In a basic live show setup, microphones and DI boxes are connected to a stage box, from which cable snakes housed in bulky protective casings run to both your front-of-house and monitor consoles.
SoundGrid audio networking simplifies your routing by letting you transport full quality multi-channel audio and connect multiple I/Os, mixing consoles, DAW computers and DSP servers, using standard Cat 5e/Cat 6 Ethernet cables.
To create a basic SoundGrid network for live sound, you would need a SoundGrid stage box, an Ethernet network switch and a SoundGrid-enabled console. Selected consoles by Yamaha, DiGiCo and Allen & Heath currently offer integrated SoundGrid capabilities, with additional manufacturers scheduled to implement SoundGrid in the near future. MADI-enabled consoles (both BNC and Optical) can be connected to the SoundGrid network using a specialized interface such as DiGiGrid MGB and MGO units.
Once you’ve connected all your XLR cables to the SoundGrid stage box, you connect the stage box and console I/O to the SoundGrid network switch. Now you have a robust SoundGrid network streaming the highest quality audio signal in real time with super low latency, Expanding on this basic setup, let’s add a monitor console in addition to the FOH board. Instead of using a passive analog split box (which requires additional unsightly cabling and may cause signal degradation), simply add another SoundGrid-enabled console at your monitor console position, and connect it to SoundGrid stage box via the network switch, using a single Ethernet cable. The two consoles in your SoundGrid network are now transmitting and receiving a high-quality signal in real time.
Often times, when broadcasting a live show from a broadcast van parked outside a venue, a split box is placed on stage or near the FOH console, and multiple XLR cables (according to the number of channels) run from the split box inside the venue to the broadcast van parked outside. This is a complex and time-consuming wiring task, and expensive, financially as well as on other multiple levels: all those cables not only take up a lot of space, they require additional personnel to transport, set up and take down after the job is complete.
In a venue equipped with a SoundGrid network, the audio broadcast specialist would simply need a SoundGrid I/O (either integrated or via a MADI-to-SoundGrid interface) and connect it to the SoundGrid network switch inside the venue, using a single Ethernet cable. A SoundGrid DSP Server on the same network enables high plugin count, low-latency real-time processing.
SoundGrid audio networking is perfect for logistically complex events such as awards shows, music festivals, sporting events and houses of worship. These events often require real-time communication between multiple stages, consoles, broadcast vans and studios, as well as processing and recording computers. The most comprehensive way to take full advantage of SoundGrid audio networking in such a scenario is to place a SoundGrid I/O stage box on every stage, a SoundGrid I/O at every console and in every broadcast van, then connect all of these elements to the SoundGrid network via the network switch.
All positions are now inter-connected and transporting full quality via Ethernet using easy-to-install, cost-effective components. With the inclusion of SoundGrid DSP Servers, connected devices can process multi-channel audio in real time, dramatically simplifying routing requirements.