Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Burns Media Centre...

I figured now (almost a year after moving into the renovated Burns Media Centre, I would show it off, now that it is completely built, sans a few tweaks. As many of you know, I made an appearance on Warren Monks "Word On The Street" this evening on WAMD (970AM). I figured this would be an opportunity to show off one of the capabilities, but to allow me hands free in case I would of had to look up something. It was a marriage of conveniences since I was not able to make it up to Harford County this time. In any event, above is the set up.

I use three computers over all. The third one you do not see is a Toshiba laptop that I do most of my computing on for the moment. Eventually that role will be turned over to the desktop on the left (the black flat screen). You can see the top of the desktop in the lower left of the screen. The computer on the left will be handling a lot of the multimedia and everyday computing tasks, including writing blog entries for Maryland Politics Today in addition to Red Maryland and Salisbury News. This computer, although it has WindowsXP screen saver in the monitor, also runs SUSE Linux. I am currently working on installing a professional broadcasting digital audio program on it. The program runs on a Linux environment. So whenever I am about to record, I just reboot into Linux and I will have my sound panel ready to go.

The computer on the right had been handling a lot of multimedia production. This computer will eventually be converted into a machine that only does audio recording. The actual CPU can be seen in the lower right. You can see hints of a little black box on top of the computer, which is an external hard drive that practically stores everything, including the chyron-style graphics for MarylandPT.

You will also another little black box under the white monitor. That is called an AutoHybrid which is made by a company called JK Audio. This box allows me to connect to a phone line to make appearances or to conduct phone interviews. The AutoHybrid also allows me to send audio clips down the phone line. The mixer you can see on the left is configured so that when I am on the phone, people can hear me, but they won't hear themselves back.

The microphone is on the skinny black pole straight ahead (of course) and above the monitors are a VCR, cassette player and an audio compressor/limiter which really squeezes a lot of ambient noise (background hiss.) There is also a color printer/copier/scanner on that shelf as well (yup, HP product.) I should note that the VCR video source is connected to the recording computer on the right. I can pull in the video source through the computer thanks to the ATI All-In-Wonder Video Card. The audio from the VCR runs to the mixer independently of the computer.

Back to the main desk area, the to outermost black boxes are speakers that I use as studio monitors. Underneath the desk and out of the shot is the amp to power the speakers. I can shut the speakers off independently without shutting off the amp.

A couple of miscellaneous notes, next to the speaker on the right is a Police/EMS scanner (which I have had for eight years now) and yes, there are two phones at the Media Centre. The white phone to the far right is my regular land line (which I use for the auto hybrid) and the other phone (to the right of the keyboard on top) is an office line which is powered through a VOIP service. Also, out of the shot is a Laser Printer which I use for everyday printing.

So there you have it, a behind the scenes look at the Burns Media Centre. Thanks for letting me go off the beaten path in this entry, I just had to show the goods off.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Impressive.

Daniel said...

Could you list some of the equipment that are not usual pc components and addons?

Daniel said...

I'm particularly interested in some of the smaller items on the table near the keyboard.

I believe I recognize a mixer (?) but wonder what the other items are.

P. Kenneth Burns said...

I do not want to give too much away because I will be writing this up on my media site.

I did mention the one black box underneath the white monitor which is the JK Audio auto hybrid. The other black box is little bit bigger than the hybrid, that is a Microphone Pre-Amp. The microphone that I use, that a lot of broadcast facilities use operates on phantom power. A lot of stations buy voice processors that have a built in mic pre-amp.

I would mention my headphones which are not all that interesting, but there is also a stack of my business cards.

Daniel said...

Thanks, your setup isn't too much different than mine - but I was curious as to those boxes since I couldn't tell much more by the pic.

I would, however, be interested in the model of the mixer if you care to enlighten me.

Enough said.

P. Kenneth Burns said...

The Mixer is a Behringer Xynyx 1202. That one along with my mic, the audio-technica AT-2020, are two pieces of gear that will give the most bang for the buck if you are on a budget.

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me: kennyburns@marylandpolitics.us

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