Part of the Prosound experience is that of an integrated solution, often within tight budget restrictions. Radio broadcast is an expensive business and professional broadcast equipment is often out of reach of community radio services, and even more so the smaller private internet radio streaming stations. In 2014, Prosound was contacted by the Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa) in Garankuwa to provide a solution for a new on-air and production studio for Radio Medunsa.
During an initial site visit the budgetary constraints for this project were discussed, and Prosound, re-looking at the design for the on-air and production studios, came up with a design that still utilises high-end professional broadcast equipment, but within the constraints of the required budget.
Central to the design for the on-air and production studios is the new AEQ Capitol digital broadcast mixer; a dedicated compact digital mixer designed with community radio studios in mind, featuring a basic design with 8 faders, more than enough inputs and outputs (analogue, digital, GPI/O’s etc.), with a user-friendly surface that is easy to operate. However, this mixer is no slouch and has a host of features that will satisfy even commercial radio studios, and includes an integrated dual-line digital hybrid and flexible monitoring facilities.
A complete turnkey solution was offered that fit into the client’s budget – without sacrificing quality – complete with furniture and equipment racks. Electro-Voice RE320 broadcast microphones, Audio Technica headphones and Tannoy studio monitoring completed the system.
The simplified design allowed the Prosound installation team to prepare the complete system in-house, pre-wiring all the equipment and testing it. The system was then ‘flatpacked’ and shipped to site, thereby minimising time spent on site and reducing the installation costs.
The production studio, to be used for the production of jingles and promotional segments as well as being a back-up on-air studio, was constructed in a flight-case, turning it into a mobile studio for outside broadcasts on the campus. Smart provisions such as this made this project cost-effective and self-sustainable for a small community-based radio station.
Thetha FM is a good example of Prosound’s involvement in small business. When this Orange Farm community radio station moved into the local shopping mall, the decision to buy a new system lead to Prosound’s solution of a neat and simple on-air studio. Again, with a very limited budget, Prosound offered a simple design without sacrificing on quality or professional broadcasting. The AEQ Capitol digital mixer has a user-friendly design, even to those with minimal experience with a mixing desk. The Electro Voice RE320 gives a ‘radio feel’ to the voice of the presenter, completing an on-air studio on par with many commercial radio services. Prosound’s assurance of technical support, either by telephone or a site visit, ensures the continued success of this broadcast system.
Joyous Radio is a gospel station based in Dube, Soweto, which has had an online presence for 3 years, with their sights set on an FM broadcasting licence in the future. Prosound has provided an on-air studio solution for Joyous Radio that incorporates their current live streaming, but will allow for a smooth transition to FM broadcasting. An Electro-Voice RE320 presenter microphone is used for the presenter with Audio-Technica Pro62 vocal microphone for guests, allowing for broadcast quality within a tight budget. The AEQ Capitol is again the go-to broadcast mixer fitting into the client’s budget but allowing exceptional flexibility with its digital routing engine and various inputs and outputs. With a majority international audience, Joyous Radio has also provided Prosound with a platform for further recognition as well as further cementing their commitment to community radio.
As a further measure to maintain their ties to community radio, Prosound is aiming to address the issue of support and development of knowledge with regards the transitioning of small local stations to digital broadcast. Prosound will be hosting a technical workshop, utilising professional broadcast equipment, in which technicians in community radio stations will receive training on the basics of sound and the technicalities of digital broadcast, while being introduced to high quality products that would bring value to their stations.