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Live Sound

Understanding Networked Audio at AES

By Anthony Savona. The AES Convention provides a great opportunity to learn more (or everything) about audio networking.

While the AES Convention is known to be a key event for networking with peers, the other kind of networking is getting some needed attention through a dedicated Networked Audio education track. The informative sessions kicked off first-thing yesterday morning with a presentation on “Network Fundamentals for Audio Engineers” by Yamaha Pro Audio’s Patrick Killianey.

Networked Audio Track chairman Bob Lee says that it is important for AES attendees to understand the network because everything is on it. “Networks are ubiquitous now,” says Lee. “Network technology has gotten more capable, and we can take advantage of that by routing more channels of audio. It gives us a lot more flexibility. In fact, some new facilities, instead of laying down hundreds of shielded twisted-pair cables, are now laying down a couple of network cables because you can send signals anywhere.”

In his well-attended session, Killianey used the familiar home network as a basis for explaining the basics, saying, “You do not need to be an IT professional to run a network any more than you needed to become an electrical engineer to solder.”

The session covered everything from IP addresses and subnet masking to VLANs and trunks. Killianey has another session today at 1:45 p.m. in Room 1E10 called “Optimizing Networks for Media” that will examine the technologies used to optimize a network for modern media transport such as Dante.

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The Networked Audio Track continues today through Friday, and while many key topics will be covered, Lee believes manufacturers would benefit from attending the “How to Get AES67 into Your Systems or Products” session on Friday at 10:45 a.m. in room 1E13. “We have gone from dealing just with analog audio and circuitry to having network specialists in our group now, and AES67 is the big operability standard that allows different companies’ products to work with each other. I think manufacturers in particular would get a lot out of this session.”

To see the full lineup of sessions in the Networked Audio Track, check the AES Convention app or visit