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Author Topic: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording  (Read 6221 times)

Pete Erskine

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Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:31:17 pm »

During the next three weeks Clair Broadcast will be doing an event which covers 7 cities each week. In each site we will be using Riedel Artist systems. Between the sites we use Intracom System VCOM. Each site will have 6 comm channels interfaced, an IFB feed from the main site and Backup Mix minus audio for the entire satellite connected group. Each interfaced channel will be 32K bandwidth.

The VCOM system works with a server, In this case in Arizona and a backup server in another state. Using a server enables every site to avoid the problems interconnecting from NAT enabled Hotel sites since they are pointing at the main server and not at each other.

The Backup audio is interfaced through the server in a PL group. This automatically creates a mix minus for each site since the 4-wire incoming ports normally do not listen to themselves.  Also each site must take care to send a mix-(the Sat feed and the BU audio feed).

Latency is comparable to cell phones and in the case of the backup audio is a second or 2 ahead of the main satellite audio. The audio mixer at each site will adjust the input delay on the console to closely match the sat feed. This backup audio is primary in case the sat feed fails - at least they can hear the event. By setting the delay properly, if the sat audio has issues the VCOM audio can sub with good lip sync.

The VCOM admin software track all the stats on the incoming and outgoing connections. This way we can see if a particular site is having issues. A single dial up circuit is available to be used if the internet dies. An elaborate one button switch-over is programmed into each of the Riedel systems.

Here is a short clip done during the fax check of the remote sites.  It is from 2 years ago when we only did 5 cities.  The audio is a mix of the Dir, Producer, TM, Uplink, Comms and Audio channels so it gets a little confusing.  I am also talking over the whole cacophony to make things worse...

Intracom Systems VCOM show recording


Here is their website. https://www.intracomsystems.com/
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 08:36:44 pm by Pete Erskine »
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Bill McKelvey

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 09:06:42 pm »

Pete, you get to do amazing things. Thanks for sharing with us.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 09:34:18 pm »

Pretty good audio quality Pete. Wish I had been available.

Mac
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Neil White

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 05:49:45 am »

The VCOM system works with a server, In this case in Arizona and a backup server in another state. Using a server enables every site to avoid the problems interconnecting from NAT enabled Hotel sites since they are pointing at the main server and not at each other.

Does VCOM require any specific IT set up or is it plug and play on any internet connection? Is the interface to the matrix an off the shelf soundcard with 8 analog in / outs?

The VCOM admin software track all the stats on the incoming and outgoing connections. This way we can see if a particular site is having issues. A single dial up circuit is available to be used if the internet dies. An elaborate one button switch-over is programmed into each of the Riedel systems.

Interested in how the back up is configured, do you make one of the Riedel sites the master with a dial up from there to each of the remote sites?

Looks like a cool gig, and I'm impressed with the audio quality between sites.
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 06:04:03 am »

Does VCOM require any specific IT set up or is it plug and play on any internet connection? Is the interface to the matrix an off the shelf soundcard with 8 analog in / outs?

Interested in how the back up is configured, do you make one of the Riedel sites the master with a dial up from there to each of the remote sites?

Looks like a cool gig, and I'm impressed with the audio quality between sites.

NO special IT setup.  Normally it uses port 1000 which is usually open on most networks.

The backup audio is a dial in to a conference bridge which functions like a PL group.  It feeds each site separately on a BU Director circuit.  All sites continuously feed the BU dial up with the director channel.  most of the sites in a segment just listen.  If they have an issue they just switch tot the BU-DIR.  If the site is presenting all sites must switch to hear them.

By monitoring the VCOM stats we can see in advance when packet loss or jitter is too great for good audio.  Sometimes it is upstream and sometimes down.  Not always both.  Again if the send is bad but the RX good we would stay with VCOM.

The backup server takes a system reboot, essentially which takes a few seconds for all ports to log off and in to the bu server.  It is initiated in the admin program by a single button push.  If all sites started seeing bad packet loss or Jitter we assume it is in the server and would try the other.  The servers are geographically very different with different vendors.

Audio bandwidth can also be adjusted.  If we have packet loss lowering the BW to 16 or 8K might help. 
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Neil White

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 06:30:53 am »

The backup audio is a dial in to a conference bridge which functions like a PL group.  It feeds each site separately on a BU Director circuit.  All sites continuously feed the BU dial up with the director channel.  most of the sites in a segment just listen.  If they have an issue they just switch tot the BU-DIR.  If the site is presenting all sites must switch to hear them.

Are you using the Route Audio command and a local port looped back to switch between main and backup into the local Riedel conference?

Are the call to IFB triggered by the VOX on the 4W port of the matrix from the VCOM?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2015, 09:17:01 am »

Are you using the Route Audio command and a local port looped back to switch between main and backup into the local Riedel conference?

Are the call to IFB triggered by the VOX on the 4W port of the matrix from the VCOM?

This has taken a lot of experimentation over the last several shows.  Josh Flower and I have tried a lot of ways to make this switch.  The problem is that you are connecting 2 different paths (VCOM and Telco) to the same conference and feedback is the result.

First we just unplugged the VCOM when we turned on the Telco but that was fraught with timing issues.  This year we have created 2 separate conferences and stacked them on the dir keys.

This still didn't fix it.  Josh came up with using two 4-wire ports looped through to the 2 conferences.  The VCOM path is called to the 1st port on the DIR conference and the telco port is a route audio to the BU dir conference.  I'll let you know if it works - all 6 of us are in the air now on the way to load in. 

Incoming IFB is in the vox input from the VCOM.  Local talk to IFB is regular call.  Comms has a lsn to ifb input.  all start at standard priority and if ducking is needed the input from VCOM is raised to duck local.

Side note: Often the POTs line is actually over the hotel internet and no actual pots line is available.  In that case we're screwed.  Because this worries me, I carry a Dapter-Two to create a 4-wire with my cell as ultimate BU.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2015, 11:43:05 am by Pete Erskine »
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brian maddox

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2015, 06:03:22 pm »

This thread gives me some interesting ideas.

One of my clients uses a ClearCom Eclipse Matrix system to interface remote locations with typically a central Master Control Room, be it a fixed facility or one that is built for the job.  In fact the job i'm on right now is interfacing 4 remote locations via IP to a central MCR we built for the event in the main hall.

The Eclipse V-series panels provide complete functionality over IP which is super handy.  With a public facing IP i can basically plop one down, give it some internet by whatever means is available, and it connects to the matrix as if it were right next to it.  It also gives me two additional four wire ports that i can use to interface to local PL gear or to provide IFB or a host of other things.

One thing i Hadn't really thought about doing was using these paths as backup audio paths.  i think the bandwidth is a little limited, but it's worth exploring.

ClearCom also has a iOS app solution that connects to the matrix using the same IP card.  That also may make for some interesting problem solving ideas.

Thanks for the post Peter.  You are always making us think....  :)
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Neil White

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2015, 05:13:50 am »

This has taken a lot of experimentation over the last several shows.  Josh Flower and I have tried a lot of ways to make this switch.  The problem is that you are connecting 2 different paths (VCOM and Telco) to the same conference and feedback is the result.

First we just unplugged the VCOM when we turned on the Telco but that was fraught with timing issues.  This year we have created 2 separate conferences and stacked them on the dir keys.

This still didn't fix it.  Josh came up with using two 4-wire ports looped through to the 2 conferences.  The VCOM path is called to the 1st port on the DIR conference and the telco port is a route audio to the BU dir conference.  I'll let you know if it works - all 6 of us are in the air now on the way to load in. 

So with two separate 4 wire paths in the same conference, the feedback loop is caused by the remote sites mixing the 4W input from the VCOM with the local conference and transmitting it back down the POTS backup to the original matrix, and vice versa? With separate conferences for main or backup, is the feedback loop electronic or is it acoustically feeding back at the remote panels?

Would separating the talk and listens to the remote sites in a similar way to the Dual Complimentary Talk Only conference PDF on your site be enough to break the loop?
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Pete Erskine

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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 11:44:12 am »

So with two separate 4 wire paths in the same conference, the feedback loop is caused by the remote sites mixing the 4W input from the VCOM with the local conference and transmitting it back down the POTS backup to the original matrix, and vice versa? With separate conferences for main or backup, is the feedback loop electronic or is it acoustically feeding back at the remote panels?

Would separating the talk and listens to the remote sites in a similar way to the Dual Complimentary Talk Only conference PDF on your site be enough to break the loop?

Its the combining of the two paths into a single conference that is the problem.  A talk only conference leaves out the listen since the 4 wire is a passive port not a beltpack or a C3.
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Re: Audio over IP - and Intercom over IP - here is a short recording
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2015, 11:44:12 am »


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