104.1 Power FM is king in Kigali with Lawo’s virtualization

Kigali Yacu – Our Kigali! The Centre of Urban Excellence in Africa” is the motto of Rwanda’s capital city. Kigali is a beautiful place situated within rolling hills and valleys, near the nation’s geographic center. Kigali is also modern and vibrant — the country’s economic, cultural, and transport hub. It is no wonder that Kigali’s 104.1 Power FM has chosen to upgrade to Lawo virtual radio solutions that mirror the beauty and action of the city they serve.

104.1 Power FM, a brand-new radio station taking over the streets with a wide range of engaging music, is amongst the first radio stations in Rwanda to adopt IP broadcast infrastructure and virtualize its radio studios using Lawo RƎLAY virtual radio software. This standards-based AES67 IP infrastructure not only gives operators fast, efficient, and flexible workflows, it requires little traditional hardware. Using only a few components and a small UPS, it also saves space and power by eliminating the need for a technical room.

In this new technological environment, a big touchscreen for the DJ is the heart of all action, taking the place of traditional broadcast mixers. Using only a standard PC, Lawo RƎLAY VRX virtual radio mixer software, coupled with VSC virtual sound card drivers, provide a complete radio broadcast studio solution.

Best of all, this new Lawo RƎLAY installation enables remote-controlled radio production and broadcasts originating off-site. By leveraging the cost-efficiency of off-the-shelf COTS PCs, Ethernet switches and CAT-5 cabling, the new station is independent of specialized hardware — all the components can all be acquired locally. This setup even makes it possible to remotely-control the complete Power FM radio station using only a smartphone.

Ken Kayima, CEO of 104.1 Power FM, is enthusiastic about his station’s new technology: “Creating a radio station was never this easy before! And RƎLAY controls are so simple that presenters can focus solely on their programs and listeners. Expansion for inputs or streaming is just plug and play; we can connect smartphones as hybrids and integrate any radio playout system.”

Ralf Schimmel, Lawo’s Senior Sales Director Africa, Italy & Balkans, notes “The creativity that Lawo customers display in using our products to solve problems never fails to delight me! Ken and his team instantly grasped the possibilities that RƎLAY offers, and the benefits of an IP-based virtual radio infrastructure. With these they developed a custom workflow concept that makes Power FM really stand out among Kigali’s radio stations.”

Power FM’s Kayama adds: “Lawo’s virtual options are compelling. Virtualization is where the world is heading, and as broadcasters, we can’t be left behind. Radio operations should be so simple that presenters can concentrate solely on delivering a seamless experience to the listening audience.”

Lawo’s distributor and Technical Specialist in Rwanda, Fred Martin Kiwalabye, says “We are proud to partner with Ralf Schimmel and the Lawo team on this important project. Many stations in Rwanda are recognizing the compelling economic reasons for using these new Lawo technologies to move from cable-centered infrastructures to neat IP solutions. It’s Power FM in the streets of Kigali and IP on their website for the world!”

Radio broadcasters worldwide have discovered the benefits of AES67 streaming, routing, and mixing using Lawo RƎLAY software in production, news, and remote environments. RƎLAY runs on standard Windows PC’s.

The RƎLAY virtual radio software family includes:

  • RƎLAY VRX8, a touchscreen-enabled Virtual Radio Mixer for on-air use, with 8 faders, 24 inputs, advanced Lawo AutoMix and Autogain, and audio processing capabilities via VST plugin hosting.

  • RƎLAY VRX4, a 4-fader virtual mixer for news, editing and personal applications.

  • RƎLAY VPB, a Virtual Patch Bay application that can mix and route traditional audio sources, audio from PC apps, RAVENNA / AES67 streams and logic via Ember+.

  • RƎLAY AoIP Stream Monitor, the world’s first inspection and monitoring tool for AES67 networks. Configurable audio presence monitoring, loudness metering, signal quality analysis and SDP inspection are provided for up to 16 AES67 streams.

  • RƎLAY VSC Virtual Sound Card, an 8×8 RAVENNA / AES67 sound card replacement for Windows PCs.

About Lawo

Lawo designs and manufactures pioneering network, video, audio, control and monitoring technology for TV and radio broadcast, performing arts, houses of worship, stadiums and corporate applications. Products include IP-based media infrastructure solutions, control and monitoring systems, digital audio mixing consoles and video processing tools. Products are developed in Germany and manufactured according to highest quality standards at the company’s headquarters in the Rhine valley town of Rastatt, Germany. For additional information, please visit www.lawo.com.