A new control room at Frontier Media’s Juneau Radio Center.

By Ryan Houlihan
Group Engineering and IT Manager
Frontier Media

Frontier Media operates radio centers in Alaska and Texas, and we’ve had quite a bit of experience with Logitek equipment over the years. Our move into AoIP operation began when our Texarkana radio center had a lightning strike that took out basically everything in that studio and we needed brand new everything! With that rebuild, we selected Logitek JetStream Mini’s and Pilot consoles. After seeing the advantages and possibilities of what that system can do, it had always been in the back of our minds to transition our Juneau stations to a similar setup one day.

That “day” arrived in late 2020, when we bought our first JET67 and mixIT-12 for a new studio we were building out for a brand-new station in the Juneau center. We completed that installation in January 2021. A couple months later we began working on a renovation of our Juneau newsroom. That room had an old board that was starting to show issues, so we figured “as long as we’re renovating, why not go all out and purchase a new console?” Since we’d already gotten one JET67-mixIT combination we figured we’d keep building out our AoIP system and get another set for the newsroom. This was also the first studio I’d ever personally built out from the ground up. The installation of the mixIT and JET67 in that studio was completed over one weekend in April 2021.

Both installations in Juneau went smoothly, with everything working as I had anticipated. I have some experience with the JetStream Server programs, which are also used to configure the JET67 and mixIT, so I had no major hiccups or obstacles. Cable management is minimal in these installations because you only have to run one single Ethernet cable to the mixIT, which means you’ve only got one cable coming out of the table and connecting to your console, whereas with traditional consoles you might have dozens of cables coming out of your console that can be a hassle to tie all together and make it not look like a rat’s nest. With a little planning I was able to mount the Jet67 right next to the punchdown block with all its audio sources.

The mixIT also really packs a punch for its size. We’ve got mixers that are about the same size that don’t do half as much as the mixIT. We’ve also got mixers that can rival what the mixIT can do but they’re a lot bigger, and I imagine cost a good deal more. Getting up to 16 total analog/mic inputs, up to 16 analog outputs, plus two digital ins and outs, and 4 total output busses (Program/A1/A2/A3), all for the price you’re paying is impressive. Even if you’re not yet tapping into the AoIP networking potential, for the number of inputs and output busses you’re getting solid value for what you’re paying. That, and it all fits into such a small package. What you’ve really  got is a mixer that’s functionally larger than its size.

The new newsroom at Frontier Media’s Juneau Radio Center.

The remote control is so handy too – there’s so much you can control remotely, it’s as if you were sitting at the console. The Jetstream Server UI makes it easy to do what you want to do, and the visual feedback it gives you grants confidence that, yes, the thing you were trying to do did actually happen on the console, as compared to something like GPIO control.

And I already touched on this one, but the mixIT is very well priced for everything it gives you, even if you only ran it as a standalone console without networking it to others. Once you do start networking them together you get tons more value. You could have dozens of available audio sources, from all over the building, packed into in a 12-fader mixer. The 12 could fit pretty much anywhere; if space is an issue (and we have one studio that’s basically in a closet), you get so much functionality in such a space efficient console.