Recently, Johnson Knowles, resident technical guru at the Dallas-based Russ Berger Design Group (RBDG), integrated SymNet into BiCoastal Music (Ossining, N.Y.), to operate as the 5.1 monitor system controller. RBDG designed the new studio last year (which features an SSL C200 fully digital mixing console) and is now open for business.
The SymNet control system is centered on the 8x8 DSP, the Audio Matrix system's core hardware module, which houses four Sharc DSP chips. A DigIO 12x12 DSP and input/output device provides a digital audio interface to the system and is interconnected via Cat-5 cable with a pair of HomerLink units, each capable of supporting up to eight channels of AES-3 48kHz/24-bit inputs and outputs. A BreakOut12 unit provides analog outputs from the system.
"There are six inputs, and for outputs we have left, right and center, each having three outputs: low frequency, mid and high,” Knowles explained. “They all also have a sub output that all combine into one. There are four surround loudspeaker outputs that feed hybrid passive boxes. We're using a partial passive filtered network on the surrounds and then making some corrections with SymNet, so we get the best of both worlds: the cost savings of a passive with some of the corrective capabilities of a digital system."
The final step in the installation involves having the SSL console communicate directly with SymNet using the RS-232 or RS-485 capabilities of the system. "You don't want to control the volume digitally from the console because you're truncating the bit depth,” Knowles continued. “The console will let you turn down the bitstream, but we lose resolution as we reduce the amplitude. So we're feeding full-bore digital into SymNet, which is great because once you have your level set, you know that you're always where you want to be. Then, you use the console's monitor level to control the monitor speakers."