from Craig Rogers, Production Director, WHO/KLYF, Des Moines, IA
A significant amount of studio time is eaten up by the simple task of making dubs, whether to cart for air, cassette for the client, or reel for another station. We've got a "dub station" that allows all those dubs to be made without tying up a "real" production room.
Here's how ours is outfitted: two reel decks, two consumer grade dual cassette decks for cassette dupes, a VCR (we aircheck on VHS six hours on a tape. Of course, it can also be used for dubbing off drop-ins from movies and TV shows), two cart decks, CD player, router and a plain Jane console. Monitors are Radio Shack Minimus-7s.
From here we can make cart dubs of agency spots, cassette dubs for clients, reel copies for other stations, audition CDs, etc., etc., just about anything that doesn't require voice work. No need to tie up a studio needed for voice work. It's also handy for salespeople when they need to listen to a spot. It's simple enough for them to run without tying up a production person (most of the time).
We've even used it for origination of sports play-by-play broadcasts and as an on-air console (during network programming) while work was being done in the main studio!
Our station is set up in the engineering area. It could be anywhere there is sufficient room: the lounge, sales area, the jock area, basement, even the bathroom if you want great reverb! Headphones are recommended for more densely populated areas of the station.
If you're in the process of upgrading equipment, don't get rid of the old stuff. If it's still up to standards, consider putting together a dub station.