Preserving East German History

The German Broadcast Archive (Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv, DRA) recently upgraded three copy and production facilities at the company’s Potsdam-Babelsberg location. Carried out by Swiss systems integrator, SLG Broadcast, the effort included gear and technology from Lawo.
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Rastatt, Germany (August 5, 2015)—The German Broadcast Archive (Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv, DRA) recently upgraded three copy and production facilities at the company’s Potsdam-Babelsberg location. Carried out by Swiss systems integrator, SLG Broadcast, the effort included gear and technology from Lawo.

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The centerpiece of each copy suite is a 12-fader Lawo sapphire console, comprising one central unit and three fader modules. All audio sources—inputs and outputs—are connected to a DALLIS mainframe fitted with a GPIO board that allows control of tape decks, CD players and DAT machines from the sapphire console surface.

The suites, two of which were built in 2014, also by SLG Broadcast, are connected to a Lawo Nova29 MADI Router. The special configuration of the Nova29 facilitates sharing of signals between all the studios, and also distribution of control signals for the remote control of peripheral players and other devices—a button push in one suite can activate or stop the machines in either one of the other two suites. Additionally, real-time computer restoration tools from Cedar Audio can be shared between all of the suites. This new configuration makes it possible to work without the need for re-cabling or relocation of equipment from one area to another.

Founded in 1950, the Broadcast Archive is responsible for preserving A/V documents of historical value, and maintaining them in good condition as research and information for historians and interested citizens. The DRA copies the content of old cassette tapes, DATs, CDs, vinyl discs and other media, transferring them into the digital domain. The archive in Potsdam is principally concerned with copying resources relating to East Germany’s history.

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