BYU Radio Reconstructs

July 1, 2011


Brigham Young University builds a new facility for its five radio streams.

Operating a combined radio and TV network is no simple task. Brigham Young University recently completed a facility upgrade of its radio and TV facilities to implement updated technology across all its broadcast channels as the operations moved to new facilities.

BYU Radio

The radio and TV operation were in a collocated facility before the move, although there was a satellite office about five miles south of the campus that housed some administrative offices and TV post-production. Consolidating the content creation facilities with the distribution facilities brought some efficiency in transferring media between those services, and made collaboration easier with administrative functions.

BYU originates and distributes five radio streams from the new facility. BYU Radio is the heart of the operation. Launched in 2002, BYU Radio reaches an international audience with the best of BYU- and LDS-themed programming. BYU Radio is available on Dish Network, the Internet, selected radio and cable systems throughout the United States, and via satellite.

The BYU Radio library contains thousands of hours of lectures, conferences, BYU sporting events, performance programming, and campus devotionals on a variety of subjects. BYU Radio features a mix of peaceful and uplifting music and a variety of live broadcasts, including concerts from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and sporting events.

One of two on-air studios for BYU Radio and Classical 89.

One of two on-air studios for BYU Radio and Classical 89.


BYU Radio Instrumental is a companion station to BYU Radio. It features LDS-themed music for international audiences as a Web-only service.

BYU Radio International offers two separate language services: Spanish and Portuguese. Like the Instrumental service, it is a Web-only audio service

KBYU-FM, Classical 89, broadcasts classical music from an extensive CD library, original productions, broadcasts of local and BYU arts groups' performances, as well as national and international programs. Classical 89 also presents coverage of local arts events, news from NPR and the BBC World Service, KBYU-FM morning and afternoon news, and several hours each week of Brigham Young University programs that include addresses from BYU devotionals, forums, Education Week, BYU Women's Conference and other events.

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Brigham Young University builds a new facility for its five radio streams.

Project planning

Given the variety of audio programming, the station had a goal to increase the quality and quantity of content for its distribution channels. At the center of this plan was a networked audio infrastructure, which provides easier access to any audio source from any studio. Very little equipment from the old facility was used in the new facility.

The control room for the talk studio.

The control room for the talk studio.


The new plans also included additional space for audio production. The old radio facilities included two on-air rooms and two small post audio rooms. The new facility retained these spaces, but added a musical performance recording studio and a talk studio that can accommodate multiple guests.

There are two on-air studios: One for BYU Radio and one for Classical 89. Attached to each is a small producer/news room. In addition, there are two post-production spaces and two voice-over rooms.

The recording studio can host a small ensemble or other musical group, and the recording studio can go live to air if needed. There is also a 260-seat theatre where live musical events can be produced, and any of the radio stations can take a live feed of the event.

A voice-over room.

A voice-over room.


WideOrbit Automation is used for the on-air storage and playback, and ProTools handles the production work. In time, the WideOrbit system will be integrated with organization-wide media asset management (MAM) system.

As part of the move, BYU began to ingest its library of CDs into the automation system to support a completely file-based operation. The Axia audio network also integrates into this file-based system and simplifies routing and resource sharing. The networked audio system also allows the announcers to be flexible in where they go in the air.

The combined radio/TV operation shares office spaces, but some production facilities are shared as well. The TV side has two ProTools rooms to complement the one radio ProTools room, but all three are shared by both sides.

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Brigham Young University builds a new facility for its five radio streams.

The control room for the recording studio.

The control room for the recording studio.


Radio also has access to all three television studios. One TV studio accommodates a live studio audience. Tie-lines between the TV audio network and radio network to allow simulcast of events originating from that location.

Beck Associates integrated the facility, and consulted on the final design. BYU involved Ascent Media in the initial design phase of the building, while VCBO Architecture and Okland Construction built the facility. Russ Berger Design Group provided acoustic guidance.

BYU Radio will also be available on Sirius XM starting July 1, 2011.


The live studio for the recording studio.

The live studio for the recording studio.


Equipment List

360 Systems DCEM3000
Apogee A8AE, AI16, SIOC
Avid ProTools
Axia Element, PowerStation, XY Router Control Panel, iProbe, iProFiler, IP-audio Driver for Windows, Pathfinder, StudioHub+ headphone panel
B&W ASW DB1, 802D2R, 805D2R
Crown D45
DaySequerra M4.2R
DK Technologies MSD600MI4DO, MSD600PSO, PTO660M
Genelec 6010APM, 7050B PM, 7060B, 8020.LSE
Espresso, 8020BPM, 8030APM, 8040APM
Grace Design M802, M802RCU, Lunatec V3
JBL EON 515
Mackie 1402-VLZ3
McIntosh MC402, MC501
Omnia Omnia One, Omnia 6EX
RDL SR-10, RU-MX4T, ST-DA3, PS-24U2A, ST-MX3
Studio Technologies Model 76, Model 77
Sennheiser HDM 26-100-7, HD280 PRO, HMD 280 PRO, MD 421 II, MZS 421
Shure SCM268
Soundminer V4PRO, WebPortal, Ripper V4, Network
USB Key, Server X v4
Tascam CD-RW901SL, IF-AE24X
Telos Desktop Director, Nx12, Zephyr Xstream
WideOrbit Automation, Traffic


An on-air studio from the guests' point of view.

An on-air studio from the guests' point of view.


Read about the acoustic challenges of the BYU project:

BYU Radio Acoustic Design

What made this project particularly challenging was the diversity of technical spaces that all live under the same roof.

More BYU Broadcast

BYUB is a television, radio and Web media production and distribution operation serving local, national and international audiences. In addition to KBYU-FM and the BYU Radio services, the university provides BYU Television, KBYU Television and BYU Television International.

KBYU-TV is a local PBS affiliate serving Utah and Southeast Idaho.

BYU TV is available throughout North America on the Dish Network, DirecTV, and on 503 cable systems across the country. It broadcasts BYU sporting events, original documentaries, musical and dramatic events from BYU and the LDS Church and more.

BYU Television International, launched in March 2007, is multilingual service available in Spanish, Portuguese and English. It is transmitted to the Salt Lake City market and carried on cable and satellite systems in every country in South and Central America.

Create is a service from American Public Television that is received via satellite and currently passed through with bug branding.


-- More photos on page 4



Brigham Young University builds a new facility for its five radio streams.

(c) 2011 Alan Blakely


(c) 2011 Alan Blakely



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