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WGBH Radio in Boston Installs SSL C200 Console

Boston’s WGBH Radio, which has delivered quality content to New England and beyond for more than 50 years, has acquired a Solid State Logic C200 Digital Production Console for its new, 1,800-square-foot performance studio. The new studio is part of a consolidation of WGBH’s television and radio broadcasting infrastructure under one roof.

The C224 replaces an SSL 4000 E Series console that was installed in 1987. It will serve the regular jazz and classical music broadcasts from the new performance studio, explains maintenance engineer Jon Frank. “We needed a console that would allow us to broadcast very high-quality live performances, but at the same time serve multitrack, post-production applications,” says Frank. “We also needed the capability of all of the various processing and equalization that’s available, on a per-channel basis.

“The C200 looks almost identical to the 4000 E Series,” Frank adds. “It does about 10 times more, but it looks similar, so it’s very familiar to our engineers. There are a lot of features on SSL consoles—particularly their combination of small and large faders—that make them extremely mixer-friendly. The engineers really like working with this console.”

The C200 addresses multiple issues, adds WGBH Director of Radio Stations John Voci. “As we looked to consolidating our present operations, transitioning to digital, and updating and upgrading our production facilities, SSL was very high on our list for a replacement console,” he says. “The 4000 E console was a workhorse, it was reliable. We had a very good experience over the previous 10 years, so it made sense to continue the relationship.”

WGBH’s new facility, which consolidates various broadcast operations under one roof in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood, will feature multiple, interconnected studios, says Voci, allowing television studios to take advantage of the C200 for live music programming, for example.

“What we do is unique,” says Frank, “in that we‘re a broadcasting station, but we’re also kind of a recording studio. We need this capability to quickly do a live performance and at the same time handle a project, which might be a 48-track mixdown. The C200 console allows us to do absolutely everything.

“Another important aspect,” he adds, “which is becoming increasingly important today, is that the C200 gives you DAW control capability. That is a very important feature for us. You can flip the console into a DAW mode, which allows you to mix on the computer or the console. We’re very excited about it.”

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