Why We’re Different

We’ve been told that we march to the beat of a different drum. We don’t mind, because it means we find innovative ways to solve problems that broadcasters face every day. Here are some of the things that make Logitek unique.

Networked Audio Compatibility

Compatibility has always been a goal for Logitek. We recognize that as more and more products enter the digital realm, the ability to have those products “talk” to one another is crucial.

 

Our JetNet AoIP audio networking system allows direct access to and from Logitek’s network engines via hard disk playout systems, without requiring the use of a sound card. This direct connection does not tie up extra I/O ports on the JetStream system, allowing you to keep those ports open for other equipment connections.

 

We also provide direct interfaces to popular television automation systems, such as Ross Overdrive and Sony ELC, making the audio-video integration process seamless. Use a different system in your newsroom’s workflow? Talk to us. We want to help you.

 

In addition to our JetNet audio networking system, Logitek has licensed Livewire technology to seamlessly work with the hundreds of audio products that support that standard. From VoIP telephone systems to audio processors, connection is as simple as plugging in an Ethernet cable.

 

We’re not stopping there. With support for the AES 67 standard coming to Logitek products shortly, Logitek is committed to making sure its networking products work side by side with those from other manufacturers.

One Button Scene Selection

Today’s studios have multiple personalities, and we’re not just talking about the colorful people who speak into the microphone.

 

Sometimes a studio hosts a live show with multiple microphones. Sometimes it’s used for production and voice tracking. Sometimes it’s used to produce a sporting event. It all depends upon the needs at that time of the day. If a facility with multiple air studios shares a production room, that room may have to exhibit many “personalities” depending on the station that is using it at the time.

 

Logitek’s Snapshot feature saves up to 50 profiles per console so you can set up everything just as you’d like it and save it for instant recall later. As a user enters the room, all he or she needs to do is press the appropriate button, and the Logitek console is instantly re-mapped for that person’s use. Switch all of the microphones to different faders? No problem. Bring in four rarely-used codecs? No problem . Depending on the console, you can even have specific color-coding on the buttons to provide fast visual indication to operators not only of their scene selection button, but of the sources they need to use for their show or production.

 

Because our consoles are all router-based, your console buying decision is now based on how many faders you need to use at once, not on how many inputs your studio needs. Snapshot gives you the flexibility to instantly change sources and bus assignments at the touch of a button.

First In On-Board Profanity Delays

Logitek was the first manufacturer of networked audio consoles to incorporate profanity delay as part of its basic system. Because the profanity delay software resides in Logitek’s JetStream network engine, all Logitek Radio consoles – the Mosaic, ROC, Pilot and vMix+ – have the ability to build a delay of up to 6 seconds and dump it at the press of a button.

 

Profanity delay controls are built in to the large softkey module on the Mosaic console, giving users at-a-glance indication of the delay status, whether it is activated or out, and a clearly labeled button for dumping the delay.

 

This makes the Mosaic a natural choice for radio stations who run talk programs or frequently air “colorful” callers. However, the same functionality can reside in other Logitek consoles; any softkey can be assigned as a ‘delay dump’ button. Assignable color-coding in the ROC console’s softkey module allows any button on that panel to have its own color for high visibility to operators. Although the Pilot console does not have assignable colors, it still offers 12 softkeys on its Monitor Module, any of which can be assigned delay dump duties.

 

Another option for utilizing the profanity delay function is found in Logitek’s vMix+. This ‘virtual console’ program allows you to create a customized screen that can display buttons, individual faders and other information. Through the use of a touchscreen panel, a delay dump control can be at an operator’s easy reach.

 

Profanity delay functions are available in both the JetStream Mini and JetStream Plus networked audio engines.

Free Up Rack Space With Logitek

When rack space is at a premium, Logitek can accommodate your audio I/O requirements most efficiently. We can fit up to 128 channels I/O into two rack units with the JetStream Mini or 240 channels I/O into 4 rack units with the JetStream Plus – twice the density of the closest competitor. In fact, some competing audio networking systems need up to 30 rack units to handle the same number of inputs and outputs.

 

Logitek networked audio platforms use individual cards within the router to manage the required I/O. This means that you can specify the types of I/O you will need, and the cards will be pre-installed for you at the time of order. Logitek can supply analog inputs, digital inputs, SDI inputs (JetStream plus only), microphone preamps (4 or 8 per card on the JetStream Mini, 8 per card on the JetStream Plus), analog outputs, and digital outputs. Digital I/O can be either AES or S/PDIF.

 

In addition to sheer I/O density, Logitek saves you rack space in other ways. You can pull out that old external profanity delay unit – you won’t need it; a profanity delay is built-in to the Logitek system. Our television customers enjoy frame delay built-in to every console. On-board processors and microphone preamps also free up space. What used to require a large rack of equipment for just one studio can now be boiled down to a half-rack that fits on top of or underneath the studio furniture.

 

Dense nodes simplify your network infrastructure, too. Rather than using core and edge switches to connect many units across many racks, a single core switch has you covered. Redundant networks, a feature coming soon to the JetStream, eliminates having a single point of failure.

Just What Is A Mix Minus, Anyway?

And Why We Found A Better Way

We talk about mix-minus a lot in the console business, but what exactly does it mean?

 

The simplest way to describe a mix-minus is a “clean feed.” We take a mix bus such as program, subtract a source from the mix and send that feed to a remote location. For example, when you feed audio to a telephone hybrid, you want the caller to hear everything on the air except for their voice; if their voice was part of the mix it would come back to the caller a split second later and make it hard for the caller to speak. For remotes, sending a program feed to a codec, minus the inbound audio from the codec, not only eliminates a delayed repetition of the remote audio at the remote site, it helps to eliminate feedback at the remote site if they are doing local sound reinforcement along with their remote.

 

In the days of analog consoles, you would create a mix-minus by using an aux bus and punching everything into the aux except for what you want mixed out. This method gets the job done, but it requires the operator to keep track of which bus feeds what source and there’s room for error.

 

Logitek came up with a better way. When you set up your console, you assign sources that need a mix minus to their own mix minus bus.  The console then keeps track of what needs to be mixed out and automatically generates the right mix. (We also give your operator a way to easily talk back to the remote off-air with a simple button push.)

 

On average, we find that most studios average from 6 to 10 mix-minus buses today. With 24 mix-minuses standard on our equipment, we give you room to grow as remote technologies evolve.

Using the JetStream As A STL

Since AoIP systems such as the Logitek JetStream make it a snap to send audio all over a facility over the LAN, it’s a snap to share audio over a WAN between studios, transmitters, or other cities, right?

 

Yes… and no.

 

Some background is in order. Popular Audio over IP systems such as the Logitek JetStream are using multicast streaming systems designed for video conferencing to send low latency audio across a local area network (LAN). We just aren’t sending any video along with the audio streams.

 

Every multicast packet has a “time to live.” This is effectively a boundary control. We know how long it would take for a packet to cross a router and get outside of a LAN, so the streaming protocol states that the time to live is shorter than it would take to make it through a router, which keeps your audio streams from going places where they do not belong.

 

So if you can get your hands on a piece of dark fiber between point A and point B, as long as there isn’t a router in the middle, it’s possible to put an IGMP aware switch on each end and connect two far away studios or a studio and transmitter site and have it all appear to be one big LAN.

 

What is this IGMP that everyone talks about? In AoIP, we use multicast packets to stream audio. These packets aren’t recognized by regular Ethernet switches, and when an Ethernet switch sees a packet it doesn’t know how to handle, its default move is to just let it through to every port, turning your office supply store “Smart Switch” into an early 90’s era Ethernet hub. IGMP, or the Internet Group Management Protocol recognizes these multicast packets; IGMP switches use what’s called IGMP Snooping to recognize the multicast streams and uses an IGMP Querier to keep track of which port on the switch is using which stream and thus regulates the traffic.

 

Using the IGMP Querier, the switch on one end of the fiber makes sure that only the streams being requested on the other end are going down the pipe, which ensures that we don’t flood the data link between the two points.

 

As a result, we can have JetStream at a transmitter site receive program audio from the studio and send back to the studio audio from satellite receivers or RPU units. We can send audio from a studio in one city to another. We can also send this audio back and forth between sites using a microwave IP radio.

 

The caveats: you will be limited in the number of streams you can have going back in forth by the bandwidth of your link, and you will want to use high latency streams between the two points to allow for any transmission delays across your link. If you are working with an ISP and fiber, make sure they understand that they cannot throw a router in the middle and that it must remain a point to point connection. If you are using a microwave IP radio, be aware that rain fade will reduce your available bandwidth, which will affect the number of channels that you are sending back and forth.

 

This setup isn’t for every station. If you only need to send a few channels in one direction you may be better served by a set of codecs. But if you need to send 5 to 8 stereo pairs and change the routing on the fly, talk to us about your needs, because this might work great for you.

Built-In Mic Processing

One of the best parts about moving from analog to digital (and into networked audio) is freeing up rack space. I used to work in a studio built for analog in a high rise that had amazing views of the city – except for the large turrets built into the cabinetry with two racks worth of microphone processing. Besides not being able to see out the window, all the extra equipment blocked your view of the guest and co-host positions in the studio, too. About the only positive I ever found in that claustrophobic configuration was you could warm your hands over the vents on the top of the cabinet on a cold day because there was so much equipment jammed inside to make the studio work.

 

Once you move to a modern networked console system like the JetStream, you don’t need large turrets on every corner, and you end up with clear lines of sight.

 

With the dynamics and EQ built into the JetStream (and by extension, the audio console) those racks filled with mic processors aren’t necessary. Compression, limiting, expansion, and equilization is available at every fader, and the technology that powers it is built into one single chip inside of the JetStream.

 

These dynamics and EQ settings are available from menus on most Logitek consoles, and they are also available from the Logitek JetStream Server software. That means you also have the option to disable the menus on the console, set the microphones to sound exactly the way you would like for them to sound, and lock those settings in. No metal mesh grilles over the knobs required.

 

Now your studio can sound clean and look clean, because the Logitek JetStream does the work of several racks worth of equipment in just a few rack spaces.

 

Of course, if your morning host is convinced that he/she only sounds good through a certain box (face it- the choice of microphone and mic processing is a deeply personal thing with a lot of air talent), you can always set the JetStream to run the channel unprocessed and use your outboard gear, but in this case you still have the flexibility to put the external processing on host positions and use what’s built into the Logitek JetStream for guest positions.

 

That’s the beauty of Logitek – you can customize your studio exactly the way you want it, and we’re happy to draw upon our years of broadcast experience to help you find what’s going to work best.