Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL is utilizing a campus-wide Audinate Dante audio network that’s become a increasingly used platform within the school’s infrastructure in both production and education applications.
With early roots as a recording studio and as a center for the recording arts, the Full Sail curriculum is delivered via immersive teaching methods in the university’s classrooms, production studios, performance spaces, and through an online learning environment. The university was an early adopter of networked audio in its educational offerings and as part of its studio and live productions, and over the years, it’s made a substantial investment in Dante-capable Focusrite RedNet equipment.
“That was really our first big push into Dante, and from there, the platform has fanned out across our campus. There are very few places here that it doesn’t touch,” explaind Vince Lepore, director of event technical operations at Full Sail University. “We use it for education and production at almost every level of the campus. Not a day goes by that I don’t use Dante in one way or another.”
According to Lepore, the university’s Dante network is a constant work in progress. Currently, an effort is underway to outfit classrooms with Dante-enabled equipment. The standard classroom footprint includes Shure MX Series microphones, QSC Q-SYS networked audio processors, and a mix of I/O options, mixers, monitors, and more, depending on the room. Lab spaces are also equipped with a range of Dante-enabled digital audio consoles from manufacturers such as Yamaha, DiGiCo, and Calrec.
“Many of our facilities, whether it’s the recording studios, live event production facilities, or our additional classrooms, are all equipped with Dante connectivity,” says Lepore. “The rooms that are being built out now with Dante are Zoom-based, and the audio moving in and out of the Zoom systems is all Dante.”
The university’s flagship performance venue, Full Sail Live also has Dante fully integrated in many ways. The university’s esports facility, the Full Sail University Orlando Health Fortress, is a large indoor, multi-use space primarily used to support the university’s esports team, Armada. From the microphones to the speakers and everything in between, the audio system in the Fortress is virtually all Dante.
“We opened the Fortress in 2019, and Dante was very mature at that point, so it was obvious that we would incorporate Dante and its industry leading capabilities into the facility,” added Lepore. “From an audio perspective, Dante is integral to the esports operations of the Fortress.”
In addition, students enrolled within Full Sail’s Show Production bachelor’s degree program receive a Dante Virtual Soundcard license for use on their laptops so they can connect to a Dante network to record, process, and play out using any audio application and any combination of Dante-enabled devices.
“Along with the campus-wide Dante network, all the virtual soundcard licenses, and Dante Controller for management and configuration, we also use tons of Dante AVIO adaptors,” says Lepore. “AVIO adaptors are everywhere here — they’re like little Swiss Army knives; they’re amazing tools.”
One of the largest but perhaps less visible uses of Dante is with the university’s campus-wide intercom system. Full Sail uses a Dante-based system from RTS. “Our Dante-based intercom footprint is substantial. We’ve been using RTS for many years, and it’s probably the technology that our team relies on the most,” Lepore notes. “I use my intercom key panel multiple times every day, and all of that communication is transported via Dante.”
He adds that one of the goals for 2022 is to deploy Dante Domain Manager across the network. “When we consider remote and on-campus students and staff, we’re providing services for over 20,000 people. There’s a lot of activity on our Dante networks,” he concludes. “I’m excited about Dante Domain Manager, and I think it will be a great benefit for us.”