Studio Technologies Enhances Model 5422A Dante Audio Engine

Like the original Model 5422, the new design is a high-performance, cost-effective solution for creating party-line (PL) intercom circuits when used with Dante-compatible products. The “A” version offers a sophisticated Auto Mix function for enhanced party-line and audio mixing applications.

The unit also includes expanded network connectivity with three Gigabit Ethernet ports, which can better meet the needs of larger, multi-network installations. Additionally, 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. The Model 5422A features low-latency 32-bit digital processing for excellent sonic quality and is available in two versions – 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 a sophisticated audio level control function that’s implemented in high-speed programmable (FPGA) logic. Not a compressor/limiter or noise gate, the Auto Mix function helps to ensure that all party-line users contribute an equal audio level to an intercom channel. This enhances intelligibility and reduces listener fatigue. In addition to being part of the Model 5422A’s party-line capability, Auto Mix can also be used when using the unit’s audio mixing (summing) mode. The Model 5422A also features an audio control mode that allows multi-channel switching functions to be 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 Model 5422A offers three Ethernet network connections as compared to the two provided by the Model 5422. Providing three independent “GigE” ports is a significant improvement, allowing two to be designated for Dante redundancy while the third is used to access the Model 5422A’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. Overall the Model 5422A maintains the strengths of the original Model 5422. This includes storing firmware files and configuration settings in non-volatile memory, mounting in one space (1U) of a standard 19-inch rack enclosure, and supporting both AC mains and 12 volts DC powering. Compatibility between Model 5422A and Model 5422 units ensures that applications can use a mixture of both units without issue.

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