Studio Technologies has announced the updated Model 5422A Dante intercom audio engine, and like the original Model 5422, it’s designed to faclitate creating party-line (PL) intercom circuits when used with Dante-compatible products.
The new version offers an Auto Mix function intended to foster enhanced party-line and audio mixing applications, and in addition, it includes expanded network connectivity with three Gigabit Ethernet ports. Further, the unit’s main and programmable logic firmware can now be updated using a standard USB flash drive.
The Model 5422A uses Dante audio-over-Ethernet technology to support a variety of broadcast, production, and related applications. In addition to creating “virtual” PL intercom circuits, the unit can provide many other Dante-based on-air, talent cueing (IFB), audio mixing, and specialized interfacing resources. Two versions are available — one with 32 input and output channels and the other with 64 input and output channels.
“With the Model 5422A, we’ve made significant improvements in both audio performance and application compatibility,” says Gordon Kapes, president of Studio Technologies. “With Auto Mix we feel that users will experience an increased level of satisfaction with party-line intercom audio. And larger or more sophisticated installations can benefit from the ability to maintain separate Dante audio and management networks. Finally, with support for firmware updates using a USB flash drive, a facility’s network security restrictions will no longer interfere with the ability to keep units up-to-date.”
Auto Mix is an audio level control function that’s implemented in high-speed programmable (FPGA) logic. Not a compressor/limiter or noise gate, it is designed to help ensure that all party-line users contribute an equal audio level to an intercom channel to enhance intelligibility and reduce listener fatigue. Auto Mix can also be employed when using the unit’s audio mixing (summing) mode.
The Model 5422A also has an audio control mode designed to allow multi-channel switching functions to be more easily implemented. High-frequency audio tones provide control of Dante audio input channels that are routed to normally-active and normally-inactive audio output channels.
The three Ethernet network connections are independent “GigE” ports, with two that can be designated for Dante redundancy while the third is used to access the unit’s management port. This allows independent networks to support dual Dante audio paths and the unit’s monitoring and configuration web pages.
The ability to update a Model 5422A using a standard USB flash drive helps support personnel work successfully within the requirements imposed by contemporary installations. This is unlike the Model 5422 whose firmware update method utilizes the once-popular file transfer protocol (FTP) method. Compatibility between Model 5422A and Model 5422 units is intended to ensure that applications can use a mixture of both units without issue.