GCap installs zirkon consoles and Nova17 routers.
UK's largest Commercial Radio network modernises studios.
As part of continuing modernisation, GCap Group plc, the UK’s largest radio network with about 40 stations, has equipped its stations in Wrexham, Chelmsford, Swindon, Bedford, Worchester and Nottingham with zirkon consoles and Nova17 routers. Each GCap station is responsible for local radio programming, and additionally, central locations supply the local stations with two networks “Mix Network” and “Classic Gold Network”. The programmes are broadcast on multiple platforms FM, AM, DAB, Digital Satellite and streamed on the Internet.
The Lawo Solution
Two to three studios in these stations have been equipped with a zirkon console each and with one central router in the Central Technical Area. Further editing workstations and news studios feed the Nova 17 router directly. In Nottingham, editing purposes are served by a z4.
The zirkon consoles are fitted with eight or twelve faders and one central rack unit, which, being fan-free, is sited conveniently in the studio. Each studio is provided with a touch-screen, running Lawo’s VisTool software. VisTool controls the central matrix, and operations like transmission routing, record, monitor and clean-feed matrix are all available to the presenter as well as visual representation of the EQ and dynamics settings, alarm messages like PSU failures and audio connections via MADI. The transmission matrix allows each operator to switch the studio, any incoming external network feeds as well as the workstations and news booths directly to the respective programme outputs. The record matrix allows the presenters to record their own programme as well as all local and external sources of the central matrix. As all codecs are placed in the Central Technical Area, it is possible for the user via the clean feed matrix to use every codec locally as long as it is not in use in another studio.
A further distinctive feature of the mixing consoles is the intuitive off-air recording function. Pushing the record button switches the surface seamlessly between the on-air and the recording function, in effect, two independent surfaces in one. Switching between “surfaces”, the motorised faders move to the correct position. External hard disc playout systems (such as Genesys) communicate with the system via Ethernet and control the insertion of advertising, local idents, news reports and music.
The Nova17 system is connected with every studio via MADI (64 channels). Matrix control from a VisTool is possible with the Nova17. All sources of the Nova17 can be supplied to the individual studios where necessary. The intelligent tie-line management allows a multitude of audio inputs to be available to each studio zirkon as sources. The studios and the central matrix communicate via Ethernet. Signalisation states of the studios, e. g. mic live, redlight or status displays of the codecs are transmitted to all participants.
Depending to the transmission path set by the TX Matrix, serial data is routed automatically to this feed. The Central Technical Area is also equipped with a VisTool for matrix control as well as special GCap applications. An external transmission control system via Ethernet is included in the central matrix. For each programme it is possible to add commercials at defined times.
The I/O system is based on DALLIS equipment with electronically balanced analogue I/Os, SRC equipped AES inputs with and AES outputs without SRCs. In addition to the audio cards GPIO and RS232 routing cards are in use.