Symetrix ramps up for growth with new owners
Mark and Rachelle Graham bring over 30 years audio industry experience to the team.
Creators of high-performance digital audio processing solutions Symetrix has announced that Mark and Rachelle Graham have joined the team as the new owners of the business.
Mark Graham brings over 30 years of audio industry experience to the team, filling the CEO role.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us,” he said. “We have admired Symetrix, both the company and the people, for a long time. I’m really looking forward to building on the successful foundation built over the past four decades and maintaining the rock-solid reputation of the company.”
Symetrix’s current owner, Julia Ogden, has been considering a change in ownership of the company for some time after 32 years with Symetrix. “I knew I could never sell this business unless it was to the right people. It had to be someone who cared about the business and all the exceptional people who work here, and our business partners around the globe,” she said. “I was looking for continuity and an alliance with the same high standards and core values that sets Symetrix apart from the crowd. I believe the Graham’s are the perfect fit.”
Mark Graham was CEO of LOUD Technologies for the last eight years. Before that, he was the president of Crown Audio, a Harman company. His industry experience includes working for Hewlett Packard in their test and measurement division and owning his own audio contracting business. “Mark has a depth of industry experience and engineering expertise that is exactly the right background to accelerate the growth trajectory of the company, especially with his laser-focus on continuing to deliver innovative products,” Ogden explained.
Rachelle Graham has been a marketing manager for several large organisations including Agilent Technologies, the University of Kansas and BioServe Space Technologies, one of NASA’s Commercial Space Centers.
Symetrix is poised to launch several new products in the next couple of months: “The launch of our new products will move ahead seamlessly. We’ve put a lot of thought into how to make the transition as smooth as possible so that none of our deadlines slip. We will assure that Symetrix customers continue to experience the benefit of our ease of doing business, award-winning customer service and tech support, and products that provide the solutions and reliability they have come to expect from Symetrix,” added Ogden.
Symetrix will remain at the same location, and all employees will be retained. Julia Ogden will continue to work for the company throughout a transition period and will also serve on the company’s board of directors going forward.
Symetrix always performs at Lakeshore Players Theatre
In April 2018, after 65 years of continuous operation as a community theatre, Lakeshore Players Theatre began operating year-round in the brand new Hanifl Performing Arts Center. Located in White Bear Lake, about 18 miles northeast of Minneapolis, the new facility includes a sound system managed by a Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP.
“The Symetrix Prism 8×8 routes audio to most of the building except for the Kids & Family Theatre, which is separate,” explains Dan Cincoski of DT Cincoski Design, who designed and installed the system. “In the main theatre, we have 10 Radio Design Labs (RDL Inc.) audio wall plates that provide inputs and outputs, converting analogue to Dante and streaming it to the Prism. We have about 40 channels of audio that can be routed via Dante through either the Prism or the Midas M31IP house mixer in the auditorium. We put analogue inputs in the lobby, two mic inputs and an aux input on a mini-jack. Those go to the Symetrix, as well, so they can do performances and presentations in the lobby.
Although most input is sent to the Prism via Dante, the processor sends audio in the analogue domain to the various speaker systems around the building. “We can send audio from the theatre or the lobby to almost anywhere in the building except for the Kids & Family Theatre,” Cincoski relates. “We send audio to the front-of-house speakers in the theatre, the Scene Shop, the Black Box, the Green Room, office areas, hallways, bathrooms, and so on.”
Symetrix ARC wall panels provide basic system control. “Using the matrixing in the Symetrix Prism, I have zones set up using an ARC-SW4 that route paging to zones around the building so they can hear the theatre or the lobby audio and control the levels,” notes Cincoski. “For control, we have a Symetrix ARC-2e panel in the lobby that controls the local audio levels, and an ARC-2e in the main theatre control room that manages nine presets for the auditorium sound. The presets include a presentation mode that doesn’t incorporate the Midas mixer, acoustic performance (just a mic to pick up sound, which is distributed to the building and listening assistance systems), practice modes, and incorporation of the lobby in the mix outputs. We also installed a Symetrix ARC-K1e wall control. It’s just basic control; that’s all they need.”
The Symetrix ARC-2e is a menu-driven remote control for Symetrix DSPs that provides 24 menus with 16 items each for control of basic function or more complex, logic-based events. It features 3 navigation buttons and an 8-character backlit display with 32 scrolling characters. The ARC-K1e provides a rotary controller with button, typically for volume control, while the ARC-SW4e features four switches that can be programmed as latched, momentary, or radio buttons for control of mute, source selection, and presets. All three models are single-gang, Decora-style faceplates.
Cincoski has been using Symetrix processors for the past four years but until now, he was exclusively using Symetrix Jupiter 8×8 DSPs for stand-alone room installs. “The Jupiter 8×8 is inexpensive, it sounds good, and you don’t have to do a lot of programming,” he observes. In fact, my original design for the Lakeshore Players Theatre called for a Jupiter 8×8. But I realised that using a Symetrix Prism and a Dante network would make it possible to have more inputs and outputs, with easier wiring, and the flexibility of matrix mixing.”
This was the first time Cincoski used Dante, but he wasn’t fazed by the technology. “With the Prism, programming is relatively easy,” he insists. “I programmed
input gain, routing, equalisation and other processing, speaker matching, and so on, and I was able to get it done fairly quickly.”
The Lakeshore Players Theatre system is in full use now, and the client is delighted. “The system sounds good, they have the flexibility and features they need, and we did it within the budget,” confirms Cincoski.” The Symetrix Prism and Dante enabled me to deliver a lot more functionality for the money than in the original plan. And the Prism has performed very reliably; we’ve had no problems.”
Symetrix Prism enables expansion at The Shops at Willow Bend
Inspired by classic prairie-style, early 20th-century architecture and design and featuring soft lighting, rich wood, masonry, and etched glass, The Shops at Willow Bend shopping centre oozes Texas ambience paired with contemporary convenience. Anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Neiman Marcus, the big mall presents a wide variety of stores, including a focus on home décor shops. Sitting in a sweet spot along the Dallas Parkway, the North Dallas-area mall continues to grow, with new spaces still in development.
“My partner designed the original system there 15 years ago, and we’ve overseen and maintained it ever since, replacing and fixing the amps and so on,” begins Senior Systems Engineer Patrick Burke of Dallas systems integrator BBD Technology Group. “But the system needed a lot of updating. They had an outdated old DSP and a computer that was still running Windows 98. We’ve been after them for years to replace that old DSP, and recently they agreed to our proposal to install a Symetrix Prism 16×16 with an xIO 4×4 Dante-enabled analogue I/O expander. The Prism and Dante let us improve and expand their system in ways we couldn’t have done before.”
A 45-year industry veteran, Burke was an early adopter of DSP systems and has long been a fan of Symetrix processors. “Symetrix has always been a brand I like,” he confirms. “Symetrix sound quality is excellent, their DSPs are reliable, and they’re easy for me to work with. Of course, a true understanding of analogue electronics is required to program any DSP. Gain structure is a crucial issue. But assuming you know what you’re doing, Symetrix Composer software makes the job a lot easier. For The Shops at Willow Bend, we built a GUI using Symetrix software, which we haven’t done before. It’s working very well.”
The main mall requires five audio zones, with another eight zones in the parking garages. “We’ve got messages that play in the parking garages, music that plays in the main mall, emergency messages that play in the main mall and the garages, and paging that plays everywhere,” Burke relates. “We are going to install another Symetrix xIO 4×4 expander to serve a new area outside some restaurants by the Dillard’s store, and we’ll pass signal back and forth to the main unit and create another DSP string for sound going to the outside area.”
The mall’s loudspeakers are old but serviceable, and Burke is not inclined to replace them. “They have more than 400 ceiling speakers that have been there for 15 years,” he explains. “They still work, and they don’t sound bad. We have five Crown CTs 1600 power amplifiers and eight Crown CTs 200s in the central control room.”
BBD replaced the ancient Windows 98 PC with a new HP computer running Windows 10, including a touchscreen to run the new custom GUI. “Right now we’re trying to get it on their network so their operations guy can pull up the GUI on his machine and control volumes and such,” Burke expounds. “Security does it right now, and they have to go back into the rack room. I’ve got them providing me with a fibre link between the two racks, with a copper transceiver, so we can do Dante between the main machine and the other rack. I really like Dante, and with the Symetrix Prism, we now have a system that can handle all that.”
Although the upgraded system is up and running, the BBD team is by no means finished at The Shops at Willow Bend. “This mall is one of the few brick-and-mortar places that’s still surviving and growing,” he observes. “The client is happy with the improvements, and they continue to invest in the upgrade, so this project is expanding, and I see more work coming. Symetrix Prism DSPs with Dante enable us to build out the system as needed to accommodate their growth. It’s a very interesting project, and I’m enjoying it.”
Symetrix announces the release of SymVue for Control Server
Symetrix has announced the release of the highly anticipated SymVue software for their Control Server hardware.
Awarded Best Of Show at this year’s ISE show, SymVue is a server-based application designed to control Symetrix DSPs. SymVue enables custom GUIs authored using Symetrix’ Composer running on the Symetrix Control Server hardware. Application-specific control screens can be designed and tested in minutes, without writing any code.
With SymVue deployed on Symetrix Control Server hardware, Symetrix DSPs can respond to commands from any browser-enabled device – laptops, desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. SymVue’s WYSIWYG designs render in all popular web browsers and adapt to screens of different sizes, resolutions, and orientations. Parameter changes remain in sync across all networked devices including Composer, ARC Wall Panels and ARC-WEB, third-party controllers, and SymVue clients on Windows PCs.
Cost-effective server-based Control Server hardware distributes SymVue, along with existing and upcoming Symetrix apps, to one or multiple users across a wired network or via built-in Wi-Fi, hosting a virtually unlimited number of users and configurations. Multiple users can operate SymVue, each with a unique username and password. Each installation of SymVue for Control Server also includes five available configurations of the application, as well as five available configurations of the Mixer application, enabling users to quickly create intricate and complex systems right out of the box. SymVue for Control Server virtually eliminates device and operating system compatibility issues. There are no app stores to deal with, no updates to enforce, or out of date network applications running loose on the network. Security and user access are centrally managed and enforced, enabling administrators to quickly and easily deal with changes and reconfiguration.
“We’re truly excited about the release of SymVue for Control Server,” remarked Symetrix Senior product manager Trent Wagner, “We’re particularly honoured to receive a Best of Show award, with so many great products and technologies at this year’s ISE show.”
For more information, please visit http://www.symetrix.co/products/symvue-software/
Symetrix introduces Composer 7.0
Symetrix has released the latest version of its Composer programming software for Edge, Radius, Prism, and Solus NX DSPs. With Composer 7.0, integrators can program a complete end-to-end DSP signal path using just one application.
Composer 7.0 integrates support for the next generation of Symetrix hardware, Radius NX, as well as full integration with SymVue for Control Server, a new Property Sheet feature, and support for Dante Domain Manager.
Radius NX DSPs now host a Super Matrix, supporting a full 128×128 channel mixer in a single DSP core. This frees the entire second core for signal processing tasks. Composer 7.0 adds Radius NX 4×4 and Radius NX 12×8 DSPs plus Single- and Dual-Core AEC Coprocessors to the Toolkit.
Composer 7.0 also fully integrates with SymVue for Control Server. Now, virtually any HTML browser-enabled device on any platform can provide multi-touch control of Symetrix DSPs, as well as select third-party audio and video hardware.
The new Property Sheet feature offers an intuitive palette that dramatically increases efficiency when designing user interfaces, and when formatting or annotating site designs. And Composer 7.0 adds support for Dante Domain Manager, making Symetrix Radius, Edge, and Prism DSPs DDM-ready. Audinate’s Dante Domain Manager is a new network management protocol that makes Dante networks more secure, scalable, and controllable by enabling user authentication, role-based security, and audit capability.
Composer v7.0 for Windows® natively configures the setup and routing of Symetrix Dante™ I/O expanders, along with select third-party Dante devices. Also, Composer optionally synchronises changes made to the system in Dante Controller with the Site File for archiving or for use as a new baseline configuration. The system also can be programmed to not restore the default Dante configuration and routing, preserving changes made in Dante Controller through system power cycles. Users can configure and route with Composer, with Dante Controller, or with a hybrid of the two, as system design and use cases dictate.
If it speaks Dante, it can be added to your Site File with Composer 7.0. Composer can obtain information about channel counts, channel names, device name, manufacturer, and model directly from the device over the network. Symetrix or third-party manufacturers can distribute XML databases of known units for import into Composer, and users can manually define a unit. Some XML databases of third-party products are included.
For more information, and to download Symetrix Composer 7.0, please visit www.symetrix.co/products/composer-software
Symetrix Radius introduces NX Series of audio DSPs
Symetrix has announced the Radius NX 4×4 and Radius NX 12×8 1U rack-mount audio signal processors. Each model supports 128 (64×64) channels of redundant Dante network audio.
The two Radius NX processors are programmed using Symetrix’ Composer software for Windows, offering identical DSP resources provided by a next-generation SHARC dual-core processor that places the burden of large matrices in one core, while freeing the second core for general-purpose signal processing. This makes it possible to design very large and complex systems around a single Radius NX.
A configurable, 4-port gigabit switch serves both the Dante and control networks. This reduces or eliminates the need for external switches and prevents 100 megabit bottlenecks. Each Radius NX model offers two 1000 Base-T Dante ports, two 1000 Base-T Ethernet ports for Symetrix Composer host control and third-party accessory control over IP, an RS-232 serial port for third-party accessory control, and an ARC port that distributes power and RS-485 data to one or more Symetrix ARC devices. A USB audio I/O port interfaces with soft codecs or recording and playback software on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The USB adio port can be configured for up to 8×8 line I/O, 2×2 line I/O, 1×1 speakerphone, or 1×1 echo cancelling speakerphone profiles.
Both Radius NX models feature a card slot that supports all currently available, optional Radius and Edge I/O expansion cards, including VoIP, ATI, and USB cards. Either Radius NX also can connect directly to a complete lineup of software-controlled, Dante-enabled, analog I/O expanders to add larger numbers of analog inputs and outputs.
An optional AEC co-processor, available in single-core or dual-core versions, enables up to 16 channels of wide-band acoustic echo cancelling for clarity and intelligibility in AV and distance learning applications. Each core corresponds to a single AEC module in Composer, providing up to eight channels with a single reference or up to four channels with independent references for each channel. Radius NX Composer AEC modules are fully virtualized-AEC can be applied to any source and routed to any destination.
Radius NX supports a virtualised and scalable AEC co-processor module, providing up to 16 full bandwidth AEC channels.
Atlona and Symetrix team up to simplify A/V over IP
Atlona and Symetrix have formed a strategic partnership to ‘accelerate integration, and tighten interoperability, across the A/V over IP ecosystem’. The overall aim is to simplify the process of designing and deploying networked systems to and from a digital signal processor (DSP) using intelligent on-off ramps for audio, video, and peripherals such as USB signals, that are easy to configure, control and manage.
‘As the DSP is the central part of most A/V systems, Symetrix is continually seeking ways to help our integration partners build the most cost-effective and flexible systems possible,’ commented Trent Wagner, senior product manager at Symetrix. ‘As our industry moves toward everything over IP, we’re committed to addressing the new time-consuming challenges our customers face in building out a networked architecture. Our collaboration with Atlona simplifies the programming and control of these systems, and help us build stronger IP bridges and on/off ramps for audio, video and USB.’
The partnership benefits from the common architectures that both companies share, such as Dante audio support, and the fact that their product catalogues complement each other rather than overlap.
‘Working together with Symetrix, we have developed a clear problem-solving solution for systems integrators that have found it time-consuming and difficult to program and control disparate components of a broader A/V over IP ecosystem,’ stated David Shamir, director of product management at Atlona. ‘Our collaboration will remove the mystery behind the design and integration of an interoperable networked system, and clearly communicate how to leverage the individual strength of each component outward from the DSP.’
Symetrix and Visionary Solutions expand strategic alliance
Symetrix and Visionary Solutions are excited to announce the native integration of Visionary Solutions’ PacketAV® Duet Dante™-enabled IP video encoder and decoder products into Symetrix’ Composer DSP programming and control software. The integration, co-developed by Symetrix and Visionary Solutions, enables PacketAV Duet and E/D4100 video encoders and decoders to appear as native units in Composer 7.1 and later. Harnessing the flexibility and scalability of converged IP networks, PacketAV Matrix products ultra low-latency 4K UHD video can be streamed over IP together with a Dante-enabled Symetrix DSP system, offering a complete Audio, Video, and Control solution, all while bypassing the constraints of traditional switch matrix systems.
Scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2018, Symetrix Composer 7.1 takes full command of the PacketAV Matrix products, with drag and drop configuration, network discovery, video routing, and video wall control. Live video previews for at-a-glance confidence monitoring of both encoders and decoders are supported, and may be freely placed on custom user interfaces deployed to Windows®- or Web-based devices.
Composer also fully manages the Dante audio interfaces on Duet products, including discovery, device naming, channel naming, and audio routing. Using Visionary’s PacketAV Duet encoders and decoders, audio from an HDMI source may be stripped off and routed through the DSP for processing, mixed with other sources, and distributed to sound reinforcement systems throughout a facility, as well as re-embedded into the IP video stream for local playback at the displays.
A design can be completed offline, without hardware. Once the hardware is installed, Composer efficiently locates all hardware on the network; updates and reconciles network names, IP addresses and channel configurations as necessary; and configures initial audio and video routes.
“We are very excited to have Visionary Solutions as an integration partner,” declares Symetrix Senior Product Manager Trent Wagner. “PacketAV Matrix products elegantly bridge the IP video and IP audio worlds, while Symetrix DSP and control makes system management effortless.”
“System designers will reap major benefits from this new level of integration,” observes Scott Freshman, Chief Operating Officer for Visionary Solutions. “Composer is well known for its ease of use, and with version 7.1, configuration and management of PacketAV Matrix products becomes faster and simpler than ever.”
Symetrix Prism brings combined DSP power to Vietnam’s Nam Nghi Resort
Nestled on the shores of the exquisite Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, the secluded resort of Nam Nghi is among Southeast Asia’s most exclusive holiday destinations. But while guests enjoy the breathtaking natural landscapes and luxuriate beside Vung Bau Bay, behind the scenes a wealth of technology works seamlessly with processing across multiple zones courtesy of just three Symetrix Prism DSPs.
The audio system designed by HCMC-based professional audio-visual solutions specialist DesignLive Technologies utilizes just a single Prism apiece to easily accommodate the current and future needs of three primary zones: the Rock Bar, the Tree House Restaurant, and the main hotel complex with all-day dining and spa/gym facilities.
For Phu Tran Pham, DesignLive’s founder, there was never any doubt that the Prism processors would be a perfect match for Nam Nghi Resort. “They offer a great blend of processing power, functionality, and attractive price points,” he says, adding that DesignLive “implements Symetrix DSPs for all our hotel projects, and indeed for all of our audio projects of any kind over the last seven years.”
In all three zones at Nam Nghi, the Prism processors are integrated into a Dante network for maximum flexibility. In the Rock Bar, varying background music and DJ requirements are catered for with a single Prism 8×8 DSP used in conjunction with Attero Tech Dante interface wall-plates. A similarly streamlined configuration is found in the Tree House Restaurant, where a Prism 4×4 processes Ashly amplifiers.
The setup in the all-day dining area is more complex as it also caters to the adjacent spa/gym area. In the dining area, a Prism 4×4 manages the BGM system, including Ashly amplifiers. A single Symetrix xIO 4×4 expander extends the system to the spa/gym amplifier rack via the hotel LAN, where local analogue inputs are available for instructors to connect their preferred music sources. Fiber and network drops also run from the all-day rack to the pool area, allowing for future expansion via Symetrix I/O expanders.
In tandem with delivering as much processing power from as little rack-space as possible, the DesignLive team was also asked to guarantee flexible control for hotel operations to allow easy adjustment of volume and other settings. Symetrix ARC-2e wall interfaces have been provided for ‘physical’ control at each zone, while SymVue provides the hotel’s technical personnel with an integrated master control panel via laptop, enabling them to make tweaks on the fly via the ARC-Web interface for iPad and smartphone.
“Yet again, the Symetrix processors have proven to be a match for the many and varied requirements of a modern luxury resort,” says Phu, adding that a single Symetrix Jupiter 4 has also been supplied for a mobile PA system that is used in various spaces around the complex. “In particular in the spa/gym area, they have given Nam Nghi Resort a degree of futureproofing so they can add more functionality as their requirements evolve.”
Most importantly, Nam nghi’s entertainment & events manager, Wassili Quist, is delighted with the result. “The Symetrix DSP system is probably the best network audio system processor we have worked with so far. It’s a strong and efficient DSP that’s surprisingly easy to work with. The Dante digital audio network and the ARC controls work perfectly for our resort. We have created multiple zones throughout the space, and having smartphone control of volume, source, and zone selection makes this installation very efficient and easy to work with.”
Quist concludes, “the DesignLive team did a fantastic job recommending, installing, and explaining the unlimited options and possibilities. It’s definitely an industry standard that I will recommend for any future project.”
Article from: www.pro-systems.co.za
Symetrix Prism manages audio at BLVD Chicago
One of the newest fine dining attractions in the Windy City, BLVD draws inspiration from Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard circa 1950, when Sunset was an iconic strip of dining and entertainment establishments. Located in Chicago’s West Loop neighbourhood, BLVD combines old Hollywood-style glamour, luxury, and decadence with contemporary cuisine, cocktails, and background music that sets just the right atmosphere. Citing its snug booths, curved staircase, huge mirrors, and countless chandeliers, Zagat declared it one of Chicago’s sexiest new restaurants.
To deliver BLVD’s music and announcements, systems integrator Encompass Audio Visual designed and installed a customised sound system built around a Symetrix Prism-series DSP. “They contacted us to begin designing an audio system from architectural renderings, prior to establishing a general contractor, about a year and a half before they opened,” notes Emmett Kelly of Encompass AV. “They have a private dining room upstairs, a downstairs bar, and an upstairs bar. At full capacity, the space probably holds 200 people. So we set up a system with five separate zones. They are sourcing entertainment using Comcast as well as a third-party micro PC and source. The entertainment is limited because the focus is on fine dining with background music, and they only have one TV that’s utilised for private functions and the occasional major Chicago sporting event.”
All loudspeakers in the new system are from Martin Audio, with CDD6 two-way speakers throughout, except for the restrooms, which have Martin C6.8T 6.5-inch ceiling speakers. “There are custom enclosures for the speakers, including the Martin Audio subwoofers in the ceiling,” Kelly reports. “there is custom woodwork and milling throughout the space, so we worked closely with the contractors to adapt our design.”
To manage the system, the Encompass AV team chose the Symetrix Prism 8×8 DSP, which provides 128 Dante channels (64×64), enabling reliable audio networking over IP. For BLVD’s system, the Encompass AV team added a Symetrix xOut 4 Dante-enabled analogue output expander, giving the 1U rack-mount Prism 8×8 a total of 12 analogue outputs. An Attero Tech unD610-BT Dante-networked audio wall plate connects to the Prism DSP to give the BLVD staff convenient stereo analogue input and output, as well as stereo Bluetooth audio input.
“We specify Symetrix DSPs for all of our jobs like this because we’re really impressed with the lack of audio colouration,” relates Encompass AV President Tim Pickett. “Symetrix processors provide the cleanest sound on the market. They’re also really geared for installations, rather than for touring. The analogue connections are bare wire with screw terminals, not XLR connectors, which fits our projects very well. We like their programmability with Symetrix’ Composer CAD software, and we like their accessibility from a control standpoint; they’re easy to use with our control system. They’re just solid processors that we can rely on.”
A year and a half after the project’s beginning, BLVD is thriving and winning accolades. Its new Symetrix Prism-based sound system is doing much the same. “The sound system is a real success,” reports Kelly. “The Prism DSP is flawlessly managing the audio throughout the space, it sounds great, it was easy to program, and the client is very happy. This is why we consistently choose Symetrix.”
Article from: www.pro-systems.co.za