Networking, the future and the present

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Our industry is hurtling towards an inevitable interoperable future, but the route there could take a number of different paths. There are already a number of different protocols vying for your attention, and a number of promises have been made alongside various different claims. It is all rather complicated.

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Luckily for us, Zenon Scheope (pictured left) from Resolution magazine recognises this, and he’s on hand to show us the way. Next month, Resolution is holding a one-day seminar on Audio Networking in central London. Sponsored by a number of notable networking folk – including Calrec – the Audio Networking Forum will be held at RIBA in Portland Place London W1 on 12 December. This top level conference and networking opportunity will bring together leading industry players to analyse, debate and discuss audio networking in production workflows.

Or, in short, debunk some myths and tell us exactly what’s going on. On the conference, organiser Zen says:

“Audio networking has been the most important issue in audio production for years because we all knew that it was coming but we couldn’t predict its form or function. The arrival of AES67 has served as something of a rallying point but we all still want to know where we’re heading. The Audio Networking Forum will demystify, educate and explain what our options are and what the implications are for end users in all branches of audio — from broadcast to post and music to live. It’ll be the one-day event you won’t want to miss.”

It’s all about clarity. Back in April, Calrec committed itself to an agnostic future: while we felt that MADI continues to serve the industry extremely well, we predicted we would see AoIP interconnections providing more flexible and elegant replacements. The appeal of audio networking is vast: it saves money, increases efficiency, provides additional security and redundancy, encourages remote working. Most of all it promotes freedom of choice – if everything works with everything, broadcasters can choose kit based in its suitability for them.

The publication of AES67 has given AoIP a massive boost. While non-proprietary AoIP solutions are commonly not able to offer the low latency, determinism, capacity, and broadcast feature-rich audio networking that Calrec’s Hydra2 provides, we think that AES67 and its compatible brethren are a perfect companion technology for wider connectivity to third-party equipment in a broadcast facility.

The Audio Networking Forum will include representatives from AES67, Ravenna, Audinate and our very own networking champion Patrick Warrington will speak in an attempt to put these protocols into perspective. It will look at the different technologies currently offered and make assessments on where they are pointing. It will also look at how audio networking is already being used across various disciplines, and what we can learn from them.

The day will therefore be split in two, with the first part of the day looking at the technology and the second part looking at how it is being used.

“The Audio Networking Forum will appeal to anyone working in broadcast, live production, postproduction and music production who is curious about how this most important issue in audio will impact upon their work, business, costs, efficiencies and technologies.”

For more information and for tickets, visit their page here, and check out the full programme below, and for a basic introduction to audio networking, don’t forget to download our FREE Network Primer.

FORUM CHAIRMAN: Mark Yonge
Mark Yonge is an audio consultant with a career that has included marketing and product-management at Solid State Logic and Dolby. He has served as AES Standards Manager since 2001 and has been actively involved in the birth of audio standards including, among many others, AES67.

This is audio networking
An explanation of core networking technology and structure and how it works. An introduction to the available audio networking ‘types’, what they are, and how they ‘fit’ together.
SPEAKER: Mark Yonge

AVB: the principles, the status and why it matters to the audio community
Audio is only a part of the wider media networking universe that extends from the professional creator down to the consumer in the home and on the move. AVB offers the bridge and the reach across these markets.
SPEAKER: Jan Eveleens (CEO of Axon Digital) Pro Video Segment Chair for AVnu Alliance.

Explaining Ravenna: its route to market and wider adoption
Developing networking for the professional audio and broadcast markets: the open technology approach, the challenges, the realities and the interoperability philosophy.
SPEAKER: Andreas Hildebrand, ALC Networx

Knowing your onions: setting different and differing networking technologies in perspective and context.
Integrated audio networking should combine different technologies and feature sets and apply them to the application according to the user’s equipment choices. It’s a biosphere of interconnected layers with the user’s requirements at the core.
SPEAKER: Patrick Warrington, Calrec

Using networking on high profile live events
A variety of networking technologies and architectures are used regularly and reliably on large live production events. We look at the problems that are overcome and the thinking behind the solutions that have been proved to work night after night.
SPEAKER: Dan Page, Digico

From live to studio and back again with SoundGrid
Networking is all about increasing efficiencies, saving money and speeding workflows. SoundGrid is employed regularly on high profile live music events with project transfers directly to and from the recording studio. We look at how it works and where the efficiencies are.
SPEAKER: Gil Wasserman, Waves Audio

Real-world large-scale applications of Ravenna networking in recording
Ravenna is used regularly in high pressure recording scenarios over large distances and with other technologies. We look at the nuts and bolts of making it work repeatedly and repeatably.
SPEAKER: Claude Cellier, Merging Technologies

11/11/14