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Dante Heats Up Indoor, Outdoor Audio at AmericanAirlines Arena
USA – The AmericanAirlines Arena, located in Miami, home to the NBA’s Miami Heat, recently completed an entire audio-visual upgrade using Audinate’s Dante Audio-over-IP networking solution for low-latency, multichannel audio routing and distribution. The HEAT Group, the marketing and booking group within the AmericanAirlines Arena, has spent the last 15 years renovating and expanding areas of the arena. This latest technology upgrade not only included the arena bowl, but also a recently built exterior performance area.
The 19,600 seat arena that sits on the Biscayne Bay waterfront hosts more than 80 live events annually, including major concerts, family shows and national conferences. The new outdoor entertainment venue, Xfinity East Plaza (XEP) is a 23,000 square foot covered space located on the east side of the Arena. The initial XEP planning focused on the careful placement of the DAS Audio loudspeaker columns to provide the best possible directional sound coverage and quality. Optimising the system achieved the desired goals, but all of the upgrades had to be done on a tight timeline.
Thankfully, Jorge Arronte, manager of arena sound and matrix for The HEAT Group, was already familiar with the ease and speed of installing a Dante digital audio network because of the upgrades done in the arena bowl.
“Dante opened up a lot of doors for us inside AmericanAirlines Arena,” said Arronte. “We transitioned the Juniper switches from service mode to enterprise mode to align more cleanly with the Dante network, and very quickly we were moving multicast signals from our AEQ breakout box to Lab.gruppen Lake amplifier cubes inside the bowl, and onward to restrooms and smoking balconies among other locations.”
This was an immediate benefit, as achieving the sound quality desired by both the NBA and other discerning audience members was a significant challenge with the old system. Dante’s total cost of ownership has also provided value every step of the way, with connections taking “hours versus weeks” simply through the transition to network cabling over copper.
Reconfiguring the system for different events is also greatly simplified. Since Dante made life much easier inside the arena, there was no question the arena would use it again for the XEP project. The savings by continuing to use Dante were significant. The network cabling was abundant throughout the arena, which minimised the time needed to open XEP to the public.
The core of the Dante network for XEP was centralized to a telecom room adjacent to existing IT racks, which minimized cable runs to the Dante-enabled Lab.gruppen Lake processing and amplification systems that power various loudspeakers and stage monitors. As with inside, the sound quality and latency at XEP have been widely praised, and the network has been used for live pre- and post-game performances from Flo Rida, DJ Natty Rico, DJ Irie and many local bands.
Arronte notes that with Dante already functioning throughout the rest of the building, the process of configuring, sending and receiving signals needed at XEP or in the main control room takes a matter of seconds versus hours.
“That expediency is crucial on game nights, when things run especially fast,” said Arronte. “We recently had a request to add some music-activated visualisation to an LED screen behind a DJ on stage at XEP. I added a dual-channel receive unit, added another Dante port to the switch, and it was up and running in less than a day – much to the surprise of the executive who suggested the idea. These are the reasons I am happily married to the Dante system.”
26th July 2016
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