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Ethernet-based Audio Routing: A How-to Guide
Solution: Axia Element
Figure 4 shows our setup with an Axia system. The Element control surface works in conjunction with the PowerStation. The PowerStation has two mic inputs, so the third mic needs an external pre-amp, the output of which would drive one of the analog inputs of the PowerStation. Three CD players are connected by their analog outs; GPIO is used for their control. Headphone outputs as well as the studio monitors are driven from analog outs of the PowerStation. The legacy output for the rackroom feed could be analog or AES. Connections are made on RJ-45 connectors.
Axia uses a proprietary protocol running over Ethernet called Livewire. Devices that support Livewire are physically connected to the system (for their audio and control) through this Ethernet connection known as a Livewire port. While it is completely feasible to use equipment that does not have the Livewire support (AES outputs, for example), in this particular example I've put one device in with it: the telephone hybrid. Via its Livewire port, this device gets its appropriate mix minus feed, and returns the caller audio back to the network as well.
In this design the playout system is connected to the Axia network via a set of software drivers that are installed on it. For this reason it needs to have an Ethernet connection to the PowerStation. So that it can be accessed by the station LAN as well, it has a second NIC connected to the LAN via a homerun. The studio CPU is configured similarly.
An Axia analog node is installed in the rackroom, and one of its outputs is used to drive an input of the STL input switcher. Sources would be mixed virtually and come in to the analog node via the network. A legacy feed from either studio is available in the unlikely event of a network failure. This same node services the needs of the ISDN codec, as well as the IP codec. Potentially you could install an IP codec as well as an ISDN codec with Livewire ports; in that case they would be connected to the Layer-2 switch directly. This is shown as alternative means in the Figure 4b.
Configuration of this system is done via Pathfinder software running on a PC attached to the Axia network. Again, if you need outside access, that same computer will also need an additional NIC so that it can also be on the office LAN.
- concluded on page 5
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