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Why Auburn University Tweaked College Football’s Largest LED Display

You won’t see the difference its new Dante audio network by Audinate makes, but game-day presentation just got a whole lot easier.

CI Staff
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Sean White?

John Franklin?

There is one area of Auburn University where there is no quarterback controversy. Behind Jordan-Hare Stadium’s 197-by-57-foot LED video system – the largest in NCAA football – the audio signals are being called by a Dante audio network by Audinate.

The Daktronics video board comprised of more than 8.7 million LEDs uses multi-camera, multi-source HD video to make sure up to 87,451 Auburn Tiger fans in attendance don’t miss a play.

Since Auburn unveiled its colossal Daktronics display last season, it learned that audio networking is just as important as video and its old analog distribution configuration just wasn’t cutting it. So it turned to an IP solution.

Large venue display manufacturer Daktronics also handled the system design and integration related to the Auburn project.

Photos: College Footballs Largest LED Video Board

“We use Dante on roughly 60 to 70 percent of our big-screen installations because it’s extremely flexible, scalable, and configurable,” says David Sturzenbecher (CTS-I), audio project engineer for Daktronics.

“Its seamless interoperability between components makes it easy to expand existing installations.”

Audio Quarterback

Centralized in an audio control room in the stadium’s press box, the Dante network allows a single audio operator to manage a wide array of inputs from CD players, microphones and more used by the announcers, referees, and musical performers.

Dante also routes audio over IP from a Midas mixing console in Auburn University’s video control room, a half-mile up the road from the stadium.

All control room game day audio elements interface with a Dante-enabled Yamaha RIO (Rack Input Output) 3224-D unit, which supports 32 inputs x 16 outputs. These signals are centrally monitored and controlled from a 64-channel Yamaha CL5 digital audio mixing console—equipped with native Dante capability—in the stadium’s audio control room.

Working in tandem with Dante-compatible networking components, the CL5 delivers the audio signals to the DSP units around the stadium. The BSS London-BLU-806 digital signal processors, convert various analog and digital audio signals to the digital format required for transmission over the Dante network, as well as performing venue routing and equalization. The Dante network also utilizes six London BLU-326 processors, which accept Dante signals and decode them to AES-EBU for the public address system, monitors and loudspeakers.

“Not having signal routing limitations was a definite advantage on this stadium installation. With Dante, we get the same quality audio signal out that we put in, even at the end of 2000 feet of fiber.”