CAAMA Studio upgrade
The Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) is the largest Aboriginal media organisation in the country since 1981, with the second largest audience reach in Australia.
CAAMA produces 99% of its own content, and shares this with other Aboriginal radio stations nation-wide. The primary studio facility is based in Alice Springs with 14 remote broadcast studios in communities and a mobile outside broadcasting truck allow for local communities to produce relevant local content.
CAAMA and First Nations Media Australia have been partners with Broadcast Components for many years, with a strong history of technical supply and support for Australian radio. Chief Technical Officer Rob Mitchell has been a proponent of the Broadcast Components Technology solutions and has widely deployed these standardised solutions from microphone to transmitter. Dante enabled AEQ consoles are installed in all studios to allow easy technical support and remote management due to the software interface. As all consoles are deployed with redundant power supplies, the remote installations are robust and readily supported. Transmission facilities boast BW Broadcast FM transmitters offering in built audio processors, ethernet remote monitoring + management and hot swap power supplies. In the event of a problem, the transmitter's on-board email server will contact CAAMA technical services, and the modular nature of the transmitter ensures rapid and easy repairs can be performed if required.
In 2019, CAAMA Technical Services (led by Rob Mitchell and Josh Lander) undertook a project to rebuild the CAAMA studios in Alice Springs with the support of Broadcast Components. Built on the Dante Audio over IP platform, AEQ consoles were installed in the studios with a Netbox providing the switching, silence detection and audio processing in the MCR.
For studio one as the flagship and primary on air studio, an AEQ Forum IP was installed. The remaining studios installed Capitol IP consoles, as the capacity of the 8-channel console was ample given the input capacity and flexibility of the mixer. All studios implemented mechanical standing desks, RGB lighting, Genelec speakers and Rode microphones to create a professional, high energy studio environment for live and recorded content.
The MCR boasts a high capacity AEQ Netbox DSP and Netbox 32 AD with management software to allow silence detection (with alarms and source switching), DSP processing and scheduled input switching. With configuration by Broadcast Components and CAAMA Technical Services, the remote broadcasting sites can easily and automatically broadcast live content based on GPIO or time scheduling. The safety net of the intelligent software ensures zero chance of dead air, and notification to the relevant technical person in the event of a silence detection.
The second phase of the project in 2020 will see the installation and commissioning of a Dante enabled phone system, Systel IP 16 and Dante enabled IP Codecs to complete the future proofed installation.
The results speak for themselves, and the attendees of the First Nations Media Conference in 2019 were happy to offer their feedback during the station tour at the completion of the build. Broadcast Components was delighted to be involved in such a successful program and looks forward to the continued success of CAAMA radio and CAAMA Technical Services!