconnected the audio nodes, and installed the SmartSurface controller in three days, then configured the system using PathfinderPC in another three. The entire installation took one week from the time I started until we were on-air ready. During this time, I encountered a few questions, and both Axia's customer and technical support were excellent."
With nothing but praise for both the system's performance and its ergonomics, KSDO's plans include expanding their Axia system into a second control room. "Over the years," said Agus, "I've worked with a lot of equipment, and the Axia system is the easiest to install and get up to speed with. The system offers far greater flexibility, and training staffers to use the equipment has been an equally positive experience. This system has been thoroughly thought out by engineers who clearly understand the radio environment. If you've been on the fence about investing in an Ethernet-based audio system, I'd say get Axia—you won't be disappointed."
Axia, a Telos company, builds network-based professional audio products for broadcast, production, sound-reinforcement and commercial audio applications. Products include digital audio routers, DSP mixers and processors and software for configuring, managing, and interfacing networked audio systems.