South Africa’s Radio Rosestad Dives Into IP With Calrec’s Type R Console
South African community radio station Radio Rosestad 100.6 FM in Bloemfontein is the latest community radio station in the country to take advantage of Calrec’s Type R for Radio console. This was achieved with the help of pro audio systems integrator Creative Kilowat Productions and Calrec’s South African distributor, Wild & Marr. The station now has a six-fader Type R console with one large soft panel (LSP), plus a small soft panel (SSP) for exclusive use by guests.
“South Africa is a very diverse country with 11 languages spoken and many communities in one area,” says Bernie Naude, General Manager at Radio Rosestad. “The community radio concept recognises that they all have specific needs to address. When we identified that we needed to switch to an IP infrastructure, our systems integrator introduced us to the Calrec Type R for Radio. We were impressed by the technology and the Type R is such an easy-to-use system.
“We were up and running with multiple operators quickly and easily due to the flexibility of the consoles – operators have their own settings and they have access to exactly what they need. It means that even though the technology is so advanced, it remains easy to use.”
Naude also highlights Calrec’s free online training as a good grounding which meant “everyone started at the same level”. Within 10 minutes of the first show the station was running smoothly. “We’ve also been able to give guests the opportunity to use the equipment. We use an SSP as a second screen so a guest can adjust his/ her own headphone levels and use the cough button without interrupting the output; syncing the timer for them onscreen is great for guests too,” he added.
Radio Rosestad was established in 1994 by the local community. It is entirely in Afrikaans for the residents of Bloemfontein and surrounding areas and has a catchment area of 100km. It supports local charities (44 in 2021) with airtime to promote their programmes and encourages members of the community to get involved in broadcasting by training them in radio production.
“One of the best things about the process has been the way that Wild & Marr’s support team have been able to log into the network remotely to make fine adjustments. Dwaine (at W&M) is able to log on and see where we have any issues with our network. It’s never taken any longer than a few minutes to fix anything,” Naude added.
“In the regions, budgets are often lower than they are in the large cities and radio stations don’t buy for what they need now, they buy for the future,” says Stefan Van Biljon, owner at Creative Kilowat Productions. “Radio Rosestad was looking for scalability, – the station has bold expansion plans and wanted the same operation and ease of use. Because the Type R core supports multiple mix environments, they don’t have to invest as much in hardware for future expansion.”
“Working with community radio stations with limited budgets and minimal staff is rewarding because it shows the Type R’s versatility and range,” says Graham Murray, International Sales Manager, Calrec. “Staff at Radio Rosestad can log in from home and monitor the system, which makes this setup hugely beneficial for a radio station that runs 24 hours a day.”