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Melinda FM chairman Chris Schoutteet (left) and technical manager Marc De Coster with the new Lawo crystal console. (Photo Credit: Aircast)

Melinda FM In Belgium Enhances Broadcasting Capabilities With Lawo

Popular radio station situated in the West Flanders province equipped with a crystal broadcast console working with a Power Core, a 1RU software-defined DSP mix engine and modular I/O device.

Melinda FM, a popular radio station situated in the coastal town of Middelkerke in the Belgian province of West Flanders, recently made an upgrade in its broadcast capabilities by equipping its mobile studio with a Lawo crystal broadcast console in a project handled by Aircast, an independent broadcast equipment supplier and a subsidiary of antenna manufacturer Lambda Technologies.

“In view of the challenges in the near future as well as for everyday broadcasts and special events in the coming years, we wanted to purchase a new, mobile radio studio,” states Chris Schoutteet, chairman of Melinda FM. “In my opinion, investing in state-of-the-art technology opens up new ways of producing informative and entertaining programs, which is crucial for retaining our audience”, he explains.

Tommy Degraeve, media solution manager at Aircast, adds, “When Melinda FM, one of our long-standing customers, asked us to upgrade their mobile studio, we analyzed their requirements. Together we scanned the market for a solution mapping best the radio station’s demands for optimized workflows, system openness, and future potential, and found that, considering all this, we should test the Lawo crystal broadcast console.”

Schoutteet: “We wanted a versatile mixing system that would offer us expansion options, so that we could, for example, offer programs with extended listener participation via telephone. or voice-over-IP connections. With the crystal, for a slightly higher initial cost, we now own a system that is tailored precisely to our requirements, is of high quality, reliable and expandable – and therefore future-proof. References from major broadcasters support our decision.”

The crystal console, designed for broadcast and pro audio applications, is powered by the Power Core, a 1RU software-defined DSP mix engine and modular I/O device. It provides integration of RAVENNA/AES67, MADI, Dante, AES3, and analog signals, making it an option for future-proofing broadcast operations. Features such as AutoMix, which maintains the balance of multi-mic productions, and AutoGain, which optimizes mic levels with a single button press, enable operators to produce programming with less effort. The ability to store and recall an unlimited number of snapshots and DSP profiles allows for customized show setups and individual talent profiles accessible from any networked console, supporting remote operations and OB setups.

Melinda FM’s first event using the new Lawo crystal was a live broadcast from the five-day Sluze Kermesse (ship-lock fair) in Middelkerke during the extended Pentecost weekend. The event featured live interviews and music mixed on the crystal console on site. “It’s a pleasure to showcase what local radio can achieve,” says Schoutteet. “Our mobile studio now enables us to bring music and engaging conversations directly to the community, which is essential for maintaining close contact with our audience.

“With the experience we gained from this event we know to have taken the right decision. The intuitive operation, the host of assistive mixing technologies, the flexibility in workflows, enable our operators to produce compelling, engaging programming. And we are still far from having identified all the possibilities and options the new console offers. It will be a pleasure to find out in the next weeks.”

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