In Broadcast - July 2012 - 36
WWW.INBROADCAST.COM | ISSUE 10 - JULY 2012
Studer - Manufacturing In The United Kingdom
By David Neal, Senior Manager, Soundcraft Studer Group nager,
While many companies are moving manufacturing away from the UK, Soundcraft Studer, the mixing console business unit of Harman, has doubled its capacity in the UK and invested $8 million (USD) in its advanced manufacturing facility. The Potters Bar plant near London, manufactures virtually all Studer consoles and conﬁgures and test audits all Soundcraft digital consoles from the small-format Studer OnAir 2500 and Soundcraft Si Compact to the large format Studer Vista 9 and Soundcraft Vi Series consoles used on major broadcasts and live events including houses of worship, theatre and corporate AV. PCBs are assembled, tested and incorporated into modules resulting in the highest-quality products for which these brands 36
Vista Console David Neal, Studer
are world renowned. The surface mount line robots can place up to 50 000 components 50,000 an hour and several key stages of inspection ensure reliability and quality. These include highly accurate X-ray and Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) to check for correct component placement and soldering. Soundcraft Studer takes quality very seriously, hence the major investment in plant and people. Highly-trained engineers take great pride in manufacturing these consoles in clean and modern
working environments. Two test stages, lasting up to six days per console ensure the products are fully-functional and meet the customers’ speciﬁcations.
Studer has long been renowned for leading technology developments. From the classic days of the legendary Studer tape machines to the now widely-acclaimed digital consoles, Studer’s technology has been at the forefront. Their R&D Centre in Regensdorf, Switzerland, is the hub of these technological developments. All Studer Vista consoles use Studer’s patented Vistonics user interface, a globally acclaimed touch-screen interface that is combined with rotary encoders mounted directly onto the screen surface to more closely emulate an analogue mixer interface. Supplementing Vistonics is the patented FaderGlow, used to indicate which mode a console fader is operating in or which group a fader is assigned to. This is used on the ﬂagship Vista 9, and destined to be an integral part of future Studer Vista products. Although the backbone of the system audio transport is MADI, it is just one of the solutions available at Soundcraft Studer. The company’s I/O topology has enabled the development of interfaces for Aviom, CobraNet, AES/EBU, Dolby D/E, Riedel and SDI based systems, and they have announced plans for Dante, AVB and BLU link interfaces as well. This helps integrate a wide variety of systems such as personal monitoring, loudspeaker control, processing and distribution and broadcast systems.
before it is delivered. Not only will this help ensure that it meets the configuration specifications customers have deﬁned, but they will also beneﬁt from some advanced training on their desks in the fullyequipped demonstration studios. This training extends to both operational and service personnel where required, with a full service back up available worldwide from the service centre in Switzerland. The more familiar an engineer is with the operation of the consoles, the better they’ll be able to produce the programmes they’re working on. That’s why the company developed the Studer Broadcast Academy, which offers both introduction courses to a range of Vista and OnAir consoles as well as full-length, certiﬁed training. Training takes place in the UK in the fully-equipped demonstration studios where every type of Studer console is installed and centrally linked, and conducted by independent ‘power-users’ who can pass on their vast experience to both in-house and freelance engineers. In the USA, a purpose built 63feet truck has fully-equipped studios with Vista and OnAir consoles, which regularly tours different states and offers everything from simple demos to full certiﬁed training. Backed by this technology and manufacturing investment, Studer has announced a host of new products in 2012, including the Vista 1 Compact integrated console solution, Vista Compact Remote Bay which can be used as a remote console controller or to extend a console surface, the VISTA FX engine which adds up to 24 Lexicon effects channels to the Vista consoles, and the development of an Axia Livewire card for the D21m I/O system to allow Studer consoles to accept and output AoIP signals. ■
At the facilities in Potters Bar UK, Studer not only has the high-level manufacturing described above, but customers are able to spend time in the new Customer Experience Centre (CEC) with their new console