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Application of Automatic Audio Measurement Systems at Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Cologne, Germany

Today's broadcasting studios often use very powerful and complex equipment, demanding a high level of maintenance. Conventional quality checks and error diagnostics will, in the future, take up more and more time. In order to attain a high studio availability, computer-aided automatic measurement systems have been developed to produce high quality measurements very quickly, thus supporting the inspection, maintenance routines, and repair work. But there are many more advantages compared to former manual testing methods besides short-running test routine: One important one is the better survey of complex audio systems. Routing and controlling of the audio equipment will be done by automation; it also compares all audio test data with acceptance test limits and reports the results (for example only error messages). The efficiency of these test devices is mostly a matter of elaborated programming; a total diagnosis of audio defects would be the maximum attainable result. The paper explains by example the automatic measurement system which is installed in the mobile outdoor broadcasting van U2 of WDR. All audio components of the digitally-controlled console with analog audio signal processing can be measured automatically.

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