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Full documentation available for Model 5422A Dante Intercom Audio Engine. (15-Sep-2021)   New Dante firmware for the Models 5401A, 5402, 5422A now available. (19-Aug-2021)   New Product! Model 354 Talk Station. Desktop unit allows user to access four Dante Channels. (04-Aug-2021)   New versions of STcontroller for WinOS and macOS are available. Download now! (28-Jul-2021)   Full documentation available for Model 5412 Audio Interface. (07-Jul-2021)   Models 5401A and 5402 Dante Leader Clocks now support 176.4 and 192 kHz sample rates! (07-Jul-2021)   Model 76 High-Frequency Oscillation Issue Workaround. (11-May-2021)

Model 354 Talk Station

Order Code: M354

The Model 354 Talk Station is a unique product intended to support a variety of voice paging, background music, audio-file playback, broadcast talent cueing (IFB), and general audio applications. The unit supplies four independent "talk" channels that can be individually configured to match the needs of an application. A simple monitor section allows one of the four Dante® receiver (input) channels to be routed as desired to a connected amplifier or amplified speaker.

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Key Features

  • Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology
  • Supports GME-3-12 gooseneck microphone
  • Voice-paging capability with background music support
  • Broadcast talent cueing (IFB) capability
  • Four independent output channels
  • Analog monitor output with input selection
  • Stores and replays two digital audio (WAV) files
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Uses STcontroller for configuration
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) powered

Documentation Downloads Where to Buy

The Model 354 Talk Station is a unique product intended to support a variety of voice paging, background music, audio-file playback, broadcast talent cueing (IFB), and general audio applications. The unit supplies four independent "talk" channels that can be individually configured to match the needs of an application. A simple monitor section allows one of the four Dante® receiver (input) channels to be routed as desired to a connected amplifier or amplified speaker.

The Model 354 supports Dante audio-over-Ethernet digital media technology with AES67 compatibility for integration into contemporary applications. In addition, the unit is compatible with the Dante Domain Manager™ (DDM) software application.

Voice audio is supplied by way of a gooseneck microphone, purchased separately, which is attached to the connector/threaded bushing combination that is located on the front of the Model 354. (Using the Studio Technologies’ GME-3-12 Gooseneck is highly recommended.) Two audio sources or “messages,” up to 40 seconds each in length, are stored in non-volatile memory within the Model 354. These two audio sources, saved in the common 16-bit monoaural WAV format, can be easily updated by way of a standard USB flash drive. The audio files can contain whatever “pre-page” (preamble) audio signals that are desired to support an application. They could be the sound of natural bells or chimes, an “electronically created” audio sequence, or a voice message. By using WAV files, the desired sources can be created outside of the Model 354 and then easily loaded for use. Configuration choices determine how and when the preamble audio files will be played.

The Model 354 is extremely simple to deploy, is “pro” quality throughout, and provides an intuitive user experience. The Model 354’s audio quality is excellent, with low distortion, low noise, and ample headroom. Careful circuit design and rugged components ensure long, reliable operation. Only a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection and attachment of a gooseneck microphone are required for operation. If desired the analog monitor output can be connected to the input of an associated device. Two “custom” WAV audio files can be loaded by way of a USB flash drive.

Model 354 operating features are configured using the STcontroller software application. An extensive set of parameters allows the unit’s functions to be tailored to meet the needs of many, many applications. STcontroller is a fast and simple means of confirming and revising the unit’s operating parameters. The Model 354 is housed in a compact, rugged steel enclosure that’s intended for table-top use. Its small size makes it ideal for applications in space-constrained locations.

Applications

For theater or live-event spaces the Model 354 can be a complete solution for providing up to four channels of background audio with voice paging and preamble audio capability. Pre-recorded “tones” or “chimes” can be configured to play prior to voice audio be presented to one or more of the outputs. The unit could be located in a box office or manager’s office location.

Broadcast applications can utilize the Model 354 to create a simple 4-channel talent cue (IFB) master station. “Program” audio sources can be routed to the unit’s Dante receiver (input) channels and then interrupted with gooseneck microphone audio as desired.

Deployment of Dante applications could benefit from the unit’s ability to store and playback WAV audio files. Test messages could be created in WAV format and then loaded into the Model 354 for continuous playback during system commissioning.

Security or management personnel could use the Model 354 as a combination voice paging console and monitor resource. Audio from the gooseneck microphone could be immediately routed to up to four Dante transmitter (output) channels. The monitor section allows a Dante source to be monitored using a connected amplifier or amplified speaker.

The range of resources provided by the Model 354 also makes it suitable for use in many other applications. It’s designed to support the needs of varied applications across a wide range of audio system designs. The unit is intended to provide a "palette" of resources that meet real-world needs, allowing great things to be accomplished rather than presenting limitations that dictate what can and can’t be done.

Setup and Operation

Set up, configuration, and operation of the Model 354 is simple. An RJ45 jack is used to interconnect with a standard twisted-pair Ethernet port associated with a PoE-enabled network switch. This connection provides both power and bidirectional digital audio. A gooseneck microphone is attached using the ¼-inch plug with integrated threaded bushing. The Studio Technologies' GME-3-12 Gooseneck Microphone is available as an option and will perform very well with the Model 354. A 3-pin male XLR connector provides access to the analog monitor output. This would typically be connected to the input on an amplified loudspeaker. The STcontroller software application is used to configure the wide range of Model 354 operating parameters. This allows the unit's performance to be optimized to meet the needs of specific applications.

The user is presented with four pushbutton switches and a push-in/push-out rotary level potentiometer. The pushbutton switches are lighted with dual-color LEDs to clearly present the unit's operating status. The monitor output (available in both analog and Dante digital formats) can assist the user in confirming the current audio operation.

Ethernet Data and PoE

The Model 354 connects to a local area network (LAN) by way of a 100 Mb/s twisted-pair Ethernet interface. The unit's physical 100BASE-TX interconnection is made by way of a Neutrik® etherCON® RJ45 jack. While compatible with standard RJ45 plugs, etherCON allows a ruggedized and locking interconnection for harsh or high-reliability environments. The Model 354's operating power is provided by way of the Ethernet interface using the 802.3af Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) standard. This allows fast and efficient interconnection with the associated data network. To support PoE power management, the Model 354's PoE interface enumerates (reports) to the power sourcing equipment (PSE) that it's a class 1 (very low power) device.

Dante Audio-over-Ethernet

Audio data is sent to and received from the Model 354 using the Dante audio-over-Ethernet media networking technology. As a Dante-compliant device, the Model 354's four Dante transmitter (output) channels and four Dante receiver (input) channels can be assigned (routed or "subscribed") to other devices using the Dante Controller software application. The Dante transmitter (output) and receiver (input) channels are limited to supporting four Dante flows, two in each direction. The digital audio's bit depth is up to 32 with a sampling rate of 48 kHz. Two bi-color LEDs provide an indication of the Dante connection status. An additional LED displays the status of the associated Ethernet connection.

The Model 354 is compatible with the AES67 interoperability standard. When configured in Dante Controller to support AES67, the unit's two transmitter (output) channels will function in multicast; unicast is not supported. In addition, the Model 354 is compatible with the Dante Domain Manager™ (DDM) software application.

Audio Quality

The Model 354 provides excellent audio performance. A low-noise, wide dynamic-range microphone preamplifier and associated voltage-controlled-amplifier (VCA) dynamics controller (compressor) ensures that gooseneck microphone audio quality is preserved while minimizing the chance of signal overload. The output of the microphone preamp and compressor is routed to an analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) section that supports a sampling rate of 48 kHz with a bit depth of up to 32.

As previously discussed, the Model 354 can store and replay two audio files. These uncompressed PCM audio signals utilize the high-quality 16-bit, monaural, WAV format.

Audio sources can arrive in the Model 354 by way of four Dante receiver (input) channels. The supported sampling rate is 48 kHz with a bit depth of up to 32. These signals pass into the Model 354's 32-bit microcontroller integrated circuit and can be used as part of background music or talent cue channels. They can also be used in conjunction with the analog and Dante monitor output functions. The source selected for the analog monitor output is sent to a high-performance digital-to-analog (DAC) integrated-circuit converter and then on to robust balanced (differential) output circuitry. The analog monitor output is protected from connection with low-voltage DC, ESD ("static"), and other potentially damaging transients.

The audio content of the Dante transmitter (output) channels will consist of, depending on the unit's configuration and operating state, a combination of gooseneck microphone, WAV audio file, and audio input sources. The signals remain in the digital domain and route through the 32-bit logic circuitry and on to the Dante interface section where it is packetized and prepared for transport over Ethernet.

Configuration Flexibility

The Model 354 can easily be configured to meet the needs of many specific applications and user preferences. All configuration choices are performed using the STcontroller software application. Versions of STcontroller are available to support the WinOS® and macOS® operating systems. Selectable configurable parameters include microphone preamplifier gain, WAV file level trim, LED indicator intensity and actions, and monitor output source selection and operation. In addition, each of the four output functions can be optimized from the six available configuration choices. These choices allow the unit to be configured to support voice page, talent cueing (IFB), and other specialized applications.

As previously described, the functions associated with the four pushbutton switches and output channels can be individually configured. As an example, for a voice page application three of the output channels might be configured to utilize a background music source and play, before the microphone is active, a pre-page message. The fourth output channel might be used as a voice-page output with no background music of pre-page audio. The four pushbutton switches would typically be configured to provide a momentary (push to activate) function.

Red and green LEDs are associated with the unit’s four pushbutton switches. When lit singly they will provide a red or green indication. When both are lit simultaneously, they will provide an orange indication. A configuration choice allows selection of how the LEDs will light under various operating conditions. This capability is provided to assist users who have trouble observing the differences between colors, typically issues differentiating between red and green. The "color blindness" condition is not uncommon in men and can make effective use of some electronic equipment difficult. The Model 354’s ability to control the pushbutton colors can also be useful for supporting international applications where compliance to specific regulatory requirements is required. This may dictate which LED color is associated with a function being "on" and which color is associated with a function being "off."

The four Dante receiver (input) audio sources and the way in which they are assigned to the monitor outputs can be configured from among five choices. These unique choices allow a number of audio monitoring situations to be implemented. Whether for use in voice paging, talent cueing (IFB), or other audio applications, the Model 354 should be able to achieve the desired configuration. Several special functions allow the WAV files and gooseneck microphone audio to be routed to the monitor outputs. Configurable using STcontroller, these functions can allow a user to hear confirmation audio related to the unit’s real-time operation.

Future Capabilities and Firmware Updating

The Model 354 was designed so that its capabilities and performance can be enhanced in the future. The unit implements a USB host function which allows the application firmware (embedded software) to be updated using a standard USB flash drive. And, as previously discussed, the USB receptacle is also used to load WAV audio files that can be stored on the same USB flash drive. The Model 354 uses the Audinate UltimoX4™ integrated circuit to implement its Dante interface. The firmware in this integrated circuit can be updated via the Ethernet connection, helping to ensure that the unit’s capabilities remain up to date.

Applications: Dante-based voice paging, intercom, talent cue (broadcast IFB), and general audio installations

Power Source: Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), class 1 (very low power, ≤3.84 watts), per IEEE 802.3af

General Audio:
Internal Digital Audio Processing: 32-bit, fixed
Nominal Digital Input and Output Level: –20 dBFS

Network Audio Technology:
Type: Dante® audio-over-Ethernet
AES67-2018 Support: yes
Dante Domain Manager™ (DDM) Support: yes
Bit Depth: 16, 24, or 32
Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Number of Transmitter (Output) Channels: 4
Number of Receiver (Input) Channels: 4
Dante Audio Flows: 4; 2 transmitter, 2 receiver

Network Interface:
Type: 100BASE-TX, twisted-pair Ethernet with Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) supported
Data Rate: 100 Mb/s (10 Mb/s and 1000 Mb/s GigE Ethernet not supported)

Microphone Input:
Compatibility: Studio Technologies' GME-3-12 gooseneck microphone or equivalent
Microphone Power: 3.3 volts DC via 2.49 k resistor
Impedance: 2.0 k ohms, nominal
Gain: 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 dB, selectable
Frequency Response: –3 dB at 40 Hz, –1 dB at 16 kHz
Distortion (THD+N): 0.022%, measured at –20 dBFS, 22 Hz to 22 kHz bandwidth, 12 dB of gain
Noise Floor: –95 dBFS, A-weighted, 12 dB of gain
Dynamic Range: >76 dB, A-weighted, measured at 36 dB of gain

Compressor:
Application: applies only to gooseneck microphone audio
Threshold: 2.7 dB above nominal Dante output level (–17.3 dBFS), ±0.3 dB
Slope: 2:1
Status LED: compressor active

Preamble Audio:
Number of Channels: 2, field updatable using USB flash drive
Source Type: 16-bit monophonic, 48 kHz sample rate, WAV (.wav) files, stored in non-volatile memory
Level: –20 dBFS nominal, adjustable ±12 dB in 3-dB steps
Duration: up to 40 seconds per WAV file (preliminary calculation)
Distortion: <0.0001%
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0/–0.7 dB

Talent Cue (Broadcast IFB) Capability:
Number of Channels: up to 4, configurable
Audio Sources: Dante receiver (input) channels 1-4
Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz, +0/–0.7 dB
Program Audio Attenuation (Dim): 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 dB, Full Mute, configurable

Analog Monitor Output:
Type: electronically balanced, capacitor coupled, intended to drive balanced or unbalanced loads of 2 k ohms or greater
Audio Source: Dante receiver (input) channels 1-4, preamble audio, and microphone audio, configurable
Source Impedance: 200 ohms
Nominal Level: 0 dBu, reference –20 dBFS
Maximum Level: +20 dBu, with 0 dBFS input, measured at 1 kHz
Dynamic Range: >106 dB, A-weighted
Distortion (THD+N): 0.0011% (–99 dB), measured at –1 dBFS input, 22 kHz bandwidth
Frequency Response: +0/–1.5 dB, 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Level Reduction (Dim) Capability: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 dB, or full mute, configurable

Channel Status Signals:
Action: independently configurable per channel
Send Tone Frequencies: 16, 18, and 20 kHz, sine-wave
Send Tone Frequency Accuracy: <10 ppm
Send Tone Level: –20 dBFS, nominal
Send Tone Distortion: <0.0001%
Receiver Tone Detect Level Threshold: –23 dBFS at 16 kHz; –28 dBFS at 18 kHz; –30 dBFS at 20 kHz
Receiver Tone Minimum On Time: 80 milliseconds
Program Input-to-Monitor Output Low-Pass
Filter: –6 dB at 10 kHz; –28 dB at 16 kHz; –55 dB at 20 kHz
Tone Detect Tone-to-Monitor Output Rejection Filter: –31 dB at 18 kHz; –46 dB at 20 kHz; –70 dB at 22 kHz

Connectors:
Gooseneck Microphone: ¼-inch 3-conductor with 7/16-20 UNF threaded bushing; 4-40 hex head socket set screw allows microphone to be secured into bushing
Analog Monitor Output: 3-pin male XLR
Ethernet: Neutrik NE8FBH etherCON RJ45 jack
USB: type A receptacle (used only for updating main firmware and WAV audio files)

Configuration: Studio Technologies' STcontroller personal computer application

Software Updating: USB flash drive used for updating main firmware and WAV audio files; Dante Controller’s Dante Updater application used for updating Dante interface firmware

Environmental:
Operating Temperature: 0 to 50 degrees C (32 to 122 degrees F)
Storage Temperature: –40 to 70 degrees C (–40 to 158 degrees F)
Humidity: 0 to 95%, non-condensing
Altitude: not characterized

Dimensions:
3.6 inches wide (9.1 cm)
2.7 inches high (6.9 cm)
4.7 inches deep (11.9 cm)

Deployment: intended for tabletop applications

Weight: 1.1 pounds (0.50 kg) without gooseneck microphone; 1.4 pounds (0.64 kg) with GME-3-12 gooseneck microphone

Specifications and information subject to change without notice.

Documentation

Data Sheet  

Title
Model 354 Talk Station Data Sheet
Description
Issue 1
S/N Range
00151-later
Release Date
19-Aug-2021

User Guide  

Title
Model 354 Talk Station User Guide
Description
Issue P1
S/N Range
00151-later
Firmware
1.00-later
Release Date
19-Aug-2021

Other Documentation  

Title
Model 354 Talk Station Product Documentation Sheet
Release Date
24-Nov-2020
Title
Model 354 Button Board Special Application Reference Drawing
Description
Revision A
Release Date
31-Aug-2021

Images  

Model 354 Talk Station Front Angle View
Model 354 Talk Station Rear View
Model 354 Talk Station shown with optional GME-3-12 Gooseneck Microphone

Downloads  

Dante Firmware  

Description
Dante Firmware (.dnt) and Release Notes (.txt)
Notes
DDM Ready; AES67 Support
Version
1.0.0 (UltimoX4 v4.2.2.3)
S/N Range
00151-later
Release Date
27-Jul-2021

Application / Main Firmware  

Description
Application Firmware (.stm) and Release Notes (.txt)
Version
1.00
S/N Range
00151-later
Release Date
27-Jul-2021

Audio Files  

Description
Test file
S/N Range
00151-later
Release Date
11-Aug-2021
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