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AoIP = Pro Audio’s New Tipping Point

April 14th, 2015 Posted in Headlines By Dan Daley

Once it can be looked at clearly in the rear-view mirror, the 2015 NAB Show may be the one that marks the tipping point for networked audio. The first day alone saw a slew of new networked-audio product offerings.

These include Wheatstone’s new IP-64 large-format digital mixing console with IP networking, available in 32-fader frame sizes on up and AES67-compatible. Logitek showed new networked console systems, featuring dense-node AoIP architecture. The show saw the introduction of Riedel’s Tango TNG- 200, first network-based platform that supports both Ravenna/AES67 and AVB standards, and that includes a dedicated intercom application and an asymmetrical 40×80 matrix. Focusrite introduced RedNet HD32R, a 1RU interface that connects Pro Tools|HD via standard Mini DigiLink ports to Dante networks. And speaking of which, Audinate announced just prior to the show that Dante will offer support for AES67, the interoperability protocol published in 2013, initially as a firmware update for the Dante Brooklyn II card, and will be released to Audinate OEM partners within 30 days of the announcement, for integration into their products and testing.

It has become clear that the focus has shifted as the number of options to access audio-over-IP networking — including AES67, AVB, Dante, Livewire, and Ravenna — is becoming ubiquitous. Felix Krückels, senior product manager, Lawo, during a presentation titled “Impact of IP Broadcast Infrastructure” at the DTV Audio Group’s meeting on Sunday, noted simply, after explaining how market dynamics are demanding a new approach to workflow, “The future of broadcast is going to see an evolution to a full IP backbone.”

Phil Wagner, president of Focusrite Novation, which introduced several network interfaces at the show, including such features as Dante- and AES67-compatibility, said, “We’re at the dawn of finding the new XLR connector in the age of networking,” a reference to the ubiquitous analog-connector format of the previous era of pro audio. “AoIP operation, with Layer-3 and AES67 interoperability, is finally reaching fruition. Audio-over-IP has become robust enough for live sound and broadcast sports, the two most intensive applications of all. That tells you everything you need to know.”