Studio Technologies Introduces Dante Alert Unit

Studio Technologies will introduce a new product to strengthen its intercom offerings at NAB 2018 (booth C7550). The new Model 391 Dante Alerting Unit offers both visual and audible indications that operator attention is being requested. The unit can be used in conjunction with Dante audio over ethernet-based intercom beltpacks and user stations that support call light functionality. Housed in a compact enclosure, the tabletop, power over ethernet (PoE) unit offers extensive configuration choices to optimise alerting performance. The unit is suitable for a wide range of theatre, corporate, industrial, and broadcast applications where party-line and four-wire intercom is utilised.

“The Model 391 builds on the basic capabilities found in the standard party-line intercom ‘beacon’ or ‘strobe’ devices and adds a broad range of new and enhanced features,” says Gordon Kapes, President of Studio Technologies. “Not all production personnel and technicians are able to stay ‘on headset’ and may need to be alerted when their presence on an intercom channel is needed. The Model 391 can give them a range of visual and audio prompts, allowing them to respond quickly to an intercom call request.”

The Model 391 gains the attention of nearby personnel via an audible sounder as well as a prism-shaped lens with multiple full-colour (red/green/blue) LEDs for visual alerting. The unit responds to 20 kHz “call” signals that are commonly used in both legacy analog and contemporary digital party-line and matrix intercom circuits. Upon detecting a call signal, the Model 391 can provide a visual indication, enable an audible buzzer output, and even activate an analog line output. The Model 391 is directly compatible with the call signals generated by popular Studio Technologies products like the Model 370 and Model 371 Dante-enabled intercom beltpacks, which generate a 20 kHz tone whenever their call button is pressed.

The Model 391’s balanced line-level analog output offers a unique resource. It can be configured as a general-purpose, always-active output associated with either of the Model 391’s two Dante audio inputs. Alternatively, it can be configured to be active only when a call signal is present. Interfaced using a standard three-pin XLR audio connector, the line output signal is compatible with inputs on devices such as audio consoles and amplified speakers.

Using the STcontroller software application, an extensive set of configure choices allow the Model 391 operation to be optimised. Available free of charge and supporting many Studio Technologies products, STcontroller is compatible with version 7 and later of the Windows operating system. STcontroller is used to configure the exact colour, intensity, and lighting cadence for visual alerting as well as selecting the level range and audio character of the sounder. In addition to responding to intercom call signals, the Model 391’s visual and audible resources can serve as general-purpose status indicators. For example, the Model 391 could provide a flashing ‘rehearsal-in-progress’ or ‘closed set’ indication.

As a Dante-compliant device, the Model 391’s two audio input (receiver) audio channels are assigned (routed) from source devices using the Dante controller software application. The Model 391 is compatible with Dante digital audio sources that have a sampling rate of 48kHz and a bit depth of up to 24. Only a connection to a PoE network port is required for full operation.

“The Model 391 was designed to offer a distinctive set of alerting resources that can be easily optimised to meet the specific requirements of many applications,” said Kapes. “We’re confident that intercom system designers and users will really appreciate what this fun-to-use and well-engineered intercom support product can offer. It’s another strong addition to our range of Dante-enabled solutions.”

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