L-ACOUSTICS have announced the new update of their remote control LA Network Manager software—version 2.0—at this year’s ProLight+Sound event.
Amongst the improvement headlines are;
—Application -driven approach taking the user efficiently through the workflow steps of Setup, Tuning, and Live by implementing the tools required for each task into their own dedicated page.
—Purely graphical interface optimized for tablet PC use and allowing for placing units and groups in the workspace in a way that reflects their location in the field.
—Automatic discovery of the units connected to the network, including hot-plugged units
—New productivity tools: Unit Matcher, Custom Preset Builder and Preset Bank Builder
—Integration of the management of the LA-AES3 AES/EBU card
—Capability to assign units to multiple groups facilitating advanced system management and tuning strategies
—Two additional IIR PEQ in the Contour EQ
—Enhanced system monitoring with the Message Center and its log files
The new version of the software has also been optimised for Windows-operated tablet PCs and allows user to control and monitor up to 253 L-ACOUSTICS LA4 and/or LA8 amplified controllers within the L-ACOUSTICS L-NET Ethernet network.
L-ACOUSTICS have completely rewritten the software for the most recent update in order to match the workflow of the live sound engineer.
Thus, each stage of their workflow—Setup, Tuning and Live—has its own dedicated page with specific tools for each stage. This clear separation of workflow tools as well as colour coding and more makes the interface very intuitive to use.
LA Network Manager 2.0 is available for use with Windows XP, Vista or 7 computers. Computers must have a processor of 1GHz or more, 1GB ram or more and a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher.
So what does each dedicated workflow page offer the user? Here is the breakdown from L-ACOUSTICS of what you can expect;
“The Setup page allows the user to create all unit and group objects composing the sound system. Units and groups can be freely placed in the workspace in a way reflecting their true location in the field. Unit types, IP addresses, presets, input mode and routing can be easily defined for each individual unit as well as for a multiple selection of units. Copy/Paste standard functions allow for instantaneous design of symmetric systems. Set-up can be done off line with virtual units or by going on line with connected units.
“The new network engine offers automatic discovery of all connected units including the new Unit Matcher feature for quickly matching the virtual system and the physical system. Third-party devices detected on the network are indicated to avoid creating IP addresses conflicts. These time-saving features are further augmented by dedicated preparation tools such as the Custom Preset Builder and the Bank Preset Builder interfaces.”
“The Tuning page gives access to gain, delay, polarity, Array morphing and EQ processing resources offered by the DSP embedded in each individual LA4 or LA8, adding two IIR filters to the existing set. Quick access to mute on unit and group objects allows for fast signal distribution verification and easy tuning of each subset of the system. All other parameters are logically sorted within the tabs of the Unit Control Panel and the Group Control Panel. Opening up these panels keeps the workspace visible at all times and a thematic view slider sets what parameters are represented on the Unit Objects on the workspace. Therefore output levels and headroom can be controlled while setting gains, for instance.
“Last but not least, LA Network Manager 2.0 offers multiple logical entry points to system tuning thanks to the possibility to assign a unit to multiple groups. This greatly facilitates for instance the zoning of a line source using the FIR filters of LA4 and LA8, as well as the control of muting of the different parts of the system.”
“The Live page is dedicated to system monitoring during operation: for each unit, LA Network Manager 2.0 records the average output levels and the activity of the speakers’ thermal limiters for the past four minutes. The temperature of each unit can be remotely checked at a glance. In addition, a comprehensive Message Center reports all events that occur within the system using a simple yet efficient classification by level of importance (info, minor, major, critical) and category (network, power, input, output). All these messages plus time-stamped important actions (page switching, file loading or saving…) are saved automatically in a XML log file that can be imported in all popular spreadsheet software for analysis.
“In the Live page, users need to confirm all actions that may have an impact on the show and prevent unwanted entries. These confirmations may also be enabled for the Setup and Tuning page by activating the Show mode.”