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16 l November 2012


A recording by classical label Chandos earlier this year became an operational first for Merging Technologies’ Ravenna-ready Horus Networked Audio Converter. Two such units, connected via Ravenna to a Pyramix mixing- recording system, were deployed to capture new recordings by Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande of works by composers Joachim Raff (Switzerland) and Emmanuel Chabrier (France). The event took place in the 1890s-built Victoria Hall in

Geneva, with engineer and Chandos managing director Ralph Couzens and producer Brian Pidgeon using 24 microphones for the undertaking. Couzens is reported to have said: “We have used Pyramix on several occasions with great success and I had not

Horus converter in the recording chain via Ravenna

originally realised that we were the first to use Horus in this way. The recordings sound absolutely brilliant. We finished ahead of schedule and Horus performed faultlessly.”

(L-R): Ricardo Ryan (Merging Technologies software QA & project manager), Claude Cellier (Merging CEO), Neeme Järvi (maestro), Ralph Couzens (Chandos MD) and Brian Pidgeon (producer)

Miguel Sancho, technical We’re thinking small

director of AEQ, pinpoints the resonance between the two, noting that AEQ joined the Ravenna project “with the objective to work through this partnership in the preparation and implementation of AES X192. Our commitment is to provide users with IP interconnection of audio equipment in professional and broadcast environments with the additional commitment of trying to facilitate the interconnection via IP to existing equipment, manufactured prior to AES X192 being a standard.” Signing up to Ravenna, adds Sancho, is “our way of contributing to the implementation of AES X192”. Meanwhile, August’s news

that the AES and the EBU are to collaborate on a new common packet-based network standard for linear PCM audio – dubbed ‘Next Generation AES/EBU Interface Based on IP Technology’ – suggests that the entire audio-over-IP initiative is moving into an important new phase.

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Ravenna representatives were in high spirits at IBC. Pictured L-R: Mike Buhnke (Schoeps), Stefan Heinzmann (ALC), Michael Hofer (SLG Broadcast), Jan Ehrlich (DirectOut), Marc Strähl (SLG Broadcast), Vincent Defritin (Sound4 – hidden), Chris Hollebone (Merging – in the middle)

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SORRY, NO SOOTHSAYING In any case, as Merging Technologies CEO Claude Cellier, observes, Ravenna-based networks are already a reality. “Some of our users are already

deploying Ravenna networks with over 96 channels (equivalent bandwidth to 384 channels running at 48kHz) for some prestige recordings, and all it takes is a simple [sub] €300 managed switch to route those signals between all the I/O nodes,” notes Cellier, adding that Ravenna is “turning out to be a no-brainer to deploy over new or existing networks” provided that basic configuration rules are applied. With AVB arguably suffering at

present from questions about the availability of sufficient quantities of compliant product, the notion that there might soon be one overriding approach to networking able to command near-universal support holds less currency than it did 18 or even 12 months ago. Hildebrand concurs with PSNEurope’s suggestion that there will probably continue to be a multiplicity of different solutions – “there are, and always will be, application areas where you can potentially apply one or the other technology” – but he believes that Ravenna’s case is now clearly drawn. As for where exactly his

preferred technology will stand in a couple of years’ time: “Well, with Ravenna we can do a lot, but I have to report that soothsaying is not on the feature list...”n

Photo: Gregory Maillot (

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