Kigali’s ‘Radio O’ Uses Lawo Software to Build Radio Station
In Rwanda, a country known for its forward-thinking approach to technological innovation and industrial development, a new radio station is emerging on the region’s media landscape: Kigali-based Radio O, the on-air institution of the Authentic Church denomination. With their new Lawo RƎLAY solution, Radio O is implementing a cutting-edge technical setup to turn their facilities into a fully equipped radio broadcast center with an innovative distributed approach. Thanks to this Lawo setup, the Authentic Church is ready for the modern production of a whole variety of programs for their community.
Operating out of an impressive 5,000-person capacity church building, the Authentic Church aims to broadcast the message of its services to listeners across the region through additional programs. After evaluating all options, the leadership team chose Lawo software and standard PC hardware to build their radio station, working with local system integrator, Mediacity Ads Ltd., a Lawo solutions distributor in Rwanda.
“We are excited to be working with Lawo technologies to offer our on-air talents a more flexible and scalable solution that allows them to curate more content, without having to worry about technical inefficiencies”, says Rutabara Jean de Dieu, Director of Radio O and TV O. “We noticed the Lawo trend in Kigali among the big players and immediately contacted Mediacity to onboard us. This decision was taken to follow our overall strategy for modernizing our broadcast and production workflows and migrating to a purely IP based solution to be able to do more with less technical clutter.”
Without a central equipment room, this pioneering project—the first of its kind in Africa—follows a novel distributed approach, explain Mediacity’s Jesse Kiyingi Maxella, Director, and Fred Martin Kiwalabye, IT Media Systems Specialist. “Different buildings will host standard PC technology and conventional IT infrastructure to route signals from an analog mixing console used at the church’s front-of-house via Lawo’s virtual patch bay to Lawo’s RƎLAY VRX mixing software. This virtual patch bay provides audio outputs with different sound processing options — all routed via a simple Ethernet cable.”
RƎLAY is a complete Virtual Radio Mixer with built-in professional tools for voice processing, mix-minus, and more. It runs on standard PCs or laptops, eliminating the need for racks of expensive hardware. The intuitive, multi-touch screen interface makes RƎLAY easy to use with assist systems like automix and autogain. Operators can build an entire broadcast studio on a single touchscreen PC using RƎLAY software alongside playout systems, software codecs, streaming encoders, and other studio applications. It is even possible to control the station remotely.
Mediacity’s Kiwalabye details: “With the RƎLAY Virtual Sound Card and Virtual Patch Bay, we can offer our customers a solution that can be quickly deployed to address new opportunities in digital and outdoor broadcast content while reducing the overall infrastructure cost.”
The Zion Media Project Administrator, Espoir Furaha, is happy about the system integrator’s project monitoring: “We are excited to work with Mediacity, an industry leader for broadcast, production and workflow integration.” Evans Mwendwa, aka DJ Spin, Head of Programming for Radio O and TV O, adds: “The new system has made work very easy compared to the analog setups we had before. The new workflows we established now elevate the quality of our programs. Working with Lawo is the best decision we have ever made.”