This animated Donkey Kong wedding cake just won best nerd cake forever page claims that it is going to be impossible to beat the glorious nerdness level in this wedding cake, which uses projectors to animate Mario on his quest to beat Donkey Kong and rescue Pauline. This is what happens when a bunch of nerds from a DJ company get an idea for a wedding cake!
Archive for the ‘Entertainment Technology’ Category
The trend in professional audio systems seems to be that audio signals are move and more moving from balanced analogue interfaces and proprietary digital interfaces to Ethernet networking. There are many good reasons for that, which I am not going through in this post, for more information on reasons for transition look my earlier postings Dante and AVB and USB and Ethernet audio.
When everything is connected to Ethernet, it does not guarantee that everything can be connected together. The reason for this is that there are different incompatible systems and standards to transfer professional audio signals over Ethernet network. To get the idea what is the situation in Ethernet nowadays and in near future, read Controlgeek blog posting AVB, Audinate Dante, and AES-67: Peering into My Crystal Ball. It gives a good overview of the current situation and gives ideas to what changes to expect in the near future. The rest of the posting is my interpretation of AVB, Audinate Dante, and AES-67: Peering into My Crystal Ball article.
There has been different standardization efforts for transferring audio signals over Ethernet. IEEE 802.1 standards effort for Audio-Video Bridging (AVB) have been in the works for a long time in the IEEE standards-making process. AVB (as part of Ethernet) operates at Layer 2. The biggest problem of AVB (besides that it is late comer to race) is that it requires those special AVB-capable switches to function properly, so without a wide array of these on the market the standard is effectively stalled out from the user’s perspective.
During these four years it took AVB to get standardized, of course, the market did not stand still; Audinate’s proprietary Dante audio network solution (Layer 3 protocol) basically took over the live sound market.
There is on the works also a new and potentially game changing standard: just ratified AES67-2013: AES standard for audio applications of networks – High-performance streaming audio-over-IP interoperability. AES67 is new Layer 3 audio transport protocol. All this means that with AES67 we now have an open-standard, Layer 3, modern way of getting high quality audio between networks.
AVB, Audinate Dante, and AES-67: Peering into My Crystal Ball article contains a nice drawing shows how the writer John Huntington sees the live sound networking world in the near future.
According to AVB, Audinate Dante, and AES-67: Peering into My Crystal Ball all manufacturers listed in the graphic have been working, actual product on the market using those networking technologies as of this writing. As you can see, the scales are tilted pretty far over towards the Dante side, so it seems that Audinate’s Dante has won the race. Those who have committed to AVB should provide AES67 inter-operability for their systems so we can use it to connect to Dante equipment. AES67 can provide the bridge between those worlds for the users.
At AudioVisual 13 there were some equipment teared down to point you can see what in inside them. Here are some. First picture shows what is inside a moving light.
Here is a look inside a professional high power Barco HDX video projector. As you can see there are some similarities to what is inside a liquid cooled PC.
I took a quick walk-trough on AudioVisual 13 fair in Helsinki Finland. Here are some pictures from the event. In the morning there were not too many visitors as you can see.
The audio and video stuff was pretty much similar than on previous years. Nothing really spectacular new.
Multitouch showed very big touch screens, something I had only read about earlier.
The following lights were eye catcher. These lights looked just pretty normal ball shape laps hanging from the roof, but when the lamps started to move up and down, it turned to be interesting. It looked that each of the lamp had a box on the roof that made lowering and lifting (so the height of each lamp could be controlled individually).
In the end I listened to a Meyer Sound CAL speaker demonstration. They demonstrated 64 element CAL active Column Array Loudspeaker. It sounded very good, clearly best sounding big audio system on the fair (on small systems Genelec offered the best sound).
I was amazed how clear the sound was event at long distance on this reverberant fair hall environment. YouTube has a video on this speaker.
AudioVisual Helsinki 2013 fair starts tomorrow. International Audio Visual exhibition will bring together the Helsinki Fair Centre from 13 to 15.11.2013 professionals, planners, decision-makers, audio-visual equipment, systems and services to the purchasing companies and educational institutions representatives, event producers and organizers, as well as the major product and service providers, and organizations.
I just noticed that MIDI turned 30 years ago just a short time ago. This 31.25kbd 10-bit, 16-channel network is still very much in use today, 30 years after its official 1.0 specification release in August 1983. I forgot to say “Happy Birthday MIDI” at the right day.
The Register had an article series on it. Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Getting pop stars wired for 30 years – Part One: Something to make a song and dance about article tells that the MIDI interface started off just living up to expectations and connecting devices together but later it became an enduring ecosystem. Not only did this network protocol deliver both real-time and non-real-time data transfers, it even notched up a platform-neutral file format.
Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Slave to the rhythm – Part Two: The notes in the machine article tells that over the years there have been various attempts to modernize MIDI, but it has an “Ain’t broke, don’t fix it” resilience which owes a huge amount to the fact that nobody owns it, so it’s everywhere. One of the first non-musical applications was back in 1991 with MIDI Show Control enabling lighting to be controlled using MIDI messages. While many of these applications are adaptations or additions, significant changes to the original spec haven’t materialized. As MIDI is everywhere on electronic instruments and can exist as a protocol in virtual environments too, MIDI communication looks likely to remain supported alongside whatever else is developed in the future.
OSC is an alternative or an option that integrates with MIDI. It seems to be gaining some support. OSC is a content format originally intended for sharing music performance data (gestures, parameters and note sequences) between musical instruments (especially electronic musical instruments such as synthesizers), computers, and other multimedia devices. OSC is often used as an alternative to the 1983 MIDI standard, where higher resolution and a richer musical parameter space is desired. OSC messages are commonly transported across the internet and within home and studio subnets using (UDP/IP, Ethernet).
Dante, AVB, and a Visit to the AVnu Testing Lab post tells about Audio Video Bridging (AVB)–an open standard way of sending time-synchronized audio and video information over an Ethernet network. AVB has been slowly working through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards process for a long time. The article talks about the situation is there room for an open standard in the marked pretty much filled with proprietary “good enough” Audio over Ethernet solutions.
Dante, AVB, and a Visit to the AVnu Testing Lab post also tells about AVB compliance testing–the Inter Operability Laboratory (IOL) at the University of New Hampshire. The IOL is one of the leading certification labs of its kind in the world.
I just happened to find an interesting presentation on light dimming technologies and who they work with LED lighting. Dimming LED sources: what’s working and what still needs fixing is a worth to take a look if you are into LED lighting or light controlling applications. It is a very good overview of the current light dimming practices and how they would work with LED lighting. In some applications dimming is easy and there are many applications where dimming is not so easy.
Safety is important when arranging events. And there are a lot of things to consider to make the event safe for everybody (I know from experience from several event I have been working with).
Control Geek blog writes about US Event Safety Alliance Document in Public Review. The Event Safety Alliance is a group of entertainment industry leaders gathered to address the immediate need for universal safety standards for the production of live events. To help to form the standards, the Event Safety Alliance has now released a draft Event Safety Guide for public review.