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Yamaha goes pop in 3FM’s new live studio

Mar, 2011

3FM, the Netherlands main pop music radio station, has recently opened a new studio for live performances, which need pre-mixing before being output via the station’s broadcast mix. With audio quality, flexibility and, above all, reliability required, Yamaha equipment was chosen for the new facility.

In addition to broadcasting nationally over the Dutch airwaves, 3FM also broadcasts via cable TV networks and globally via internet streaming, so there is a huge audience for its programmes, which include around 20 live sessions per week.

As well as the new studio, the station features two DJ studios (used alternately for each programme) and a broadcast control room. An LS9-32 mixing console and three SB168-ES stage boxes have been installed for mixing the live sessions. However, the system also needed to be flexible enough for the console to be used in all the rooms, as required.

The answer was to install a Yamaha UNioN Ethersound network throughout the building. This allows the console to be positioned in the live room, control room or either of the studios. An access point is also provided in the building’s foyer, because the station sometimes hosts live outdoor events and this avoids ‘loose’ cable runs through the building from the mixer to the studios and control room.

The system was specified and supplied by Technicolor Nederland, with the installation carried out by Digital and Media Solutions BV of Oud Gastel.

“We have equipped previous radio studios with a separate console to pre-mix live music, using analogue mixers with outboard gear,” says Sybrand Verwer of Technicolor. “As 3FM was installing a new studio, our technicians made a ‘wish list’ of what features the console in this installation mixer should have. The list included having 24 channels for the main mix, plus eight more for feeds from elsewhere in the building. It also needed to include all required outboard gear and implementation of an Aviom system for monitoring.

“Most importantly, it needed to be an ‘industry standard’ console that most artists would know and deliver everything we needed within the available budget.”

The Technicolor team looked at a range of different solutions, choosing Yamaha because the system fulfilled everything required of it and because the UNioN network provided possibilities that no others could.

“The combination of LS9, SB168-ES and the UNioN system was the ideal solution… and it came in under budget,” says Sybrand. “We have also had good experiences with older Yamaha mixers, which include many O2Rs, DM1000s and DM2000s that are still in constant use in a range of broadcast and recording facilities that we have equipped. Reliability is fundamentally important in broadcast applications, so we were more than happy to specify Yamaha.”

The system has seen heavy use from the beginning and is proving very popular with technicians and artists alike.

“3FM’s studio technicians have found the system easy to use, it sounds great and performs very well,” Sybrand adds. “Artists also often return to 3FM, so they are finding it exceptionally useful to recall their settings from their previous sessions. It cuts down the setup time for everyone and means they know that they will have the optimum sound every time.”



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