Audio anywhere in any configuration is a primary benefit of the new Dante-based Symetrix processing infrastructure at the Hotel Roanoke & Convention Center in Virginia, US.
Co-owned by Hilton Properties, the City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech, the Hotel Roanoke & Convention Center is a far-ranging complex that includes extensive business and entertainment facilities. Originally built in 1882 and renovated many times since, the hotel includes multiple meeting spaces and an impressive ballroom, but until recently these areas didn't always enjoy the desired level of audio processing and distribution flexibility.
Following on from a recent renovation effort, national audio installation firm IES Communications was appointed to devise a system able to network every area in every possible configuration seamlessly - but without incurring long, labour-intensive cable runs. A cutting-edge conference space and business facilities that include 35 meeting rooms, a remote lecture hall, two boardrooms and conference centre lounges, as well as a 1,400-capacity ballroom that can be used whole or in subdivided formation all needed to be factored in to the new set-up.
Heritage mixers, DSPs and power amplifiers had to be replaced as part of the project, explains IES Communications AV project manager Jim Hogan. "The existing system was nearly 20 years old, and even though it was state-of-the-art when it was installed it was now dated with old technology. There were constant maintenance issues as well, and many parts were no longer available," he says.
Having utilised Symetrix DSPs with support for Audinate's Dante media networking, Hogan and his team worked on devising a system based around seven Symetrix SymNet Radius AEC and three SymNet Radius 12x8 open architecture Dante-scalable DSPs. "The main DSP rack handles several ballrooms, while a remote lecture hall - which was once independent - is now part of the system via fiber. A remote rack also serves additional meeting spaces," says Hogan.
Patchable inputs mean that audio from any DSP can be routed to any other DSP for fast and flexible processing, while incorporation of the AEC (Acoustic Echo Cancellation) algorithm in the SymNet Radius processors helps guarantee best-in-class sound quality. Seven SymNet 4 Channel Analog Output Cards, one SymNet xOut 12 and three SymNet xIn 12 expanders, and a grand total of 40 ARC-2e remote controls are also part of a specification that delivers fully automatic, multi-zone mixing across multiple areas.
IES also provided a main PA system comprising Bose RoomMatch modular line-array loudspeakers and Bose PowerMatch Dante-enabled amplifiers for larger applications, along with several distributed systems - all of which are also controlled by Dante - as well as Shure digital wireless systems.
Hogan reports a "highly enthusiastic" response from the hotel operator to the completed project - the latest in a long line to have centred around Symetrix DSPs. "We've used Symetrix successfully in so many different scenarios over the years - ranging from museums and educational facilities to stadiums," he says. "Throughout that time we've had brilliant support from the Symetrix team, including our regional rep, Eastern regional sales manager Jim Latimer, who has been a continual source of great advice."
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With a current and broadly-based product portfolio that encompasses both open architecture (Edge, Radius 12x8 EX, Radius AEC) and fixed architecture (Jupiter, Zone Mix 761) solutions, Seattle, USA-based Symetrix is the global leader in digital audio signal processing. From a founding base in the studio and MI communities, Symetrix has emerged to take a defining role in commercial audio, its products now a default choice for large-scale installations in performance venues, sports arenas, educational establishments and many more. Benefiting from a worldwide distribution network that has seen its products specified in over 100 countries, Symetrix nonetheless continues to spearhead the entire design and build process from its Seattle HQ. The manufacturer is now enhancing its readiness for a new era of AV networking through its licensing partnership with Audinate, whose world-leading Dante media networking solution is fully integrated into the SymNet DSP platform.