21 September 2006, Brentwood, TN USA
When it comes to spending and investing wisely, few people are as “on the money” as Dave Ramsey, host of the nationally-syndicated talk radio program The Dave Ramsey Show (www.daveramsey.com). Heard on over 250 US radio affiliates as well as XM and Sirius satellite radio, The Dave Ramsey Show recently upgraded its facilities to include a new Axia IP-Audio network based around the Axia Element modular broadcast console.
Blake Thompson, the show’s producer, describes what made Axia such a compelling choice for their studio upgrade: “We were very impressed with the Axia system’s ability to handle remotes and Dave’s FOX News simulcasts. The system has made the entire procedure very simple in both regards. With Axia, there’s no more ‘patching in the closet’ to make things work properly. Now, we can set up our radio show, our local TV show, and a remote or simulcast using the Show Profiles on the Element console. With essentially one push of a button, we’re ready to go.” (Show Profiles are an Element feature that lets users instantly load previously-saved console configurations, allowing instant “scene changes” at the touch of a button.)
The upgrade to Axia came after Ramsey inked a deal for wider distribution with Cumulus Media, the nation’s second-largest radio broadcast group. Thompson reports The Dave Ramsey Show is experiencing dramatic growth in its number of affiliates and listeners, and with growth comes the responsibility to have the most fail-safe and efficient operating procedures possible. “The show is heard by more than two million listeners each week on more than 250 radio stations throughout the United States,” says Thompson. “Our new Element console gives us the comfort and security to handle this growth — making my job less stressful.”
Ramsey frequently works from his lake house, so the Axia system’s ability to seamlessly handle remotes was an important consideration in lowering the number of “best of” re-runs when Ramsey was at the lake. An ISDN line at the house connected to a Telos Zephyr Xport sends Dave’s aacPlus™ remote audio to the Zephyr Xstream in the studio.
“All of the calls, production elements, and spots come out of the Brentwood studios and are mixed with Dave’s feed from the lake house,” says Thompson, “which are then fed back out to ABC via the Telos Zephyr. Our new Axia Element makes it easy for us to set up a ‘Lake House’ Show Profile — so when it’s time to do the remote, all we have to do is hit one button to set the entire board.”
In addition to being delighted with the system’s performance, Thompson is equally upbeat about the installation experience. “We set aside roughly a week for the upgrade and, looking back, it didn’t even take that long! During this time, we ran a few ‘Best Of’ shows while our studio engineer worked with Axia’s Kirk Harnack to get the system operational and, ever since, the setup has been working extremely well.”
The Axia product line includes a family of “audio nodes” to interface with microphone, analog line and AES/EBU devices, IP-Audio drivers to eliminate PC soundcards, and Element and SmartSurface control consoles.
Reflecting on the new Axia system and their experience, Thompson is eager to share his enthusiasm with prospective Axia users. “Our Element console was easy to learn and Dave loves the look of it. He’s happy that it makes things easier on his team in the control room. I would highly encourage those considering a studio upgrade to talk with the Axia team.”
Dave Ramsey is on the air from his newly Axia-equipped studios in Brentwood, TN; Axia Element console and display are seen in the foreground.
Axia, a Telos company, builds Ethernet-based professional IP-Audio products for broadcast, production, sound-reinforcement and commercial audio applications. Products include digital audio routers, on-air control surfaces, DSP mixers and processors and software for configuring, managing, and interfacing networked audio systems.