Sony Digital Rapids Pixel Power calrec Sony

Tech Focus: Radio, Part 1 - A Slow Transition to Digital

07/11/2019

Tech Focus: Radio, Part 1 - A Slow Transition to Digital Analog still rules for many sports-radio remotes By Dan Daley, Audio Editor

Thursday, November 7, 2019 - 10:11 am

Print This Story

Story Highlights

The seminal year for sports on the air was 1921, when KDKA Pittsburgh broadcast live radio coverage of a 10-round boxing match - the first live sports broadcast in history. In August that year, the station also aired a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies from Forbes Field and, in October, the first live college-football radio broadcast, calling the University of Pittsburgh against West Virginia University. Television, on the other hand, had to wait until 1939 for NBC's airing of a college baseball game between the Columbia Lions and Princeton Tigers from Columbia's Baker Field.

Radio has certainly made its own technology strides since then, but a network A1 from 50 years ago would likely feel right at home at the helm of most radio remotes today, where analog still tends to be the rule. Basically, all radio needs is a good microphone, someone who knows how to properly balance levels and build a gain structure, and a good connection to the plant.

Engineer Michael Dooley: The move to digital has opened up a lot more possibilities, but there's still something very comforting about analog.

Freelance engineer Michael Dooley, who has worked on hundreds of remote broadcasts for various radio stations over the past 30 years, including the ESPN LA 710 broadcasts of Los Angeles Lakers games from the Staples Center since 2004, is typical: he made the jump to digital only last year.

He replaced his trusty Mackie 1604 mixer with a 16-channel Yamaha TF1 digital desk and added five Dante-enabled, hybrid digital/analog Studio Technologies Model 205 announcer consoles. But the Mackie 1604 remains in a closet near the media table Dooley works from at the Staples Center - wired, labeled, and ready to go just in case.

The move to digital has opened up a lot more possibilities in terms of what you can do on location, and it sounds great, he says. But there's still something very comforting about analog. It still works well after all these years.

No More ISDN

For the Lakers broadcasts, Dooley has the unique ability to connect to the flagship station using fiber interconnectivity (ESPN's plant is across the street). But, for other remote broadcasts, a Comrex 2USB codec is the norm, since ISDN lines are now all but nonexistent.

ISDN is pretty much gone by now, replaced by IP and codecs, he says. That part has moved into digital, but the rest of it has remained largely analog. Using the Dante connectivity, I'm able to set up a five-position broadcast area that doesn't use any XLR cables. The combination of built-in compressors and clean mic preamps gives me superb audio from each announcer. It works flawlessly within my new broadcast workflow.

Dooley, who is also stadium engineer for the MLS LAFC team at Banc of California Stadium, uses the Model 205 announcer consoles for the two ESPN radio commentators, the producer, the statistician, and one backup position at the Lakers games; two more lines are used for the broadcast's halftime host and game-end interviews on the court. Those are done using a combination of Sennheiser headsets and wireless gear. The radio show also takes PA and effects feeds from the television trucks that put the game's sneaker squeaks and basket bangs into the radio broadcast. All this is easier with a digital console, says Dooley, noting that it lets him have processing like EQ and comp/limiting from within the mixer instead of having to rely on outboard gear.

I now have EQ for each channel, as well as noise gates, which really help keep the sound from the court much cleaner, he explains, as does the Dugan automixing firmware integrated into the TF series console. There's also a second loop I use for talkback that lets the producer talk with the station while we're on the air. Before, we had to wait until we had a [commercial] break, because there weren't enough I/Os.

Nonetheless, Dooley's digital conversion came seemingly late in the game, in an industry that traded waveforms for zeroes and ones nearly three decades ago. He cites the higher cost of some of the specialized digital gear, which hasn't benefited from Moore's Law nearly as much as more commonly used digital audio products, as well digital's learning curve: many radio A1s have been working in the field for decades and are simply more comfortable with analog. Moreover, there are few dynamics arguing against leaving the analog domain for radio remotes.

There are a lot of advantages to digital, such as putting everything on a Dante network, says Dooley, who describes himself as one of just two radio remote-broadcast engineers in the Los Angeles area who have moved to digital systems. I'm in a unique position. Analog sounds and works great, but it limits your capabilities. [Digital] can be a lot to learn, but, once you're set up, it's so much easier and better. Radio just hasn't evolved as fast as television.

Click here for Tech Focus: Radio, Part 2 - Audio-Only Consoles Meet Sports-Broadcast Needs
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2019/11/07/tech-focus-radio-part-1-a-slow-...
See more stories from svg

Most recent headlines

19/11/2019

AJA introduce soporte 8K en su popular HDR Image Analyzer 12G

AJA introduce soporte 8K en su popular HDR Image Analyzer 12G Desarrollado en colaboraci n con Colorfront, el analizador de AJA permite el monitoreo y an lisis...

19/11/2019

Ounce Partners Globomedia and start recording the fourth season of The Ministry of Time

Ounce Partners Globomedia and start recording the fourth season of The Ministry ...

19/11/2019

The Observatory RTVE-Royal Academy of Engineering organizes a conference on the audiovisual sector 5G

The Observatory RTVE-Royal Academy of Engineering organizes a conference on the ...

19/11/2019

France TV installed Marina Lite Pebble Beach Systems on the French island of Martinique (Caribbean)

France TV installed Marina Lite Pebble Beach Systems on the French island of Mar...

19/11/2019

Martin Boudot and Mathias Denizo win the Sony Impact Award News

Martin Boudot and Mathias Denizo win the Sony Impact Award News El premio, en el marco de los Rory Peck Awards, reconoce el trabajo de Boudot y Denizo en Para...

19/11/2019

wTvision renueva el concepto grfico de la Liga portuguesa

wTvision renueva el concepto gr fico de la Liga portuguesa El concepto creativo detr s de este gran proyecto se inspir en la celebraci n del f tbol y la conex...

19/11/2019

Radio San Vicente da su salto digital con AEQ Capitol IP

Radio San Vicente da su salto digital con AEQ Capitol IP La emisora municipal de San Vicente del Raspeig (Alicante) incorpora la nueva consola de audio digital...

19/11/2019

AVcast estar presente en el Micro-Saln de la AEC

AVcast estar presente en el Micro-Sal n de la AEC En esta edici n de Micro-Sal n AVcast presentar , entre otras soluciones, las ltimas novedades de Swit.es y...

19/11/2019

Holiday Magic (And Music) Comes to Life in Let It Snow' Exclusive Spotify Playlists

If you're looking for a movie to get you into the holiday spirit with a spri...

19/11/2019

How the Story Pirates Team Uses Kids' Imaginations to Create Audio Magic

What happens when you take story ideas straight from a child's imagination and put them in the hands of some equally creative, fun-loving, musically incline...

19/11/2019

Hitachi and Cambridge renew 30 year research partnership

London, 18 November 2019 -- The University of Cambridge ( the University ) and Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501, Hitachi), today announced that they have signed a new a...

19/11/2019

The Mexican Media Corporation Grupo Radio Centro awards VSN its production solution

Broadcast and Media software company VSN has announced that Grupo Radio Centro m...

19/11/2019

Nokia and Hitachi Kokusai Electric bring local 5G and private LTE networks to Japanese enterprises

Nokia and Hitachi Kokusai Electric bring local 5G and private LTE networks to Ja...

19/11/2019

Nokia cloud-native software platform available on Amazon Web Services

Nokia cloud-native software platform available on Amazon Web Services All new Nokia Software cloud-native network functions and applications moving forward w...

19/11/2019

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLISHING ACQUISTIONS AT ANIME NYC

VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLISHING ACQUISTIONS AT ANIME NYC Titles Launching Next Summer Include Junji Ito's VENUS IN THE BLIND SPOT And SPLATOON: SQUID KI...

18/11/2019

White Paper: Sportradar's View at the Future of the OTT Experience

Sportradar whitepaper: The Future of the OTT Experience By Heather McLean, Editor Monday, November 18, 2019 - 10:01 Print This Story Sportradar, a provide...

18/11/2019

DreamHack Open CS:GO Tournament in Atlanta Was Streamed Live Via 5G

DreamHack Open CS:GO Tournament in Atlanta Was Streamed Live Via 5G The 5G-enabled live coverage was a first for an esports event on North American soil By Bra...

18/11/2019

Special Address - 14th News Assembly

Special Address - 14th News Assembly...

18/11/2019

Viacom and CBS Announce ViacomCBS Corporate Leadership

Nov 18 2019 NEW YORK, NY, November 18, 2019 -- CBS (NYSE: CBS.A, CBS) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA) today announced additional senior appointments for Viacom...

18/11/2019

Online sales continue to soar

Posted on 18 Nov 2019 Our digital team is celebrating another successful year of online sales for client EPSL Educational Printing. For the fourth consecutive...

18/11/2019

UNIVERSAL AND DREAMWORKS ANIMATION RECRUIT CAST FOR NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES FAST & FURIOUS: SPY RACERS

GLENDALE, CA - November 18, 2019 - Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation h...

18/11/2019

IDRIS ELBA TO STAR IN THE HARDER THEY FALL FOR NETFLIX

Cast: Golden Globe Winner Idris Elba (Avengers: Infinity War, Beasts of No Nation), Jonathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods, The Last Black Man in San Francisco) Directo...

18/11/2019

An Asian first as Fujifilm Acuity B1 installed at 11FTC in the Philippines

An Asian first as Fujifilm Acuity B1 installed at 11FTC in the Philippines Investment comes following Onset X1 and Acuity 15 installations as the company's...

18/11/2019

Toki Wright Named Chair of Berklees Professional Music Department

Toki Wright has been named chair of Berklee's Professional Music Department. As an acclaimed MC, producer, writer, radio host, arts diplomat, and community ...

18/11/2019

Thomas Van den Driessche and Frederik Simoens Appointed to Key Executive Roles for ST Engineering iDirect

Herndon, Va., November 18, 2019 - ST Engineering iDirect has named Thomas Van de...

18/11/2019

Astro Kasih Provides Better Vision for School Students

Astro Kasih Provides Better Vision for School Students Date Released:18 Nov 2019 Share Tweet Over 200 students from schools in the remote areas of Sabah ...

18/11/2019

Series 2 of Finding Joy created, written and starring Amy Huberman begins filming in Dublin

Shane Murphy, RT Group Head of Drama and Comedy said: We're thrilled to be...

18/11/2019

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Mon 18 Nov preview (video)

Im A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Mon 18 Nov preview (video) Caitlyn Jenner and Kate Garraway undertake tonights Bushtucker Trial - Bugged Off. If used, pl...

18/11/2019

Atomos releases Sumo 19 switching upgrade at Inter BEE 2019 show

At the Inter BEE show in Tokyo this week Atomos will make multi-camera switching and recording even easier with the release of a live asynchronous switching and...

18/11/2019

CLEAR-COM APPOINTS DWR DISTRIBUTION AS AUTHORIZED PARTNER IN SOUTH AFRICA

Clear-Com has appointed DWR Distribution as a new Authorized Partner in South Africa, as its reach in the local live events and house of worship sectors contin...

18/11/2019

Perfectly in sync: Atomos and Timecode Systems reveal first generation of a new, integrated product range at Inter BEE 2019

Take a global leader in recorder-monitors and add to it the clout of a powerful ...

18/11/2019

DPP launches industry-wide sustainability initiative

The DPP Committed to Sustainability Programme provides a self-assessment checklist that enables companies to record their progress in implementing sustainabilit...

18/11/2019

mediaClass announces Broadcast-Pro TV-everywhere IPTV OTT platform

mediaClass announces Broadcast-Pro, a new version of its end-to-end IPTV/OTT multiscreen platform. Broadcast-Pro is designed for broadcasters and content owners...

18/11/2019

Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Shoots Rare Show Content for Mumford and amp; Sons

Blackmagic Design today announced that award winning live director, Steve Price, used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K to create a cinematic, slow motion ...

18/11/2019

WORK Microwave Teams Up With SAIT on High-Performance Downlink Solution for CubeSats and SmallSats

WORK Microwave, a leading European manufacturer of advanced satellite communicat...

18/11/2019

PlayBox Neo Demonstrates Advanced Media Playout at Broadcast Technology Event in Lagos, Nigeria

PlayBox Neo reports a well-supported and highly successful Broadcast Technology ...

18/11/2019

Bannister Lake Announces Partnership With Election Data Provider Decision Desk HQ

Bannister Lake is pleased to announce that it is partnering with Washington, D.C...

18/11/2019

A+E Networks EMEA engages Arqiva to deliver on-demand Content to Amazon Prime

Arqiva, the international satellite and media services provider, has been selected by the international television company A E Networks EMEA to provide on-deman...

18/11/2019

AJA Releases Desktop Software v15.5 for KONA, Io and T-TAP

AJA Video Systems released Desktop Software v15.5 for KONA, Io and T-TAP products, featuring additional functionality for both HDR and 8K workflows, plus new pe...

18/11/2019

NRL implement Quicklink Studio and Studio-in-a-box to optimise content offering

Earlier this year, National Rugby League (NRL) turned to Quicklink in order to improve and optimise their content offering and production operations. NRL's ...

18/11/2019

Summer House' on Bravo Feb. 5

(Photo by: Greg Endries/Bravo) Summer House is back on Bravo Feb. 5. It will be season four. The reality show is about a group of friends who share a summer ho...

18/11/2019

NY Times Offers The Weekly' to Subscribers

The Weekly, the New York Times docu-series that airs on FX and Hulu, can be viewed by NY Times subscribers on the newspaper website. The Times made available a ...

18/11/2019

TCA Winter Press Tour Happens Jan. 7-19

The Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association (TCA) happens in Pasadena Jan. 7-19. The networks show off their upcoming programs to critics durin...

18/11/2019

Fox Stations to Launch Nick Cannon Talker Next Year

The Fox Television Stations have signed on to launch Debmar-Mercury's latest project, an eponymous talk show starring Nick Cannon, next fall across its grou...

18/11/2019

SC19: Boxx To Demo Workstations; Introduce Data Science System

AUSTIN, TX - Boxx Technologies (www.boxx.com) will demonstrate its Apexx W4L ProViz workstation at Supercomputing 2019 (SC19) in Denver, CO later this month. Th...

18/11/2019

teaming up with kindhumans movement

Heroes Nov 18, 2019 There are some truly kind people in the GoPro community, and today, we are excited to share that GoPro for a Cause is partnering with t...

18/11/2019

Barco reveals Insights for the Digital OR at Medica 2019

Barco reveals Insights for the Digital OR at Medica 2019 Precise images, efficient workflow, and real-time information are all essential components of the moder...

18/11/2019

Painting with Light Engages in Creative Battle

Painting with Light Engages in Creative Battle posted: 18/11/2019 Painting with Light (PWL), working for television producers Dedsit, supplied lighting an...

18/11/2019

AT&T Signs Retrans Deal With MPS Media

AT&T continues to sign deals with members of the small station groups that went dark to their customers about six months ago -- and whom the Federal Communicati...

18/11/2019

Software-Defined Visual Storytelling

By Andrew Cross, president of global research and development at Vizrt Jenny Priestley 5 days ago By Andrew Cross, president of global research and devel...