The World's Finest Audio for Broadcast


Wheatstone Acquires Audion Labs, VoxPro

NEW BERN, NC, USA (October 5, 2015) – Representing once again the vision and now the voice of the broadcast industry, Wheatstone Corporation announces today the acquisition of Audion Labs and with it, the industry’s beloved VoxPro digital audio editor. Wheatstone leads the industry in IP audio networking as the innovator of WheatNet-IP, a complete, end-to-end IP audio network comprising audio consoles, routing, mixing, processing, silence detection and logic control.

Audion’s VoxPro is a staple in radio studios as one of the few broadcast-specific digital voice editors designed to record and quickly edit phone calls on the fly for on-air broadcast. Both dominate in the U.S. in their respective product categories, often as part of an integrated system.

“This is a terrific little company that with one product has made a big difference in the day-today operations of most radio stations today,” says Wheatstone CEO Gary Snow. Audion’s VoxPro is a PC based software program with optional control panel surface developed to facilitate rapid-fast audio editing. Its intuitive layout has endeared the VoxPro to on-air broadcast talent everywhere, significantly reducing a typical call-in editing session. “Other professional editors are like bringing a machine gun to a stick fight,” says Snow. Now as part of Wheatstone, VoxPro will benefit from the company’s 24/7 support and distribution channel that includes a worldwide footprint spanning the United States, France, UK, Germany, Scandinavia, Middle East, North Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, India, China, and Malaysia. “With VoxPro now in the Wheatstone fold, it can go global and continue to be the powerful, creative broadcast tool it was designed to be,” says Charlie Brown, who created the first VoxPro editor in the early 1990s while working as a Seattle morning radio personality and went on to found the Audion Labs company in 1994. “We couldn’t ask for a better team to take on the care and growth of the VoxPro brand,” he adds.

Wheatstone and Audion Labs have enjoyed a longstanding relationship over the years, resulting in the integration of the VoxPro editor into the WheatNet-IP audio network environment for online sharing, editing and archiving audio files. Audion Labs will remain a separate brand entity under Wheatstone. Rick Bidlack, Audion Labs’ Chief Technology Officer, will remain with the company and operate from his office in Seattle,Washington.

VoxPro adds to Wheatstone’s large family of broadcast studio lines that include Vorsis and Audioarts Engineering brand names, as well as IP audio networking, control surfaces, talent stations, audio processing, software applications, and other products developed and designed specifically for broadcast.

Visit Audion Labs' site and check out VoxPro!

Clearing the Air on Loudness

Did we hear you say, “Let’s start an audio cleanliness war?”

BoxingAirAuraX3 2560sm“I want to start an audio cleanliness war…Who is with me?”

It was music to our ears when we saw these words posted on the Facebook “I Love Broadcast Audio Processing” discussion page recently.

If only!

In many ways, we at Wheatstone have been slowly working our way toward that day when ears no longer bleed and modulation monitors look like they’re glued to 100%.

So while we’ve built into our audio processors the tools you need for both a loud and an open and clear sound on the dial, so much more can be done. Even with so many AirAura’s, VP-8’s and FM-55’s in the field, it’s time to talk about what it takes to create clean audio on the radio -- something that can be applied no matter what type of processor you use.



  1. Make sure that your source material is linear. Storage is cheap. There’s no reason to use lossy audio codecs on the air. It’s said that cleaning up your source material can have the same impact as getting a new on-air processor.
  2. Set standards. Having a set of standards in place for production is paramount for a consistent sound. When people come in and record anything at any level they want, or add equalization while others don’t, this adds up to a poor overall sound on the air.
  3. Weed out unnecessary equipment. Your on-air signal could be passing through two or three devices in the air chain that are no longer needed, but no one took the time to remove or bypass. Go over your air chain and simplify it as much as possible. The less gear the on-air signal needs to pass through, the better.
  4. Optimize STL paths. It’s not always possible to have a linear path, but when you can, do so. Also, you will get better results almost every time when you use composite over discreet AES left and right. The stereo generator in a modern audio processor is almost always better than one built into an exciter. Of course, with Wheatstone processing and the right exciter, you can have both AES and composite!
  5. Maintain your transmitter. Transmitter site maintenance is key in making sure your station sounds good. Proof of performance, while no longer required, is still a good idea. The engineer and the transmitter building should not be strangers!

Your processor can do amazing things, but only when it’s fed amazing audio and feeding a linear path. If you haven’t had time to focus on your audio plant, make yourself an early New Year’s resolution to do so!


IBC 3 2000This year's IBC was a great show for Wheatstone. We made many new friends from more than 80 countries.

We came home with not one, but TWO Best of Show awards - one for our Network EDGE that is extending AoIP beyond the studio, and one for our Gibraltar IP Mix Engine that is opening up IP connectivity to TV broadcasters.

This recognition means so much to us because we know that the judges for NewBay’s IBC2015 Best of Show awards are industry experts and working engineers, like you.

IBC: Engineers Choose Wheatstone BEST OF SHOW!

At IBC, judges are comprised of engineers and industry experts who spend a great deal of time poring over every considered product before they choose a winner. So, it’s great news when they select your gear! This year, we are proud to have won TWO NewBay Media Best of Show Awards from Radio World International and TV Technology Europe!

This recognition means so much to us because we know that the judges for NewBay’s IBC2015 Best of Show awards are industry experts and working engineers, like you.

Only the best of the best are chosen – products that solve real problems, that can hold up to the demands of broadcasting, and that are innovative and cost effective. Congratulations to our engineers who worked so hard to bring these innovative solutions to fruition and thanks to the industry we serve for recognizing all of our hard work. 

RWI-award-photo 420


For Radio, the award goes to our Network EDGE, which lets you use IP wireless radios to establish STLs (and more)! 


TVT-Europe-award-photo 420BOS-TVTEFor Television, the award goes to our Gibraltar IP Mix Engine which sets new standards in IP audio networking.


Audio for Golf?

How IP audio networking can help make one of the toughest jobs in broadcast sports an easy 36 under par.

Golf Mic Shot 2560Golf is one of the toughest assignments in broadcast sports. Depending upon how much coverage you want to provide for an 18-hole course, you’re going to want to cover all the tees and all the holes – that’s 36 audio locations spread over as many as 200 or more acres! And each location is going to need several mics to cover the wide dynamic range of the sport, from the swoosh of the club to the crowd roaring. That’s a lot of coverage!

Then there’s possible fairway coverage or folks out with remotes, and before long you are up over 100 or more audio feeds from the course. Add the announcers, IFB, and different crowd mics, and we are talking some serious audio.


IP audio networking has greatly reduced the strain associated with such an event. For example, our WheatNet-IP audio networking makes grabbing audio and controlling audio at each point a lot easier. All you need is a BLADE-3 as your audio interface at each hole and other access points along with an Ethernet switch, which can connect to your truck or onsite studio console through fiber optic cable.

GolfCourseShot 2560We’ve been told it’s like dropping in a full studio at each hole!

Each BLADE-3 has built-in and programmable mix-minuses for full IFB support, and gives you control over everything you could possibly want to do with your audio, including integrating it into your overall IP network (now, or when you adopt one).

Because BLADEs have virtual mixers built-in, mixing and controlling audio at each hole is possible – in realtime from wherever you like, whether it’s from your remote truck or your studio.

No complication. No big boxes. No Bogeys (but some Mulligans if you need them).

Here’s what you’ll need, in addition to mics and headsets:

    GolfEquipmentShot 2560
  1. BLADE-3 Audio Interface. With the Mic BLADE, you’ve got audio I/O, eight mic preamps, two 8x2 virtual mixers, audio and control routing matrix, source and destination control, gigabit connectivity, 12 GPI/O ports, 128 software logic ports,
 full programmability, auto mono summing, full AES67 compatibility,
 signal splitting, ACI, and so much more - all controllable from the console at the truck or studio. It’s kinda like dropping in a full studio at each hole.
  2. Managed Gigabit 
Ethernet Switch.
You may already have one 
at some of the holes for 
cameras if you are up to speed on IP networking. If not, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to come by.
  3. Fiber Optic Cable. You’ll need some heavy duty cable - like OCC B04 tactical breakout - stuff that is really rugged AND lightweight. Setup and teardown is fast and easy.


Split-Surface LX-24 Shows at IBC

LX24 DUAL FRAME CONSOLE 670Shown at IBC in Amsterdam... It's a split-surface LX-24! Need more inputs? Want to arrange your workstation in exactly the intutive and efficient way you want to use it? Here you go. LX-24 – now in a table-top split format!

New Studio?

Heaven Forbid You Forget the Elevator!

StudioA 420It’s easy to lose track of the many details of a new studio project. Let us take a moment to remember Edificio Intempo, the 47-floor skyscraper built in Spain that was said to be missing one important detail. Elevators.

Heaven forbid you should forget the elevator.

Yet, we see it time and again, studios that are missing that very important something. It could be the way the facility is laid out or how it’s connected together. It could be the absence of some seemingly insignificant detail or a trend that has gone terribly wrong.


The good thing about being in the audio network and console business is that we get to tour more than our share of broadcast studios from around the world. Our Director of Sales Jay Tyler has been in no less than 3,000 broadcast studios in his 20+ years at Wheatstone, and he has seen it all. Here are a few things Jay, along with Studio Technology’s Vince Fiola, who builds broadcast studio furniture, has noticed lately.

Camera automation. More and more on-air studios have a camera or two to run show video out to YouTube or other social media. Jay tells us that many of the larger studios have fulltime video editors onsite at the studio, while others are taking advantage of automation software to run those cameras. For example, multiCAM automation is being integrated with the WheatNet-IP audio network to switch the camera to the host or guest position in the studio whenever a mic is turned on. If the announcer’s mic is on, WheatNet-IP tells multiCAM to point the camera at the announcer position and then when a guest mic turns on, the WheatNet-IP tells multiCAM to switch to the guest position.

Downsized space. Technology is getting smaller and smaller, and that goes for devices as well as studios. It’s not unusual to see studio facilities scaled down, some by as much as half. Gone are the racks and racks of DAs and relays, thanks to IP audio routing and control.

Talent on the move. Who knew that talent had legs? They’re no longer confined to one studio, or even the studio facility. Mix-minus, bus minuses, mic presets and even video follows talent and shows no matter where they are located on the audio network.

Signs of the times. Signage in studios is one of the biggest trends this year, according to Jay. He’s seeing more and more clocks with metering on the wall, video feeds of talent shown in the lobby, and music playout schedules from the automation showing up on the studio wall or elsewhere in the studios. All this visualization is made possible because of the easy IP routing of media and data throughout the facility. Tight integration of AoIP systems like WheatNet-IP with virtual clocks such as VClock by Voceware helps, too.

Showcase looks. With so many morning shows now syndicating with the local TV station, there’s a lot more attention being paid to how the studio looks. There’s way less clutter, more open space and less wiring everywhere. Broadcasters are recessing monitors, lowering mic booms and adding polish with better lighting – at least in one studio. “More is being put into the main studio as the showcase, and the rest of the facility is getting much, much smaller and less expensive,” says Vince.

Soundcards are out. “That soundcard that fit your 10-year-old computer doesn’t fit the newer computers,” says Jay. Broadcasters are going with audio drivers instead, which can save a couple thousand dollars per studio.

Production in a workstation. The production studio has seen the most changes. “Here, you’re likely to see a creative guy that sits at the computer all day,” says Vince. Production studios have become more computer workstation centric with more compact, more capable IP consoles or control surfaces. Our E-6 control surface, for example, has become more computer friendly by providing console control and programming on a display monitor, and newer Audioarts consoles like the Air-5 come with USB connectivity and/or Bluetooth compatibility for smaller production studios.

More control. The modern studio gives you far more control. One Ethernet cable is all it takes to bring up any source along with control commands. Jay says there is a lot of interest in our IP networked TS-22 talent station because in one small talent station sitting, you can control mic on/off, talkback, muting, source selection and headphone amp all through an Ethernet cable.

Better workflow. IP audio network integration with editing systems such as VoxPro makes it so much easier to do live telephone editing, on the fly, all on one cable – audio and control. Plus AoIP integration with things like codecs means you don’t need analog inputs and outputs.

Software flexibility. Virtual console control and other software apps are making studios much more flexible. For example, says Jay, “With our new Screen Builder app, and a terminal, I can replace a whole intercom panel with a soft panel. I can build intercoms and talkbacks and mix minuses and on the fly mixes with a software application where I used to pay thousands of dollars in hardware.”

Energy efficiency. According to Jay, “You can plug in an electric space heater and it’s going to use more juice than a big pile of Wheaty gear.”

Really, really, really cool break rooms. We’re taking hammocks and bubble chairs, beer on tap, a wine rack maybe, and don’t forget the putting green, air hockey table and gaming workstation – all the necessities for improving productivity. Okay, so this isn’t exactly a trend we’ve seen in our travels, but we’ll keep looking.

View the embedded image gallery online at:

AM Redux

Beyond FM translators

ProcessingLab Jeff_2560AM gets a bad rap. Fortunately, recent changes to FCC regulations are helping some AM operators turn things around with the use of FM translators.

We’re firm believers in translators to extend coverage, which explains why we’ve just come out with the FM-25 audio processor for this purpose (we also make a step-up version, the FM-55).

But we’re also firm believers in AM radio and began to wonder why so little in the way of new technology is available to adequately process the AM signal. So for our engineers Jeff Keith, Steve Dove and Mike Erickson, it was back to the drawing board --- and Mike’s large collection of AM radios. “We went beyond the usual thought process that every single AM radio made in the last 30 years is ‘bad’ and actually found some that were quite good,” says Mike, who got his start in AM radio and is now Wheatstone’s processing field engineer. “Yes, there are examples of bad AM radios out there today, and it may take some hunting to find a good one, but they are out there and not horribly expensive.”


ProcessingLabWIthFolks 2000With this knowledge, the trio set out to build a modern AM audio processor that could make the best possible tradeoffs between radios with narrow bandwidths and radios that were more forgiving. “The multiband limiters and the entire backend are different from what we offered in our previous AM-10 audio processor and in our more recent VP8 processor,” says Lead Product Development Engineer Jeff Keith. “Those are great boxes, but we wanted to take our new offering to the next level.”

Included in the resulting AM-55 audio processor is what Mike Erickson calls “a real world” AGC/compressor/limiter that’s specifically tuned to the challenges of AM bandwidth. “We’ve seen what happens when you take an FM processor and slap AM filtering and limiting onto the back of it. That’s not where we wanted to go here. This was a complete rethinking of AM processing,” he says.

The new AM-55 is in production and expected to ship by next quarter.