London hospital radio station equipped with Studer console

HHB Communications has provided London-based hospital radio station Radio Northwick Park (RNP) with a Studer OnAir 1500 console.

Ben Hart, RNP’s technical officer, picked the OnAir 1500 system – offering two extra analogue input cards and XLR cable looms – as a replacement for its old Soundcraft RM1D digital mixer, following a demonstration at HHB’s London HQ.

“It is a straightforward and easy to use system, so the learning curve for the presenters was minimal. It is also very customisable so I am able to do a lot more behind the scenes and lock down certain features so that they can’t get themselves in trouble,” said Hart.

Another benefit for presenters is the console’s remote facilities, which enables Hart to control the system features from any computer logged into the station’s network. “The presenters often make use of the extensive features to customise the system to suit their own style, but I can log in remotely and reset or control any of the features immediately, which saves me the journey to the station if something goes wrong or presenters need support,” Hart added.

Designed as a flexible hybrid solution for radio broadcasting and production, the OnAir 1500 offers a professional grade fader unit and additional I/O, along with integrated USB playback and record functions. Northwick’s local Hospedia broadcast distribution system is not a digital network; however, the OnAir 1500 is connected via its analogue outputs, and the compact control unit hides in a cupboard-based rack beneath the presenter’s desk.

Getting to try out the OnAir 1500 at HHB’s base was also a key part of the selection process, according to Hart: “Although I had read the manual and did my research, I wanted to see and use one so that I was sure it was the best choice for the station. HHB was very helpful and knowledgeable throughout the process.”

HHB sales manager Andrew Hingley commented: “Ben had a clear idea of his requirements and immediately felt at ease with the OnAir 1500 system. It is a very attractive product for a charity and community-media based radio station because it is both feature rich and cost effective.”

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