Arrakis ARC-10 Broadcast Audio ConsoleArrakis Systems. - Loveland, CO., USA
Look in any modern radio studio and you will more than likely notice one piece of equipment spotlighting the room - the audio console. The console not only allows the broadcasters to feed different audio sources to their transmitter but also allows them to mix a variety of sources simultaneously, such as a microphone for the announcer to mix their voice with other programming. Many Part 15 operators, be it the hobbyist or the school campus broadcaster, are budget conscience or may not be able to afford the deluxe console commonly found in a typical radio studio. This budget console from Arrakis Systems attempts to bridge the gap between a musician's audio mixer to a full featured broadcast console.Budget Priced:
The ARC-10 by Arrakis Systems is an inexpensive 10 channel audio console targeted to the would-be podcaster, Part 15 broadcaster and webcaster. The console offers features not available with a typical musician's audio mixer, making more suitable for a small studio setup that emulates the typical broadcast studio.
Currently the ARC-10 consoles series offers three different configurations, the low-end offers unbalanced inputs for audio sources. The middle offering includes unbalanced audio inputs with on-board USB computer audio, while the high-end offering includes balanced audio inputs in addition to on-board USB audio. They have expanded the series with the ARC-15 console which includes 5 additional audio inputs.
The ARC-10 console has two different output busses. A Program buss can be used to feed audio to a transmitter, webcaster server or other destination where the normal audio would be used. The Audition buss can be used to record or produce audio without affecting the output feeding the station's transmitter. Both busses have a left and right stereo feed as well as a mono mix feed allowing flexibility for those applications such as feeding a mono AM transmitter in addition to a stereo FM transmitter.
All configurations include 2 balanced monophonic audio inputs for microphones. Turning on either microphone mutes the audio output for feeding the studio monitor speakers to eliminate feedback. Channel 10 is dedicated input for a telephone hybrid so phone calls can be aired through the console. A dedicated "mix-minus" feed for the hybrid channel.
Channel 9 can be switched between analog audio and USB sound for those models equipped with it. Jumpers on the inside of the console not only performs alternating the sources but also allows the USB audio to record from either the Program or the Audition buss.Shortcuts To Economy:
Anybody who has prior radio experience may notice some of the shortcuts used to make this inexpensive console. Instead of the typical cue detent found at the bottom of the audio slider there is a push button beneath each channel's audition and program selectors to place an audio channel into cue. A drawback with this design is that the headphone monitor audio is muted while any channel is in cue and some operators may panic until they become familiar with this. They should have taken a lesson from their larger consoles and devised a "split" cue allowing each ear to listen to different audio.Next page