Attero Tech interfaces prove crucial at Southlands
Nestled in the heart of this Denver suburb, the beautiful Southlands Shopping Center’s four-block Main Street and multiple cross streets are lined with retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Visitors gather in the Town Square to relax and enjoy such activities as a children’s pop jet fountain in summer and ice skating in winter. A covered stage in the northeast corner of the square hosts a popular summer concert series as well as other events.
Southlands’ original sound system featured mushroom-style speakers situated in planting beds. The speakers were cute, and you could hear them when you were close, but as you walked away, the level faded, so coverage was uneven, including dead spots. Also, the planting beds contain trees, mulch, and flowers, which are lovely in the spring and summer. But mulch crept into the bottom of the mushroom speakers in warm weather, and snow covered them in winter, seriously compromising the sound.
To address these issues, Southlands contracted with systems integrator, Premier A/V, who installed a new sound system featuring Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ Dante-networked audio interfaces. A two-In, two-out audio I/O interface, the unDIO2x2+ provides a convenient way to add analog inputs and outputs to a Dante-enabled audio network. The unDIO2x2+ also includes switchable mic/line gain and switchable 48V phantom power on the inputs as well as software-adjustable output volume control. Audio flow assignment, input gain, and phantom power are all controllable over the Dante network.
“We replaced the old system completely,” recalls Premier A/V’s Brendan Clancy. “We installed 174 new JBL Control-series speakers covering the walkways around each building and the Town Square, mounted to light poles with special brackets. We utilised the fibre optic network infrastructure at Southlands to distribute the audio program over a VLAN using Dante to 10 Crown CDi DriveCore-series amplifiers around the campus. Nine Atterotech unDIO2x2+ interfaces ‘offramp’ the audio program to the amplifiers.”
The system is centered on a rack in one of the buildings, which holds a licensed audio player, a BSS Soundweb London BLU-806DA DSP, and the power amplifier that serves the speakers outside that building. The local power amplifier gets a direct analog feed from the DSP. The DSP also routes audio via Dante to and from the nine Dante zones for the nine remote amplifiers spread around the shopping centre. Each Dante zone employs an Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ to feed the amplifier for that zone and provide auxiliary audio inputs into the system that are routed back to the DSP via Dante. A mic connects directly to the DSP for announcements, during which an override ducks program audio.
“The system just serves the sidewalk adjacent to the streets,” Clancy points out, “except in the Town Square. We fill the centre of the Town Square with additional speakers that cover that area heavily to enhance it as an entertainment and leisure area.”
Although the unDIO2x2+ aux inputs are not currently in use in every zone, the ability to use them when desired is a valuable benefit. The inputs proved immediately useful in the Town Square, however. “The ability to use auxiliary inputs to send audio back to the head end is amazing -and it wasn’t something I had looked into that much,” admits Clancy. “But when I saw that the Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ provided this feature, I came up with a need and a way to use it.”
The most compelling use of the audio inputs will be during the summer concert series, when bands bring in a small concert system to handle the sound in the Town Square. “When they’re performing, we can mute our speakers at the Town Square and the buildings surrounding it,” Clancy explains. “But the unDIO2x2+ lets us provide a wireless mic input that bands can use to send a feed to the unDIO2x2+, which converts the feed to Dante and sends it to the DSP. We can then pipe the music up Main Street and to the other areas our system serves. Southlands can also use the unDIO2x2+ stereo audio input to plug an iPad or whatever they want into our system.”
The Southlands project was Clancy’s introduction to Attero Tech products. “I needed a good, affordable way to offramp just one or two Dante audio channels per zone to feed the amplifiers,” he recalls. “It made no sense to buy the expensive eight-channel systems I saw elsewhere. I found Attero Tech with a Google search, liked what I read, and contacted them. They put us in touch with Darby Reps, the regional sales rep here in town, and we took it from there.”
His experience at Southlands sold Clancy on Attero Tech. “The Attero Tech unDIO2x2+ is plug-and-play, so it is very easy on my end,” he observes. “I didn’t have to do additional configuration. The ability to bring local audio into the Dante system provides functionality I’ll use in the future. Their tech support is great too: I called them once, and the support rep I spoke to was super helpful. It turned out to be a network issue unrelated to the Attero Tech interface, but he helped me figure it out. Now I love Attero Tech’s stuff, and I’m looking at putting it in most of my future projects. Attero Tech makes it way easier to use network audio.”
Article from: www.pro-systems.co.za
Attero Tech now shipping AES67 networked audio products
Built from the ground up, these AES67 products enable Attero Tech’s innovative audio connectivity technologies to interface with the AES67 enabled Q-SYS Platform from QSC. The new AES67 enabled products are also designed for interoperability with all Dante AES67-enabled technologies, providing maximum flexibility for systems leveraging AES67 as a bridge between modern audio networking platforms.
“The addition of AES67 interoperability allows Attero Tech to bring our networked audio connectivity solutions to integrators and end users who have adopted the Q-SYS platform as their primary AVC solution, without the need for additional interface cards or conversion products,” observes Josh Arnold, Attero Tech, product manager.
“QSC is excited to see Attero Tech supporting AES67, joining over 200 compliant products in our industry,” adds Martin Barbour, product manager for installed systems, QSC. “Furthermore, the software-based architecture of the Q-SYS Platform is allowing manufacturers like Attero Tech to develop and support their own integration plug-ins for Q-SYS, bringing incredible ease of use to installations.”
In addition to basic audio interoperability, all Attero Tech endpoints will offer control integration into Q-SYS Designer software using Q-SYS plug-ins, developed and supported by Attero Tech. Some of these plug-ins are already shipping with Q-SYS Designer v6.2, with additional plug-ins made available through Attero Tech’s customer portal for download available at https://portal.atterotech.com/home/.
Attero Tech’s new plug-ins provide the ability to configure parameters, including preamp controls and I/O levels, routing configurations, and device status updates. Real-time control of Attero Tech product parameters can be easily added to Q-SYS native touchscreen controllers, and other Q-SYS enabled software user control interfaces, eliminating the need to integrate and program costly third-party controllers.
Attero Tech’s AES67 solutions offer 48kHz, 24-bit uncompressed digital audio with 1ms end-to-end latency and system-wide sample synchronization, support for PTPv2 master or slave operation, and SAP (Session Announcement Protocol) based stream identification for use with applications supporting SAP Stream Discovery (Dante Controller, Q-SYS Designer, unIFY Control Panel v3.0 and greater).
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Chess Club Wins with Attero Tech
Played by more then 605 million adults and countless children, chess has long been one of the world’s most popular pastimes. Since 2008, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis has led the way for U.S. chess education and competition, including hosting the prestigious annual U.S. Championship, U.S. Women’s Championship, and U.S Junior Closed Championship, as well as housing the World Chess Hall of Fame. Along with chess classes, summer camps, and field trips, the center offers a variety of community events, including a family day, film night, and monthly music series.
Designing an advanced audio system for the Chess Club might not be as daunting as playing chess with a grandmaster but it was challenging nonetheless. “This is a group of very creative people, and they’re constantly coming up with new presentations, displays, and other projects,” praises Cignal Systems vice president Brian Rice, who headed up a design team that also included Project Manager Doug Hill and control systems manager Mark Olsen. “We had to step up our creativity to give them an audio system that matched the flexibility and creativity they demonstrate all the time. Using a Dante network connected with Attero Tech unD6IO 4-in, 2-out Dante wall plate interfaces, we were able to provide sophisticated audio distribution throughout the three floors of the facility and make it easy to use.”
Attero Tech’s role in the project went beyond supplying unD6IO interfaces. “Early in the project, we discussed with Attero Tech what we were trying to do,” confirms Rice. “They corrected some of our assumptions and pointed us in a more appropriate direction for best using their technology. And because they keep pushing their technology forward, the interfaces we ended up installing had a lot more inputs and outputs than we had originally specified. With their help, we brought a lot more value to the customer, and we were able to achieve greater results within the implementation of the design. We appreciated that.”
The Chess Club features three galleries and an assortment of classrooms and other spaces on the first two floors and a performance space on the third floor. Also on the ground floor are an outdoor patio and the Q Boutique, hailed by the local media as one of St. Louis’ best gift shops. The club wanted to be able to send audio from any source, including the performance space, to any speakers in the network, including in the gift shop and patio.
Rice’s team specified a distributed, IP-based sound system based on SoundTube IPD Dante-enabled IP speakers and a Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP, with a unD6IO interface in each space. “Attero Tech unD6IO interfaces offered the best way to get inputs and outputs into each of the front galleries through our Dante network,” Rice reports. “We route the Attero Tech unD6IOs to a switch, which is connected to a Symetrix Prism DSP that manages our analog wireless systems and playback devices throughout the facility. From the DSP, digital audio goes into the Dante backbone, where it is routed and distributed. The IP speakers have onboard processing so we can adjust them to the acoustic environment. The DSP mostly manages the Dante network and provides some auto-mixing.”
The third-floor performance space also uses a distributed speaker system but with the addition of subwoofers. “It’s not a big room but they wanted a bit more intelligibility and a bit more lift,” Rice recalls. “The musical performances are acoustic, so they don’t need a lot of volume. When they do want big, booming bass-they have some rap battles, hip-hop, and other contemporary audio in their chess videos-they can hook up a subwoofer. We’ve done sophisticated programming with our control systems that crosses over the distributed system, rolls off the low end, and channels that to the subs when needed.”
All sources can be routed to any combination of speakers throughout the network. “If they have a multi-level showing, and someone comes in to speak about a particular chess set or exhibition, they can put a wireless body pack or handheld on the lecturer,” Rice details. “As the person moves from floor to floor, that audio can be piped to any or all floors. There’s no awkward microphone changeover; audio just flows from one space to the next.”
The monthly musical performances became so popular that the club wanted to pipe the music out to the patio in front of the museum. “The Chess Club is part of the cultural atmosphere of the Central West End,” offers Rice. “Immediately adjacent to the patio is a Starbucks coffee house, and people buy coffee and then sit on the patio and enjoy their drink while listening to the performance. The club also can channel the music to the first and second floor galleries.”
Attero Tech interfaces proved so useful that the Chess Club requested more of them. “We used at least six unD6IO interfaces to begin with,” Rice states. “When the customer saw the system’s potential, they had us add a couple more Attero Tech interfaces to expand their inputs and outputs. They’re pleased and excited about their new audio system-and so are we.”
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See Attero Tech’s New AES67 Endpoint Products at InfoComm
Attero Tech will be debuting five new AES67 endpoints, as well as a 32 input Dante/AES67 1RU audio interface at InfoComm 2017 in Orlando.
The new AES67 endpoints include these 2-gang wall plate products:
unAX4I – 4 XLR inputs + 2 balanced outputs
unAX2IO+ – 2 XLR inputs, 2 XLR outputs + 2 separate balanced inputs
unA6IO – 2 XLR inputs, 2 RCA inputs, 3.5mm stereo input, 3.5mm stereo output + 2 balanced outputs
unA6IO-BT – Stereo Bluetooth audio input, 2 RCA inputs, 3.5mm stereo input, and a 3.5mm stereo output
The new flange-mount AES67 interface is the unAIO2x2+, which features 2 balanced mic/line inputs and 2 balanced line outputs.
The Synapse D32i allows up to 32 consumer or pro level line inputs to be introduced onto a Dante or AES67 network. The D32i includes primary and secondary RJ-45 ports as well as primary and secondary SFP fiber ports to make long distance connections simple. Options for 3-pin depluggable or DB-25 balanced audio connectors means the D32i will be at home in almost any venue.
QSC Q-SYS plugins for several Attero Tech Dante and AES67 endpoints will also be shown, along with the new Version 2.3 of Attero Tech’s unIFY software.
We look forward to seeing you at InfoComm and showing you the great solutions we have to make make your projects easier and more cost effective.
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Attero Tech aloft in Perth
Stokes Technologies was brought in to design the A/V infrastructure for the meeting and entertainment spaces at Aloft Perth, the latest addition to Aloft Hotels’ global portfolio. Although the hotel’s specification called for patch panels to be incorporated into the system, the A/V systems integrator elected to offer an alternative using Attero Tech wall plates.
‘A patch bay only lets you send one point to another point,’ explained Aaron Mitchell, system engineer at Stokes Technologies. ‘While patch panels are fine for a recording studio, the production guys here don’t like them. Going with Dante and Attero Tech allowed us to bring all the channels to the DSP, route them wherever we want and make control easy.
‘We initially priced the job with point-to-point XLR cables but when we changed to Attero Tech wall plates and a network, we found that running one Cat-6 instead of six XLR cables can cover the cost of the wall plate. In addition, we can get electrical trades and IP trades to run and terminate our Cat cables so our brain trust can work on the programming instead of soldering cables.’
The installation covered the hotel’s W XYZ bar, Re:Mix Lounge and outdoor pool on the ground floor with seven meeting rooms on the mezzanine and a rooftop area comprising the Springs Ballroom and an outdoor terrace. ‘This is a new hotel, so it’s ground-up construction,’ noted Mr Mitchell. ‘We built a ground-level system that is networked to the mezzanine system and a rooftop system that’s connected by network switches and fibre. We have 12 spaces of background music across the ground level and mezzanine. We’re using two Attero Tech unD6IO 4-in, 2-out Dante wall plate interfaces in each mezzanine room, with balanced, switchable mic/line inputs and phantom power.’
The rooftop is equipped with seven Attero Tech wall plate locations, each comprising an unD6IO and an unDX2IO 2-in, 2-out Dante wall plate to provide additional channels. These solutions are managed from the mezzanine, 13 floors below. ‘We also used unDIO2x2 2-in, 2-out flange-mount Dante interfaces,’ said Mr Mitchell. ‘There are 170 channels of Dante going across the system, including 70 from the rooftop level. IP TV runs down the same fibre using HDMI transmission over IP.’
In the W XYZ Bar is a BGM system and a wall-mounted television that receives IP TV signals. ‘We’re taking audio from the IP TV box to a unDIO2x2 interface,’ explained Mr Mitchell. ‘This deploys it back onto the audio network, from which it can come back through the BGM speakers.’
Achieving even coverage throughout the bar was a challenge due to the narrow space, high ceilings and several obstructions. To combat this, Stokes Technologies installed a combination of pendant and flush ceiling speakers. ‘We have speakers at 6m high and at 2.5m all within one zone,’ Mr Mitchell reported. ‘We’ve got Crestron pendants in that area because of the ceiling height.’
A range of sources are set up at the start of the signal chain in the bar. Mood Music Players located on the roof level and an Essential CD player provide four BGM audio channels. There’s also a local Attero Tech unD6IO input with XLR microphones and the television. Source selection is via a Crestron touch panels. The Stoke Technologies team simplified control further by programming default states, ensuring the system functions without the touch panel.
This article is originally from www.proaudio-central.com
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Attero Tech unD32 a Hidden Hero at Car Shows
Although best known for his work as a front-of-house and monitor engineer for such stars as Queen Latifah, Natalie Cole, and Roberta Flack, Rob Treloar does much more than mix shows. His company, Proscan Media, offers services ranging from live and studio engineering to production consultation, artist development, and web solutions. When not on tour, he provides audio services for trade shows, working for Ann Arbor, Michigan, technical services experts TLS Productions. Toyota is a TLS client, so Treloar often designs and installs multi-zone audio systems for car shows. The Attero Tech® unD32 32-channel Dante™ breakout box is at the core of these systems, hidden high above the sound and fury of the show.
“The booths at these shows are huge and spread out,” Treloar begins. “TLS Productions is primarily a lighting company, and they set up gigantic lighting systems with 200- to 300-foot sections of truss. At car shows, the companies have their various models on turntables. I set up 15 to 20 separate audio zones for these different locations on the show floor, with two to four loudspeakers per zone. I use high-end loudspeakers with tight pattern control because these are open areas, and we don’t want overlap between zones. In each zone, the car company has presenters, and we might have a dozen wireless microphones running. Toyota also has a stage with a sort of game show called Toyota Live that’s going on every hour, as well as celebrity appearances, and sometimes a DJ plays. It’s a challenging environment.”
In the past, building these car-show audio systems required running an analog snake up into the truss, branching it out over a 350 x 250-foot or larger expanse of five or six trusses, and then doing the cable drops. “It’s a lot of analog cable, so you run into ground loops, and maybe some of the connections are bad because it’s an old snake, that sort of thing,” Treloar asserts. “And you only get one chance to do the setup right. If you have to go back, you need to bring in a union guy with a lift, which costs a lot. It’s a logistical nightmare.”
Fortunately, Treloar had the knowledge and experience to come up with a better solution. “Because of my other projects, I understand the Dante transmission protocol,” he explains. “I started looking for a way to use Dante and run lightweight CAT5 cable up into the truss instead of big analog snakes. Then I discovered the Attero Tech unD32 Dante breakout box, which gives me 32 outputs over one CAT5 cable. It was like finding the Holy Grail!”
You often find the Attero Tech unD32 in permanent installations, such as hotels and houses of worship, but Treloar wanted to use it in a temporary rig for live sound. “I adapted the unD32 for live sound by adding 32 XLR connectors to the unit,” he relates. “I put it in a rack, and I mount that up in the truss. So I’m using the unD32 as a Dante-to-analog breakout box up on the truss, and then I branch out. It makes my life so much easier when we’re doing setup.” Treloar uses Dante-enabled wireless mics and consoles whenever possible, with the consoles handling the DSP, so the system is Dante all the way through.
Last year, Treloar supplied the audio system for a car show at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As with most such shows, the audio team was just Treloar and one other person, and he needed to get the installation done quickly to avoid holding up the much larger lighting crews. “Everything runs in catwalks at that convention center, and it takes 15 minutes just to get up there,” recalls Treloar. “Doing cable runs up there is crazy. But with the Attero Tech unD32, I was able to run just one CAT5 cable up to the catwalks, place the unD32 in a central location, and then branch out to do drops down to the truss. I had all my outputs in one place. It was fantastic!”
In addition to logistical and technical advantages, Treloar has found the Attero Tech solution extremely cost effective. “When I saw a single-rackspace Dante breakout device that could provide 32 outputs, my jaw dropped,” he admits. “In order for me to get that anywhere else, I’d have to spend thousands of dollars more, and my client probably wouldn’t agree to it. With the unD32, I have exactly what I need for a very affordable price. And Attero Tech is a cool company with very good people. They really have made my life much easier.”
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