The What: Symetrix has released the latest version of its free Composer programming software for Edge, Radius NX, Prism, and Solus NX DSPs with multiple new features.
The What Else: Composer 8.0 has been enhanced with Lua scripting, which allows users to create custom Intelligent Modules for Composer. These Intelligent Modules allow the software to control and monitor any device that can be controlled by a third-party control system or provide system logic functionality which previously required large and complex logic programming.
For example, a council chamber audio system could be programmed so that as each person presses their mic button to speak, they're placed in a queue. When each person is finished speaking, the mic of the next person in the queue is automatically unmuted and their indicator LED illuminated. This can be accomplished with logic programming, but it requires large, very complex combinations of objects. Implementing the same functionality with Lua scripting is a simple task that can be programmed and tested in a few hours.
Intelligent Modules created using Lua Scripting in Composer 8.0 are identical to the native Intelligent Modules delivered with Composer and work with both new and existing Symetrix devices compatible with Composer. There is no activation or licensing fee for creating or using Lua scripted Intelligent Modules in Composer.
The Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) cards for the Radius NX have a new configuration option that increases the total number of AEC channels when using discrete AEC references. When processing AEC, the AEC channels in each room need to receive an AEC reference signal specific to that room which presents an increased processing load for the DSP chip.
With Composer 8.0, the Radius NX with AEC-2 card is now capable of up to 12 channels of simultaneous AEC. This enables a single Radius NX to manage as many as 12 different rooms. The increase in AEC capability may also be realized in existing installations where Radius NX DSPs with AEC cards have been installed, requiring only a firmware update. The Radius NX with AEC-1 card is now capable of processing six discreet AEC references.
Audio recording functionality in the Radius NX is now joined by audio playback. Audio systems often include a message playback device for audio cues such as classroom bells, airport parking messages, retail store closing announcements, or background music. The Radius NX can play up to eight audio tracks simultaneously from a local USB drive.
Each audio playback module in the Radius NX can include one to eight channels of audio up to a combined total of eight tracks per Radius NX. Playback modules are individually controlled for manual or automatic playback, track/playlist selection, loop, shuffle, repeat, and auto start. Support is provided for multi-channel audio files including LCR, 3.1, 5.1, and 7.1 recordings.
Total audio playback time for the Radius NX is dependent on the size of the USB drive being used. A 512GB drive can provide over 1,600 hours of CD-quality playback for less than $75 and there are no fees to activate or enable playback functionality.
The Radius NX Media Manager is a browser-based feature providing upload, download, playlist, and organization functions for recordings on the USB drive of the Radius NX. Whether a Radius NX is playing background music, announcement messages, or timing chimes, audio files need to be uploaded to the Radius NX before they can be played and organized on the drive.
As with the audio recording feature, audio files on the Radius NX can be accessed with an FTP client connected to the Radius NX, but the Radius NX Media Manager also provides full control of all media files on the device using any web browser. By accessing the Radius NX with a web browser, a user can upload files from a computer to the Radius NX, organize those files into folders for access, create and organize playlists as needed, and move audio files individually or in groups to simplify building or maintaining an audio library for the Radius NX. The Radius NX Media Manager is available for free on any Radius NX by simply updating to Composer 8.0 and connecting a USB drive.
The Bottom Line: Composer 8.0 for Windows expands the power of the Symetrix ecosystem with multiple new features including Lua Scripting, Radius NX AEC Enhancement, Audio Playback, and Media Manager.