For the first time since moving from Peabody Hall to the Wildey Communications Center in 2000, WHSN-FM has a new on-air studio. Over the last 2 weeks of winter break, the studio was a whirlwind of activity from IT dept head Matthew Bryant, Engineer Steve Toothaker and student IT employee J. Michael Adams.
The idea to rebuild the on-air studio began with the purchase of a new Wheatstone E1 IP-based console during the summer of 2012. Due to a delay from the manufacturer, the upgrade had to be put off until December. “With students returning from summer break, it would have been very difficult to make upgrades during the fall semester” says NESCom Radio Broadcasting’s Mark Nason. “So it made more sense to wait until winter break when we’d be able to take out time and do it correctly”.
Rebuilding the studio “from the ground up” meant emptying the room completely, including the carpet. All new carpeting was installed and the walls repainted. Meanwhile, WHSN stayed live on-air by operating out of a production studio as a temporary home. Repurposed studio furniture was then brought in and the equipment was wired. up.
WHSN’s new studio reposition and reconfigures the existing studio furniture giving the on-air announcer a view of the window and more importantly, direct eye contact with any guests/interviewees on-air. The centerpiece is the Wheatstone E1 which is that latest in a long tradition of WHSN having industry-leading technology for training. The biggest challenge in the studio rebuild was to relocate all heat and noise generating equipment to a new “rack room” closet located next to the on-air studio.
This move makes the on-air studio both quieter and cooler for students working on Bangor’s Alternative.
Even before the spring 2013 semester began, local student radio staff members were already putting the studio through its paces as soon as possible. This gave the engineering team a chance to work out bugs and ensure students returned to a fully-functioning studio.