SSE Audio used the Dante compatible Lake LM26 to provide a digital network for this year’s Download festival.
This was the first time the festival had utilised a digital network for such purposes.
Developed by Audinate, Dante is a combination of software, hardware and network protocols, designed to deliver uncompressed, multi-channel, low-latency digital audio over a standard Ethernet network.
Simon Gladstone, Technical Manager at SSE, said: “The main thing that we were trying to achieve was to integrate everything into one system, and use one fibre backbone for all of the subsystems that make up the PA returns. Obviously, at no point did we want it to give us less features or flexibility than we have been used to, and ultimately, we want the system to have a superior sound quality. Being able to use the Dante has enabled us to achieve one part of that, and obviously using the Dante has meant that we didn’t need to have 150m of copper inserted into the signal path and degrading the quality.”
For the third consecutive year, SSE Hire used their L-Acoustics K1 line-array system, with a Dolby DLP linking the FoH desks, and an LM 26 also handling the Dante transmission. Onstage, two LM 26s either side provided SSE with the required analogue outputs feeding sound into the LA8 amplifiers.
Gladstone commented on the improved sound quality, adding, “As soon as we switched it on, everyone noted the improved audio quality. As the weekend went on it became apparent that there was a lot more HF presence in the system, which you didn’t get with the analogue system. I can only put that down to a hundred metres of copper degrading the HF in the analogue domain.”