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VRT Updates Brussels Studios With DHD-Based Audio Production Consoles

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Belgian public broadcaster Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie has updated its central Brussels studios with new DHD-based audio production consoles.

VRT began deploying DHD audio systems in 2003. The network now runs its entire radio environment on DHD mixers. These are integrated into VRT’s central Brussels headquarters and five regional studios as well as the network’s video edit suites and mobile production vehicles.

"Rebuilding of the main facility took place in summer 2022," said VRT system specialist Tom Hantson. "The former studio was using a DHD RM4200 mixing desk which had been in active use for 18 years and was still in perfect working condition but we needed to keep up with advancing technologies like audio-over-IP. We opted here for a 12-fader RX2 setup complemented by 52-1156 TX 10.1-inch-screen multitouch mixers for monitoring and talkback on the assisting workplaces. A key strength of the DHD systems is that they support both of the most widely used AoIP protocols. This is important as VRT’s audio networking connectivity is largely based on AoIP.

"The second studio was later rebuild using an almost identical setup and now serves as the main on air studio for the network's flagship music programme: De Tijdloze (The Timeless). The Radio 1 studio was modernised in autumn 2022. Radio 1 is produced in close cooperation with our news and sports department and had been operating for the past 15 years with a DHD 52/MX system networked across three studios.

"A separate new studio was built with a dual-console approach. This was commissioned to allow for better branding in a visual radio context. It also gained greater flexibility in being able to operate in self-op as well as technician-assisted modes. In the studio itself VRT opted for a 10-fader SX2 environment to save desktop space, complemented by two compact MX-consoles with dedicated talkback and listen-to functionality for the DJ and cohost, taking advantage of DHD’s modularity. The adjacent control room is equipped with an 18-fader RX2 console. Both consoles use the sharing and partitioning capabilities of a single core. Here too, connectivity is mostly via AoIP.

"Finally, in early 2023, one of the Radio 2 studios was refurbished. A DHD 52/MX had been operating there for many years. The same concept as at Studio Brussel was adopted here: a 12-fader DHD RX2 networked to some TX multitouch mixers."

"The reliability, flexibility and stellar support from DHD combined with the quality of Amptec's work makes them great partners for building cutting-edge technology. "The new studios are versatile, user friendly and easily adaptable so that we can respond flexibly to future requirements."

"The project was performed on a turnkey basis with Amptec sourcing the DHD hardware as well as building the system itself, including cabling and bespoke furniture," summarised Bart Lamberigts, sales manager at Belgian system integrator Amptec which is also DHD's distributor for Belgium. "The technical team at VRT was responsible for the configuration of the studios, with a clear focus on the end users and the new way of working inside VRT. Matching the required workflow was made possible by the high level of flexibility embedded in DHD’s Toolbox configuration software."

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