Digital audio networking is rapidly becoming an essential, convenience-enhancing element in live sound and other pro audio applications. Yamaha pro audio products with Dante audio networking capability, including the industry standard CL series digital mixing consoles, are leading the way. SWP1 series network switches are being introduced to take the evolution to the next level. The first Yamaha network router was introduced to the domestic market in 1995. Over the 20 years that followed, Yamaha brought IT and pro audio expertise together in some of the most innovative audio networking solutions available. In the following interview we discuss that background and some of the philosophy behind the SWP1 series network switches with key Yamaha pro audio designers.
Shinichi “Shaun Kamiya, Development engineer with the Yamaha Corporation PA Development Division, CA Mixer Group.
Profile: Joined Yamaha in 1998. After working in analog mixer development, was stationed in the U.S. in 2005 as technical representative for the promotion of digital mixers. Worked in amp and mixer product development after returning to Japan. In 2013 began working on product and hardware development for PA devices, specializing in digital mixers. Mr. Kamiya has been involved in development of the M2500, MX series, PM5000, MG series, M7CL48-ES, MY8-LAKE, TF series, and more.
Shunichi “Shaun” Kamiya, PA development division
Kotaro Terada, Engineer with the Yamaha Corporation PA Development Division, CA Mixer Group.
Profile: Joined Yamaha in 1999. Served as GUI design leader for a number of years. Currently oversees overall system design. Mr. Terada has been involved in the development of the PM1D, PM5D, M7CL, LS9, CL series, TF series, and more.
Kotaro Terada, PA development division
Ideally, they should be seen as sort of a high-reliability cable. The people who design, set up, and operate live sound systems professionally don’t want to have to think about additional devices. For them, ease of use and reliability are major factors in deciding what devices to use.
Using the human body as an example, switches can be compared to veins and arteries. To maintain optimum health it is necessary to ensure that communication flow is unimpeded, with no bottlenecks anywhere, and to watch out for any unexpected changes.
For that reason switches must offer a well-balanced set of features that allow easy setup and reliable operation. The SWP1 series switches are probably the only ones available that fulfill this requirement.
SWP1 series switches used in conjunction with the Yamaha LAN Monitor application for Windows offer extremely versatile capabilities. You have the basis for a fully developed managed audio network.
The physical connections to a switch, information about the devices connected to the switch, the bandwidth utilization at each port, and other parameters can all be monitored from a single computer display. This makes it possible to see what devices are connected and where, without having to actually go to that location and check the wiring.
Racks that contain a number of interconnected devices are a good example. It can be extremely difficult to get a clear picture of how everything is connected. Of course you can’t see what’s going on inside the cables either, and that can be unsettling when you need a system to run flawlessly.
The snapshot function provided in the Yamaha LAN Monitor software for Windows can be used to take a snapshot of the network settings when they are properly set up. Then you can quickly compare the current settings with the snapshot settings and locate any unexpected changes. We believe that this function will be particularly valuable in sound systems. For example, you could take a snapshot of the system when everything is working perfectly during rehearsal. Then the software will alert you if a cable has been disconnected, power to a device has been turned off, or if you’ve made a wrong connection prior to starting the actual show on the following day. This will be a huge benefit for touring systems.
Together, SWP1 series switches and the Yamaha LAN Monitor will allow operators to see their systems as they’ve never seen them before. They will have a clearer picture of overall system status, and will therefore be able to work with complete confidence.