A small station can, in fact, afford Calrec audio. Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) is working on a new mobile production facility slated for delivery this summer, and will stock it with a new Calrec Zeta mixing console.
The 40-fader, 108-channel Zeta will enable the 36-foot mobile unit, being built by L-3 Communications with integration services from By Request Communications, to deliver 42 stereo plus 24 mono channels of audio.
"The perception is that a station of our size and with our resources can't afford Calrec," said Curt Sorensen, WPT audio engineer. "But we already have a Zeta in our studio. In fact, one thing I love about Calrec is that there's an expensive version and a more modestly priced version, and the audio quality is the same. We may not be getting all the buttons, but we are getting the reliability, resilience, quality, and service for which Calrec is known. They say you get what you pay for, but in this case, I'd say we're actually getting more."
Based on the same platform as Calrec's Alpha console, the Zeta offers resilience, sound quality, and a high level of features in a compact digital console. The Zeta is intuitive to operate and features hot-swappable cards and panels, as well as intelligent redundancy on all system-critical elements.
The Zeta also gives WPT offline programming capability, which enables the operator to design a show's routing on a laptop anywhere, then upload it to the console.
WPT's new 36-foot mobile production facility replaces a predecessor dating from 1983. The mobile unit will be used for broadcasting cultural, entertainment, news and sporting events and is the station's final step to HD production.
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