You've been cruising our site, so you've heard us telling you that Axia components are "building blocks" you can use to build networked broadcast audio systems.
In fact, a complete studio is amazingly easy to build. All you need are a handful of Axia AES and Analog xNodes, a bag of RJ-45 connectors, a spool of CAT-5e and a crimp tool, and you're ready to go. So let's go build a studio (or twelve).
Step 1: The Ins and Outs
The first step in any studio build is identifying the pieces. We visited a typical air studio/control room used for intensive, live-format radio shows, and took an inventory:
- 2 Microphones
- 2 Headphones
- 2 pairs of speakers (studio & control room monitors)
- 1 CD player
- 1 audio delivery / audio editing PC
- 1 Internet PC
- 1 Telos Hx6 6-caller talkshow system
- 1 Telos Z/IP ONE IP remote codec
- 1 satellite downlink
- 23 incoming audio sources (from devices in production rooms, news booths, other air studios)
- 1 cue speaker
- 1 program feed to the Omnia.11 FM/HD Audio Processor and then to the transmission plant
- And last but not least, the audio console.
The bottom line
By now, you're probably asking "How much is it?" Complete system pricing is available upon request, but we know you're dying to know now, so here's the short answer: an Axia system costs about half what you'd pay one of those other digital broadcast equipment vendors to build your studios. Think that might make some people happy?
Step 2: Putting It All Together
That's a lot of stuff! But it takes surprisingly little Axia gear to network it all together.
- The Ethernet Switch is at the heart of the Axia network. You'll need one per studio. Good news! Axia Element, iQ, Radius, DESQ and RAQ consoles all work with Axia integrated console engines that have a zero-configuration, built-for-broadcast Ethernet switch built in. Whether you use one of these integrated engines or a standard Ethernet switch, your other Axia gear (and equipment from Axia partners) plugs into the switch using CAT-5e cable. We also have our own built-for-broadcast xSwitch, a zero-configuration 8-port Ethernet switch with dual-redundant Gigabit SFP connections, plus PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) that can supply juice to xNodes, Telos VSet phones and other peripherals.
- The 2 Mics and their 2 associated headphone feeds are all connected to an Axia Microphone xNode, leaving plenty more inputs and outputs for future expansion.
- The 4 monitor speakers and the CD player will be connected to an Axia Analog xNode, leaving more outputs and inputs for expansion.
- The Telos Z/IP ONE codec and Nx12 phone system connect directly to the network using Livewire for audio and logic, so no extra interfaces are required.
- The satellite receiver will all send digital audio directly to an Axia AES/EBU xNode. This xNode will also send audio back to these devices and supply an AES program feed to the Omnia.11, leaving some inputs and outputs open for expansion.
- The 23 incoming sources from around the plant will be directly accessible on the faders of the Axia console, or by using the Axia xSelector router selector. xSelector also takes input from the CD player, to be fed to the network. (You can use Pathfinder routing tools to set up automatic or manual routing cross-points for your entire facility.)
- The audio delivery and editing PCs feed digital audio directly to the Livewire network using the Axia Windows Driver supplied by the station's playout system vendor. The Internet PC will connect directly to the switch through the corporate firewall.
- An Axia Element on-air console commands the Axia StudioEngine, a powerful Linux-based mixing device with 12 gigaflops of processing power. Machine logic for all of the room's audio sources is fed into the GPIO xNode, which routes control along with audio to wherever it's needed.
- Or, to make things even easier, pair your Element with PowerStation, an integrated console engine with built-in Gigabit network switch, DSP mixing engine and console CPU, plus redundtant-power capabilities and enough expandable analog, digital, Mic-level and GPIO I/O to easily power any studio.
Transform your terminal room.
Chances are your terminal room doesn't look like the picture on the left (at least we hope not!), but if you've ever dreamed about just tearing it all out and starting over, Axia can help you do it. Get rid of those wire pairs, barrier strips and connection blocks, and replace them with clean, simple CAT-6 cabling.
And it looks like this.
Our company is full of engineers, and if you're anything like us, you probably like schematics and block diagrams. So for fun, we worked up a system diagram of the studio described above.
This diagram shows how a system built with discrete components (using a Studio Engine, xNodes and a standalone Ethernet switch) looks.
And here's a similar setup built using the PowerStation integrated console engine. Notice that this simple design actually adds capabilities like routing control and broadcast-quality Intercoms, even while further reducing system complexity.
Find out more.
Eager to roll up your sleeves and get to work? We don't blame you — building with Axia might just be the most enjoyable studio build you've ever done. Find your nearest distributor, or contact Axia directly to find out more - we'll guide you through the whole process (and we love answering questions!).