GLENSOUND INFERNO COMMENTATOR UNIT - For DANTE network
The Inferno provides the facilities required by a single commentator, connecting to a DANTE network. The system is scalable by adding extra Inferno units to the network. The unit contains a single microphone or line input to feed out to the network and a headphone amplifier with seven inputs fed from the network. Remote control of input gain and switching functions is by a web browser interface. DANTE-capable 'break-out boxes' are available which can connect directly to the Inferno or via an Ethernet network.
Designed for live, on-air broadcast applications it has multiple redundancy capabilities, with four possible sources of power; the inbuilt AC power supply, two POE connections and one external DC input. There are fully redundant network connections for both copper and fibre circuits.
DANTE is a software and hardware solution, offering high-performance audio distribution over standard IP networks, supporting hundreds of simultaneous channels of uncompressed audio with low latency and accurate synchronization. For further information, see DANTE Networking Basics. In a DANTE network, the DANTE Controller web interface controls audio routing. Any DANTE input can be routed to any other output on the network, or to multiple network output points.
The Inferno can be used in conjunction with other manufacturer's equipment when connected to a DANTE audio network. but can also be used outside of a dedicated DANTE network when connected to Glensound's DARK Series 'break out boxes'. See Glensound DANTE interfaces. This connection can be direct or across a structured network. The DARK88 thus 'allows all of the audio inputs and outputs to be located in a separate location to the Inferno'.
When connected to a DANTE network, 'sources and destinations can be configured from any part of the network using the free DANTE controller software. Details are available at www.audinate.com'.
The four network connections of the Inferno can be configured as a switch. In this configuration, if the primary and secondary redundant SFP/fibre slots have been used as the network link, the RJ45 connections can be used to loop out to further local Inferno units or other DANTE devices, which will all be shown separately on the network within the DANTE Controller configuration utility.
On the vertical front panel there are two sockets for the headphones; both are 3-pole jack sockets, one is a 3.5mm type, the other 6.35mm. There is also a 3-pin, female, XLR connector for the microphone/line input, which has a compressor-limiter system, applying 'a variable rate compressor to the input peaks so that no clipping occurs, without affecting the rest of the audio signal'.
On the rear panel, push-buttons are used together with LED indicators to set the input mode. One button toggles the the coarse input gain between micrphone and line settings. Two LEDs show which is selected. A second button turns the 48V microphone phantom power on and off. It cannot be turned on if the gain is set to line. A second block of two buttons, up and down, and three LED indicators set the fine gain. The actual gain is not shown, but each button-press changes the gain by about 0.33 dB. The 'Lineup' LED indicates when the gain is in the factory pre-set line-up condition.
The next block of LEDs indicate the status of the power inputs, with one LED each for AC mains, external DC and primary and secondary power over ethernet from the copper Ethernet ports. There are connectors on the lower part of the panel, an IEC inlet for AC, a coaxial type for the DC input and two Ethercon types to take RJ45 Ethernet connectors. Two SFP slots are provided for optional primary and secondary fibre interfaces using accessory SFP modules. Each of the latter four have an LED to indicate that there is a network activity on the connection. A mini-B USB connector is provided for updating firmware in conjunction with 'Reset' and 'Update' buttons.
The sloping part of the upper surface is divided up into ten blocks:
Seven of them are associated with the seven inputs for cue or talkback. Each block is similar, having an area for marking the nature of the source, a rotary control which sets the level of that signal in the headphones, a 'left-centre-right' (L-C-R) push-button and a talkback button.
The L-C-R button routes the associated headphone source to either the left only, right only or both (centre) of the commentator’s headphones. A separate block in the centre of the panel has a stylised picture of a headset, with an LED in each earpiece. The first press of an L-C-R button causes the LEDs to illuminate and show the routing for the source concerned. Subsequent presses cycle through the available routings.
The talkback button routes the commentator’s microphone to the corresponding output of the Inferno - channels 1 to 7 of the DANTE network. The operating mode of the buttons - momentary, latching, intelligent lever key for example - can be set using the web page interface.
An 'L'-shaped block contains a vertical column of LEDs in the centre of the panel, forming an 'accurate 15 LED PPM indicating the level of the main, on-air, output. The 1-7 scale is a traditional BBC PPM scale used extensively throughout Europe and the -12 to +12 scale shows the output level in dBs'. Each LED covers a 2dB range.
To the lower right a rotary control sets the level of 'sidetone' (the output of the commentator's microphone) heard in the headphones, routed by an L-C-R button as described previously.
Between the PPM and the 'sidetone' control there is the 'ON AIR' button, which routes the commentator's microphone to the channel carrying commentary over the DANTE network. The operating mode of the button may be set using the web page interface.
The remaining block contains a single LED which illuminates to show the unit is on.
The Inferno contains a web server, 'allowing remote functionality to an engineer from any PC connected to the network via any web browser' by means of the 'Inferno Controller'. Remote control of the microphone/line input gain is available, as is remote configuration of each (talk) push button on the unit 'to be on/off latching, momentary (push to talk), always on, and off when pushed (cough), or in an intelligent mode where a short press latches or a longer press is just momentary'. The push buttons on the rear panel can also be locked. Network settings can be configured, headphone routing set and locked. The headphone levels can be prevented from being turned fully off and sidetone control can be set on or off. A further page offers 'channel effect configuration'. This controls the interaction between all the push buttons on the top panel. 'For example, pressing a talk button would typically supress the microphone 'on-air' output, which would then return when the talkback is released. This button interaction is all configurable'. There is also 'a PPM meter available across the network on Inferno Controller showing the same -12 to +12dB PPM scale as the top panel'.
Inputs: -19dBu / +5dBu / +18 dBu maximum, for microphone / microphone with phantom / line. Impedance: 2400 ohms / 100k ohms, microphone / line. Gain range: -30 to +15dBu, -35 to +15dBu, -15 to +15dBu. for dynamic microphone / microphone with phantom / line. Response: -2dbu at 25Hz, flat 50Hz-22kHz, +/- 0.25dBu, microphone; 'flat' to 22kHz, line. Dynamic range: 126dB, microphone. Distortion: 0.012% THD, 1kHz, +8dBu. Noise: -69dBu, 22Hz - 22kHz, A weighted, 300ohm termination, microphone input. Headphone impedance: 16-600 ohms. Headphone dynamic range: 94.6dB. Headphone response: 'Flat 22Hz to 22kHz'. Power: 12V, 357mA. Dimensions: 211 x 138 x76(l x w x h)mm. Weight: 1.26kg.
Included accessories: Power cable with UK 13A connector.
Optional accessories: SFP modules: The 'DANTE/SFPS' is a single-mode module and the 'DANTE/SFPM' is multi-mode. The 'DANTE/SFP1' and 'DANTE/SFP2' are for use over distances up to 10km and are WDM (wavelength-division multiplexing) types, a multiplexing technology which can be used to enable bi-directional communication over a single fibre. The SFP1 should be used in a pair with the SFP2. DANTE 'breakout boxes': See Glensound DANTE interfaces.