Audio-Technica is the microphone manufacturer of choice for the WKSU Akron News Bureau’s newly completed Main Street Studio.
WKSU news bureaus located in Cleveland, Canton, and Akron, Ohio, along with the station’s main news operations housed at the WKSU Broadcast Center on the main campus of Kent State University, provide in-depth regional news coverage to complement NPR-delivered news reports.
With the Main Street Studio positioned in the shadow of the Federal Building in downtown Akron and around the corner from the county courthouse and government offices, the opportunity for creating news reports of local, national, and international interest is significant.
The extensive Main Street Studio project involved retrofitting and soundproofing a first floor office in the United Building, including the supplementation of a standard street-front window with a custom designed acoustic window created to eliminate street noise from one of Akron’s busiest nearby intersections.
Inspired in part by WGN’s sidewalk studio in Chicago, the project creates an interactive environment bringing WKSU news literally to the public.
A total of five Audio-Technica AT4050/LE Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphones were chosen for the studio’s announcer position and four guest positions.
High SPL capacity, along with the ability to reproduce accurately transparent sound from dual large diaphragms with rock solid element stability, made the microphone a perfect choice for this application. Its omni, cardioid and figure-of-eight patterns add even greater flexibility to the studio’s capacity when the need to record vocals and musical instrumentation arises.
Five Audio-Technica model ATH-M50s/LE Limited Edition Professional Studio Monitor Headphones complement the microphone selection, providing both the production staff and on-air talent with the highest level of sonic accuracy, superior isolation and maximum listening comfort.
The ATH-M50s/LE headphone design, which includes proprietary large-aperture drivers with neodymium magnet systems, delivers highly efficient signal transfer to produce a significant advancement in sound level and quality.
The special 50th anniversary edition silver-colored metallic finish of the microphones and headphones provides a unique artistic complementary appearance to the other equipment in the studio, including the Axia Element digital control surface.
Along with general reporting, the Akron Bureau is enabled to facilitate larger events. On Election Day, WKSU teamed with nearby WCPN to broadcast up-to-the-minute election results. Hosts were joined in the studio by special guests, offering analysis on state and national races.
WKSU Director of Broadcast Engineering Ron Bartlebaugh states that announcers from both stations fell in love with WKSU’s new Main Street Studio and proclaimed it as one of the best they have ever worked in.