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Digital Audio Snake


Digital Audio Snake

A digital audio snake has a number of unique benefits which include:

~ Immunity to inductive noise.
~ The capability to distribute audio from the stage to multiple locations over inexpensive Cat 5 cable.
~ Long cable runs without signal degradation.
~ The capability for a loss less split of the audio signals.
~ Control and monitoring from any number of PCs.

Every device in the digital audio snake design is a SoundwebTM London BLU- 120. Each BLU-120 utilizes the digital audio bus to transmit and receive up to 128 channels of 96kHz 24-bit digital audio. No audio processing is required for this application since the sole function of an audio snake is to route audio signals. While BLU-160 devices could be used for this application, the extensive range of processing offered by these devices would not be employed. The lower cost BLU-120, without configurable DSP, offers exactly the routing functionality required to create a digital audio snake.

Moving the snake from an analog domain into the digital domain means that audio signals can be ‘copied’ and routed to a virtually unlimited number of locations without impedance concerns.

Inexpensive CAT5e cable replaces costly and bulky analog snakes and the digital network, providing complete signal integrity, ensures a premium listener experience throughout the facility.

In the case of this design, four BLU-160 devices, configured with 16 analog outputs, are used at each of the three output positions - FOH, Monitors and Record. The audio is routed from four BLU-160 devices, configured with 16 analog inputs, located at the stage to all of the output devices via the BLU link.

BSS Audio’s digital audio bus is found on all BLU-800, BLU-160, BLU-320 and BLU-120 devices. It carries 256 channels of audio at 48kHz, and 128 channels at 96kHz, both at 24bit across a standard CAT5e connection between devices. When connected in a loop, it has redundancy, allowing any one BLU link cable to break while still maintaining audio. The digital audio can travel up to 100 meters on a standard CAT5e network. If greater distances are needed, standard ‘off-the-shelf’ Ethernet fiber optic devices can be employed. The digital audio bus devices are connected ‘point to point’ eliminating the need for expensive switches. You can have up to 32 digital audio bus devices and one CobraNet network connected together allowing you to split and route multiple signals to multiple locations simply by adding more BLU-120’s to the network.

Having a computer connected to the digital audio snake has some major advantages. In the design shown, custom control panels, divided into multiple sub-pages, allow the system operator to select any of the 64 inputs and adjust input sensitivity. In addition, the operator has the ability to enable or disable phantom power. Full metering gives the audio engineer accurate signal level at every point in the signal chain.

Ease of signal routing, flexibility, and signal integrity are all good reasons why designers of today’s performance venues are choosing SoundwebTM London to provide an inexpensive, yet more flexible, routing alternative to traditional analog solutions.

>>>Click here to download the full application guide and sample file.<<<

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BSS Audio
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Sandy, UT 84070
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