Wheat:News November 2023

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WHEAT:NEWS November 2023 Volume 14, Number 11

Different Stations, Same AoIP


How often have you been driving along and noticed a new business sign going up? What used to be Bank A is now Bank B, or maybe the bank is gone and what used to sit at the corner of First and Elm is now a new shoe store.

Welcome to same place, different business, a trend that seems to be happening a lot lately, especially in broadcasting.

The manufacturer of most of our TV transmitters has been gone since 2014. Were still running them but its a reminder that you have to have a level of trust in what youre putting into your station because itll be there a long time,” said Matt Monin, Director of Broadcast Engineering, TV, for Arkansas PBS who also takes on studio projects for other broadcasters in the state.

His most recent studio projects included the WheatNet IP audio network system, one for the University of Central Arkansas’ KUCA-FM 91.3 and another for family-owned Freedom Broadcasting KFFB-FM covering north central Arkansas.

Two different stations, same AoIP studio.

In fact, Wheatstone has been a player at KUCA-FM for more than two decades as the manufacturer of the Audioarts analog console that the student-run station replaced with the IP-12 console surface recently. Monin had recommended the IP-12 and WheatNet IP audio network for KUCA-FM’s new studio this past year after installing the same at Freedom KFFB-FM a few years back. “Freedom was my first AoIP system. I showed the owner two AoIP systems and he asked me what the difference was. When I told him that all Wheatstone hardware is made in the U.S., he said ‘then that’s what we are going to get,’” said Monin.  

“If I’m recommending equipment, I need to know what the build quality is like and what the support is like,” he commented.

KFFB FM on Left

 KUCA FM Right




Shown are two studios, KFFB-FM on the left and KUCA-FM on the right. Two different stations, same console and AoIP network. Both are WheatNet IP audio networked with IP-12 console surfaces and Wheatstone Quickline™ furniture. 

A01 3

Shown above, KFFB-FM’s I/O Blade that has been in operation for 1550 days…and counting. Monin installed the Blade in 2019 and it’s been flawlessly running ever since, one reason why he recommended Wheatstone for KUCA-FM’s new studios in 2023.

Analog Studio

Before the completion of KUCA-FM's new facility, which is now visible through these glass windows, University of Central Arkansas students operated the station from an analog studio in the basement. It had a homebrew automation system and a predominately MP3 music library due to hard drive space limitations. Students would bring in their own music on laptops, which they fed into the console. The first hint that it was time for a more modern studio came when the university’s administrators sat down to their weekly show in the basement studio… and had to plug in their iPhones to a laptop in order to get music to the console and out to air. Fast forward to today, and KUCA-FM has a new WheatNet IP audio routed studio with an IP-12 console surface located on the main floor, off the student center. 


No more running through hoops - and A/D, D/A converters- and no more MP3s for KUCA-FM. The station is using RCS Zetta automation integrated into the WheatNet IP audio network, all running in native AoIP out to air. Commented Monin, The first time I popped on the monitor, Steve [GM] said, Wow, we have bass on the station! Weve never had bass on the station before.’”


Matt Monin installed the new studio for the University of Central Arkansas in between his full-time  responsibilities at Arkansas PBS in Conway. Id get out of work at 4:30, work for a few hours at KUCA and get a lot done. I took a couple of half days and it all came along nicely considering I hadnt configured a WheatNet system since 2019 when I installed Freedom KFFB,” he said.


Like any sensible AoIP console surface, the IP-12 is scripted so that students dont have to worry about adding the right mix-minus to mic feeds or summing air mixes from several sources. Even students starting out can easily use this console,” said Monin, adding that next year this time, the station will have a whole new group of students learning the ropes.

A podcast studio is planned for the future, which will likely include an analog console that will route into the WheatNet IP audio network through an I/O Blade. Well just have the analog console come up on a Blade so that it can go to air or if a student has an interview that needs more mics than what we have in the podcast studio, they can just route that in with the Blade AoIP,” commented Monin.


Mixing desk

There are three critical indicators on the mixing desk that help you keep an eye on audio levels.

1. VU indicator. The VU meter has been around for more than 80 years for a reason. It’s predictable, with predictable integration times and predictable release times so you can predictably read volume units. Keep in mind that the VU meter is averaging levels over time so that peaks can be higher than indicated. You can generally expect to have about 20dB of audio headroom above 0dBVU to encompass them.

2. Peak level indicator to read the transient peaks of the signal. This indicator tells you if peak levels are in danger of overloading the dynamic headroom limitations of the console. The clipping point is usually at 0dBFS. Peak signal levels run usually at or above -20dBFS, with transient peaks kicking up to about -6dBFS occasionally.

Peak level indicator

3. Loudness indicator for compliance with the ITU BS.1770-3 and similar television loudness standards. This indicator came about initially in response to the need to assess and regulate the loudness of adverts compared to regular programming. The Loudness Unit Full Scale (LUFS) or Loudness K-weighted Full Scale (LKFS) measurement shows the averaged loudness level of audio over time, usually much longer than that of a VU meter. The average loudness target level is -24 LKFS or -23 LUFS. By the way, you can’t miss this on a Wheatstone audio console – the LKFS/LUFS numbers are two inches high on the display screen. One LU (loudness unit) is equivalent to 1dB, so there's a direct correlation between how far the meter says you're over/under and how far you move a fader to compensate.


Jay Tyler and Marco Porro

It all began with a handshake between our very own Jay Tyler and Leading Technologies' Vice President and CEO, Marco Porro. 

Now, several months into our new partnership with Italy’s leading audio and video distributor – aptly called Leading Technologies – we are, together, bringing comprehensive AoIP studios to Italian broadcasters and other media professionals there.

Magic happens when we combine our 200+ interconnected studio devices and AoIP elements with distributors that have a strong background in studio design, like Leading Technologies. For details, click to Leading Technologies and Wheat or go to our Distributor Locator page to find a WheatNet IP audio network distributor near you.

It all began with a handshake between our very own Jay Tyler and Leading Technologies' Vice President and CEO, Marco Porro.


Earlier this month, 14 Radio One engineers came from all over the U.S. for a day of technical training at our New Bern factory. Radio One is the largest urban radio network in the U.S. and is now operating in 16 markets, many run on Wheatstone.

 Here are a few outtakes from the day’s (and evening’s) events.

Radio One

Shown front, left to right, Radio One engineers Vic Jester (Atlanta), Stephanie Weil (Cleveland), Gary Zocolo (Cleveland), Jim Davis (Raleigh, retired but not really), Kent Kramer (DC), David Ainslie (Houston), and Steven Lilly (Richmond) Back, Rob Mueller (Cincinnati), Travis Martin (Philadelphia), Mike Depolo (Philadelphia), David Wilson (Indianapolis), Don Stevenson (Dallas), Ron Tollison (Charlotte) and Greg Strickland (DC) during some down time and dinner at Persimmon’s on the waterfront. (Not shown, Radio One VP of Engineering John Soller, who couldn’t make the trip but made sure his engineering team could take the time away from their daily duties to attend).

Radio One Technical Staff Covered Everything

Wheatstone technical staff covered everything from AoIP routing and control to scripting and server software.

Radio One Jim Davis

Jim Davis (Radio One in Raleigh) takes a closer look at the AoIP behind the console.

Radio One Fun

Fun was had by all. Shown, our Jay Tyler snapping a group shot with Don Stevenson and Wheatstone’s Steve Walker talking shop in the background; Steve Walker served 22 years in an IT and engineering capacity with Radio One in Dallas before joining Wheatstone’s technical support team in 2022. 

Wheatstone is a proud technology partner to Urban One/Radio One. For a sample of the resulting projects and studios, read Tale of Three TouchscreensThe CE Who CouldStudios that Dare to Be Different, and Urban One Invests in Studio Space.



A while back, we told you about a new protocol for transporting video and audio in real-time over the internet. We explained that RIST, or Reliable Internet Stream Transport, adds error correction and packet recovery to UDP multicasting, which gives you audio quality on top of low latency for live-streaming audio and control data across public networks (where links are less reliable and distance adds more delay). Heres what else you should know about RIST for transporting audio and control from a local AoIP network in your building to a sports venue, regional server or third-party cloud provider like AWS.

RIST adjusts in real-time to achieve the lowest latency and fastest performance for a given link, whether it’s to an AWS data center far away or a concert venue across town. This is one reason why RIST is uniquely suitable for live shows and other media applications where too much delay can be detrimental (for background, read What Is RIST And Why You Need It). With RIST, you can dial up the desired delay for a live concert event, and that’s what will be delivered. It’s as easy as opening up a RIST stream session between two points, in our case from WheatNet software or streaming appliance, and establishing a dedicated communication between the local IP address and an IP address on the far end.

How it Works

The nice thing about RIST is it supports IP multicast natively, which means it combines the ability to provide one-to-many transmission with very low latency and lower network overhead. RIST also supports load sharing and seamless switching so that should a link go down, it can route around that link and use the alternate link without interruption.

RIST is based on established protocols widely adopted by the broadcast industry and recommended by SMPTE 2022-1 and the Video Services Forum (VSF). RIST is now included in our streaming software and appliances as well as our WheatNet IP audio Blade 4s. Be sure to read Dominic Giambo’s article on RIST in an upcoming issue of Radio World Engineering Extra.


60 third party brand products

We have more than 60 third-party brand products that interface directly into the WheatNet IP audio network, from playout and production automation systems to camera control and IP audio codec distribution. 

If we don’t have what you need for your WheatNet IP audio network, we have connections to those who do: Jelli, Eventide, Ross, Moseley, RCS/Zetta, StreamGuys, Triton Digital, MultiCAM, Tieline, Radio.Cloud, Grass Valley and many others. Explore our Badges of Honor partner page for ideas and additions to your WheatNet IP audio network.


A05 Studio Planning Guide

Inrushs Mike Dorris and Brian Sapp suggest you do this before routing out holes and pulling cable.

Outline where the console, VoxPro and other studio gear will sit on a temporary countertop and let your talent experiment with different studio workflows before you commit to the final studio layout. The biggest studio “gotchas” come from not knowing how station staff work in the environment, according to Dorris and Sapp, who have been bitten by the studio bug more than once as systems integrators for a large variety of studio projects (including Wheatstone’s largest contract to date involving more than 245 studios in 32 U.S. markets). “If you don’t know, you can’t fix it. And even if you know and it’s too late, you can’t fix it,” said Sapp.

For more pro tips, download our free ebook Studio Project Planning Guide.



We hope you'll come along with us at Club Wheat by clicking on the SUBSCRIBE button below to begin receiving Wheat News in your email inbox every month.

The Wheatstone online store is now open! You can purchase demo units, spare cards, subassemblies, modules and other discontinued or out-of-production components for Wheatstone, Audioarts, and VoxPro products online, or call Wheatstone customer support at 252-638-7000 or contact the Wheatstone technical support team online as usual. 

The store is another convenience at wheatstone.com, where you can access product manuals, white papers and tutorials as well as technical and discussion forums such as our AoIP Scripters Forum

Compare All of Wheatstone's Remote Solutions

REMIXWe've got remote solutions for virtually every networkable console we've built in the last 20 years or so. For basic volume, on/off, bus assign, logic, it's as easy as running an app either locally with a good VPN, or back at the studio, using a remote-access app such as Teambuilder to run.

Remote Solutions Video Demonstrations

Jay Tyler recently completed a series of videos demonstrating the various solutions Wheatstone offers for remote broadcasting.

Click for a Comparison Chart of All Wheatstone Remote Software Solutions


Have you seen the latest smart studio trends? Discover expert tips, surprising uses for AoIP Blades, 6 common studio gotchas, and how to be aware of little expenses. A must-read before you begin your studio project.


Curious about how the modern studio has evolved in an IP world? Virtualization of the studio is WAY more than tossing a control surface on a touch screen. With today's tools, you can virtualize control over almost ANYTHING you want to do with your audio network. This free e-book illustrates what real-world engineers and radio studios are doing. Pretty amazing stuff.

AdvancingAOIP E BookCoverAdvancing AOIP for Broadcast

Putting together a new studio? Updating an existing studio? This collection of articles, white papers, and brand new material can help you get the most out of your venture. Best of all, it's FREE to download!


IP Audio for TV Production and Beyond


For this FREE e-book download, we've put together this e-book with fresh info and some of the articles that we've authored for our website, white papers, and news that dives into some of the cool stuff you can do with a modern AoIP network like Wheatstone's WheatNet-IP. 

Got feedback or questions? Click my name below to send us an e-mail. You can also use the links at the top or bottom of the page to follow us on popular social networking sites and the tabs will take you to our most often visited pages.

-- Uncle Wheat, Editor

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