Clapton Tour 2001 System Network

Clapton Tour 2001 System Network

Recreated from Prosound Web Article by Chris Kathman

Spectrum Sound's Advanced CobraNet

To quote Cirrus Logic - "CobraNet is offered as a standard technology for the transport of multi-channel audio and control data. Cirrus Logic believes that a network carrying audio and data between products of many manufacturers best serves the industry."

The House System is powered by custom CyberLogic Corp multi channel power amps and is connected the the mix position by a QSC / Cirrus Logic RAVE; a digital audio transport system that routes multiple channels of audio over standard Ethernet hardware and cabling.

Some information from Spectrum Sound's Curtis about the use of network and control technology:

PSW: You are probably the most experienced user of CobraNet in the world could you tell us how are you using CobraNet on the tour?

We started using CobraNet on Promise Keepers when we aquired the original 900 system, it made perfect sense because of the amount of drive lines needed for the amount of control you get. We have since incorporated it into many of our main drive racks for signal distribution in our other systems for some shows.

The 161 unit which is, for lack of a better term, the A/D unit resides (for us at least) at FOH. We connect the CobraNet outputs of these units to an unmanaged switch and convert to fiber optic for the long run. (We do keep cat 5 on hand for backup) This signal is fed to the first receive rack on one side of the stage where it connects to another unmanaged switch and from there to the RAVE 160s in that rack and also loops through (via fiber or cat 5) to it's mirror image rack on the opposite side of the stage. You can find a detailed explanation of CobraNet at www.cirrus.com but here is a simple yet crude description. In a normal ethernet network information is sent in packets. These packets are received in random order and reordered at the other end in the computer. CobraNet converts the analog signal to digital and sends it in packets downstream to the receive unit(s). Unlike ethernet though Cobra Net keeps these packets in order.

PSW: How do you use computers and control networking on the show? (Control, communications, measurement etc...)

Our drive racks come configured with a rackmount computer connected to the processors and attached to an 8 port hub and a wireless access point. With the WAP I can acces the drive computer with my laptop. Control is done with PC Anywhere. It really makes it nice to make changes from anyseat in the venue and hear it happen in real time. For measurement I ran SIM. The hardware control makes it easier to use since we were out of open channels on the console for measurment mics. While walking the room I would occasionally run SMAART with a portable pre for the mic but mostly relied on ears and taste. Those were also the ruling factors in tweaking the main system, (ears and taste).