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AV Interview: Greg Kopchinski, Audinate

Audinate’s Product Marketing Manager for Audio has notice a trend: live music venues offering streaming and recording services. Dante to the rescue.

By

20 June 2024

Text:/ Christopher Holder

Churches and funeral homes did it because they had to. Covid closed down all live venues and the only way to keep the faithful and the mourners looped in, was to add live streaming. Then the streaming stayed when in-person services kicked off again and have become an indispensable part of doing church and paying our respects to those who have passed.

Live music venues also closed but, unlike churches or funeral homes, didn’t have anything to stream in the downtime. But now they’re starting to catch on – streaming and/or recording gigs can be a fresh way of making money and keeping absent punters happy worldwide, as well as providing a treasured memento for those actually in the audience.

They’re also finding that Dante is invariably the easiest way of adding streaming capabilities to the venue’s offering.

It’s something Greg Kopchinski has been noticing. He’s the new Product Marketing Manager (Audio) for Audinate. We chatted about what makes Dante work so well for live venues.

SCEPTIC TO ENTHUSIAST

“When Dante first hit the scene, there was a bit of skepticism,” Greg recalls. “People were used to their existing system, and the idea of sending audio and video over IP was met with a bit of hesitation. We’re over that now. Live venues, which rely on analogue multicore or MADI, at least have a recognition of Dante and its widespread acceptance.”

That said, Dante’s use of IP networks can be daunting for non-IT audio people. Again, that hurdle is beginning to drop as live venue techs get more IT savvy, along with the fact that Dante requires little or no specialised IT know-how.

“From the beginning, Dante was created as a system that sound engineers could set up quickly, even if they weren’t network specialists. With Dante, you just plug in your devices, and the system automatically recognises them and configures itself.”

This plug-and-play functionality means less downtime and more focus on the show. For live venues, this translates to more efficient soundchecks and a smoother overall workflow. “In a live setting, every minute counts. Being able to streamline setup without sacrificing quality is invaluable,” Greg asserts.

SCALABLE & FLEXIBLE

Live venues range from small clubs to massive stadiums, and Dante is designed to scale across all these environments. Greg points out, “Whether you’re running a small venue with a basic setup or a large arena with complex routing needs, Dante can handle it.”

This scalability is particularly beneficial for touring artists and festivals. “Bands and production crews can carry their own Dante-enabled gear and be confident it will integrate seamlessly with any venue’s infrastructure,” Greg notes. “This consistency across different locations ensures a reliable performance night after night.”

HIGH QUALITY, LOW LATENCY

When it comes to live sound, quality and latency are critical. Dante delivers on both fronts, providing pristine audio with minimal delay. “We’ve optimised Dante to ensure that latency is virtually imperceptible,” Greg explains. “This is crucial for live performances where timing is everything.”

The technology also supports high-resolution audio, which is essential for delivering the best possible sound experience to audiences. “Listeners today have high expectations, and Dante allows engineers to meet and exceed those expectations,” Greg says.

FUTURE-PROOFING WITH DANTE

Looking ahead, Greg is optimistic about the future of Dante in live venues. “The demand for high-quality AV experiences is only going to grow,” he predicts. “Dante’s ability to handle both audio and video over a single network makes it an ideal solution for the evolving needs of live events.”

He also highlights ongoing developments that will continue to enhance Dante’s capabilities. “We’re constantly working on new features and improvements to keep Dante at the cutting edge of AV technology.”

LIKE BEING THERE

Dante makes it remarkably simple to add a broadcast or streaming room to an existing live music venue, thus creating a new potential revenue stream for both the venue and the musicians. By leveraging Dante’s seamless integration capabilities, venues can easily connect their existing audio equipment to a streaming setup without the need for extensive rewiring or additional infrastructure.

Music-lovers’ expectations are high and getting higher. Yet, it’s not uncommon to see a YouTube video of a gig captured in the fifth row of the audience area – with terrible sound and video quality.

At the other extreme, live venues can now relatively easily provide a stream or a recording that combines high quality inputs taken from the FOH mixing console or stagebox, mixed with audience mics to supply the live ambience. The result is the next best thing to actually being there.

As a result, venues that are upgrading with the help of Dante infrastructure, can reach a wider audience online, monetising their streams through ticket sales, subscriptions, or advertisements, while musicians gain increased exposure and additional income opportunities from their performances.

Dante: getdante.com

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Dante’s ability to handle both audio and video over a single network makes it an ideal solution for the evolving needs of live events

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