Already at the forefront of enabling remote broadcast operations, ENCO‘s browser-based WebDAD radio automation control solution is proving ideal for broadcasters who have been forced to transition to remote production models during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baker Broadcasting, based in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is one such broadcaster to embrace WebDAD’s powerful capabilities. Its adoption of WebDAD has allowed flagship station KISR(FM) and KREU(FM) – the only Spanish-language station in Northwest Arkansas – to continue on-air operations without interruption or limits.
WebDAD represents ENCO’s “studio in a cloud” vision, and brings together everything required to support professional remote production for live radio. Operators can control the flow of their programming from home while in quarantine – as well as on the road – and connect directly to ENCO’s DAD automation system in the official broadcast studio via WebDAD’s virtualized platform. As one of the original proponents of DAD, Baker Broadcasting’s transition to WebDAD was a natural extension for the on-air and production staff.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to find new ways to manage our workload,” said Ayrton McPhail, Chief Engineer, Baker Broadcasting. “The benefit of WebDAD is its quick learning curve for both engineers and DJs, especially those familiar with the studio DAD system. Our staff can remotely connect to their workstation and coordinate automation from home. The ability to directly upload audio files into rotation also simplifies our programming. This is an optimal solution to ensure broadcasts continue despite the difficulties of being quarantined.”
McPhail was one of a few employees permitted onsite for nearly two months, compared to the staff of 20 that is normally present. That gave McPhail a direct view into how WebDAD interoperated with the studio DAD system. “Everything comes together seamlessly,” he said. “The core functions and features of DAD are all present, with the greatest difference being a fresh and updated look for operators using the system.”
McPhail anticipates some further enhancements to their remote production operations as ENCO adds features to WebDAD. He is quick to point out that WebDAD’s diverse feature set is robust and powerful, with direct access to entire libraries, direct uploads of audio files (instead of third-party applications), the ability to remotely voice track, and the option to record audio in-app. These features allow for both a flexible and spontaneous workflow that can aid any radio station operating with remote contributors.
All of these capabilities give WebDAD an edge on competing applications, in McPhail’s view. “Thanks to its full automation accessibilities, we can keep performing without a hiccup,” he said. “There is virtually no difference between working from home and from the station for Baker employees, except for the ability to broadcast in your pajamas.”
That doesn’t mean that WebDAD will be put away as the pandemic eventually subsides. While the WebDAD platform’s value is very timely, McPhail anticipates continued use even as Baker Broadcasting transitions back into more traditional business operations. “Sick days are a thing of the past,” he jokes. “There is little excuse for not doing your work with WebDAD’s remote access. Plus, it’s a fun system to use.”