Boston PBS station WGBH recently relocated its radio and television facilities into new purpose-built premises. WGBH Radio added two new pairs of active three-way ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) SCM100ASL mid-field reference monitors to the two existing pairs of SCM50ASL units that were moved over from the previous broadcast studio location.
WGBH Radio is a national producer and distributor of programs, operates a local broadcast service, and records and broadcasts live acoustic music, typically classical and jazz. According to John Voci, WGBH's director of radio stations, the radio engineering staff auditioned a variety of monitor speakers for the new studio facilities. "We liked the SCM100's," he says. "Those are now in both our music recording facility and in our mastering suite. We imagine tracking happening in the music performance control room, and then projects can migrate to the mastering suite. Those two rooms are also surround rooms." The two new systems were purchased from Las Vegas Pro Audio, ATC's exclusive U.S. distributor.
The performance of the active three-way SCM50ASL's proved conducive to the type of live music produced in WGBH's studios. "Given the fact that we do a lot of acoustic music, the engineers liked the tonal quality of the SCM50's. They seemed to be a speaker that did not color the sound in a particular way, which some others did. That was a very important factor for the engineers. They felt the ATC's were very true to what was going on. They weren't presenting a different picture, whether it was something that was too bright, or coloring the sound in a way that was unrealistic."
"ATC speakers are designed with great electronics and amplifiers, and they are very accurate and natural sounding," says WGBH audio engineer Jim Donahue. "I was always impressed by the ATC's superb imaging. They can be listened to for hours without fatigue after a long day at [Boston] Symphony Hall or in the studio."
Maintaining the sonic signature of the SCM50 monitors so that projects would translate between rooms was an important criterion when selecting additional speakers for the new studios," Voci adds. "When we were thinking about what to do in our additional control rooms at the new location for the production operations that support our local broadcast operation, where we would be taking projects from room to room, we wanted to try and have the speakers match as well as possible," he explains.
In addition to live music recording and broadcasting and local news programming, WGBH Radio is also responsible for The World, a joint production with Public Radio International and the BBC. WGBH produces six feeds per day of the national news program, which is distributed to more than 200 public radio stations nationwide.