Panels & Features
Each amplifier model has its own dedicated monitoring and control panels.
Features available will depend on the number of channels in the unit, as well as input options (analog, AES3, CobraNet).
We can’t describe each in detail in this limited space, but in brief the factory defaults provide the following functionality:
Devices Tab Shows all amplifiers on the network as automatically populated when going online. (In offline mode, it shows the amps you put there using the “+” button.)
This tab also has a refresh button and a counter of online and offline devices. Tapping on an amplifier selects it and takes you to…
Factory Panels The default control panels for the selected model will display. On an iPad, all three or four panels will show at once. On an iPhone or iTouch, you swipe from one panel to the next.
Panels displayed for most models are Metering, Levels/Mute, Input Routing, and Signal Generator; panels for the JBL DP-DA modules will look and function similarly.
Again, control and configuration features will vary, but most panels will offer input selection and routing, muting, level control (with manual keyboard entry option), and signal generator.
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The Metering panels show levels (input with clip indication, output, gain reduction) and also monitor temperature, limiting, load status, and, often quite handy, line voltage of the AC input. The signal generator function is selectable for pink or white noise, and includes channel routing and level fader.
Overall, functionality of the app is intuitive. Meters and warning indicators are clear in any lighting conditions, the buttons are responsive yet not hypersensitive, and faders have a “tactile” feel.
To prevent inadvertent changes, panel functions can be locked on the devices tab for a “monitoring only” mode.
When it comes to importing custom panels from System Architect, the possibilities are virtually limitless. Tour sound operators, for example, can create panels for monitoring levels on all amps in one or more racks, or for muting amp channels in arrays.
For installed systems, contractors can create custom panels for setting levels or muting in different zones of a restaurant, club or casino.
What to Do?
How users choose to deploy Powered By Crown in the field is up to their imagination, though some uses are obvious.
Many operators of small systems will discover that, in conjunction with what’s on their digital console, Powered by Crown is all they need for all set-up, configuration and operation.
Unless the deep-level functionalities of System Architect is needed on a daily basis, the iDevice should take care of business on everyday gigs.
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Making tweaks to the system from anywhere in the venue is simple. For example, if a fill or delay is needs a bit of boost or attenuation, it can be done right on the spot. It’s also a handy troubleshooting tool as you walk the venue.
If that fill or delay isn’t working, or is distorting, you can check the status immediately. And even if you’re already in the amp room, the app can be very handy when you’re working behind the amp rack. No more wishing that the front panel display was also on the back.
Finally, for those who don’t yet own an iDevice, it’s important to note that both the hardware and the iOS software have an solid track record for durability and stability.
Though technically consumer products, they have earned the trust of professionals.
For a touring systems tech, Powered by Crown can be a tool that saves time and even adds a degree of optimization accuracy - particularly in seats away from front coverage - that will enhance the audience experience.
For system contractors, a new iPad that’s pre-loaded with custom panels can be a value-added deliverable at system handover.
Powered by Crown is a significant step toward offering our customers a better user experience, one that ideally complements the power and performance of our amplifiers.
Eric Friedlander is business developer - tour sound for Crown Audio International.