Mackay’s New Studios

Staff Writer

Southern Cross Austereo in Mackay recently upgraded their studios and the entire air-chain side in the control room. We caught up with Matt Paton, Chief Engineer – Radio – Northern Queensland for a rundown of what they did and put in.

So Matt, when did you make a start on the upgrades?

The build was delayed by the Mackay Survey, but we had the luxury of the world’s largest on air studios, so the new joinery was installed into empty space in the on air studios, and wired up. Then over a weekend we removed the old equipment, dragged the new desk into place, hooked up a couple of patch leads and power, and away it went (wow, sounds so much easier when I put it like that).

So the studio’s were sorted, what about the control room side?

The MCR was completely rebuilt with new racks, due to the old ones being quite shallow. We had a temporary rack set up with our SCAsat equipment and a couple of audio nodes to interface to the analog studios, and then all the analog equipment was removed and new Argent racks installed in their place. The structured cabling rack was done over a weekend to prevent outages to the office staff, and new shielded Cat6 cables run between racks, and into the studios.

Who worked on the project?

The ground work was completed by our Mackay Engineer Stuart Hughes and our CQ Engineer Robert Dwyer. The studios are built to the same standard as used across the SCA network with Axia Fusion consoles, Neumann KMS105 microphones, Telos VX phone system, 25/7 Profanity Delay units, Huawei IP STL links and Nexgen automation. The joinery was made locally to SCA specifications, including the ability to raise or lower the desk depending on the preference of the jocks.

The Axia configuration was done by myself, Brett Kelly and Dan Jackson. We have the ability for any studio to be any station with the touch of a button. That includes changing the phones, Nexgen audio on the console, branded display screens, off air monitoring etc.

So the gear you replaced how old was some of it?

This replaced some 17 year old Ogenics consoles that were end of life. Now we have a fully IP based audio path, these stations have never sounded better!




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