Beasley Las Vegas Distress Call

Lamar SmithWe’re suckers for a good studio renovation project. We tend to gawk at new studios like others rubberneck at cars on the side of the road. We’ve been involved in our share of studio projects as engineers working in the field before our time with Wheatstone, and some of us still help out with new studio installations.

We know all too well how difficult these projects can be. Before anything remotely like WheatNet-IP audio-over-IP networking, we pulled cable until our arms came out of their sockets. We probably hammered down enough subflooring in our time to cover the New York City underground system. So when we got the distress call that Beasley Broadcast in Las Vegas needed to move two of its five stations before renovation on new studios even began, we had to really feel for engineer Lamar Smith.

We secretly wondered what horrible thing Lamar did in his recent past to deserve such a punishment. As we soon learned, though, the lease ran out on the two stations’ existing facility, which made it far more cost-effective to move them into makeshift studios before renovation on the new facility began.

We didn’t envy Lamar the extra headache in what was already a big project ahead of him, but we were able to assure him that the WheatNet-IP Intelligent Network was going to make life a whole lot easier in any case. “They were right about that. The WheatNet system is why we were able to move two radio on-air studios and two production studios in three weeks,” said Lamar, who racked up a couple of WheatNet-IP BLADEs, moved in four E-1 control surfaces, and let the system do the rest. (WheatNet-IP configuration is done automatically; all Lamar had to do was unbox the units and plug in the Cat6 cable.)

“We literally have three Ethernet cables between the rack room and the (makeshift) studios,” he added.

With full renovation just getting underway this month, Lamar will be building out and networking six new control rooms, four production studios, a news room and several production/news booths to house the two existing stations as well as Beasley’s three other Las Vegas stations that will move over later this year. He’s bringing in 24 WheatNet-IP BLADEs, repurposing four E-1 control surfaces and adding several new LX-24 consoles for the control rooms. He’ll also be using some powerful WheatNet software to get the job done in time, including our X-Y System Controller for tracking crosspoints and our Glass-E virtual mixer as backup remote control of surfaces, while construction is being done in several phases.

All of which he’s putting to good use … now. ‘’We had an incident where the cleaning crew came through and must have turned down the faders while cleaning the (E-1) board. Good thing we’re set up already with WheatNet, because through Glass-E (a virtual mixer) I was able to go online and turn all the faders back up without leaving my house,” commented Lamar.

At least the emergency move came with some benefits.

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