Studer unifies TV and radio production at KPBS Public Media

KPBS Public Media, located on the San Diego State University campus, has made the decision to replace its legacy digital mixing console with a complete Studer broadcast audio mixing solution.

KPBS operates three media organisations out of a single production facility, including NPR radio station KPBS-FM, PBS television station KPBS and the online news website KPBS-Digital.

The new Studer mixing system enables KPBS to unify the recording and production workflows across the entire facility, efficiently mix a wide range of productions and quickly share media between the television and radio stations.

The new KPBS broadcast mixing system includes a Studer Vista V console with a fully redundant Infinity Core 400 processing engine, 5 Studer D23M I/O Systems and 5 Studer Compact Stageboxes deployed throughout the facility, enabling the different studios to record audio using the system’s DSP processing. Additionally, a Studer Vista Compact Remote Bay is deployed as an extension of the Vista V, which provides additional redundancy and allows KPBS staff to control the console from any of the other studios or newsrooms.

The Vista V console at KPBS is augmented by 5 D23m I/O systems with various I/O card configurations, including 35 embedder and de-embedders that allow production teams to strip audio from up to 35 separate video streams. The radio station can use audio pulled from a video stream to create soundbites for radio shows, while the TV station can use the embedders to combine audio clips with a video stream. Media assets are shared instantly between the radio and TV departments using AoIP networking, which is facilitated by a Liveware card in the D23m.

“The Vista V mixing solution gives us incredible production flexibility across all of our studios and newsrooms,” said Leon Messenie, director of engineering at KPBS. “It allows us to combine a wide range of audio sources on the same network so that all of our media is available to all of our production teams—no matter what surface they’re using. The flexibility and seamless networking between studios was a big selling point for us.”

The KPBS facility is located on the San Diego State University campus, where student interns assist on numerous television and radio productions. In this sense, the Studer Broadcast Academy provides KPBS with a valuable teaching resource. Through interactive online courses, students work through lessons and follow along with the provided Virtual Vista software.

“We train students on very simple productions that we create snapshots for,” concluded Messenie. “It’s easier and less intimidating than it would be than if we placed them on a large production with a complex mixing workflow. Plus, the Studer Broadcast Academy lets us train the students on the basic operations of the Studer board before we even let them mix on the board. The entire Studer workflow has been very helpful in our student environment.”