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Digital Snake

Q.What are the merits of using the S-4000 Digital Snake System to split stage audio to multiple destinations, such as a monitor console, broadcast feed, and/or multitrack recorder?

A.One of the biggest advantages of using the S-4000 Digital Snake System for your audio snake applications is the ability to split audio sources to multiple destinations with minimum hassle and superb audio quality. Thanks to the Digital Snake's REAC connection interface?which allows for up to 40 channels of digital audio transfer over a single Cat5e Ethernet cable--spitting audio is easy and convenient.

Traditionally, when using an analog snake system, audio splits are taken directly at the source. This requires the use of expensive and bulky transformer-based audio splitters, as well as an additional analog snake for each split destination. Besides this, analog signal splitting can reduce the source signals' quality and greatly increase the potential for introducing noise into the entire sound reinforcement system via ground loops and RF interference.

Using REAC, splitting the stage audio in an S-4000 System is extremely easy. Simply add a switching hub and an S-4000H unit for each split destination, hook them together with Cat5e cables, and you're ready to go! Besides this setup convenience, REAC splits provide pristine audio quality?once the input signals are converted to digital data in the S-4000S, they can be split as many times as you wish with absolutely no loss in quality.

What You'll Need

To split the S-4000S's 32 channels of input audio, you'll need:
  • an Ethernet switching hub with enough ports to connect each REAC device.
  • an additional S-4000H unit for each split destination.
  • straight-through Cat5e Ethernet cables.

Ethernet Switching Hub Requirements

To work with REAC, an Ethernet switching hub must meet the following requirements:
  • 1000BASE-T transmission speed (IEEE802.3ab, Gigabit Ethernet)
  • Support for 100BASE-TX devices (IEEE802.3u, Fast Ethernet)
  • Bi-directional (full-duplex) communication

Connect REAC devices only to switching hub ports that support 100BASE-TX.

Note about switching hubs and REAC: The transmission protocol for REAC is based on 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet). To transfer 40 channels of digital audio, REAC uses the full bandwidth of this protocol. However, some 100BASE-TX switching hubs cannot handle this amount of data traffic. Gigabit Ethernet switching hubs can handle a larger amount of data traffic, so we recommend them for use with REAC devices (just be sure that the Gigabit switching hub you use supports 100BASE-TX devices).


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