NAB 2018: New Wheatstone, Audioarts, PR&E Products To Be Announced
Exciting new products from Wheatstone Corporation, including the PR&E EMX console, the Audioarts Lightning console, and a new version of Wheatstone’s ScreenBuilder virtual development platform will be announced at NAB 2018.
Wheatstone Releases 2.0 Version Of Virtual Development Platform
Wheatstone Corporation will demonstrate the latest in virtual studio workflows this NAB with the release of ScreenBuilder 2.0, a new version of the virtual development platform for its popular WheatNet-IP audio network.
ScreenBuilder includes scripting tools and GUI for developing virtual news desks, producer workstations, control panels and other virtual interfaces and workflows for the WheatNet-IP networked studio. “We’re continually amazed at the types of controls and interfaces our customers are developing with this. It started with simple virtual mixers and now we’re seeing a variety of virtual screens and controls in the rack room, in the newsroom –anywhere there’s a network connection,” said Wheatstone Director of Sales Jay Tyler.
Broadcasters are creating entirely new virtual workflows as well as augmenting existing hardware with ScreenBuilder. For example, by augmenting WheatNet-IP audio network elements such as the TS-4 talent station with a virtual news desk on a tablet, broadcasters are able to combine standard mic input and announcer controls with virtual access to RSS feeds, fader control and profanity delay in a much smaller footprint than the equivalent, hardware-only news editing workstations.
ScreenBuilder 2.0 is the second major software release for the company’s virtual development platform introduced in 2014, and includes new scripting for capturing RSS news, sports and weather feeds.
ScreenBuilder’s development toolset includes faders, buttons, timers and other widgets that can be configured via scripting for triggering events or for monitoring and controlling elements in the network. These can tie into LIOs anywhere in the network for controlling devices and their settings, and salvos can be triggered based on the status of tallies or a cross point connection, for example. ScreenBuilder scripting ranges from basic commands for adjusting levels and turning mics on or off, to more complex routines such as determining the source connected to a fader and then displaying the name of that source on the screen.
As a virtual development platform unique to WheatNet-IP audio network, ScreenBuilder uses WheatNet-IP elements, routing and intelligence to automate workflows and to create windows into any function along the network for any number of purposes, from transmitter control to signal monitoring and beyond. Wheatstone has been virtualizing studio functions since the very early days of IP audio networking,and not just on the screen, but inside the network too. Wheatstone introduced the Glass-E virtual mixer in 2007 and introduced virtual utility mixers at every I/O point on the network with the arrival of its WheatNet-IP audio network in 2008.
The new console carries forward the rugged quality and practical functionality of the PR&E brand that includes the Wheatstone-designed DMX console introduced last year. It builds on the success of the 8-or 16-channel DMX with several new features and up to 28 faders in one frame,as well as easy connectivity to a plug-and-play IP audio network.
The EMX features four stereo main buses, two stereo aux buses, an offline bus,a dedicated two-channel telco record output, anda separate bus-minus feed from each channel.Selectable auto foldback on each fader allows talkback to callers or remotes. The EMX comes in three frame sizes and two styles(standard and expanded) for easy accommodation of any format or studio preference.
The EMX includes advanced channel features,which are accessed by a multi-function knob at the top of each channel to provide quick, intuitive control over source selection, mode (stereo/left/right/mono), pan, EQ/dynamics, and Aux1 and Aux2 send level. Operator access to these control functions is programmable.
Both the DMX and the new EMX use the WheatNet-IP protocol-based 1RU PR&E Mix Engine and can connect to1RU Razor I/O Interfaces. The PR&E Mix Engine provides 1GB connectivity and robust routing of sources and destinations between studios, and has a built-in Ethernet switch so an external switch is not required for basic installations. The control surfaces utilize Wheatstone’s popular WheatNet-IP protocol to access, control, and process audio sources on the network. The surfaces easily integrate existing radio automation systems using WheatNet-IP softwaredriversand either WheatNet-IP logic or ACI commands.Razor I/O Interfaces come with eight stereo analog I/O channels plus two additional mic preamps (RZR 16A), eight AES3 digital I/O channels (RZR 16D), or four stereo analog/four digital I/O(RZR 16AD). Each Razor includes six GPIO logic ports and Ethernet connections on RJ45 jacks.
“The EMX is a very powerful console that’s ideal for busy studios requiring advanced flexibility. The ‘easy routing design that was introduced in the DMX AoIP console continues with the EMX,” says PR&E Field Service Engineer Richard Maddox. “Having three user programmable buttons on each fader channel allows for a wide range of custom configurations to match studio formats and workflows, and its Ethernet connectivity and ACI interface allow for remote control ability from across the hall or across the country,” Maddox says.
Wheatstone To Unveil Mid-Sized Audioarts Console
Wheatstone introduces the new Audioarts Lightning console at NAB 2018 to address market demand for a clean-performing standalone console with a straightforward broadcast layout.
The Audioarts Lightning comes in 12-or 16-channel tabletop configurations and has all the essentials for on-air and production studios, including the latest in modern conveniences such as USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
It has a modular design with four channel input panels and a Master/Monitor panel with linear faders for headphone and control room. All faders are conductive plastic and all switches are LED illuminated. Input channels have A/B source selection with balanced line in for the A source and trimmable -10 to +4 line in on B.
Included as standard are four stereo program buses, two auto mix-minus for call-ins, four mic preamps with variable gain trim and switchable +48V phantom power, plus built-in headphone jack and cue speaker amplifiers. Additional four channel mic preamp cards can be fitted if needed. “This is the perfect console for the studio that has mostly microphone inputs or analog sources and where a lot of studio routing isn’t needed.
It doesn’t have the extensive A/D, D/A conversions of a digital board, yet you have access to editing software, Skype or other external sources through USB and Bluetooth connectivity,” said Wheatstone Director of Sales Jay Tyler.
Onboard USB and Bluetooth connectivity make it possible to play audio directly from a PC or output audio to edit in VoxPro or other recording software,as well as receive and record calls from Bluetooth enabled cell phones or play cuts from MP3 players. Additionally, the new console contains a patchable AES input for connecting a digital source to any fader, and built-in A/D conversion for the main program output,so operators can access the Program Air feedas balanced analog, AES3 digital, or both simultaneously.
The new console is the latest addition to the Audioarts console line, which ranges in size and features from the streamlined 8-channel Audioarts 08 and compact Air-1 to the 12-channel Air-4 and 16-channel Air-5. “This console is priced comparably to the R-55e Audioarts console that was popular in its day, but has so many more features built in it’s a better design overall,” said Tyler.