By DAVID HILL
Compass FM has been hauled into the modern era.
The North Canterbury community radio station’s main studio desk has had a complete overhaul of its computer systems and refurbishment, station manager Kerry Treymane says.
“Welcome to the 21st century, Compass FM,” he says.
“The capability of this studio has grown immensely. We can now do everything that a metropolitan station can do and possibly more.”
Compass FM was broadcast from the back-up production studio from Wednesday last week, while Kerry rediscovered his former painting trade before kitting out the main studio with new technology with help from local IT expert David Buckley.
“David gave up his time to help set it all up and (former manager) Mike (Le Petit) and I were here all weekend,” Kerry says.
“We finished at 4.15pm on Sunday and the first song from the new desk was Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop.”
The first problem happened 20 minutes later, Kerry admits.
Despite the small hiccup on Sunday afternoon, Kerry was back on air at 6am on Monday morning, driving his new studio desk.
The refurbishment has cost $21,000 so far. It was made possible thanks to the support of The Southern Trust, MainPower and McAlpine’s Mitre 10 Mega.
Announcers now have five computer screens, four keyboards and four mice to negotiate, but the technology allows them to do so much more, he says.
“Cosmetically, it’s not quite finished yet, but it will make it a lot easier for all the staff and there will be more room for everything. Everyone’s pretty excited.”
In time they will be able to operate the five computers with a single mouse and keyboard, while the phone system will soon be replaced to make it easier to record phone conversations on air.
The technology will make it easier to broadcast live from sports and community events, as well as improving the overall broadcast quality, Kerry says.
“When I first came here, within a week I worked out we had a bit of a problem with the old desk it used to feed out of.
“If you drove down the road the music would come out one speaker instead of the other, so this will just sound so much better.”
Kerry says plans are afoot for an open day to show off Compass FM’s new capabilities.