Radio Currents Online - Jul 28 - Aug 3, 2008

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Radio Currents Online - Jul 28 - Aug 3, 2008

Jul 28, 2008 8:00 AM


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AES Announces 125th Convention Workshop Topics
San Francisco - Jul 29, 2008 - In preparation for the upcoming AES Convention (Oct. 2-5), event planners have selected topics for the workshop series. Archiving, data recovery and audio for games are the highlights this year.

Archiving Workshop track:
How To Avoid Critical Data Loss After Catastrophic System Failure
Moderator: Chris Bross
Natural disaster, drive failure, human error and cyber-related crime or corruption can threaten business continuity and survival if their data storage devices are compromised. Backup systems and disaster recovery plans can help after a system crash, but precautionary measures should be taken. A senior data recovery engineer will review the most common causes of drive failure, demonstrate the consequences of improper diagnosis, and suggest action for each type of data loss.

Analyzing, Recommending and Searching Audio Content - Commercial Applications of Music Information Retrieval
Moderator: Jay LeBoeuf
A focus on the cutting-edge applications of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), a key technology behind music startups recently featured in Wired and Popular Science. Online music consumption is dramatically enhanced by automatic music recommendation, customized playlisting, rich metadata, etc. This workshop will address what's out there and where it's all going. Panelists will include industry thought-leaders.

Archiving and Preservation for Audio Engineers
Moderator: Konrad Strauss
The art of audio recording is 130 years old. Recordings from the late 1890s have been preserved thanks to the longevity of analog media, but what of today's digital recordings? Digital storage technology is transient in nature, making lifespan and obsolescence a significant concern. Topics include: Best practices for storage and preservation of digital audio recordings, and current thinking and archiving strategies, from home studio to large production facility.

Video Game Audio Workshop track:
Navigating The Technology Mine Field In Game Audio
Moderator: Marc Schaefgen
The complexity and diversity of today's games has driven developers to look out-of-house for their game audio production needs. Issues will include: tools in the audio production chain and outsourcing of musicians and sound designers as part of the production process.

Interactive Midi-Based Technologies for Game Audio
Moderator: Chris Grigg
The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) has developed three new standards for MIDI-based technologies with applications in game audio. This panel will explore 3D MIDI controllers, interactive XMF specifications and HD protocol for MIDI devices, a new, and drastically simplified, 32-bit version of the MIDI message protocol for use on modern transports and software APIs.

File Formats for Interactive Applications and Games
Moderator: Bernhard Grill
There are a number of different standards covering file formats which may be applicable to interactive or game applications. Some of these older formats have not been widely adopted, and newer ones are not well established. The expert panel members have been involved in the standardization or development of MPEG-4 object coding, MPEG-4 Structured Audio Orchestral Language, MPEG-4 Audio BIFS and the upcoming IXMF standard.

Additional workshops:
Revolt Of The Mastering Engineers
Moderator: Paul Stubblebine
Mastering engineers Bernie Grundman and Greg Calbi have each started independent labels, recording music with traditional techniques and releasing it on vinyl. Mastering engineers Paul Stubblebine and Michael Romanowski have started a label to reissue music they love on 15 IPS half-track reel-to-reel. What's behind this trend? Why are mastering engineers giving up their non-existent free time to start labels based on obsolete technologies? What does this say about the current state of recorded music?

Mistakes We Have Made, Mostly In Audio Engineering
Six leading audio product developers: Robert Bristow-Johnson, Audio Imagination; Peter Eastty, Oxford Digital Limited; James D. (JJ) Johnson, Neural Audio; Mel Lambert, Media & Marketing; George Massenburg, Massenburg Design Works and Jim McTigue, Euphonix will share the enlightening, thought-provoking and (in retrospect) amusing lessons they have learned from actual mistakes they have made in the product development trenches.

Additional workshop topics are listed on the 125th AES convention website.

FCC Invited to Test White Spaces Devices at Live Events
Niles, IL - Jul 24, 2008 - In response to the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) announcement that it will conduct field tests of prototype white spaces devices, including tests at a sports and an entertainment venue, several large-scale productions and events have offered their locations for these tests.

In a letter dated July 8, Louis Libin, president of Broad-Comm and chairman of POLCOMM2008, which coordinates the wireless microphone frequencies during the Democrat and Republican national conventions, wrote, "We believe these conventions would provide a perfect opportunity to conduct further testing regarding the efficacy of these devices. It would provide a real experiment during an event that employs hundreds of wireless microphones and frequencies."

Daryl Friedman, vice president, advocacy and government relations, for The Recording Academy (NARAS), wrote a letter dated July 17, stating, "We firmly believe that the Commission should move with extreme caution before approving any new portable device operations in the TV band. We would be happy to help coordinate an FCC visit to the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago on Aug. 1."

Most recently, Don Lepore, producer of NBC's Nashville Star, expressed his concern regarding new devices in the white spaces and invited the OET to come to Nashville, writing, "To put it in its simplest form, the perception that there is significant fallow white spaces in cities like Nashville is just wrong. Nashville Star wants to extend its expertise and facilities to the Commission as it sets forth to execute the Commission's testing plans at an entertainment venue."

The FCC recently began field testing, which is open to the public and will take place over a four-week period with specific dates, times, and locations being updated regularly at this link.


New Address for Wideorbit
San Francisco - Jul 30, 2008 - As of Aug. 4, 2008, Wideorbit will have new headquarters located on the San Francisco waterfront. The company has been in its present location on Pacific Avenue for nine years.

The company's new address:
2 Harrison St., Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94105

The company''s phone numbers have not changed:
415-675-6701 fax

In Car Experts, Ibiquity to Market HD Radio Products
Swedesboro, NJ, and Columbia, MD - Jul 29, 2008 - In Car Experts (ICE), a group of mobile electronics retailers, has created a strategic marketing alliance with Ibiquity. The companies plan to focus on the consumer experience and ensuring that the In Car Experts member sales associate have a clear understanding of HD Radio technology.

In Car Experts members will have special Web training and technical assistance from Ibiquity to help them demonstrate HD Radio in stores. ICE has more than 200 member storefronts in 43 states.

Asus Taps CCTTN for Traffic Data
San Antonio - Jul 30, 2008 - Asus has selected Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network (CCTTN) as its real-time traffic provider for the launch of its first portable navigation device. Asus enters the navigation market with the recently launched R700(t), which features a built-in subscription for CCTTN's data and does not need renewal. The R700(t) portable navigation device uses Windows CE 5.0 with a Samsung 400MHz processor.

KBFM Uses Radio Voodoo for Listener Info During Hurricane Dolly
New York, NY - Jul 29, 2008 - As Hurricane Dolly wreaked havoc on southern Texas, local listeners were able to turn to Clear Channel station KBFM for real-time reporting, storm tracking and emergency information. Using Voodoo Vox's Radio Voodoo technology, listeners called the station's established toll-free phone number to get the most timely information fed remotely from local news sources. Several media outlets including local cable, television and radio stations worked together to promote a common telephone number that listeners could dial for critical information.

The service was based on an Interactive voice response technology (IVR) created by Radio Voodoo, which provides services to more than 500 stations, enabling radio and television broadcasters to turn their call lines into immediate voice/data communication services.

Radio Voodoo's system was also used in 2005 for the Katrina Safe Line.

Westwood One, Airsage Partner for Traffic Reporting
New York, NY - Jul 31, 2008 - Westwood One has entered a multi-year partnership with Airsage to combine traffic speed and flow information derived from cell phone signals with Westwood One's traffic incident reporting. Westwood One's Metro Traffic says that it will be able to improve the accuracy of traffic information available to commuters. Metro Traffic will begin to roll out the reporting technology in September.

Airsage gathers anonymous data from cell phone signaling systems, which it then compiles and analyzes the information to report minute traffic flow and speed data.


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Lightner Electronics Promotes Johnson to Sales Specialist
Claysburg, PA - Jul 31, 2008 - System design and integration firm Lightner Electronics has promoted Nate Johnson to the position of systems integration and sales specialist. Johnson started his electronics career as a nuclear electronics technician on Navy submarines and has worked as an installation technician with Lightner Electronics for four years.

According to Matt Lightner, president of Lightner Electronics, "Nate's 12 years of electronics troubleshooting, repair, maintenance and installation experience allow him to easily determine the level of technology required for an installation or upgrade."

Johnson's background includes Siemon certification for structured cable installation and design as well as studio integration across the country including the WUNC studios in Durham, NC, Clear Channel Radio Rochester, NY, and the recently constructed Entercom broadcasting facility in Mission, KS, a suburb of Kansas City.

Dial Global Promotes Corcoran to SVP
New York - Jul 28, 2008 - Chris Corcoran has been named senior vice president of Dial Global's programming division. Corcoran will be general manger of the show prep division and oversee affiliate sales for prep and programming for Dial Global. Previously, Corcoran was vice president of affiliate management for the company.

Nautel Expands Production Team
Hackett's Cove, NS - Jul 31, 2008 - Nautel has appointed two senior operations managers. Jim Evans will join the company as head of operations. Evans' background includes more than 30 years of manufacturing experience with organizations such as Magna International and Ultra Electronics. He also has extensive knowledge related to the enhancement of quality management systems and quality control monitoring processes. As head of operations, Evans will be responsible for the coordination and day-to-day management of Nautel's two ISO 9000 manufacturing facilities in Maine and Nova Scotia.

Ryan Murdock has joined Nautel to oversee its Bangor, ME, production facility. Murdock brings international production experience gained during his work with Source Electronics in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Eye on IBOC

Broadcast Electronics Brings HD Radio to Bogota
Quincy, IL, and Bogota, Columbia - Jul 30, 2008 - With the installation of Broadcast Electronics HD Radio transmission equipment last month, Tropicana 102.9 FM became the first station in Colombia to transmit with HD Radio technology. The installation is part of a test granted under temporary authorization by the broadcast governing agency in Colombia, and was conducted in the country capital of Bogota, population nine million. The station is owned by Caracol Radio Network, one of the main radio networks in Colombia with more than 130 AM and FM stations. The Broadcast Electronics equipment is represented by Jaime Sorzano, owner of Broadcast Equipment and Parts in Colombia.

This is the first reported HD Radio installation in Colombia. The station uses a Broadcast Electronics FXI 250 digital FM exciter and FSI 10 HD Radio exporter into an existing BE FM 20S solid-state transmitter.


Axia Updates Audio Node Software
Cleveland - Jul 31, 2008 - Axia Audio has just released version 2.5.2g software for its family of analog and AES/EBU Audio Nodes. Version 2.5.2g introduces several enhancements and upgrades for users of Axia Audio Nodes.

  • Mono Mode, which allows each Node''s inputs to be independently configured as either mono or stereo, with a total of up to eight inputs (mono or stereo) per node.
  • Continuous software monitoring of AES circuits to correct momentary error conditions caused by interruption of the AES signal, along with syslog notification of changes in AES sync state.
  • Visual identification of allocated sources, via each Audio Node''s HTTP configuration pages. Real-time source allocation status instantly pinpoints who''s using a given audio source.
  • Router Selector Nodes now include front-panel hardware volume control of their analog and AES/EBU output streams.

Software updates for all Axia products are provided at no cost. Axia clients can obtain downloads directly from the Axia website at