Our new Logitek Audio-over-IP (AoIP) mix console system, and its accompanying ENCO automation system, is in the process of being installed. We'll have some on-site visits starting Nov.2nd and the big changeover will be the week of Nov. 16th.
Here's a couple pics to show you the work-in-progress! :) First is the new Logitek Mosaic mix board; there's a pair of touchscreens above it that will eventually run the ENCO D.A.D. (Digital Audio Delivery) automation system that replaces our AudioVAULT. These boards are, at their core, actually just a fancy keyboard and mouse. They manipulate a small "audio engine" which is, at its core, just a fancy computer in a rack-mount case. A single CAT5 ethernet cable connects the two...besides that CAT5 and a power cable, there's no other wiring into the mix console itself. All the actual mixing is going on inside the computer.
One really cool thing about this mixer? Virtually every colored light you see is customizable to 64 different colors! Also worth noting: the background is a dead giveaway that these audio engines are running Windows 7. But wait, why not run Windows 10? Because this is actually Embedded Windows 7, which is a specific version of Win7 designed for commercial applications. It's much more streamlined and stable than regular desktop Windows 7. It's also more limited in what it can do, but we only need it to do a handful of specific tasks: namely run the mix board and run the automation system. We're not using this to run Microsoft Office! :)
This other pic shows the side of the installation in Master Control. Note the huge amount of CAT5 cables everywhere. In this case, they (mostly) aren't passing data but instead are just passing audio. The "twisted pair" nature of CAT5 wiring works very well for audio, too. So we're using a StudioHub-based infrastructure to connect all our audio equipment into the actual "audio engine", which is a Logitek Jet Stream Mini (JSM). You can see the JSM towards the bottom of the rack; it's got several vertical air vents on the front, and two bright blue LED lights.
All the CAT5 cabling goes through a patch panel for easy re-routing if needed, and then into the back of the JSM (which also adheres to the StudioHub standard). Cables are color-coded, too:
- Yellow for balanced analog audio running to the JSM.
- Orange for balanced analog audio coming from the JSM.
- Purple for AES digital audio running to the JSM.
- Green for AES digital audio coming from the JSM.
There's also a Broadcast Tools ACS8.2 Plus audio switcher that lets us bypass the whole works and put a specific audio feed directly on the air. For example, if something really bad happens...like the computer inside a JSM fries itself...I can put a satellite feed directly on the air to keep something going until a backup unit can be swapped in.
Look for more stories/pics on my Twitter feed @aaronread1 and in future Engineer's Corners!