WIMBLEDON, UK, 7 FEBRUARY 2017 — Robin Conway, a project manager at Capital Sound Hire who focuses on the technical design of new builds and infrastructure projects, recently became closely involved with the company’s migration to the Dante® Audio-over-Ethernet networking solution. His quest to simplify the signal chain led him to the compact 2-channel Model 5205 Mic/Line to Dante Interface from Studio Technologies, a manufacturer of high-quality audio, video and fiber-optic solutions.
“After researching Dante for some time, we’ve moved a lot over while still keeping an eye on what’s coming to market,” says Conway. “We wanted to simplify our signal chain using a Dante virtual soundcard and controller as a sort of reference signal path and we needed a mic pre that went straight to Dante. That’s when I came across Studio Technologies’ Model 5205, which I knew would address our needs.”
For more than 30 years, Capital Sound Hire has been supplying professional sound equipment for the live music and event industry. Previous projects range from music touring; outdoor events and festivals; corporate and commercial award shows; and more. In recent months, the company has worked on Barry Manilow’s “One Last Time!” tour, BBC’s live double-header weekend of Proms in the Park and Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, as well as multiple high-profile festivals across the UK and Europe.
Capital Sound keeps an active schedule and its role typically goes beyond just equipment supply. As part of its commitment to provide pro-quality sound for top-end events, they offer on-site technical support, specialized acoustic predictions and sound system design. A system technician is assigned to each show to help ensure a successful project outcome. The company stocks professional equipment to suit a wide range of venues and applications, from niche manufacturers on through to majors such as Soundcraft, DiGiCo, Yamaha, Sennheiser, and Shure. It’s an environment where the plug-and-play benefits of Dante are especially beneficial and Capital Sound has been a strong proponent.
To capture signals for evaluation and get them on a network, Capital Sound had previously used a microphone preamp and an additional processor. “The process was pretty laborious and slow, and needed to be reconfigured every time,” says Conway. “I wanted something that was cost-effective and went straight from mic to Dante, something that would allow us to quickly and easily compare the original signal to numerous signals on a Smaart® measurement rig. We discovered the Model 5205 and now it is part of every major project we do.”
The company currently has six Model 5205s, one for each PA system it maintains. No matter the design details or equipment deployed for a specific event, keeping everything on the Dante network makes set-up and workflow configuration much easier. “It’s great because it has a digital gain stage as well, and reusable features on the front panel, so you don’t have to recalibrate the microphone every day,” says Conway. “There is also no need to align it because you know if you’ve set the right gain, you’ve already got a calibrated microphone. It’s a simple and functional part of the design that’s pretty useful.”
Space is critical for remote events and Capital Sound works to minimize the “real estate” used. Each Model 5205 Mic/Line to Dante Interface unit is mounted in half of a custom 1U panel, with the other half occupied by a LiveClock portable audio master clock from Antelope Audio.
Conway’s decision to purchase multiple Model 5205 boxes was also influenced by a possible medium-term industry shift from 48- to 96-kHz. “We had to think about where we might be as a company in 12 or 18 months if everything moves to 96 kHz. The Model 5205 is the only box that ticked every bracket, including offering 96 kHz sampling.”
Studio Technologies started shipping the compact, 2-Channel Model 5205 Mic/Line to Dante Interface in early 2016. Like all Studio Technologies Dante products, it features excellent audio quality, simple installation and easy-to-use controls and interfaces. It is ideal for use in conjunction with a variety of fixed and portable audio applications where one or two analog audio signals need to join a Dante network.
Two analog microphone or line-level audio signals can be connected to the Model 5205. They are amplified as required and then converted to digital audio channels and output on an associated Dante connection. With the inherent interoperability of Dante, the Model 5205 can be used with other Studio Technologies Dante-enabled products or with a wide-range of devices offered by other manufacturers.
Microphone or line-level balanced analog audio signals are connected using two 3-pin XLR connectors. Using front-panel pushbutton switches, the gain of the associated microphone preamplifier circuitry can be selected for 0, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 dB. P48 phantom power is provided to support condenser microphones. Separate pushbutton switches control the on/off status of phantom power. LEDs display the status of the gain and phantom power functions. Multi-step LED meters provide confirmation of the level of the two Dante transmitter (output) audio channels.
About Studio Technologies, Inc.
Studio Technologies, Inc. provides tailored, high-performance video, audio and fiber optic products for the professional audio and broadcast markets. Founded in 1978, the company is committed to designing and manufacturing dependable, cost-effective, and creative solutions for broadcast studio, stadium and corporate environments. Known for “designing for the way professionals work,” the company is recognized as an industry leader. Product categories include fiber-optic transport, intercom and IFB interfaces, announcer consoles, and loudspeaker monitor control systems. A growing line of Dante-enabled Audio-over-Ethernet products is receiving wide recognition. For more information, please visit the Studio Technologies website at www.studio-tech.com or call 847-676-9177.
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