Studio Technologies Unveils eSports-Specific Audio Interface

Studio Technologies debuted a new control hub for eSports applications at NAB 2019. The Model 207 eSports Console is optimised to address the microphone, audio monitoring, and interfacing needs of eSports players and personnel. Housed in a compact, tabletop enclosure, the unit incorporates both analog and Dante audio-over-ethernet technology to allow direct integration with personal computers and Ethernet-based audio networks. In just minutes, an eSports player’s location or “position” can be integrated into a sophisticated application.

“As the popularity of eSports has continued to grow, so has the expectations for the technology used by the competitors and event personnel,” said Gordon Kapes, President of Studio Technologies. “We saw a trend in customers using our existing products for broadcast and streaming eSports applications. The results were adequate but not optimal, which led us to explore the field. We designed the Model 207 expressly to support the needs of these emerging applications. The NAB convention offers an excellent forum for us to introduce our new Model 207.”

Integrating the Model 207 into applications requires only a few standard connections. By providing both a 5-pin female XLR and a 3.5mm 4-conductor (TRRS) jack, a wide range of headsets to be connected. The XLR connector is provided for use with traditional professional headsets that are commonly used with intercom systems. The unit’s 3.5mm TRRS jack supports direct interconnection with low-cost stereo gaming headsets. These headsets are frequently used in gaming applications and can offer excellent performance.

The Model 207’s high-quality microphone preamplifier and associated dynamics control circuit ensures optimal audio performance. The microphone audio signal is converted to 24-bit, 48kHz sample rate digital audio. Following the state of the front-panel pushbutton switches, the microphone audio is routed to two Dante transmitter (output) channels. For user confidence, an integrated sidetone function is provided.

The Model 207 provides a two-channel stereo line input that is directly compatible with the analog outputs provided by personal computers. A simple audio patch cord is all that is required to connect with the unit’s 3.5mm 3-conductor (TRS) input jack. The stereo line-input signal is converted to digital and output by way of two Dante transmitter (output) channels.

Obtaining the desired headphone monitor functionality can be easily accomplished. The possible listen audio sources included four Dante receiver (input) channels, the stereo line input, and microphone audio. Three rotary level controls allow users to create their desired headphone mix. A Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection supplies both operating power and data transport.

An extensive range of Model 207 functions can be configured using Studio Technologies’ STcontroller software application. Selectable parameters include microphone preamplifier game, electret power on/off, stereo line input gain, headphone monitoring, pushbutton action, and overall system operation.

“eSports arenas are technically-sophisticated, ever-shifting environments that require flexible and high-performance technology,” adds Kapes. “We equipped the Model 207 with unique, configurable audio resources, along with careful circuit design for reliable operation and excellent audio performance.”