SBES – Equipment and Eugene

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Dairy entry: It has become something of an annual event for most radio folk. Some people have been going for 30 years and for some it was their first experience.

Standing outside the Pavilion waiting for the shuttle bus to take us back to the car park. It signifies another great year walking around the SBES, meeting up with old colleagues, having a couple of diet cokes in the bar, and, oh yes, having a good look around all the new and current technology on offer from UK and worldwide companies.

SBES used to be just for sound engineers but these days it seems the place to be for anyone who works on the output side of radio, including producers and presenters. Everyone from hospital radio volunteers wanting to get their hands on new gear, to group directors working out who to use to install new studios for their latest licence win.

Day one opened at 10am and new arrivals were still turning up as late as 4pm. The event is open till 6pm on both days. The good thing is wandering around seeing many familiar faces. The awkward part is wondering whether to interrupt someone you know (but not that well) when they are in the middle of a conversation with someone else, or just walk by pretending not to see them. There is always next year! If you’re lucky, you’ll see them again on your 8th trip around the stands.

It always has been a networking thing for me. Ever since I pretended I was old enough to gain entry (not sure if the age limit is still in place, but it was back in the day when I used to miss school for the event!). A chance to catch up or meet new people. But this year I took time out to look at the equipment too. A nice man from RCS demonstrated the latest Master Control software – version 15.2 I think he said. It looks a lot nicer than version 15.1! I learnt how to remote voice-track using Myriad, pressed a few buttons on the latest Clyde desk, and tried to work out exactly what Cancode is.

Small presentations and lectures came in the form of The Broadcast Bionics FutureZone. Some very useful information gained from various speakers. When Mo Dutta was talking about sending packets over IP I had to reach into my conference bag, pull out my pen and write some notes. It’s the future. Not the branded pen, but using VOIP for outside broadcasts. Just image, anywhere with wifi or a broadband connection is all we will need for an OB. So in theory when complete towns are covered by Cloud or such-like, an OB should be possible from just about anywhere!

Other highlights were the simple things in life. Picking up a copy of The Radio Magazine (feeling special that you have a copy a whole day before the rest of the industry!) and wondering which group the guy sleeping in SUBWAY was from. Maybe he’d just been told his show is being replaced by network programming from next week and he’d had enough.

And back to the title of this article – Equipment and Eugene. Indeed, the TV throwing big brother contestant made it once again this year. Such a nice guy, and someone we can all relate too (go on, be honest, you loved it when he was talking about radio on in the big brother house). The shocking thing is that even though he won all that money, he still drives around in an S-reg Sabaru classic. Even more shocking is the fact it has plastered all over it!

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