DirectOut Promotes Flexible Audio Network and Interconnectivity Solutions at AES NY

October 11 2018, 01:05
Following a successful premier at IBC2018 in Amsterdam, German audio network and interconnectivity specialist DirectOut Technologies will showcase the first member of its new flagship interface series at AES New York (October 17–19) and NAB NY (October 17–18). The company will make the US debut for DirectOut’s new PRODIGY.MC modular audio converter and audio router, while supporting the IP showcase at the NY events. DirectOut will present also updates for the MONTONE.42 MADI-onto-Network Bridge and the globcon unified control software.

A very important contributor for AoIP infrastructures, DirectOut's new PRODIDGY.MC supports multiple formats with flexible I/O and networked audio and control capability in a compact 2RU package. With the ANDIAMO series in mind, PRODIGY.MC was designed from the ground up to provide maximum flexibility and versatility at a reasonable price point. The combination of unified remote control (via globcon software) and a user-friendly front panel touchscreen ensures ultimate usability. And as DirectOut stated, third-party remote control protocols can be added for expanded system integration.

As a foundation for networked audio installations, PRODIGY.MC provides I/O based on eight channel modules. Line-level, microphone and AES3 (including SRC) interfaces can be combined up to a total of 64 inputs and outputs in a single 2RU rack space. In addition, PRODIDGY.MC hardware supports MADI and a network audio option – while its two MADI slots can be equipped with BNC, SC optical and SFP modules, the optional audio network board adds Dante, Ravenna (AES67) or SoundGrid connectivity.

Being an early adopter of Ravenna AoIP technology, DirectOut began designing its own networked audio IP core almost eight years ago. Today, it supports the latest industry standards such as AES67 and SMPTE ST2110. By adding SoundGrid and Dante to its product portfolio, DirectOut is developing its product strategy to offer the widest possible variety of networked audio options to the market. Based on a modular and powerful hardware design, PRODIGY.MC serves the latest technology, ensuring security of investment while providing diversified control capabilities to meet any need.

The approach taken by DirectOut in the design of PRODIDGY.MC is the result of a decade of experience gained in designing and distributing multichannel audio converters and routing systems. “We are fortunate to be able to say that DirectOut has developed a lot of versatile products for professional clients’ exciting and demanding projects in various application scenarios during the past ten years,” comments CEO and Sales Director, Jan Ehrlich. “It is always our aim to turn the feedback we receive from our clients into new solutions in order to meet their requirements as completely as possible. Recent years have seen the need for more flexibility, modularity and state-of-the-art IP technology increase drastically.”

Immediately prior to AES NY, DirectOut also announced further improvements to its product portfolio. The popular EXBOX.BLDS received a new hardware design with modular MADI interfacing in optical SC, SFP and coaxial BNC formats. The automatic redundancy switch has proven to be a life-safer for big playout systems in live environments, and will now cover all applications and formats in multichannel MADI systems.

As CTO Stephan Flock explains, the reason for a new hardware revision five years after its launch was related with the fixed design of its MADI I/O, which means that it was unable to provide all BNC or SFP configurations. "EXBOX.BLDS has always been a special product for DirectOut, since it is one of our typical problem-solving solutions. Very many live systems and broadcast environments worldwide rely on our fail-over hardware to ensure proper signal transmission in redundant recording setups or playout rigs."

"While BNC MADI is still very popular, especially in live systems where DiGiCo and Avid consoles are predominant, the flexible SFP format is the preferred option for broadcasters. As a result of this, we decided to eliminate this last little deficit by designing a hardware with modular MADI.IOs – for everybody using MADI," Stephan Flock adds.

The new hardware design of EXBOX.BLDS is based on the MADI modules DirectOut uses in its SG.MADI SoundGrid interface. In this way, users are not only able to receive any configuration of the two MADI ports as required but are also able to change this configuration in the future.

Also, DirectOut’s MONTONE.42 MADI-onto-Network Bridge has received a comprehensive feature update to deliver enhanced performance. Improvements to the UI software make it yet more user friendly, with further improvements include enabling and disabling of SAP and MDNS protocols, user-defined stream input names, and source-specific-multicast (SSM) support. With its MONTONE.42 hardware, DirectOut will also participate in the IP Showcase at the AES AoIP pavilion. As part of its audio demonstration, the ST2110-30 and AES67 compliant MONTONE.42 will serve as a bridge between synchronous IP streams and MADI (AES10).

The AES AoIP pavilion at Booth 967 additionally hosts the Ravenna pod, where MONTONE.42 forms part of the RAVENNA demo rack. DirectOut is also exhibiting at AES New York, on Booth 531 in the Javits Convention Center and DirectOut can be found at NAB NY show with Joseph Electronics on Booth N158, also at the Javits Convention Center.

DirectOut and globcon
The technical partnership between DirectOut and globcon continues to bear fruit – after a very successful launch of globcon Beta in April 2018, the two companies have worked hard together during the summer to implement new products and features. A new beta update to the globcon unified control software demonstrates new features and improved performance, while extending its coverage to more DirectOut products.

With major updates and general performance improvements to the already stable previous version, the most important update in terms of controlled devices is support for one of the most significant DirectOut products, the MADI.SRC. This can now be driven via software for the first time. DirectOut has also released a dedicated firmware upgrade that is required to control the device via globcon, and which is now available from download from DirectOut's website.

As Jan Ehrlich comments: “We are absolutely delighted to offer free globcon support for the MADI.SRC. As one of our well-recognized and most established products, the hardware has proven itself to be a versatile problem solver and is doing a very reliable job as re-clocker and sample rate converter. ‘It’s hard to improve a solid working product, however globcon support is really a feature that adds a big improvement to the hardware since it is now able to monitor what’s going on. That’s the icing on the cake for our MADI.SRC’

Another major improvement is the completion of control plug-ins for the whole ANDIAMO series: ANDIAMO.AES and ANDIAMO.AES (SRC), along with management of MIDI-over-MADI and SERIAL-over-MADI features of all ANDIAMOs via globcon. The DO.Net implementation for M.1k2 has also been developed, and enables control of the ANDIAMO Series through globcon via Ethernet UDP. 

The software now also runs a firmware compatibility check of controlled devices, and automatically resizes the matrix channel count when switching from 1FS to 2FS or 4FS.

Alessandro Bigi, software development manager at globcon, adds: “It has been a very ‘hot’ summer here in our R&D Department, but we are really proud of what we have accomplished. Our cooperation with DirectOut is proving extremely fruitful, and in a very short time we were able to make lots of steps forward in building the software. More features are already in the pipeline and will be disclosed quite soon.”

Jan Ehrlich, Managing Director at DirectOut, shares this satisfaction: “In just a few months since we started the cooperation with globcon, most of our products are implemented and controlled by the software, and this is absolutely fantastic. Offering a very comprehensive and reliable feature set now, the official release date for globcon control is planned for Q4 2018.” |
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