The technical side of a live production can be just as complex as any music recording, mastering or post production application. And add to that, the fact that reliability is extremely critical, as everything is, well, live!
Live production is a wide palette. It could be anything from permanent installations at theaters, concert halls and live venues. Or it could be portable setups that have to be set up and torn down all the time. In either case, chances are that it involves a high input channel count, many of which are likely to be microphones, a comprehensive use of effects and a complex audio distribution scheme, including monitor signals, recording streams and speaker channels.
The hands-on centerpiece is of course a console, but underneath the surface, you need a very powerful and flexible audio routing engine. This is one of our absolute key strengths. The DADman software platform that you can connect our hardware interfaces to is capable of administrating an audio channel matrix of up to a staggering 1,500 x 1,500 audio streams.
Audio Routing Bliss
With this matrix in your setup, and with the number of our hardware units connected to meet your demands, you can connect virtually any format from analog to AES, MADI and Dante IP Audio.
Once you get the audio into the matrix, any mono channel can be routed anywhere, or duplicated and streamed to several destinations simultaneously.
In effect, you get to convert not only from analog to digital or vice versa if that's what you need, but also to convert between a wealth of different formats within the digital domain.
But perhaps best of all - and most importantly - you can save your entire routing setup and recall it in mere seconds. Ultimately, you can create as many different workflows - or different performances/artists as you like. And switch between workflows seamlessly.
Audinate Dante AoIP
You may already have an IP-audio-based setup, but if not, it could well be worth investigating Audinate's Dante IP Audio protocol further.
For instance, if you have a high number of microphones on the stage, rather than having a stage box and a massive cable snake running to the main FOH, you could have just a single Ethernet cable porting literally hundreds of channels across a distance of up to 100 meter.
Obviously, this protocol offers an even greater benefit if your live setup is portable and you need to set it up at a new venue every other night, but even at permanent stages, it is a great solution that is super flexible and convenient in case you decide to redesign along the way.
If you have not yet delved into the world of Dante IP Audio, we have gathered 10 of the most common questions we receive on the topic and tried to answer them best we can.
Optimizing Audio Quality
Any audience will appreciate a great-sounding live experience. Using our DADman platform and our hardware interfaces such as the AX32, you get two vey important things that in different ways contribute massively to optimizing the quality of your audio.
First, you can add optional microphone preamps to AX32 that are as transparent and clean as it gets. They are hugely popular among location recording engineers and producers in the world of classical music - a world where capturing the moment is accurately as possible is the name of the game.
If you deliberately want a slightly compressed tube-like sound, you should look elsewhere, but if you want transparency, our mic pres will definitely put a smile on your face. Oh, and it should also be mentioned that you can control the gain of these mic preamps digitally from the DADman software - and yes, this will also be stored with your other settings, so you can recall it again at anytime.
Second, AD/DA conversion is a huge matter when it comes to audio quality. Porting your audio from volt to digits and back again is not a task to be taken lightly. Converting audio between the analog and digital domains is a huge part of our legacy. In fact, it is where it all began, and therefore it is deeply carved into our DNA.
Yes, we have been nit-picking every little detail and aspect of the topic for decades, so no wonder we think it's important. But we urge you to simply listen, and we are confident that you will agree with us that the difference between a great and a good AD or DA converter is not merely intellectual - is it indeed also very audible.
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