I fed the show host and producer's headphone input with a mix of the audio return (mix minus/IFB) from the station and the local microphone mixer. I fed the other two headphone inputs with the local microphone mix. The results were very good: The show host likes being able to control her own mic and headphone volume, and guests aren't distracted by the IFB audio. The red LED tally lights allow the producer to know which microphones are on or off.
While I found the Audio-Pod to be a natural fit for remote broadcast applications, engineers will find this system useful in permanent installations where microphones and headphones are needed but not a complete audio console, such as a news-announce booth or a voice-tracking station. This would also be a very handy way to add on/off and cough switching to existing studios.
While preparing this review, I had the opportunity to discuss some ideas with Dave Mandelbaum of DM Engineering. First, I asked about the bleed-through issue mentioned in the manual. He responded that under normal conditions this is not a problem. They only mentioned it because there is always someone who wants to get +20dB out of an amplifier.
I also inquired about the possibility of producing a version of the Audio- Pod without a microphone preamplifier for users that employ external microphone processors with a built-in preamp. I was told that the microphone preamplifier would be optional.
Regarding the headphone input connection, I told Mandelbaum that I thought the Euro style block takes away from the quick setup appeal of the Audio-Pod. My units were pre-production units, and he informed me that production units would have a 3.5mm input jack for the headphone input along with the screwdriver connection.
Mandelbaum also mentioned that optional mounting brackets would be offered for tabletop mounting that would hold the Audio-Pod module at an angle. Also, the microphone on and off switches can optionally be located on the top case of the module.
If you are looking for a way to improve your remote broadcast setup and make your show hosts happy, the Audio-Pod is a handy and cost-effective problem solver. DM Engineering has combined many of the studio features we take for granted and made them available virtually anywhere.
Bohach is co-owner/general manager of the WLOH Radio company, Lancaster, OH.
Editor's note: Field Reports are an exclusive Radio magazine feature for radio broadcasters. Each report is prepared by well-qualified staff at a radio station, production facility or consulting company.
These reports are performed by the industry, for the industry. Manufacturer support is limited to providing loan equipment and to aiding the author if requested.
It is the responsibility of Radio magazine to publish the results of any device tested, positive or negative. No report should be considered an endorsement or disapproval by Radio magazine.