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Electro-Voice Sound for Clear Channel Minneapolis Live Studio

Whether functioning as the “Cities 97 Studio C”, the “K102 Roadhouse”, the “KDWB Sky Room”, or the “KFAN Press Box”, this is an EV installation that raises the bar for radio “live rooms” everywhere.

An all-EV-equipped live performance theater has added a dynamic new dimension to programming at Clear Channel‘s Twin Cities-based radio stations. Though the “Studio C” is housed on the fourth floor of a corporate office building, it features a serious sound system, stylish decor, and acoustic treatments that wouldn‘t be out of place in a small high-end club.

Brian Thomas (Performance Recording Engineer) and Rob Goldberg (Chief Engineer) worked with Michael Doucot of Electro-Voice (based in nearby Burnsville, MN) on an EV spec that ups the ante for radio station sound studios everywhere: QRx153/75 mains are mounted over QRx218 subs, along with four SxA250 stage monitors, all powered by CP-series amplifiers. EV RE410, N/D767a, and Raven microphones handle the input end of the signal chain. It all adds up to provide a comfortable space for hassle-free, high quality live performance and recording.

A slew of ‘A‘-list artists have performed and interviewed in the studio since its completion in the summer of 2007, including P-Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Matchbox 20, Toby Keith, Trisha Yearwood, KT Tunstall, Plain White T‘s, Jessica Simpson, Maroon 5, Colbie Caillat, and Brad Paisley. Each of the six stations broadcasting out of the building take advantage of this premium-quality production space; for Cities 97 (AAA format) there are over 100 interviews and performances annually in “Studio C”; for K102 (Country) the room becomes re-branded “The Roadhouse”; for KFAN (sports) it becomes “The Press Box”; for KDWB it becomes the “Sky Room”.

Brian Thomas has over 25 years of experience as an audio professional, including some crew time with leading Twin Cities-based SR company Southern Thunder, where he gained a hands-on feel for Electro-Voice equipment. These days, Thomas‘s live sound experience melds seamlessly with his expertise in the radio realm, and every day brings something different. “This is a dream job for someone who loves live sound, recording, and broadcasting in equal measure,” Thomas says. “The new and improved Studio C has been up and running less than a year, yet it has already proven a great investment and a real benefit to all the stations broadcasting out of this location. We have a very broad range of artists and special guests coming through, and everyone sounds their best through the EV system.

“Our listeners love hearing and participating in the live performances,” Thomas adds, “and the intimate setting and hi-fi audio quality really translate well across the airwaves. Rather than just hearing a track from a CD, they hear a real live performance, which goes back to the roots of radio–something unique and exciting. And obviously it‘s a great promotional resource for visiting artists–a real added value that steers them towards the Twin Cities when planning their promo tours.

“Our annual Cities 97 Sampler CD sells out in just a couple of hours, and now it‘s sounding better than ever–almost everything on it is recorded here. A better-sounding room invariably yields a better-sounding performance from the artist and a better response from the audience–this room can accommodate an audience of around 100–the applause you hear on-air is for the sound quality as well as for the show! Studio C has quickly become an important resource for all our stations; the EV equipment helped make it happen.”

“From day one we knew we wanted high-end equipment for the best possible live performance and recording experience,” adds Rob Goldberg. “EV was the number one brand of choice for a number of reasons: their broadcast industry-standard RE20 microphones are installed at over 1200 of our stations, and all the engineers here were familiar with EV sound from clubs and live venues. It‘s professional grade gear that gives the assurance of excellent sound quality to our guests.

“Rather than an improvised studio on the fourth floor of an office building, we wanted the studio to be a welcoming space with an intimate vibe and warm sound quality, suitable for everything from a rap performance to a political discussion. EV helped us achieve that goal with a system that, while equipped with tons of headroom and sonic power, lends a warm, transparent sound to all performances, whatever the genre. Listeners feel like they‘re in the same room with the artist. In fact, the sound quality is so good that Trisha Yearwood actually used a couple of tracks recorded here for a CD release, which reaffirmed that we did it right.”

Equipment List (selected):

2x EV QRx153/75 (mains)
2x EV QRx218S (subs)
4x EV SxA250 (monitors)
1x EV CP4000S
2x EV CP3000S
EV RE410, N/D767a, and Raven microphones
Midas XL42 mic preamp
4x Klark Teknik DN100 direct boxes
1x Klark Teknik DN9848 loudspeaker processor
Klark Teknik Square One EQ

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Photos: www.electrovoice.com

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