France/Belgium (February 27, 2004)–Created with OEM development partner EVS Broadcast, enhanced versions of Digigram’s VX sound cards, with built-in mic-pre and EQ functions, have refined workflow at the Brussels-based facilities of French-speaking Belgian television network, RTL-TVi. As part of a news room upgrade, RTL-TVi wanted to give its journalists the ability to record voice-overs themselves at high-quality, on editing workstations, for broadcast news programs. A supplier of news editing systems, EVS brought Digigram in on the project, to develop a sound card with mic preamp and processing functions for its CleanEdit non-linear editing package.
The quality of the VX222 card has always been very good, but the need for a boxed pre-amp, compressor/limiter and equalizer increases cost, and more importantly the risk of wiring problems or human error,” offered Marcel Groos, product marketing manager for EVS Broadcast Equipment. “The RTL journalists are often working the system under tremendous stress so their desk and working method must be as clear and clean as possible.”
EVS specializes in production and playout server applications, and the EVS team is always working on bringing together IT techniques and broadcast hardware to achieve more cost-effective and user-friendly solutions. Working with Thierry Peters, head of audio at RTL-TVi, EVS and Digigram developed the VX222-Mic card, to be mounted inside RTV’s CleanEdit-equipped workstations.
“The chief sound engineer of RTL-TVi drew up the specifications for the functions to be integrated in the VX222, and the VX222-Mic complies perfectly with those,” noted Groos. “The voice-over audio recording now is perfectly integrated in the systems’ workflow. The VX222-Mic card allows us to put professional audio recording tools on the desktop of the PCs of these RTL-TVi television journalists. The additional “maximizer” feature is very helpful to effectively obtain optimized levels at all times.”
According to Peters, the new workstations have certainly improved operations. “We’ve adopted this card with excellent results,” Peters shared. “We use the dynamics processing, EQ and Maximizer on the record stage, which offers us a ‘ready to broadcast’ voice as soon as the file is recorded. And, we now have much more latitude in choosing a microphone–we can even imagine working with a headset, since we can process the voice.”
In order to develop applications quickly in response to end-users, like RTL-TVi, Digigram offers a number of powerful options to allow its partners to write applications that can be modified for different purposes and price points. Digigram’s sound cards product manager Marc Bénard assured that, “Our APIs make it easy for our OEM developers to add functions available on the sound card, without having to do their own system programming. Our APIs enormously accelerate the time to market for their software. Additionally, our 18 years history as OEM technology provider allows us to perform quickly hardware developments that the market needs. The RTL-TVi project is a perfect example. This ability will even be enhanced on future sound cards by offering connectors for companion boards.”
Bénard also pointed out that, “EVS and RTL did quite extensive testing not only on the functionality of the VX222-Mic sound card, but also on the audio quality, and it proved to be excellent.”