RH Consulting’s Roland Hemming opened the proceedings with a brief introduction on AES67, its role in audio networking and the very close relationship between AES67 and RAVENNA before handing over to Merging’s Audio-over IP expert Nicolas Sturmel. Sturmel, who recently joined Merging from Digigram, has been leading the project of the Audio Network Manager (dubbed ANEMAN) which offers a completely new – and easy – way to patch AES67 audio and much, much more.
The issue of AoIP network control and interoperability has always been complex and difficult to manage. A number of disparate solutions exist, but nothing that looks at the bigger picture. Neither RAVENNA nor AES67 require a specific control protocol. However, they clearly needed a network management and monitoring tool to enable their inherent capabilities to be exploited easily. ANEMAN was developed to address that need and based on the premise that it should not be a closed tool dedicated to a particular ecosystem. Instead, ANEMAN is designed to be implemented in any device whose manufacturer sees the benefit of being part of an open, unrestricted AoIP ecosystem.
“Ethernet networked audio - or AoIP - systems are increasingly replacing MADI-based systems because they offer many more channels, far more flexibility and are much more scalable,” said Sturmel. “We therefore need tools that enable us to harness this potential and manage AoIP networks quickly and easily. Users don’t want to worry about IP addresses or complex system setups – they just want to patch audio.”
“ANEMAN has been designed so that the receiving device can be configured with more or less one click – no network knowledge is required, you don’t have to open up any device web pages or configure internal routing of devices. Data is distributed on the network, meaning that ANEMAN is stateless. It is not a converter or a gateway – once the network has been set up, it could in fact be turned off and everything would still work perfectly. ANEMAN performs two functions: firstly, to set up the network quickly and easily; secondly, to monitor the network. Multiple ANEMAN sessions can co-exist on the same network.”
ANEMAN is built on an open specification that was initiated by Merging and Digigram in 2014. The first UI is offered by Merging under the name ANEMAN but other manufacturers are welcome to develop their own UIs that can be specific to their own use cases. All that is required is that the manufacturer be compatible with the existing plugin, or that they write their own. To date, compatible manufacturers include Genelec, Archwave, Digigram and Merging. There is very little development work required to become compatible. ANEMAN will be soon freely downloadable from the Merging website.
“At the moment we’re just at the beginning of the ANEMAN journey,” concluded Sturmel. “The software will be constantly evolving and improving as more manufacturers come on board and as more users embrace the concept and provide feedback. We think it’s the defining technology for all networked audio systems for the future. We invite all interested parties to contact us and take an active part in shaping the future of audio networking!”
ANEMAN will demonstrated on the Merging stand at NAB 2017, stand C3037
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