Aug 02, 2003



--Leading dance and R&B radio station, Galaxy 105, has been enjoying the Ibiza clubbing season - with assistance from Soundcraft.

The Yorkshire-based station needed a reliable desk to accompany them on their annual pilgrimage to the Balearic island - and installed an RM1ds radio desk in Cafe Savannah for a series of live broadcasts extending over two weeks.

"With the prospect of two weeks and 20 separate broadcasts from the island we needed a compact, flexible, 'self op' radio desk - something that was simple enough for our presenters to operate but with the features to handle anything we could throw at it," said the station's technical manager Jon Crew.

"Our well worn and road weary analogue console was now past its sell-by date - and our new RM1ds certainly survived being humped around Europe as air cargo on its first outing. We had a full flightcase made, and for a studio desk it has adapted to life on the road pretty well."

For large projects like Ibiza, Galaxy travel with a complete radio station flightcased up. "It represents about a metric tonne of air-cargo, but means that we're entirely self-sufficient on location."

Galaxy's stations are now broadcast on a number of digital platforms - such as DAB digital radio. "It's a great technology, but we've had to look carefully at how we can maintain the quality of our output when there are multiple layers of MPEG audio compression working against us," he says. "This is never more apparent then during an Outside Broadcast, when you end up squeezing your carefully crafted product down a low-bandwidth ISDN link.

The RM1ds meant we could achieve an end-to-end digital set-up on location. Playback from CD, Minidisk, DAT and PC playout all interface via AES/EBU to the desk, and the plethora of digital outputs handle Codec feeds and record outputs on-site. The desk sounds great, clean and transparent."

The RM1ds also proved hugely popular with Galaxy's presenters. "The user interface is derivative of the older Soundcraft radio desks that everyone has come across at some point in their career; once you've explained the concept of the channel controls (similar to the e-strip on the 328XD) they're away. I have the privilege of working with some highly professional broadcasters and these guys were on a 30 second learning curve with this desk.

"The built-in dynamics are a massive bonus, I've dumped my outboard rack of compressors and can even insert a gentle limiter on every channel to keep check on over enthusiastic DJ's!"

The Galaxy breakfast crew, meanwhile, loved the built in Lexicon effects. "The 'canyon echo' has made a number of comedy appearances on the show," quips Jon.

Galaxy will be upgrading to the new version of RCS Master Control later this year and he is eagerly anticipating testing out the RM1ds's built-in support for this playout system.

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