Wednesday, May 22, 2024

File-based Audio for Large Playout Facilities: A Flexible Cost-Effective Solution

Handling a large volume of incoming audio files in a variety of flavors can be a significant challenge for any playout facility, but it’s a particular problem in the event of consolidation or rapid growth.

The large-scale playout operations serving today’s commercial broadcasters made the shift from tapeless to file-based operations quite some time ago. Now, however, many are seeing a sufficient volume of file-based content that they must also update their strategy for processing incoming audio files. There is a simple solution; use the Emotion audio processing Engine to automate handling of incoming files, adjusting for loudness and other requirements. This approach makes the whole workflow far more efficient and cost-effective than trying to use multiple edit suites.

For a recent 100+ channel playout facility we provided two Engines, each capable of processing eight files at a time. An advantage of using two Engines is that you now have built-in processing redundancy and backup, should a workstation fail. With this setup, files arrive in different flavours, and the Engines adjust the audio according to a series of preset workflows configured for the requirement.

Our processing modules are designed to maintain the creative mix whilst providing loudness correction. If you’ve done a creative mix then you want to do as little processing as possible to make it comply. However, a specialist LRA module also exists for taking theatrical mixes and making them suitable for broadcast.

Dolby E encoding, track mapping, and removal/addition of audio channels are just a few of the other options that can be built into Engine’s processing workflow so that the resulting audio file is ready for transmission.

Customers using a processing Engine to automate normalisation and other requirements prior to playout, are significantly increasing the efficiency of their workflows. It’s a simple solution to a common problem. Moreover, with the ability to scale up processing in the future, playout facilities can readily address further increases in the number of audio files they need to handle.

You can get your trial of Engine here.


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