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Convention Center Montreux Installs EtherSound Network

Digigram's audio networking technology reduces reconfiguration time (July 27, 2004)

Swiss distributor and system integrator Decibel has installed an EtherSound network in the Convention Center Montreux (CCM), main venue of the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival. Using Digigram's ES8in, ES8out, and ES220 EtherSound devices and the CCM's existing Ethernet infrastructure, the system has completely eliminated noise problems in the audio transmission between the two main convention/concert halls and the public address system of this twice enlarged building on the Lake Geneva shore. The network has already proven its flexibility by reducing the system reconfiguration time for the needs of this year's Montreux Jazz Festival by about 90 % without any additional investment.

Pierre-Yves Nussbaum, the CCM's head audio-visual technician, comments: "We were looking for a digital audio distribution solution because the big distances in the building and many, many neighboring analog audio cables caused big noise problems, especially in the transmission between the Stravinsky Auditorium and the Miles Davis Hall. We chose EtherSound because of its superior audio quality and its very low latency, which makes it suitable even for live sound applications in our venue. The fact that we are able to combine products of different EtherSound licensed manufacturers was important, too, in order to keep the system as scalable as possible."

During the last overhaul of the CCM's Ethernet infrastructure in 2001, Nussbaum had already anticipated the bandwidth requirements of a digital audio distribution system, so that almost no additional cables were pulled when the EtherSound system got installed. "We simply allocated some existing CAT6 or fiber optic cables to the EtherSound network, plugged in the Digigram products, and had the network up and running. The hardware investment was very low and the set-up was really very easy." says Nussbaum. "Today we have cable runs of up to 150 meters, but a crystal clear sound with the same audio quality from the beginning to the end."

Nussbaum also convinced the Montreux Jazz Festival to use EtherSound for its temporary network, which linked the mixing trucks outside the CCM to different locations inside the building. "In the past years, two people needed to work two days to make this happen. With EtherSound, I entirely reconfigured the system in half a day without any additional staff. I simply unplugged the EtherSound devices at their permanent position, pulled short standard CAT5 cables to the nearest network sockets in the wall, and plugged in the devices at the new location. Then I used the EScontrol software to define the new signal paths. This routing flexibility of EtherSound will make our life during one-time events like the Jazz Festival a lot easier."

Nussbaum already has plans to extend the EtherSound network to other applications like recording and sound reinforcement. Additional ES8 and ES2 audio bridges, an audio workstation featuring the miXart 8 ES multichannel sound card with EtherSound interface, and an EtherSound card for the CCM's InnovaSON Sy40 mixing console are being budgeted.

About EtherSound
The number of integrators who specify and install Digigrams patent-pending EtherSound technology for audio distribution in fixed and mobile installations is rapidly growing. EtherSound enhances established technologies to easily and economically create real-time audio networks using standard Ethernet cabling and components.

EtherSound is designed to connect digital audio sources to networked audio devices. Up to 64 channels of 24-bit digital audio at 48KHz, plus bi-directional control information, may be transported to more than 60,000 networked audio devices. Minimal latency was one of Digigram's key design requirements for EtherSound. No other technology offers such high-quality audio with such low latency. The point-to-point transmission time between an audio input and an audio output in an EtherSound network is six samples (125 Ás at 48 kHz). Latency is independent of the number of channels transmitted. EtherSound is fully deterministic, making it possible to calculate the exact delay between any two devices in an EtherSound network.

EtherSound is also available for licensing to OEMs for enabling their self-branded products with the technology. Current EtherSound licensees include NetCIRA by Fostex, Nexo, Bouyer, InnovaSON, and Auvitran.

About Decibel
Decibel is the Swiss distributor of a large number of brands: 360 Systems, Allen & Heath, Anchor, Audioactive, Audient, Audio Developments, Cuttingedge, Dateq, Digigram, Digitaltalkback, Drake, InnovaSON, LA Audio, Lake People, Marantz Professional, M2C, Omnia, PanoramaDTV, Samson, Schoeps, Studer, Superscope, Telos, Xta, Yellowtec, and WBS. Decibel also offers turn-key pro audio installation services.

About Digigram
Digigram digital audio solutions are key to the success of broadcast and public address companies worldwide. We develop innovative networked audio devices, computer sound cards, and audio management software.

Digigram Powered solutions are installed in thousands of corporate and commercial sound installations; radio and television stations; and audio recording and video post production facilities around the globe.

Customers are served from three regional business units: Digigram S.A. (Digigram Headquarters, Montbonnot, France) serving Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East, Digigram Inc. (Arlington, VA USA) serving North America, and Digigram Asia (Singapore) serving Asia and Australia/Oceania. Digigram is publicly traded on the Paris stock exchange.

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Related Keywords:EtherSound, Digigram, Decibel, Convention Center Montreux, CCM, ES8in, ES8out, ES220 EtherSound, Pierre-Yves Nussbaum, CAT6, EScontrol,


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