Anyone who owned an FM radio station and was passionate about audio processing in the 90s or Naughties will have heard of the Ariane – the original and award winning – windowing automatic gain control (AGC) utility processor that became popular in New York City and beyond.
The original analogue version of this amazing audio processor was designed by David Reaves, a respected audio processing guru and veteran chief engineer in the major US markets. Together with Jim Huste, their company TransLanTech built, marketed and sold their Ariane processor to some of the world’s leading radio stations.
In 2005, David and Jim were introduced to BW Broadcast’s digital ninja CEO Scott Incz through their common friends, Pyers Easton and Marcus Bekker of SBS, who at the time were assisting TransLanTech with the manufacturing the original analogue version of the Ariane. David wanted to revamp his Ariane concept, and to add some new features that were only possible by employing digital signal processing techniques. BW Broadcast’s experience and expertise in DSP audio processing and success with their DSPX processing platform resulted in a corroboration that brought the Ariane sequel processor to market in less than 12 weeks from their initial meeting. The rest they say is history.
Fast Forward To 2013
BW Broadcast not only continues to manufacture the Sequel, but has taken over the rights to the Ariane products and brand. The agreement between BW Broadcast and TransLanTech ensures the continued manufacturing and support of this iconic brand.
Scott’s glad to report -
“We are pleased to have sole ownership of the respected and iconic brand. We are looking forward to marketing the amazing Ariane sequel to a larger audience, and at a new lower price point, that we are sure will prove popular with radio stations around the world.”
David Reaves had the following to say -
“In the original analog product that became known as “Ariane” (named after my wife, violinist Ariane Reaves), I pulled together a combination of a number of concepts that at the time had already been well-known in the realm of processing for broadcast. These included such ideas as RMS detection, subtractive crossovers, and release gating. Most important, however, was using ‘hysteresis gain control,” an idea patented by the late Emil Torick at CBS Labs who had called it “gain platforming with gated gain stabilization” for their 1960′s-era ‘Audimax’ products (and which Glen Clark had adapted with his 1980′s era ‘Texar Audio Prism’ after the CBS patents had expired).
In 1990, when I was the Chief Engineer at Z100 radio in New York, I was introduced to a ten-band monster AGC processor (analog, of course) called “the Tailor”. It used basic dbx RMS processing control in conjunction with an octave equalizer. After using it as a pre-processor on the air for a while, I concluded that it was a bit TOO much control. I decided to add some sophistication that would trade off a bit of this brute power in exchange for a more finessed, reduced-audibility means of control. I interrupted the control circuits for each band and inserted my own version of the Audimax/Texar hysteresis release system, modeling it as close as I could get it to the Audimax methods.
At Z100 I also played with processing in a stereo matrix, and toyed with enhancing low-frequencies with resonant high-pass filtering and using low-frequency mono-summing to reduce multipath-induced reception distortion. These concepts, too, later became part of the original Ariane.
Jump ahead about 15 years…the analog Ariane was a success in the sense that its control methods had become much-admired within the Broadcast industry and it had found customers in radio and TV stations in dozens of cities around the world. But being an analog product in a now-digital world, it was at a serious disadvantage, both in function and marketing opportunities.
In what has to be one of the fastest product-development cycles ever, Scott took my Ariane concept description, embellished it to include programming and remote control features I had only dreamed of, and had a functional, all-digital demo product built in about three months. The Ariane Sequel was born!”
The Ariane sequel is available now from BW Broadcast dealers around the world.