Vinyl for the most part is gone, magnetic tape is almost gone, cd s and DVD s look like they

will also disappear soon. What s next? For the pro audio world it is analog processing and outboard gear in general. Today DSP (digital signal processing) is showing up everywhere. From dsp chips in microphones to self powered speakers with dsp on board every piece of hardware in the audio chain has or is going digital. DSP a Luxury Item? Less than a decade ago digital audio was just starting to make serious in-roads in the market place. Manufacturers were introducing device with multiple inputs and output and drop and drag programming that would do all sorts of processing to the signal. These devices, like MediaMatrix and BSS SoundWeb because of the cost were mostly reserved to the upper end of the market. Shortly after these large scale devices were introduced smaller less costly devices began to appear like the Peavey CEX-5, a (2) input by (4) output device with fixed chain processing. DSP for everyone With the availability of less expensive smaller scale solutions, theses DSP boxes began to replace the racks of analog cross-over s, equalizers, delay units and the like that used to fill up equipment racks. Not only did the DSP boxes allow for the installation of smaller racks they gave the system designer a significant more amount of control and greater precision of control. Now a signal output from the board could go into the DSP box and have separate processing for each output. A single (2) input by (8) output device could take the Left/Right output of the board and process and send feeds to; the main speakers; the nursery; the lobby; the recording deck . and the beauty was you could customize each audio feed to fit the need. For example the ceiling speakers in the lobby could be eq d differently than the main speakers, a compressor/limiter could be put on the recording feed to control the level. Delay could be inserted into the lobby feed so that when you stood in the back with the sanctuary doors open you would not hear the lobby speakers before the main speakers DSP Anywhere and Everywhere As DSP continued to expand the devices became even more powerful with even more features. One of those features was network control. The DSP units began showing up with the ubiquitous RJ45 network connector and with software to control the device from a remote location. You no longer had to physically be near the device to connect to it. A simple IP address and connection to the network and you could be sitting at the mix position and adjust the processing. For that matter you could be anywhere (literally) and as long as you could connect to the network that the dsp device was on you could change the settings or configuration of the device. DSP and Networked Digital Audio like French fries and ketchup they belong together Combining DSP and digital audio I admit is an obvious given as you need to be digital to apply digital signal processing. But as DSP devices continued to proliferate and as network control was being applied, the next logical step was to have the ability to also ship audio digitally from one device to another.

You can distribute the devices around your facility and network them together to share audio inputs and various feeds.To connect these DSP Boxes together digitally a transport mechanism was need. To accomplish that goal the school invested in the Roland reac digital audio transport. And. Once the signal is picked off the network it can be assigned to a channel of the device. the vocalist want piano on channel one of their personal mixer . The new normal Undoubtedly we will continue to see more and more of these all in one products . Or you could say just add speakers . the drummer likes to have the bass guitar on channel one on his personal mixer. The school was looking for a simple solution where set up and tear down would be easy and the audio signal could be shared in many locations. V-Mix sound board and the M-48 personal monitoring system. The recording engineer likes to start with vocal on the first channels. For example the front of house engineer likes to start with drums on the first channels on his mixing board. more products that are digital audio network ready and in general DSP will continue to show up everywhere audio is present. In fact the principles and most of the hardware needed to set up a digital audio network are the exact same as a computer network. All of this can with relative ease be accomplished for each of the mixing devices. A recent sound upgrade in a high school theatre illustrates this point. The head end of the reac system is located side stage. anyone of the above devices can pick that signal off from the digital audio network. a number of separate devices can now share information and resources. CobraNet allowed for digital audio to be connected to other digital audio signal. Hey Johnny can you pipe the sermon down to the gym. . put some in my monitor and oh yeah send it to the recording board? When a digital audio network is in place it becomes easy to distribute the signal.. this could be the same channel on each device or differing channels. Just this week the audio manufacturer Ashly stopped by my office to show off their new multi-channel Networked enabled combination DSP and Amplifier unit. Think of it in terms of a computer network. The reac system is connected to a V-Mix board at the front of house. a V-mix board in the recording room and numerous M-48 personal monitor mixers for onstage monitoring. you have a system is a box . When an input device is plugged into the reac head end. CobraNet was one of the original digital audio network transports and quickly became an industry standard. You can take and connect the devices together to gain more inputs and outputs. With 8 mic preamplifiers and 8 channels of amplified output. of course you can centrally control the system for a computer on the data network.

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