Ethernet-based Audio Routing: A How-to Guide


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Solution: Wheatnet E1

Both studios are built as shown in Figure 2. The heart of each is the Wheatstone E1 console, in conjunction with what Wheatstone refers to as the console blade, which in this case is the ip88cb. The ip88cb and the E1 are connected with an edge switch. Our requirement for three mics requires (at least) one outboard mic preamp since the ip88cb has two built-in. Both the playout system and the studio computer are interfaced to the Wheatnet IP System by Ethernet and the appropriate software drivers. (Both have dual NICs so they can be accessed on either VLAN.) This single Ethernet connection handles both audio and control. The CD players are connected to the ip88cb by AES3. Control is via GPIO.

Figure 2a. Click to enlarge.

Figure 2a. Click to enlarge.


The analog inputs (with the exception of the mic inputs) and AES inputs connect to the ip88cb with RJ-45 connectors, so an interface cable to go from RJ-45 to XLR is called for. These can be made in-house, or prefabricated versions from StudioHub can be used. StudioHub can also provide the logic break-outs as well, since they also appear on the ip88cb as RJ-45 connectors.

Legacy program outputs and the control room monitors are available via XLR connectors on the ip88cb. Headphone outs and cue amp outs come out via 1/4" TRS.

Figure 2b. Click to enlarge.

Figure 2b. Click to enlarge.


Figure 2b shows our requirements in the rack room can be accommodated by a Wheatstone ip88a, which is another blade, with analog ins and outs. (This could just as easily have been an ip88d, by the way). Normally the STL input switcher is fed by an output of the ip88a, but in the unlikely event of a core switch failure, the switcher will take a legacy feed from either studio. The ip88a also accommodates the needs of the two codecs, making their audio feeds available anywhere on the network. It does the same thing for the satellite audio that comes back from the transmitter site.

Figure 2b shows our requirements in the rack room can be accommodated by a Wheatstone ip88a, which is another blade, with analog ins and outs. (This could just as easily have been an ip88d, by the way). Normally the STL input switcher is fed by an output of the ip88a, but in the unlikely event of a core switch failure, the switcher will take a legacy feed from either studio. The ip88a also accommodates the needs of the two codecs, making their audio feeds available anywhere on the network. It does the same thing for the satellite audio that comes back from the transmitter site.

The core switch handles multiple VLANs, one of which is for the office LAN, and one of which is for the Wheatnet segment. I make mention of that because it is important to note that Wheatnet can run on the same switch as an office LAN, as long as VLANs are used appropriately. This goes for the edge switches as well.

Configuration of the system is done with software Wheatstone calls Navigator. This will run on a PC that has access to the network that the various Wheatnet elements reside upon.

- continued on page 3



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