Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Glensound snakes in commentary advances

Audio specialist Glensound unveiled three new products at NAB for audio links, simple commentary set ups and headphone monitoring, writes David Fox. The Glensound GSnake 400M is a flexible, powerful bi-directional digital audio snake.

Audio specialist Glensound unveiled three new products at NAB for audio links, simple commentary set ups and headphone monitoring, writes David Fox. The Glensound GSnake 400M is a flexible, powerful bi-directional digital audio snake that has “a few functions not normally found at this price point (under £2,000),” said Marc Wilson, Glensound’s Sales & Marketing Manager. The system comprises two units, a 2RU base station, and a 2U free standing or stackable stage box, with three different link options, all digital 24-bit 48kHz. The most robust uses coaxial cable, which allows a distance between units of 400 metres and also carries the power to the stage box, so only a single cable is required. The GSnake can also have an Ethernet option, copper or fibre. Using copper gives a 100m range and also carries power using a version of PoE. Using VLANs this link can also be passed using managed switches. With the fibre link the two units can be kilometres apart, but the stage box has to be powered locally. There is no software control or configuration required. Audio from Module One at one end goes to Module One at the other end, whether analogue or AES digital. Whether this is a send or return depends on the module that you use in each slot. This allows the 16 available channels to be configured in any combination: 16 sends from the stage to act as a direct stage link, eight sends and eight returns to take direct links with eight monitoring returns, or two sends and 14 returns for a stereo programme with multiple monitoring. Analogue input modules can accommodate line level, multiple mic levels and provide 48v phantom power if required. The digital input modules allow connections from 32-192kHz. The GSnake 400M is based on the link technology developed for Glensound’s GDC 6432 commentary system, and was been developed following broadcasters requests to use the links without the cost of buying the full commentary system. In the Loop The new Glensound Solo units (from £495) were designed as simple, cost effective single position commentary or voice over units, primarily for American markets, but Wilson believes that the more flexible £695 Solo Loop unit will also appeal to European broadcasters, as several of these units can be linked together to share talkback between them. “That makes it very flexible for doing small, easy commentary boxes,” he said. They use high quality microphone amps and Glensound’s broadcast specific compressor/limiter system, to ensure consistent audio levels even with the most excited soccer commentator – this can be disabled if required. The mic input also has selectable 48v phantom power. The audio inputs and outputs are transformer balanced to provide audio isolation when used in outside broadcast environments, and there is an external input for headphone monitoring – usually the main programme feed. Sidetone is also available in the headphones via a rear panel adjustable POT. All connections are on the rear panel, giving a very clean working space for the operator. Power is external via a plug top USB supply. The Solo Loop adds a talkback circuit and additional monitoring input for the return talkback audio. It also includes Glensound’s Current Mixing Bus System (CMBus), which adds two RJ45 sockets for connecting multiple units using CAT5 cable. With the main talkback and programme connections on the first unit, the CMBus links audio between units using a current mixing technique that is much less susceptible to external interference than a traditional voltage mix technique. All incoming mic programme audio is passed along and mixed to the output of the first unit, the talkback monitor is available on every unit, and the talkback audio is passed between units and mixed to the output of the first unit. It is also compatible with Glensound’s popular Talent Box, so it can act as an extension. TopHat entails Its new TopHat M3s compact headphone amp with monitoring and loops was developed specifically for one of its outside broadcast customers covering the London Olympics. It is essentially two separate headphone amplifiers in a single compact, portable box. These are fed with four common XLR inputs. Each amplifier has four rotary pots to create an independent mix of each input, so that a cameraman can have a different monitor mix to a producer, for example. Each amplifier has three x 6.35mm jack headphone outputs, giving a total of six monitoring outputs. Each TopHat M3 also has an input and an output loop connector on an RJ45 socket, which allows simple connection between multiple units using Cat 5. An XLR mic input is also provided to give the operator a talkback circuit and has an adjustable gain control, plus compressor/limiter. The £595 unit is powered by two C cell batteries or an external USB power supply.