Clean Signals

Clean Signals
  • McCLEAN, VA-Global strategy and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, VA recently installed one of the largest Symetrix SymNet audio networks for an upgrade in its 147-seat corporate meeting space known as Newman Auditorium.

Booz Allen Hamilton's Newman Auditorium is equipped with one of the largest Symetrix SymNet networks ever built to handle all of the hall's audio signals.
Gary L. Hall, CTS-I, CTS-D, regional AV lead for Booz Allen, along with colleague Edwin Morman, CTS-I, worked with Rick Winde, national accounts director, systems division, for Professional Products, Inc. (PPI) and with internal teams to formulate the install plan. "The biggest challenge was the ailing sound system, one with patchwork processing and problems interfacing with the other systems," said Hall.

All seats were removed and the former delegate microphones that were daisy-chained at each seat were replaced with new custom integrated stations complete with off-the-shelf microphones with light ring and a contact closure switch at each seat. The microphone light ring and push buttons were tied directly to the I/O modules in the SymNet system.

"One of the biggest technological advancements installed here is the SymNet network," commented Hall. "Using SymNet's Control I/Os and the RS-232 features, we could take advantage of the camera system's automatic or cued preset recall to work with the microphone's push-to-talk feature. When the button on a microphone is pushed, video follows the audio automatically."

All audio signals are processed by the SymNet network. The network is comprised of two SymNet CobraLink units linking two rings of SymNet equipment. Each ring can contain up to 15 devices in addition to the CobraLink. The entire system consists of five SymNet 8X8 DSP units, two SymNet 8-in DSP units, 14 SymNet BreakIn12 A/D units, and 18 SymNet Control I/Os for gating control of the delegate microphones and power to their light rings.

PPI worked directly with Michael Warona at Symetrix to create a custom, flexible I/O layout that allowed for an agile mixing architecture for all 147 microphones. The powerful processing allowed for separate mixes for four zones of sound reinforcement, Dolby surround for playback, and output for recording or audio conferencing. The team added a physical console capable of controlling the SymNet system directly via MIDI for tactile control of their record mix.

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