AV Concepts Pushes Envelope with Dante Media Networking for Live Event Production
Delivering best-in-class audio solutions continues to be a key focus for AV Concepts as the company evolves its strategy to effectively deliver cutting-edge creative and technical staging services. The need to deliver more audio channels at higher quality influenced the company to evaluate various media networking solutions available today. Seeking a solution to simplify infrastructure with flexibility to scale for event size, AV Concepts quickly focused on building a new system based on Dante. The company’s first Dante networking solution was such a success that they are in the process of building a second Dante production system.
“We are winning new business because of Dante,” said Jason Thiele, Audio Systems Engineer at AV Concepts. “Engineers want to work with innovative new technology, and our research and experience has proven Dante to be our best choice as a standard networking solution.”
On average, AV Concepts utilizes 180 routed channels per event. For Thiele, the headaches of the analog universe almost always tied to configuration and troubleshooting – headaches that quickly escalated and consumed far too much of their customers’ valuable time on show site. Thiele and his colleagues carefully compared Dante and several additional networking solutions but found the others underwhelming.
“We found that most of these systems were about putting a box on each end to move audio, and we wanted a more flexible system,” explained Thiele. “We wanted a turnkey system that could send as many channels as we wanted across a network and covered the entire chain, right up to the PA system. We recognized the benefits of Dante after Yamaha launched its CL console series, and we quickly redesigned our entire infrastructure to be Dante across the board. With fiber connections and Cisco layer 3 managed switches, we can easily route whatever we need to, wherever we need to go. And we can quickly make changes to scale the network for events of any size.”
That flexibility has been a major benefit of the Dante transition according to Thiele, given the drastic reduction in installation time, labor and complexity he and his team have experienced.
“With the new Dante Controller, we send the network template to the front of house (FOH) crew so they can pull up our configuration,” said Thiele. “The Dante channels automatically correspond to the devices on the network. Additionally, when they load a USB stick into their console, it readily looks for the device and a specific Dante channel. Once everything is plugged in and turned on, the signals are automatically routed. There is no more worrying about a patch list from the FOH team.”
Today, an AV Concepts event experience incorporates multiple Shure ULXD4Q wireless microphones, five Extron DMP128 digital matrix systems, two Yamaha Rio I/O stageboxes, and a Yamaha CL5 console with two additional Yamaha MY16-AUD cards. The infrastructure also includes 45 Dante Virtual Soundcards to enable audio networking from computing platforms, giving the AV Concepts team additional flexibility with bringing audio signals onto the network.
Because of Dante’s flexibility, AV Concepts can take advantage of a number of improvements and benefits in preparation for and during events. The team can also easily add or drop microphones and stageboxes from their Dante network depending on event needs. And the days of having to pinpoint cable issues or address latency concerns during the show are in the past.
“We have the highest-quality standards for our customers,” said Thiele. “The noise floor and signal latency on all of our Dante devices is virtually non-existent. However, the flexibility and scalability are the main benefits. We see other companies that have a console and a couple of Rio racks, but we have found that there are much bigger possibilities with the power of Dante networking. In fact, we have had several competitor companies come to our shop to look at our setup and rig, and they’ve all been amazed at the sophistication and advantages of our system.” As for the true test adds Thiele, “You just need to look at our customer satisfaction to tell the story.”
About AV Concepts
AV Concepts partners with brands, their experiential marketing agencies, and production partners to deliver creative and technical event solutions. We offer a collaborative, in-house approach for general sessions, keynote productions and experiential marketing activations including creative, engineering, technology and staging. From intimate events to large user conferences, we grow and evolve with our clients as their needs adapt and change. And we’re always pushing the envelope, leveraging new technologies, or inventing our own, to ensure we’re creating immersive experiences that dazzle audiences and drive business results.
Audinate revolutionizes AV systems to enable our customers to thrive in a networked world. Audinate’s Dante media networking technology has been adopted by the leading OEM manufacturers and the dominant networking technology in the professional audio/visual industry. Dante is used extensively for live performance events, commercial installation, broadcast, recording and production, and communications systems. Audinate offices are located in US, United Kingdom and Australia.