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AV Concepts Pushes Envelope With Dante Media Networking For Live Event Production

Event production company migrates its audio infrastructure to a networked routing and distribution environment

AV Concepts (Portland, OR) has integrated Audinate Dante networking into its production and event systems in migrating its audio infrastructure to a networked routing and distribution environment. 

The transition to Dante, in combination with AV Concepts investment in fiber optic systems, enables the company to set up its networked audio architecture in 30 to 45 minutes, compared to the 6 to 8 hours typically spent deploying a legacy audio system.

The need to deliver more audio channels at higher quality influenced AV Concepts to evaluate various media networking solutions, and seeking a solution to simplify infrastructure with flexibility to scale for event size, the comopany focused on building a new system based on Dante. The company’s first Dante networking solution was such a success that its in the process of building a second Dante production system.

“We’re winning new business because of Dante,” states 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 difficulties of the analog universe almost always tied to configuration and troubleshooting – difficulties that often escalated and consumed far too much of customers’ valuable time on show site. 

“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,” explains 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 benefit of the transition, according to Thiele, given the significant 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 crew so they can pull up our configuration,” says 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 system 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, providing 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 add or drop microphones and stageboxes from the 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.

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“We have the highest-quality standards for our customers,” Thiele concludes. “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.”

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AV Concepts

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