Bristol Motor Speedway – a prominent NASCAR raceway in Bristol, Tennessee – recently upgraded to Dante audio over IP networking by Audinate, making it ‘one of the most extensive and complex live audio installations in the world.’
During major events, such as NASCAR, Monster Trucks, or a college football game, the 2.5-square mile stadium typically hosts up to 165,000 spectators that expect big audio to enhance the excitement of their racing or game day experience.
“Given the unique operational demands of this high-pressured, live event environment, and the great distances that sound has to travel, there was only one digital audio networking platform that was up to this challenge: Dante audio-over-IP networking by Audinate,” said Josh Thompson, co-founder of Point Source, a Phoenix-based consulting firm that was contracted for systems integration on the audio and acoustics systems.
The facility’s PA system, which is comprised of more than 500 loudspeakers, delivers live sound including announcements, music, the national anthem, and the traditional command, “Gentlemen start your engines,” throughout the grandstands, concession areas, and private suites. Since the network is IP-addressable, multiple channels of audio can be sent simultaneously along point-to-point paths. The audio can target individual loudspeakers, groups of loudspeakers, or all loudspeakers on the premises, and these destinations can be modified on the fly.
Rapid deployment, less than one millisecond of latency, a streamlined workflow, cost-efficiency and a high degree of flexibility and scalability are just some of the reasons Thompson cites for choosing Dante. With 140 I/Os, Bristol’s Dante network is formidable, with hundreds of components integrated into one seamless network. This includes Dante-enabled BSS London BLU digital signal processors, a Yamaha digital audio mixer with the DM1000 analogue/digital I/O box, Yamaha Dante-MY16-AUD Interface Card, and Yamaha TI01608A breakout box for handling media inputs from analogue sources.
Another vital third-party component is the Lab.gruppen D-Series amplifier platform, which allows for streamlined, open interoperability. Numerous Dante-enabled Attero Tech unDIO2X2 boxes serve as on- and off-ramps to the Dante network. Each box allows two I/Os to be added easily and instantly to the network.
“Dante is configured as a matrix and when you click from here to there, the link is made and audio passes,” Thompson added. “If we need to bring in audio on short notice, say from the driver’s area in the dragway or to pick up the sound of the drivers’ worship service before the race, we can set up that routing with just a mouse click. That to me is huge, particularly in a dynamic live broadcast environment like this one.”