South African Community Radio Stations Go IP with Calrec’s Type R Console

South African community radio stations are taking advantage of Calrec’s Type R for Radio console with the help of funding from the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and professional audio systems integrator Experience Audio Solutions. MDDA works with the South African government to help develop community and commercial media across the country and provides funding and media education to local community operators.

More than 20 community radio stations have requested quotes to upgrade their technology, with Calrec’s Type R Audio over IP taking center stage as the future of radio systems. Tumelo Maimela, Managing Director at Experience Audio Solutions, said: “There hasn’t been an analog output for five years, so all output is digital, but IP has many other advantages. It makes it easy to access the console from anywhere in the world, and that’s a huge advantage not only when it comes to creating new dynamic workflows, even for very small stations, but also when it comes to help with installation or troubleshooting as stations. develop their understanding of this new technology.

Eldos FM in Johannesburg is the latest station to take delivery of a Type R with MDDA funding. The station, which launched in 2008 and has 60,000 listeners, now has a Type R for radio with six fader panels and a large software panel in each of its two new studios. Southside FM in Durban is currently equipped with a Type R, and Giyana FM is next.

Experience Audio Solutions is working closely with Calrec’s South African distributor Wild & Marr on these projects. There are 285 licensed community radio stations in South Africa, 212 on the air and 156 funded by the MDAA. Listening to community radios in South Africa brings together about 8 million people.

Maimela cites many advantages of the Type R console. “The small form factor is very valuable; many larger consoles have a lot of unnecessary features on the control surface, which is often too much for new, unskilled operators. Features like the large flexible panel, which is customizable, mean we can make a small budget work really hard. It also means that even a minimal console of just six faders can still do the job of a much larger console. But the biggest advantage is that the Type R is modular and expandable. If stations leave an Internet radio environment station using a relatively small number of channels, they can increase their requirements without having to purchase a new console. There are additional DSP packs which can be purchased, and if the customer requires additional hardware control, which can be added individually. There is no need to invest in a new console.

Graham Murray, Director of International Sales, Calrec, said: “Working with community radio stations in South Africa, where budgets can be tight, is hugely rewarding for us as it shows just how far our Type R can go. Many of these smaller stations are understaffed, especially since community radio often broadcasts 24 hours a day. Type R makes it easy to connect from home for remote assistance.

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