Podcasting Studio Installation

Gimlet Media

Full Campus Podcasting Studio Integration

 

About Gimlet & Their Project

Gimlet is the award-winning narrative podcasting company that aims to create a world more full of human connection and understanding. They create and distribute audio journalism and audio entertainment for audiences who crave something special. Gimlet was founded in 2014 and is based in Brooklyn, New York.  Gimlet recently moved to a new 27,000 square foot space in Brooklyn for their new headquarters. They needed a space that was more than just desks and chairs, they needed podcasting studio spaces, and a lot of them.

As part of their $30 million office project, they had to establish a system for scheduling, recording, storing, editing, maintenance, and everything in between.  For this facility-wide Podcasting Studio Installation project, SPL was brought on to consult on space utilization, systems workflow, and to install the final design.

The Challenge

The key challenges of this project were three fold. Firstly, integrating the entire facility into one controllable system. Secondly, was creating the most user-friendly workflow possible. This was a tall order considering the scale of this project. With 35 rooms to fully equip and tether together, there was a huge amount of designing and strategizing that needed to take place. Thirdly, we had to create the new IT infrastructure for Gimlet’s new workflow.

With such a large variation of spaces and technical requirements, Gimlet needed a robust way to integrate its system together. They needed to find a way to allow all of these rooms to “speak” to one another in order to maximize the utility of each space. With such a large production entity such as Gimlet, you need to be able to cross utilize production space for anything that could arise. The ultimate goal was to streamline every square foot of the new space to produce content efficiently.

Of equal importance was to keep all of the systems as user friendly as possible. The producer-operated nature of content creation today means user interfaces need to be easier than ever to use. This meant that a custom solution needed to be created specifically for this space and project. It needed to be flexible enough for professionals and novices alike to operate. The simplicity of this system was paramount as it cuts down on training time dramatically. This means less time teaching creators or producers how to engineer and more time having them create content. The easier we could make it to record, the easier they could tell stories.

The third, and most technically challenging aspect, was the IT infrastructure. There were over 100 different workstations that all needed AoIP (audio over-IP) and everything needed to be tailored specifically for professional grade audio recording. They also do multitrack editing over Wi-Fi with the audio streaming from a centralized storage server. Needless to say, this is a tremendously complicated portion of this project.

Our Solution

We created many different solutions to complete this project but our chief innovation was our software and hardware adaptation of the QSC Q-SYS Core 5200 unit. You can call up audio from any room to any other room, from a studio to a conference room. Even the Shure ceiling-array microphones in the conference room can be routed to a studio if they want the meeting recorded. With a QSC control panel built into every room and the integration we provided, every room had the same functionality and content from any room can be pulled up in any other room for review or editing.

The QSC Q-SYS Core 5200 (and the redundant backup we installed in case of failure) along with our adaptations of its technology, allowed us to tackle all of the challenges laid out before us. It allowed us to interconnect all of the spaces while also keeping a simple uniform interface for users of any experience level to utilize to the fullest.

In such a large podcasting studio installation, the best number of cables is the least number of cables. Fortunately, there is an added bonus of this QSC system. Besides its integration with Dante technology, a vast majority of the cable runs are simply ethernet cable. This means no giant cable looms running through your building. This makes trouble shooting and any studio additions a breeze. 

The Results

This was so much more than some recording booths and microphones. This multifaceted large-scale podcasting studio laid the foundation for our future solutions for clients. The solutions we provided for this amazing client have provided unparalleled multi-use versatility for their space. With the scalability of our installation they are free to adapt however they see fit.

Beyond the scalability, there is also the ease-of-use. Our solutions cut down massively on training time for Gimlet staff. This ability for them to bring in new staff quickly and efficiently allows them to ultimately tell more stories. The goal for us was to allow Gimlet to efficiently tell their stories without being bogged down in the technical issues of producing content. They are now able to edit content over Wi-fi and send it between any room of their choosing for review and notes sessions. This streamlined workflow has allowed Gimlet to bring on even more content creators and grow their business.

Between the uniform digital control surfaces, QSC Q-SYS integration, streamlined spacial design, and all of our equipment choices, Gimlet now has arguably one of the most media production-ready offices in the world. From staff meetings, media filled conference rooms, editing workflows, to company parties, this multiple podcasting studio and office installation turned out better than they ever thought it could.

You can see our writeup in Sound & Communications about this project here. 

 

Our Trusted Partners

Client Testimonial

“This is a realization of what Gimlet has always strived to achieve. The mission is to be the best in class in podcasting.  When we outgrew our previous facility, I knew we had to get the best people we could to design our new home.

This allows us to focus on telling great stories, while audio engineers focus on the creative sound design and mixing.  When you are able to work in a space like this, it’s hard not to get excited about what you are creating.”

Austin Thompson

Technical Director

Gimlet Media

Out With The Old – In with the Innovative.

Gimlet saw the innovation that SPL brought to the table. Despite our relatively small size at the time, they engaged with us because they saw we were doing something different.

We started this project as a small installation company with a great idea. We planned out a new way to seamlessly integrate the podcasting studio and grow productivity. Our adaptation of QSC Q-SYS technology set us apart from other bidders on this project and our small size allowed us to provide a high-touch experience for Gimlet. We walked through every step with them to make sure their space was as useful and productive as possible. 

Phase Out The Faders

We worked closely with Gimlet’s team to help develop the right systems. An important part of this was convincing them that digital control surfaces were the way forward. Many in the production world still love physical faders they can slide up and down. The issue with this is that you are naturally limited by the number of pots available on that mixing panel. With the digital control consoles we installed they are infinitely customizable. This infrastructure paradigm shift added greatly to the overall flexibility and functionality of the installation. 

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A Common Space at Gimlet

We installed AV not only in the studio spaces but the cafe and common spaces as well. All integrated and controllable from the uniform digital control surfaces. 

Feet of Cable

Rooms

Square Feet

INTEGRATED DESIGN STRATEGY

Planning To Scale

Planning a facility is one thing, but planning a facility that can scale and adapt over time is another. 

With our vast AV design experience and installation expertise, we provided a perfect scalable fusion between office and podcasting studio. Contact us today for an AV consultation on your next construction project.

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 INTEGRATED DESIGN STRATEGY

R&D Done Right

Prior to installing the full facility, we built a tester studio in Gimlet’s old space. This allowed us to work hand in hand with them through note sessions to make the exact solution they needed. This allowed Gimlet to feel completely confident in our design strategy and implementation before going ahead with the full scale build.  Contact us today for an AV consultation on your next construction project.

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Equipment

Server Room – Gear
1 AMX NMX-ACC-N9206 2RU rackmount cage
5 AMX NMX-ENC-N2312-C 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP card encoders
1 Attero Tech unD4I-L 4-input Dante interface
2 BrightSign HD223 standard I/O players
1 Planar Helium PCT2235 22″ touchscreen monitor
4 QSC CDN64 Dante audio bridge cards
2 QSC Core 510i Q-SYS integrated core processors
2 QSC Core 5200 next-generation enterprise cores
6 QSC CXD8.4Qn networked amps

See Full List

Server Room – Racks

2 Chief NAPDV2420PC 20A PDUs
1 Furman ASD-120 2.0 rackmount power-distribution system
4 Middle Atlantic BGR-4132LRD multi-bay racks
2 Tripp Lite PDUMV30NETLX 2.9kW switched PDUs
2 Tripp Lite SU3000RTXLCD3N 2.7kW double-conversion UPSes

Electrical – Lighting Control

1 ETC DRd-12-24-277 24-channel install dimming rack w/Paradigm
14 ETC ELTS21D2776 6-channel transfer switches
4 ETC PI1004-5 Paradigm 4-button control stations
7 ETC P-OCC Paradigm occupancy vacancy sensors

Team Rooms (7 Rooms)

7 Attero Tech unA6IO-BT AES67 audio interfaces w/Bluetooth
14 QSC AD-S6T-WH surface-mount speakers
7 QSC WCP-1 rotary potentiometer controls

Edit Lounge (4 Rooms)

4 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoders
4 Attero Tech unA6IO AES67 audio interfaces
4 Chief FCAV1U Fusion pull-out accessories
4 Chief MTM1U medium Fusion micro-adjustable tilt wall mounts
4 LG 49LV340C 49″ Commercial HDTVs
4 Logitech C930e 1080p HD webcams
8 QSC AD-S6T-WH surface-mount speakers
4 QSC I/O-USB audio/video bridges
4 QSC TSC-80tw-G2-BK 8″ tabletop system controllers
4 Shure MXA310B table array mics w/Shure DSP utilities (black)

Interview Room (1 Room)

1 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoder
1 Chief FCAV1U Fusion pull-out accessory
1 Chief MTM1U medium Fusion micro-adjustable tilt wall mount
1 LG 49LV340C 49″ Commercial HDTV
1 QSC TSC-47w-G2-BK wall-mount system controller

Huddle Rooms (3 Rooms)

3 Attero Tech unA6IO AES67 audio interfaces
2 Chief FCAV1U Fusion pull-out accessories
2 Chief MTM1U medium Fusion micro-adjustable tilt wall mounts
1 LG 43LV340C 43″ Commercial HDTV
1 LG 49LV340C 49″ Commercial HDTV
2 QSC AD-C6T-WH 6.5″ ceiling-mount speakers
4 QSC AD-P4T-WH 4.5″ pendant-mount speakers
3 QSC TSC-80tw-G2-BK 8″ tabletop system controllers
3 Shure MXA310B table array mics w/Shure DSP utilities (black)

Conference Rooms (3 Rooms)

3 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoders
1 AMX NMX-ENC-N2312 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone encoder
1 Attero Tech unA6IO AES67 audio interface
2 Attero Tech unAIO2x2+ AES67 networked audio interfaces – 2×2 mic/line I/O
3 Chief FCAV1U Fusion pull-out accessories
3 Chief MTM1U medium Fusion micro-adjustable tilt wall mounts
3 LG 65LX341C 65″ Commercial HDTVs
12 QSC AD-C6T-WH 6.5″ ceiling-mount speakers
3 QSC I/O-USB audio/video bridges
3 QSC PTZ 12×72 conference cameras
3 QSC TSC-80tw-G2-BK 8″ tabletop system controllers
3 Shure MXA910W 24″ ceiling array mics w/Shure DSP utilities

Large Conference Room

2 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoders
1 AMX NMX-ENC-N2312 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone encoder
1 Attero Tech unAIO2x2+ AES67 networked audio interface – 2×2 mic/line I/O
2 Chief LVS1U ConnexSys videowall landscape mounting systems w/rails
1 Kramer VIA GO wireless presentation solution
2 NEC E805 80″ LED backlit commercial displays
8 QSC AD-C6T-WH 6.5″ ceiling-mount speakers
1 QSC I/O-USB audio/video bridge
1 QSC PTZ 12×72 conference camera
1 QSC TSC-116tw-G2-BK 11.5″ tabletop system controller
1 Shure MXA910W 24″ ceiling array mic w/Shure DSP utilities

The Garage

2 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoders
1 AMX NMX-ENC-N2312 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone encoder
1 Attero Tech unA6IO AES67 audio interface
1 Attero Tech unXP2O single-gang, 2-out, analog expansion wallplate
2 Chief LVS1U ConnexSys videowall landscape mounting systems w/rails
1 Kramer VIA GO wireless presentation solution
2 NEC E805 80″ commercial displays
4 QSC AD-S8T-WH surface-mount speakers
1 QSC I/O-USB audio/video bridge
1 QSC PTZ 12×72 conference camera
1 QSC TSC-80w-G2-BK 8″ wall-mount system controller
1 Shure MXA910W 24″ ceiling array mic w/Shure DSP utilities

Café

2 AMX NMX-DEC-N2322 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP standalone decoders
2 AMX NMX-ENC-N2312-C 4K ultra-HD video-over-IP card encoders
1 Attero Tech unA6IO AES67 audio interface
1 Attero Tech unXP2O single-gang, 2-out, analog expansion wallplate
1 Chief TS318TU swivel TV mounting system
1 Kramer VIA GO wireless presentation solution
1 LG 49LV340C 49″ Commercial HDTV
4 QSC AD-S10T-WH surface-mount speakers
2 QSC AD-S8T-WH surface-mount speakers
2 QSC AD-P6T-WH 6.5″ pendant-mount speakers
1 QSC I/O-USB audio/video bridge
1 QSC PTZ 12×72 conference camera
1 Shure ULXD4D dual-channel digital wireless receiver
2 Shure ULXD2/K8B handheld transmitters w/KSM8 mic capsules

Open Office Plan

39 QSC AD-P4T-WH 4.5″ pendant-mount speakers
4 Shure MX202WP/N off-white mini-condenser mics
4 Shure R183W replacement omnidirectional cartridges

Studio Gear – Server Room

2 Studio Technologies Model 5401 Dante master clocks

Studio Gear – Studio/Control Room

1 Bryston 2B LP PRO dual-channel amp
4 Focusrite Pro RedNet MP8R 8-channel mic pres and A/Ds
1 Grace Design m905 reference monitor controller
1 Lynx Aurora (n) 16-DNT 16-channel, 24-bit/192KHZ A/D D/A converter
2 Neumann KH 310 8.25″ 3-way powered studio monitors
1 Neumann KH 805 10″ powered studio sub
1 Radial Engineering Workhorse Powerhouse 500 Series power-rack
2 Sennheiser e901 boundary condenser mics
1 Sound Anchors ADJ2-44 adjustable 44″ monitor stand
1 SurgeX SU-1000Li UPS + protection
2 Tripp Lite RS-1215-RA 1RU rackmount power strips, 120V, 15A
1 Xilica XP-4080 processor

Studio Gear – Studios 1-12

13 Apple iMac 4K w/Protools 12 and DVS
13 Apple iPad Pro 10.5″
13 Bosstab Fusion freestanding iPad kiosk stands
5 Focusrite Pro RedNet AM2 compact, PoE-supplied stereo analog output devices
11 Focusrite Pro RedNet MP8R 8-channel mic pres and A/Ds
14 Genelec 8010A 3″ powered studio monitors
10 Neumann KH 80 DSP 4″ powered studio monitors
12 QSC I/O-8 Flex Q-SYS channel expanders
13 Radial Engineering JPC computer direct boxes
10 RDL RU-ADA8D audio distribution amps
16 Sescom iPhone-Mic-1 TRRS-to-XLR mic and 3.5mm monitoring jack cables
41 Sony MDR7506 professional large-diaphragm headphones
10 SurgeX SU-1000Li UPSes + protection
10 Tripp Lite RS-1215-RA 1RU rackmount power strips, 120V, 15A
41 Whirlwind HAUC under-counter, active, stereo headphone control boxes
19 YellowTec YT3245 m!ka MMS pole desktop mounting kits
32 YellowTec YT3601 m!ka mic arms
41 YellowTec YT3613 m!ka MMS pole adapters
19 YellowTec YT3640 MMS system poles
9 YellowTec YT3701 m!ka mic arm XLs

 

Our Feature In Prominent Installations Magazine Sound & Communications

Sound & Communications reaches the professionals who design, specify, integrate and manage audio and AV systems for commercial venues. Known as the applications source, Sound & Communications specializes in in-depth analysis of major installations in every issue.

We were fortunate enough to have our project with Gimlet featured in S&C. It covers this project in great detail and gives a different perspective. We definitely recommend giving it a read.

 From Our President:

“We are so grateful to everyone that contributed on this project and particularly grateful to Gimlet for providing this opportunity. We are proud of the final product and the resulting media that our podcasting studio technology is supporting. Gimlet was, and continues to be, a tremendous client to work with.” 

Matt Gajowniczek – President, SPL 

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