Studio Stevens is the brainchild of two radio professionals: Jeroen Kijk in de Vegte and Kenneth Stevens, providing broadcast services from a loft in Antwerp, ‘somewhere between Brussels and Hilversum’. As business continued to grow with radio presentations, technical radio content production and voice-over assignments, Stevens and Kijk in de Vegte decided to upgrade the studio configuration. The location of the studio, a beautifully restored warehouse near the Antwerp port, suited the plan: the concrete/steel elements were covered by acoustic curtains , daylight comes in through fourfold glazing.
For Kijk in de Vegte, as a program maker, the content is obvious more on his mind than the technology. Therefor he appointed Amptec for the integration of the new studio. “With DHD consoles being omnipresent both in the Netherlands and Flanders we automatically came in touch with (DHD distributor) Amptec,” he says. “They also have a tremendous background from their work with almost all Belgian public radios, and are specialists in audio ‘EBU-compatibility’. That was crucial in the whole installation process.”
The key issue was that the workflow at Studio Stevens should be identical to the workflow in on-air studios in Hilversum or Brussels. Amptec proposed a configuration that allows swift transfer from this studio to the various Master Control rooms with Studio Stevens’s clients, but actually to any broadcaster adopting the EBU SIP-standard in terms of IP connectivity.
Amptec installed a ‘self-op’ radio studio configuration consisting of a DHD SX console, an Omniplayer radio automation system and a Prodys Prontonet IP codec. An Avid ProTools set completes the set-up. “We use the Omniplayer for simple editing jobs, but when it comes to craft-editing, we use the ProTools, offering a wider range of possibilities for the editing of station-calls, telephone interviews or production promotion trailers,” says Kijk in de Vegte. “And again, compatibility is the advantage: whatever we do on the ProTools is on-air-ready, as both systems work on a shared storage, linked to the MAM in Hilversum”. For live-contribution into the program, a 2nd IP/ISDN codec and a good old telephone hybrid are also available.
In terms of IP, Amptec provided a turnkey solution for the studio. When it comes to installing and programming routers and firewalls, these are things that require dialogue with the other parties involved. The fact that Amptec is present with most leading radio stations helped ‘to open the right doors or ports’, so to speak.
Current clients of Studio Stevens include Qmusic, NPO Radio 1, 2 and NPO Soul & Jazz, and TV channels RTL4, RTL5, RTL 8.
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