Who is Wheatstone?

Broadcast Tough 
Audio mixing consoles/surfaces. IP routing and control. Audio processors. Digital editing tools.

Wheatstone's products and studio systems are designed and built specifically for the demands of broadcasting. They cover a range from smaller single-station studios to large multi-studio, multi-station complexes with a million cross-points and dozens of mixers, talent stations, and elements connected across a region.

Wheatstone at Trade Shows and Meetings in 2019

Wheatstone attends many trade shows and meetings around the world every year. Here's where you'll be able to find us:

European Radio Show: Jan 24-26 - Paris, France

SCBA Winter Conference: Jan 31 - Columbia, SC

MSBC: March 15 - Atlanta, GA

NRB: Mar 26-29 - Anaheim, CA

NAB Spring Show: Apr 8-11 - Las Vegas, NV

LAB/MAB: May 29-30 - New Orleans, LA

SMPTE Australia: Jul 16-19 - Sydney, Australia 

MediaTech Africa: Jul 17-19 - Johannesburg, South Africa

Texas Association of Broadcasters: Aug 7-8 - Austin, Texas

SET Expo: Aug 26 - Sao Paulo, Brazil

AMITRA: Aug 22-25 - Acapulco, Mexico

CCBE: Sep 26-29 - Toronto, Canada

IBC: Sep 13-17 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

NAB Radio: Sep 24-27 - Dallas, Texas

Media Resource Expo: Oct 1 - Boston, Massachusetts

WISCONSIN WBA Clinic: Oct 15-17 - Madison, Wisconsin 

NAB-NY: Oct 16-17 - New York City 

ABA Convention: November 14-15 - Anchorage, Alaska

WABE Annual Conference: Nov 3-5 - Calgary, Canada

KPB: Nov 10 - Philippines

Sound Check: Dan Patrick’s Mancave Part 2

DanPartick 1Click the above image for a gallery.

By Dee McVicker

If you follow Dan Patrick in this studio tour of his new, 18,000-square-foot Mancave in Milford, Connecticut, you will notice that he starts out in the field house where the sound has that echo-y, big stadium feel. By the time he makes his way into the studio at the center of the facility, it sounds more like he’s talking to you from his living room. (One important note here: Dan is talking into a wireless mic that’s not part of the studio's usual processing). You’ll see square construction throughout, with outer courts serving as a natural sound barrier. 

You will also see a whole lot of wood, glass, fan art and toys – lots of toys. 

I think we can all agree that this isn’t your usual studio set, but then Jim Hibbard of Studio Builders isn’t your usual studio integrator. His background is in live recording and acoustic engineering, which is probably why he took a much different approach to sound design for Dan Patrick’s new Mancave. 

Working the Mic

Close-mike at six-inches to a foot away from talent, so goes the conventional wisdom for bringing warmth to vocals. Dan Patrick’s AKG 4000 certainly conforms to that norm, but that’s where conventional mike techniques end. I was surprised to learn that Jim almost never uses the mic bass roll off feature, which many audio engineers tell me is important to raise vocals above those bassy bass frequencies.

“The only time I roll off the low end is when I’m doing a remote,” he said. 

In fact, as mentioned last month, he adds low end (a “boatload”) and rolls off at 30 cycles. As for proximity effect and low frequency bass overpowering the vocal range, he relies on our M4IP-USB mic processor to handle all that.  “The downward expansion in the M4IP-USBs is how I get away with a lot of what I get away with,” he says. 

You can read more about how Jim’s techniques using our M4IP-USB mic processor and how he arrived at those techniques in the first part of our series Sound Check: Dan Patrick’s Mancave.   

Working the Acoustics 

Hibbard also took a unique approach to acoustic treatment. The common practice is to use a combination of sound absorption and diffusion for acoustic treatment. Reflection points are typically covered first, such as the sides of a room and the ceiling and floor. Big rooms might require added diffusion to the sides and the back. “Bass traps” are commonly used to absorb lower frequencies that might interfere with vocals. Placing these panels at 45 degrees across each corner, where boundaries are typically parallel to each other and sound build up generally pools, can significantly reduce low frequency interference. 

But, of course, Hibbard did none of the above for the Dan Patrick Mancave. Not that he didn’t try. “These radio/television combinations are all about the looks and all that wood paneling and all the toys left very little room for acoustic treatment.” He installed some vertical panels in the studio ceiling above the lights, but for overall acoustic treatment of the facility, it was all mainly dense wall and airspace. 

If you’ll look closely at the YouTube studio tour mentioned earlier, past all the fan art and toys, you’ll see a dense wall to the outside of the building and another between the two studios.  These are massively thick, solid walls similar to what you’d see on a sound stage. Hibbard constructed these massive walls out of Acoustiblok and dense MDF particle board. The large window that you see between the studios is made of heavy laminated glass that is essentially floating in the window frame at a 6-degree angle and lined with rubber all the way around and completely airtight. For insulation, he set in dense Rockwool instead of fiber glass.

Then again, if you haven’t made it past the fan art and toys in this video, we can certainly understand. Dan Patrick’s Mancave is a most unusual facility.  

You can read about techniques Jim Hibbard used to get that signature sound Dan Patrick is known for in Part I, Sound Check: Dan Patrick’s Mancave. Jim has an extensive background in live recording. He started Pacific Mobile Recorders, a 48-track mobile recording rig, more than 30 years ago. He’s built more than his share of recording studios and broadcast studios over the years, more recently as the owner of Studio Builders in Carmichael, California. He stopped counting studio builds at 700. Jim can be reached at Jim@studiobuilders.com. 

Audio Processing Tips from the Lab

ProcessingLab Jeff 2560

HD/FM Delay 

A significant delay between HD and FM audio signals is trouble. When your station blends from analog FM to HD and the signals are misaligned, whole parts of the broadcast could be missing or your listener might hear some of the broadcast repeated. (Read about one experience in this Wheat News article, A Bad Trip With Diversity Delay). It’s noticeable enough that you could lose a listener or two as a result. 

This can happen in the fringe areas as well as in the city where there’s multipath. Mod monitors include real-time diversity delay measurements that they hand off to the audio processor in order to correct this problem. We believe perfect HD/FM signal alignment is so critical to the viability of FM going forward that we’ve included both the real-time diversity delay measurement and correction in our X5 FM/HD audio processor. 

Fresh Wheat

At NAB 2019, Wheatstone introduced ten new products. Click below to learn about each.

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Where Scripters Meet

Are you a ScreenBuilder or ConsoleBuilder power user? Register and log onto our Scripters Forum. This is a new meeting place for anyone interested in developing new screens and workflows for our WheatNet-IP audio network. Share scripts, screen shots and ideas with others also developing virtual news desks, control panels, and signal monitors.

You’ll find documents, starter scripts and a whole knowledge base available to you for making customized screens like those pictured.

Click to register for our Scripters Forum (it's free)

ScreenBuilderRebuild

Video Check-Ins from NAB 2019

Here are three videos where clients stepped into our booth at NAB to share with us what they've been up to. 

RADIO DNA's Rob Goldberg

Radio DNA's Rob Goldberg talks with Scott Fybush about the WTOP project (see below) and other work he's been doing recently at NAB 2019.

Pacific Mobile Recorders Studio Builders' Jim Hibbard

Jim Hibbard brings you up to date on some fascinating and original use of WheatNet-IP on The Dan Patrick show.

WHIZ's Kevin Buente

Chief engineer Kevin Buente talks with Scott Fybush about how they are using virtual and cloud technology with their radio and TV stations.

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RADIO AUDIO CONSOLES

Wheatstone is all about radio. Cool consoles and mixers. Intelligent audio IP studio networking and routing. PR&E Consoles. VoxPro recording and editing. AM and FM on-air processors that rock both loud AND clean.

TV AUDIO CONSOLES

When you think of TV audio, you think of Wheatstone. Our consoles are the control centers for the finest facilities in the world. WheatNet-IP audio networking is becoming THE standard for interconnect.

AUDIO PROCESSING

Only Wheatstone offers processors with the surgical precision of 31-band processing! Sound shaping for FM, AM, HD, television, webcasting, podcasting, mastering or live audio.

VOXPRO AUDIO RECORDER & EDITOR

For live, on-air recording and real-time editing, there's no better solution than VoxPro.

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