Radio Darmstadt updates audio infrastructure with Studer tech

A local radio station in Darmstadt, Germany has switched to an AoIP (audio-over-IP) infrastructure based on Studer OnAir 1500 mixing consoles, Studer SCore routing and Audinate’s Dante audio networking technology.

Launched in 1997, Radio Darmstadt broadcasts a wide range of programming, including news, sports, culture, entertainment and more. In addition to the OnAir 1500 consoles, it has also implemented a Studer CMS Lite call management system, an mAirList playout and Dante Via software, providing the studio with a cutting-edge production setup designed streamline its entire production process.

“The new Studer consoles and Dante integration provides a consistent and streamlined workflow, and enables us to future-proof our network by easily integrating additional solutions as our needs evolve,” stated Günter Eisbach, managing director of studio, broadcast and technology at Radio Darmstadt. “We have been using Dante technology in live sound and recording for several years, and it’s been a very positive experience. The new Studer consoles allow us to extend Dante integration and unify our entire workflow. We are proud to be one of the first radio stations to integrate Studer mixing consoles, I/O routing, call management systems, third-party systems and software with Dante.”

Radio Darmstadt features three studios that are designed for either live broadcasting or pre-production. Each studio is equipped with a 12-fader OnAir 1500 surface with Studer NANO SCORE DSP and I/O Engines. The mAirList playout system and DAW (digital audio workstation) are already integrated via Dante. The entire system drastically reduces the amount of audio cabling required, with control (CAB, CMS, GPIO) and data running on a minimum number of CAT7 network lines. The system also provides efficient integration options for running general-purpose I/O, such as CD players and signal lights, and makes it efficient to transfer media to other applications and studios. Finally, the CAB interface was easily integrated and customised in cooperation with mAirList for running the playout automation.

The station has also gone from an ISDN telephone system to a VoIP-based solution, which meant the old telephone hybrids had to be replaced by an IP-based solution as well. The Studer engineering team managed the transition and integrated the Studer CMS Lite system by running audio-over-IP. The new arrangement uses only one Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) in the CMS Lite Server System for all audio lines. Studer engineering also provided training for 120 volunteer journalists at Radio Darmstadt, which allowed them to feel comfortable operating the system almost immediately.

“The surface feels as if it were still analogue,” said Eisbach. “All relevant functions are self explanatory and pleasing. I didn’t know that digital could be so easy.”