AES Section Meeting Reports

District of Columbia - February 15, 2018

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On February 15th in Fort Myer, Virginia, the Washington D.C. Regional Section held our bi-monthly meeting. We started at 7pm following a light dinner with 25 members and 6 non-members in attendance. We had access to the army base, the home of Pershing's Own, and the base's recording studio for a tour thanks to audio engineer and Staff Sergeant Brian Knox.

Mike Ducassoux also discussed committees we will be forming that will need help: A committee to plan membership building activities, a social media/newsletter committee, and an event planning committee.

Section Secretary Gary Gottlieb discussed methods to engage coworkers, friends and others in the community to increase meeting attendance and organization membership.

Tim Metzinger, a network engineer for the US Treasury who was trained in audio and now does it for fun (and is very knowledgeable about the topic) presented about Dante.

First he covered networking basics, including basic topography, OSI layers, LAN, VLAN, IP, TCP vs. UDP, and Unicast vs. Broadcast vs. Multicast, before moving on to Audio over IP, explaining a variety of protocols including Dante.

A description of Dante concepts followed, along with some use cases and hypothetical scenarios, including the advantages of less cabling and the isolation resulting from all sources and receivers being independent of each other, and the ability to patch and reconfigure more easily, and offering the option to turn any space into a performance/monitoring space.

Tim then demoed some equipment and routing possibilities, including presets. He demonstrated the advantages inherent in the signal isolation, where activity on any one receiver had no affect on any other receiver

He concluded his talk with a description of best practices, including not using "green internet", being conservative with cable lengths, and a recommendation of switches, Cisco SG300 or higher, HP and Netgear Business Class switches. He also explained the three major options for integration with facility networking, physically separate networks, logically separate networks, (VLAN), and converged, one VLAN with traffic prioritization and Network Access Control.

After a Q&A session, we all enjoyed a description of Pershing's Own.

Staff Sergeant Knox is one of the army's audio engineers, he does FOH for the army jazz band among other gigs. He is part of a team of 15 that handles audio services locally for many different army bands, there are also other touring bands and other army bands in other locations, playing everything from full orchestral concerts to string quartets. The Fort Myer facility is Dante enabled with a great sounding concert hall, an API recording studio and a mastering studio.

Everyone was free to roam the facility for the rest of the evening, play with the various equipment throughout the building, and network. While the meeting ended at 9pm, many people stayed until 10pm.

It was a rewarding and educational event for all involved.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Gottlieb

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AES - Audio Engineering Society