Ensuring that all parishioners can hear both speech and music clearly is an ongoing preoccupation for Houses of Worship technicians, particularly those working in acoustically-challenging spaces. St. Clement’s Parish Church in Cambridge, Ontario, has certainly faced its fair share of challenges in this area, and in fact it was an acute issue with intelligibility that provided the impetus for an audio upgrade incorporating the specification of Xilica DSP technology.

Jon Hisey is Owner and Business Manager of Yake Engineered Multimedia Systems (YEMS), the locally-based AV company and long-term HoW acoustics specialist that was contacted by the church as a result of being “frustrated with parishioners complaining that they could not understand what was being said. They had had another integrator and some well-meaning parishioners with some audio background try to solve the problem, but there had been little if any analysis of room coverage, and there was little if any signal processing being done. Speech intelligibility was the primary requirement, but simplified operation was the other key element.”

A flexible and extensively featured DSP was crucial then, and the YEMS team was in no doubt about where it could locate one. “We use Xilica as our current ‘go to’ DSP as the product range and price point meet our clients’ needs well,” says Hisey. “Most of our projects are in auditoriums for Houses of Worship and large training facilities, and these processors work well for functions such as speaker system EQ and room configuration. I would also highlight the Xilica technical support, which is quick and thorough.”

The resulting installation at St. Clement’s Parish Church draws on four products from the current Xilica range. A Uno Series U1608 DSP provides primary processing such as room EQ and delay, as well as hosting a selection of speaker presets. A NeuPanel Touch 7 controller situated in the equipment rack area provides extensive control functionality, while more straightforward control of basic inputs, volume and primary preset recalls is enabled by the inclusion of NeuPanel Mini K4 and Mini S8 wall-mounted control devices.

Hisey confirms that “the simplified control panels give the operator the basic operation they require, while the controller in the rack area is designed for more sophisticated control when skilled technicians are available. In addition, the ability to recall preset room configurations allows some speakers to be turned off when the band is present, without the need to adjust faders. Looking at it from our integrator perspective, the project represents a great balance between price point and feature set.”

Pleasingly, the verdict from worshippers and church personnel has been equally positive. “The first response was ‘finally we can understand what is being said’,” says Hiseman. “From an operations standpoint they are pleased that system users have control of what they need to control, without having to deal with a complicated mixer, and that the system can be quickly and accurately configured for the specific service without having to remember a long list of settings.”

Situated in Dornbirn, Austria, the Kulturhaus has been a stalwart of the cultural scene in the country’s Vorarlberg region since it first opened its doors in the early 1980s. The venue has been the subject of multiple upgrade efforts over the years, although a recent overhaul of the loudspeaker system in the main hall has been particularly notable for its scale and extent.

Working under the guidance of Thomas Bischofberger and following input from locally-based company Tonplan, the venue’s sound department installed an Alcons Audio system designed for challenging acoustic conditions. The innovative pro-ribbon components of the Alcons system make it possible to deliver crisp, clear audio despite the inherent issues of the venue, with listening tests and subsequent events attended by regular audiences underlining the improvements wrought by the new PA.

Not surprisingly, the amplification and processing sections of the upgraded hall feature equally high-end brands. The systems are powered by one Sentinel S10 and two Sentinel S3 amplifiers, while processing and distribution are courtesy of a Xilica Neutrino A1616-ND and Xilica Rio R1616-N audio matrix, connected via Dante to the venue’s Yamaha CL5 and CL3 consoles.

As this workflow amply illustrates, the venue has been able to take full advantage of the Neutrino range’s support for Audinate’s Dante media networking technology. Devised to deliver Next Generation Processing thanks to Xilica’s 40 Bit Floating Point DSP Engine, high performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, the Dante-enabled versions also make it possible to digitally transport Dante network audio long distances over Ethernet cable, with the ND versions also adding digital I/O (8×8 AES/EBU) capability.

As and when required, it is possible to convert Dante digital audio back to analogue audio at the far end using another Series-N model DSP – or as has been implemented at the Kulturhaus – the 16 available analogue outputs contained in the Rio R1616-N breakout box. The end-result is a powerful and highly flexible, Dante-enabled processing and distribution architecture that has performed seamlessly since its implementation.

Subsequent to the installation and calibration processes – which were carried out in conjunction with specialists Pro Performance Wolfgang Sauter – the impressive new audio system has been applied successfully to the hall’s wide range of cultural events, which include orchestral and jazz performances, dance events, conferences, summits and much more.

Constructed at the turn of the 20th century but regularly modernised and enhanced ever since, the Latvian National Theatre, located in Riga, remains one of the country’s most influential artistic establishments. In line with its contemporary focus, the theatre’s technical personnel have always maintained a cutting-edge technological infrastructure – not least the implementation, several years ago, of an Audinate Dante media networking system.

Support for the Dante network, as well the ability to cope with the requirements of a new stage-tracking system for dynamic panning, were among the requirements confronting AV specialist 3S when it was invited to recommend and supply a fresh processing rack for the venue. AES inputs for digital audio were also essential, re-calls Einars Cintins, who is Managing Director of 3S.

“Taking all of these requirements into account, it quickly became clear that the Xilica platform was the first choice for this project – and that with the Neutrino Series-N models, which provide full Dante-enabled network audio capability, we had our solution,” says Cintins.

Each of the two Neutrino A1616-N processors makes it possible to digitally transport 16×16 I/O channels of Dante network audio long distances over Ethernet cable, with an optional Rio R1616-N Dante-enabled breakout box utilised for the project allowing easy conversion back to the analogue domain. Meanwhile, the two Neutrino devices enable audio from multiple inputs, including the stage-tracking system, to be fed to the various ‘speaker zones’ located around the venue.

Cintins had some prior experience of Xilica products in the live environment, but the Latvian National Theatre project marked his first major encounter in the install world. “We really decided it was time to see what Xilica could do in this context, and I am very glad that we did,” he says. “Above all, there was the significant improve-ment in overall quality from the previous processing set-up – as well as the reduction in rack space, as what previously took five DSPs of the formerly used brand can now be done by two of the Xilica units!

“Then there is the fact that it was so straightforward to implement – indeed, the whole process to set-up, configure and get everything running took less than four hours. Subsequent to the original installation phase, there have obviously been a number of software updates, but these have proven to be trouble-free.

“The end-result is that the theatre’s technical team has a very versatile processing system as well as one that is extremely stable and reliable. They are delighted by its performance to date.”

Situated in one of Brisbane’s most sought-after areas, Chu the Phat is one of the very latest additions to the city’s formidable array of first-class eateries. And in keeping with its high-end credentials, it sports a cutting-edge and fully integrated audio system courtesy of installer Twisted Pair Productions, featuring DSP technology from Xilica.

After consultation with rawGROUP and venue owner Adrian Rosato, Twisted Pair pressed ahead with specifying a range of brands that would complement the sonic and aesthetic requirements of the concrete shell install site. Quest speakers, Pioneer turntables, Shure wireless microphones and a Rane mixer running Serato DJ were among the primary components of a system that also features powerful processing and zone control courtesy of Neutrino A0808-N.

Built on the audio performance reputation of Xilica’s 40 Bit Floating Point DSP Engine, high-performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, Neutrino is designed to bring a new level of audio performance and value to open architecture, drag & drop processing. As with all of the Series-N model versions, the Neutrino A0808-N provides Dante-enabled network audio capability and the ability to digitally transport Dante streams long distances over Ethernet cable.

Using Xilica’s SolaroConsole DSP configuration software to set up and run the Neutrino A0808-N, Twisted Pair’s technical team was able to process and control the venue’s various zones so they operate precisely as required. In addition, different levels of password access determine who is able to access selected parts or all of the processing infrastructure.

Dylan Hooper oversees sales at Twisted Pair Productions and worked intensely on the Chu the Phat project. Explaining the decision to use Xilica systems, he remarks that “we had used their DSPs before and knew our way around them. Above all, we required an open architecture audio zone controller that the venue could control from their POS computers – and were sure that the Neutrino could provide this.”

The Chu the Phat installation has proven to be a great success, with the audio system rising to the various challenges of DJ sets and background music with great ease and style. “Xilica has a great range of systems with so much power, and all at affordable prices,” says Hooper. “In an era where there is so much technology out there doing just about the same thing, Xilica is able to provide a distinctive, high-end product range at prices that will work for nearly every venue. Clients may not always see or know how much one of these systems can do, but for the install it makes the end-result so much better.”

Located in the centre of Riga – a short walk away from such tourist-friendly landmarks as the Latvian National Opera and Riga Dome Cathedral – the Grand Hotel Kempinski is one of the Latvian capital’s most prestigious and popular hotels. Featuring stunning 19th century architecture, the five-star destination is home to some distinctly 21st century technology, including sophisticated AV systems in its 141 luxury rooms/suites and multiple meeting and conference rooms.

As part of ongoing efforts to ensure that its personnel and guests have access to the most powerful and reliable new technologies, the hotel recently engaged the services of leading AV specialist 3S to implement a Dante media network. The new network – which connects multiple meeting rooms, bars and other public spaces to enable the fast and flexible distribution and sharing of content, including music – makes use of multiple Rio Series Dante-enabled I/O interfaces manufactured by Xilica.

“This is a very forward-looking implementation,” says Einars Cintins, who is Managing Director of 3S. “There is no analogue cabling at all and everything is travelling through Dante. We have input/output modules installed in a variety of different locations, plus Xilica Rio Series devices that accept Dante streams and convert them into analogue for the PA system.”

The Rio Series Dante-enabled I/O interface devices were designed to provide additional flexibility for Xilica’s Dante-enabled Neutrino-N and Uno-N processor models. However, as in this case, they can also be used as standalone interface devices with other Dante-enabled product brands.

At Grand Hotel Kempinski, 3S has made use of two primary products from the Rio Series: the R1616N, which is a full-size, 1RU, 19” rack-mount Dante interface utilising premium grade mic preamps; and the R22-P (4×4 I/O) 1/4 rack chassis size Dante interface device.

“We needed interfaces that were capable and completely reliable,” says Cintins. “As soon as we started testing these devices we were sure that we would not have any trouble – and that has proven to be the case.”

In conjunction with the new Dante network, 3S has also installed a combined audio system capable of delivering multiple background music streams simultaneously as well as handling EN54 duties. The end-result, concludes Cintins, “is a much-enhanced infrastructure that really sets them up well for the future in terms of both current and expected requirements.”

As the only surviving building from medieval Rotterdam, Laurenskerk possesses a tremendous significance to the city’s people and, in particular, its church-goers. A Protestant House of Worship (HoW) following the Reformation in the 16th Century, the church was much later the subject of extensive damage during World War II. Over the ensuing decades it was restored to its full glory and today remains a cornerstone of the Dutch worship community.

But whilst any visitor cannot fail to be aware of its prodigious history, Laurenskerk’s technical infrastructure is nothing if not contemporary. In recent times the church staff have regularly sought to improve and enhance the audio experience for worshippers, and it was in this spirit that they recently tapped the services of Schaapsound to implement a new PA and audio processing system.

Operating out of three locations across the Netherlands, Schaapsound is a seasoned specialist when it comes to worship AV, regularly undertaking a remarkable 150 church installs every year. For the Laurenskerk fit-out, as with so many in this field, the emphasis was on versatile but easily understandable routing and processing, yielding quick access to different presets suiting different occasions.

“For example,” says Schaapsound sales advisor Joost de Visser, “there needed to be provision to turn off all the mics in the room when the organist was playing, and then have them all back live again as soon as he had finished. The ability to work with simple presets was crucial, and that is one of the requirements that led to us the Xilica Neutrino A1616.”

Part of Xilica’s stalwart Neutrino range, the A1616 offers 16×16 I/O with open architecture, ‘drag and drop’ floating point DSP, 48 kHz sampling, high-performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic pre-amps. It had proven its worth at a number of previous church installs undertaken by Schaap Sound, and has already become a trusted tool for the team at Laurenskerk.

There it feeds some 12 speakers (from Seis Akustik) dotted throughout the church, including speakers situated in the organ loft. Control of individual parameters and presets is provided by the SolaroControl app loaded onto an iPad, and a NeuPanel Touch 7 touch-panel.

The work was completed earlier this summer, and de Visser is delighted to reveal that the new audio system has received fulsome praise from church personnel and patrons alike. “The improvement in sound quality has been noted, whilst the staff are very happy with the presets and general ease of use of the Xilica DSP,” he said.

The ability to cope with challenging acoustics and flexible routing requirements were chief among the factors that led to the recent specification of a Xilica Neutrino A0808 digital signal processor in the Dining Hall at Jesus College.

Part of the University of Cambridge, Jesus College has more than 700 undergraduate and postgraduate students, and a list of alumni that includes poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and playwright Sir David Hare. But although its provenance might be long and distinguished, the College maintains a technological infrastructure that is the very definition of cutting-edge.

For one of its most recent upgrade initiatives, it decided to overhaul the audio infrastructure in its Dining Hall. For some time it had been felt that intelligibility – or lack thereof – in the room was a major issue, and with the hall hosting numerous prestigious functions this wasn’t a state of affairs that could be allowed to continue. Working in close cooperation, integrator About Sound and distributor Audiologic devised and implemented a replacement solution designed to deliver a significant improvement to the venue’s audio performance.

Whereas before the PA had been located at one end of the room only, the new design prioritised more localised positions, with K-array speakers situated at different positions throughout the hall. Along with K-array amplifiers and Sennheiser wireless microphones, among other core equipment, an Xilica Neutrino A0808 DSP provides the centre of operations for the revamped system.

As Audiologic Sales & Marketing Director Andy Lewis explains, the factors behind the specification of the Neutrino A0808 – which has been installed in conjunction with a single wall-mount Touch 7 control panel – were relatively straightforward. “We needed a transparent-sounding, easy-to-control DSP with touch-screen operation that was completely customisable,” he says. “And I am glad to say that that is precisely what we got with the Neutrino A0808.”

The primary functions performed by the DSP are within the parameters of conventional expectations – amendment of room EQ, routing of audio inputs, and adjustment of volume levels and presets – although the challenging acoustic of the room means that the processor’s responsiveness is particularly welcome. The same might be said of its reliability, with the device operating seamlessly and without interruption since installation.

This dramatic improvement in the overall audio performance of the Hall has been noted by both the college staff and the wide range of clients who hire it out. “One of the remarks that came from the customer was that the change between the new and old systems was akin to the difference between night and day,” he says. “Comments from visiting clients have been similarly positive.”

For Audiologic, the project constituted a further good result in a long and successful history of using Xilica products. “Xilica currently offers some of the most cost-effective DSP solutions on the market in the Neutrino and Uno offerings, especially with the versions that support Dante. I am sure we will be specifying these for many other projects in the future,” concludes Lewis.

Located in the Benfica neighbourhood of Luanda – the capital of Angola – the Girafa Complex constitutes a new concept in high-end leisure and entertainment. Designed to offer compelling experiences for the entire family, the Girafa park spans more than 22,000 square metres and is divided into three primary areas: the Brincolândia water park; the pavilion area with two halls; and the food and games square.

Leading AV integration company Garrett Audiovisuals worked in close cooperation with Girafa’s owners to provide a sophisticated installation integrating sound, vision, lighting and control systems. In keeping with the desire to include the most highly specified technology, Garrett Audiovisuals elected to use Xilica Neutrino DSPs in all three areas of the complex.

Where required, the systems are integrated with the site’s Dante network, as Luis Tavares from the technical department at Garrett Audiovisuals explains: “The system in this case is divided into four zones at four different points of the amusement park and is interconnected by the Dante link. There are also four touch control panels that allow you to select different music sources for different zones, as well as control and distribution of recorded messages and voice alerts. All the racks are connected by a fiber optic ring and network switches for that purpose.”

In the Brincolândia water park, sound management and control are handled by a quartet of Xilica Neutrino A1616-N Dante processors. Built on the audio performance reputation of the company’s 40-bit floating point DSP engine, high performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, the Neutrino DSPs are designed to bring a new level of audio performance and ‘drag and drop’ ease to fixed audio installations.

Handling the DSP needs for the pavilion spaces are two Xilica XP-8080s – one in each pavilion. Designed to bring quality and price-efficiency to a wide range of install settings, the XP-8080s incorporate a fixed architecture DSP; a 96kHz sampling, 40-bit floating point DSP engine; and high-performance 24-bit converters.

Xilica technology can also be found in the impressively multi-purpose food and games square, which incorporates five restaurants, four bowling lanes and snooker tables. In this area Garrett Audiovisuals has specified two XP-3060 3-in, 6-out professional matrix DSP system controllers. All 3 inputs offer 650ms delay, 31-band graphic and 8 parametric EQ’s, a complete filter section (max 48dB) and a compressor. Once again, 24 bit AD/DA conversion and a 40-bit floating point DSP at a 96kHz sampling rate ensure high end audio quality.

Reflecting on the completion of a demanding project in which rock-solid reliability and ease of integration with the site’s Dante network were chief priorities, Tavares reports that the Xilica processors “are performing brilliantly as part of a system that offers total reliability and flexible routing for all the current audio requirements, as well as many that might arise in the future.”

Reliability, high I/O count and ease of customisation were among the factors that led to the selection of Neutrino A1616 digital signal processors – manufactured by Xilica – during a recent installation at the GS1 Portugal Center for Innovation and Competitiveness in Portugal.

Located in Lisbon, the Center was created by technology standards body GS1 in 2016 in order to present and promote its solutions and standards to associates, partners, developers and end-users. Its objectives also include the demonstration and sharing of processes that can enhance business efficiency across the entire value chain of each product.

While PROMONTÓRIO oversaw the architectural design of the Center, and Alexandre Farto from VHILS worked on eye-catching artistic design elements, Garrett Audiovisuals was selected as creative and technological partner for the execution, development and integration of the HQ, training rooms, offices, laboratories and more. Not surprisingly for such a salient project, high-end brands delivering total reliability were very much the order of the day.

As a result, the audio configuration included monitors from Genelec, wireless microphone systems from beyerdynamic and – at the core of the system – DSP technology from Xilica, specifically two Neutrino A1616 digital signal processors. Built on the audio performance reputation of the company’s 40-bit floating point DSP engine, high performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, Neutrino is designed to bring a new level of audio performance and ‘drag and drop’ ease to fixed audio installations.

The A1616 (16×16) is one of four I/O configurations available in the Neutrino series. At the Center, one device processes the signal for two of the meeting spaces, allowing them to be deployed individually or in combination, with two CUE Systems touch panels to manage and monitor the usage. Separately, a second A1616 oversees several ‘exhibition’ areas inside the building, making it possible to route the sound flexibly between different spaces.

Luis Tavares from the technical department at Garrett Audiovisuals describes the A1616 as “a solution that provides an outstanding quality-price ratio. We knew it would be an ideal answer to the audio challenges at the Center. In particular, the number of inputs and output, the general reliability, and the ease of use recommended it, as did its ability to be easily customized to satisfy the type and dimension of the project. We are delighted by the results achieved by the A1616s at the Center, and I can report that they continue to perform with the utmost precision and reliability.”

In a broader context it is clear that the high quality of the audio is contributing to the success of the Center as a whole. Since its completion, the Lisbon venue has come to be regarded as the best GS1 Innovation Center worldwide, and the scale of this achievement can be seen in context when one learns that GS1’s global operations encompass more than 140 offices in 120 countries.

Digital signal processors from Xilica’s acclaimed Neutrino series were selected to handle conversion duties and selected processing at the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw. The DSP was implemented as part of an ambitious upgrade effort undertaken by Jan Panis and Koen Keevel from Panis Musical Engineering (PME).

Opened to the public in 1888, the Concertgebouw is celebrated for its natural room acoustics and is one of the world’s most renowned classical music venues. It is also the home of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which famously enjoyed long associations with composers including Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss. But despite its historical provenance, the technological infrastructure of the venue is decidedly contemporary, with the venue team always keen to do what is possible to enhance the visitor experience.

The centerpiece of the latest upgrade project was the specification of a Meyer Sound MINA Compact Curvilinear Array Loudspeakers, but the PME team also took the opportunity to review the DSP configuration. For this they needed “utmost flexibility in terms of analogue and digital I/O conversion – specifically to and from Audinate’s Dante and AES/EBU – as well as superb DSP audio quality,” says Panis.

The PME team had become aware of the Xilica Neutrino range through a series of trade show visits and contact with Xilica’s European office in Amsterdam. Once the upgrade project had been initiated, it became evident that robust support for Dante as well as straightforward system control were also priority requirements – hence the eventual specification of two Xilica A1616-ND Dante-enabled DSPs with AES/EBU, and a single Xilica Touch 7SM 7” touch panel.

Built on the audio performance reputation of the company’s 40-bit floating point DSP engine, high performance 24-bit converters, and premium grade mic preamps, Neutrino is designed to bring a new level of audio performance and ‘drag and drop’ ease to fixed audio installations. Meanwhile, the interactive, programmable, multi-page Touch 7SM panel enables users to create and customize presets to be controlled by simply touching the screen. At the Concertgebouw, once all parameters were copied into the Neutrino DSP via its NeuConsole software, the A1616-NDs were connected and adjusted accordingly. 

The Neutrino products, says Panis, are “extremely flexible, good sounding DSP modules with very clever software. During the process of developing the audio system, we had to make many adjustments in terms of processing, routing and presets, and these could be achieved more or less instantaneously. So we are delighted with the choices we made here.”