SSL System T - Amazon Web Services
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
System T is a truly new broadcast audio production environment bringing
I/O, routing, innovative control, and audio processing together in a flexible,
fully networked, large-scale system.
Each System T ecosystem is based around three elements; a new networked
implementation of the proven SSL Tempest processing engine, a variety of
networked control interface options offering versatile, distributed,
multi-operator control, and Dante network based audio routing and I/O.
With every part of the System T infrastructure networked, broadcast
production facilities can benefit from several key advantages:
• All three networked aspects - I/O, control, and processing engine
are flexible, scalable resources that can be deployed and
distributed as required.
• Multiple control interfaces can address a single 800 path audio
engine simultaneously, so multi-user systems, technical
‘over-control’, and control redundancy can be built into System T
implementations.
• I/O is sharable between any processing core and control interface,
even if a console core is taken offline.
• I/O is movable and discoverable so named inputs and outputs
will always be available and easily accessed wherever they are
plugged into the network.
• Routing information is distributed across network providing
resilience and control interfacing from any location.
• Routing and I/O management using the defined Dante API allows
seamless echoing of cross points across system T’s own routing
GUI and 3rd party control systems.
• Network, Control, and Processing redundancy can extend to
separate rooms and separate physical fire zones.
More Information: The SSL Team bring decades of broadcast console design experience to the challenges of leveraging
networked technology for broadcast. Email sales@solidstatelogic.com for help and advice.
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
Networked I/O & Routing
The audio network technology that underpins
System T is Audinate’s Dante - a well defined,
widely supported, high capacity, and low latency
Audio-Over-IP technology standard. Dante
devices, including System T, can also deliver
AES67 AoIP transport, for audio exchange with
non Dante AoIP technologies supporting AES67.
Complete Technology
Dante technology incorporates device naming,
configuration and discoverability so that any
Dante enabled device from any manufacturer
added to the network will automatically give
System T access to that I/O. This can be routed
immediately using the System T GUI, both to and
from System T or any other Dante device on the
network. Routing includes signal naming, so a
‘split’ audio feed can now incorporate named
inputs and outputs. This information is stored
in the devices so there is zero reconfiguration
needed if a device is moved to a different port on
the network. For example a Stagebox moved from
one side of a studio to the other, or even a different room, will instantly function as before.
From an operational perspective you don’t need
to be a network engineer to route audio using
System T and Dante. Routing is presented as you
would have expected with a traditional non-AoIP
system. Without any operational intrusion,
automatic management of channel per flow
(‘packets’) ensures plenty of system capacity with flexible routing. A high channel count,
real-time, distributed routing system is well
within the capability of even modest network port
speeds. The implementation of the IEEE 1588
Precision Time Protocol (PTP) means that a single
network master clock will give sample and phase
accurate synchronization across the network
Distributed hardware and software
The Dante network effectively absorbs traditional
routing function into its component parts.
Routing is no longer limited by the complexity
and cost of large-scale central routing hardware
and central software management. Audio routing
is stored within devices, and once configured
devices communicate directly via the network, so
control software does not have to be present on a
network for the system to operate. Whole sections
can be taken offline without affecting routing and
control elsewhere on the network, and redundancy can easily be achieved.
Networked Processing Engine
System T’s processing power is provided by the
Tempest Processor Engine, including OCP™
technology already being leveraged in SSL’s Live
consoles. With System T one Engine is capable of
running 800 processing paths, 192 mix busses
and routing over 3000 audio inputs and outputs.
Unique resource allocation provides ‘on the fly’
channel and bus configuration, with no audio
dropout, enabling adding channels or busses
during a live production.
64-bit floating-point operations with high
precision and ultra low latency. Uniquely,
processing and mixing are all done inside the
cores, no additional FPGA or DSP is required,
reducing buffering and decreasing latency. All
this provides an extremely stable, but tremendously flexible DSP like architecture, with
capacities only previously possible with FPGAs.
Tempest’s processing power is completely
transparent to the console operator allowing
seamless real time configuration, routing and
processing allocation.
All Dante control software is passive and
reports the routing state as a direct tally from
each endpoint device. Multiple control systems
can co-exist accessing the same I/O and sharing
routing data without additional complex protocols
and configuration. For example; if a mic input is
routed to an intercom input using the System T
routing GUI, this route is also shown on any other
routing GUI or control system using the Dante API.
This allows workflows where each operator in the
facility uses a suitable GUI or physical panel but
instantly knows what other staff members have
configured. Dante’s strict routing protocol plus
the control and monitoring API (ConMon) ensures
any Dante hardware or software will be seamlessly compatible with System T.
Each Processor Engine connects to the Dante
Network via SSL’s Network I/O HC cards, which
can each handle up to 512 inputs and 512
outputs. Each Engine or redundant pair of
Engines has capacity for up to six HC connections. The system has full-mirrored redundancy
from the Engine chassis dual power supplies
through to the redundant networks. The HC
Bridging configuration allows redundant
Engines to be located in separate physical fire
zones within a facility if required. Multiple
Engines can share a network, along with
multiple Control Clients and multiple I/O, so
several System T based production teams (with
shared I/O) can coexist on a redundant pair of
networks for large facility installations.
•
•
I/O Devices
SSL’s Dante enabled Network I/O product line
(which includes Mic/Line Stageboxes, MADI, AES
and SDI interfaces) can be remote controlled
directly from System T consoles or network
connected computers. The separate SSL
Stagebox Remote Control Application offers full
device control from a standalone software
application. Devices configured to be used with
System T can easily be used for other jobs when
required, for example a truck’s flight case
stagebox could become a mobile recording rig.
Technology
The Tempest Processor Engine runs on industrial
grade multi-core CPU devices. In addition to the
RTOS (Real Time Operating System) the
Engines include SSL’s patented OPC™ (Optimal
Core Processing) technology. OCP guarantees
real time and deterministic allocation of
resources across the CPU, enabling multiple
All path types have full processing capability, 8
Automix groups can cope with 400 mono paths,
plus a full FX engine provides inbuilt Reverbs,
Delays, De-Nosiers, Signal analysers, Signal
generators, Up-mixers and Down-mixers as well
as additional Dynamics and EQ.
Processing architecture
The massive 800 paths of processing can be user
configured, with 192 of paths available for use as
busses. Bus types include:
Main busses – often used for PGM feeds
Stem busses – group busses that can also
feed other busses
• Auxiliary busses – sends with individual level
control per channel
• Mix Minus busses – simple to set up clean
feed busses for return signals to IFBs and
remote locations
• Track busses – utility busses for quick sends
to recorders or pre routed outputs
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
Control Interfaces
The System T control surface is modular and can
be configured to suit specific requirements. The
core elements include:
into production galleries and other locations in
the Audio control room or OB vehicle.
Multi gesture Channel View touch screens –
direct, intuitive, control and configuration
• Fader Tiles – 16 faders and 16 encoders, with
displays, metering and layer switching for
control of any channel or bus
• A Master Tile – main and focus fader plus
monitor controls, scene automation controls
and user keys
• A Channel Tile – touch screen and physical
hardware controls of all parameters of the
selected focus channel
Layering
System T’s layer manager provides intuitive
drag and drop functionality for configuring any
channel or bus, to be accessed by any physical
fader on the surface. Layers and banks on each
fader tile can recalled independently, allowing
access to lower paths while retaining access to
key faders. Each 16 fader tile includes 15 layers
each with 4 banks, providing up to 60 individual
layouts per tile. That’s 960 control faders, if
necessary a single tile can access all console
paths and VCAs. Flexibility really is unlimited,
but the user is only presented with the configured layers and banks keeping operation simple.
Further additions allow custom surface configuration, these additions include intelligently
switched bays including an overview screen, a
meter bridge and dual fader bays. The System-T
control software T-SOLSA can be run on a network
connected PC for additional control locations.
Remote fader tiles can be used to extend control
Metering
With up to 800 paths of processing across multiple surface layers, audio metering on a mixing
console has been rethought. The overview screen
can show all configured busses or banks of
256 formatted channel paths, providing a huge
amount of data including signal level, fader
•
Optional
Meters
position. Signal overloads or issues across the
huge capacity can be quickly identified, touching any path on the overview screen instantly
assigns this path to the focus fader and channel
tile, for any issues to be immediately resolved.
The optional meter bridge provides a meter
configurator; each of the 17 vertical strips can
be configured to have full, half or quarter height
meters permanently displayed. Allowing up to 68
metering slots per screen, again providing indication of what may be happening on multiple fader
layers simultaneously. The metering is identical
to the path metering on the channel view and
displays a rich amount of data including, signal
level, path name, path colour flag, dynamics reduction, gate activity, fader position and automix
activity.
Control Clients
A traditional multi-user broadcast system would
require multiple instances of a complete ‘console’, i.e. a DSP and control combination deployed for one purpose, normally restricted to
one location. With System T however, you can
Optional
Meters
Channel
Control
Bay
Dual
Fader Bay
Core
Elements
Intelligently
Switched
Bay
Remote
Fader Tile
and/or
Remote PC
Each of these three possible configurations would be
considered a single Control Client.
deploy multiple Control Clients anywhere on the
network with simultaneous control over shared
Tempest Processor Engine resource. A single
System T Control Client can be considered as an
instance of the System T Channel View touchscreen, either within a hardware surface or a
T-SOLSA online control computer.
System T currently allows three simultaneous
IP-addressed Control Clients per Engine (or redundant Engine pair), the main surface and up to
two remote clients. Where more than three Control Clients exist on a network they can be easily
assigned to different main surfaces as required.
Each Processor Engine supports two complete
monitoring systems; each with individual AFL
and PFL busses, multiple monitor selections and
external source selections. There are four additional studio/remote monitor paths per Engine
to provide zoned remote monitor level control.
Multiple Engines and their associated Control
Clients can coexist on a single network. In this
way extremely powerful and flexible multi-zone,
multi-operator systems can be specified.
Control where you need it
The ‘screen call’ and ‘swap’ functions allow a
user to select what tile is displayed on the channel view or swap any fader tile to the ‘hot’ position in front of the channel view. In doing so the
operator can always sit in the same place and
access any fader or parameter required. Surfaces with multiple touch screens are segmented
into screen groups with the fader tiles around a
particular screen associated with that screen. An
inbuilt KVM provides intelligently switched bays,
where the channel view and overview screen
exchange places so the channel view is always
by the faders being used, bringing the channel
view control to where the user needs it. Additionally this KVM has 3 external inputs, 2 with touch
screen control so computer and other video feeds
can be brought right to where needed.
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
Entertainment Show Configuration
This system shows the infrastructure for a typical Entertainment Show
production using a single System T ecosystem. There are two console frame
based Control Clients in a main Audio Control Room, and SOLSA computer
based Control Clients in a Production Gallery and in the Engineering Office.
A maximum of three of these Control Clients could be used simultaneously.
There is remote mic/line I/O in two studio floors, plus SDI, AES and MADI
bridging to the Dante network in the technical core.
The system is based around a dual-redundant network, with two redundant
Tempest Processor Engines that can, if required, be located in separate
physical fire zones. Single switches and network cables are illustrated to
keep the diagram simple to read but all network layouts and redundancy
topologies are supported.
The Audio Control Room shows two console frame based Control Clients
which could be used to facilitate two different approaches to production;
Split Control - where each of the two Control Clients has access to its own
audio channels that are mixed together at the output, as might traditionally
be done with two mixing consoles. Parallel Control - where two Control
Clients have access to the same audio channels and busses, but each
operator has different tasks, a workflow that is not easily achieveable with
multiple consoles. High density Audio Control Room monitoring is
provided with a combination of a Dante-MADI bridge unit and an SSL
Alpha-Link Live-R.
Main Entertainment Studio Floor
Illustrating traditional & Dante based workflow options
Control Room I/O
Analogue Split
FOH/Monitor Mixer
Dante connected
standalone console
FOH/Monitor Mixer
Local Stageboxes
standalone console
Audio Control Room
Studio 2
The diagram illustrates two different potential approaches to integration
of FOH and Monitoring consoles on the main entertainment studio floor.
In both approaches the local live FOH/Monitor console(s) have independent processing power, they do not share the System T Engines. The more
traditional approach of using an analogue split to feed the Stageboxes of
FOH/Mon console(s) whilst also feeding the broadcast system is shown.
An alternative approach places Dante Stageboxes on the show floor and
shares line level audio across the network to both FOH/Mon and broadcast
systems simultaneously.
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
Technical Core
Engineering
Office
fibre
Production
Control
Room
copper
All connections and network topologies can be fully redundant.
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
Large Scale Installation
This diagram illustrates just one of many ways
System T can be used to create versatile
scalable infrastructure for a large scale
broadcast facility with multiple studio floors
and control rooms and a single technical core.
There are two console frame based Control
Clients (which could be used for Split or
Parallel Control) in a main Audio Control Room,
mid size console style Control Clients in ACR1
and ACR2 and SOLSA computer based Control
Clients in three Production Galleries and in the
Engineering Office. There is spare capacity to
add temporary Control Clients.
There is a main entertainment studio floor with
an illustration of how a Dante based approach
to integration of local FOH/Monitor consoles
can be achieved. There is remote mic/line I/O
in five further studio floors, plus SDI, AES and
MADI bridging to the Dante network in the
technical core. High density Audio Control
Room monitoring is illustrated with a
combination of a Dante-MADI bridge unit
and an SSL ALpha-Link Live-R.
The system is based around a dual-redundant
network, with three redundant Tempest
Processor Engine pairs that can, if required, be
located in separate physical fire zones. Dotted
lines represent the use of fibre for longer cable
runs from the technical core. Single switches
and network cables are illustrated to keep the
diagram simple to read but all network layouts
and redundancy topologies are supported.
Main Entertainment Studio Floor
Control Room I/O
Illustrating a Dante based workflow option
PCR1
FOH/Monitor Mixer
Dante connected
standalone console
ACR 1
Studio 2
ACR 2
Studio 3
Studio 4
Studio 5
Studio 6
copper
PCR3
Technical Core
Engineering
Office
fibre
ACR 3
PCR2
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
All connections and network topologies can be fully redundant.
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
SSL System T
Fully Networked Broadcast Audio Production
Tom Knowles, Product Manager - Broadcast Systems
OB/Truck Configuration
This system shows the infrastructure for a
typical Outside Broadcast production using a
single System T ecosystem within OB1. There is
a console frame based Control Client in a main
Audio Control Room, and a SOLSA computer
based Control Client in the Production Gallery.
OB2
with System T
Technical
The Audio Control Room shows a single
console frame based Control Client that
provides 80 faders in a frame under 2m wide.
A second System T equipped vehicle (OB2) is
shown to illustrate how assets could be easily
shared by two or more vehicles.
Audio
Tempest
Engine
Control Room I/O
Tempest
Engine
There is Control Room I/O in the Audio Control
Room, plus SDI, AES and MADI bridging to
the Dante network in the technical core, and
rear panel I/O within OB1. An OB Stagebox is
deployed in the arena, with a Stagebox in the
commentary area - a fibre based Dante
connection runs back to OB1. The OB Stagebox
is shown connected to a permanently installed
Dante network within the arena (it would be
straightforward for the truck to deploy its own
arena network connected to the OB Stagebox if
required).
The system is based around a dual-redundant
network, with two redundant Tempest
Processor Engines. Single switches and
network cables are illustrated to keep the
diagram simple to read but all network layouts
and redundancy topologies are supported.
Production
Existing Dante
Network
External
Rear Panel
Stagebox
Commentary
80 fader control surface : width
OB Stagebox
OB1
Dante connection
to Stagebox
via fibre
Technical
Audio
Tempest
Engine
Tempest
Engine
External
Rear Panel
Stagebox
fibre
Production
Control Room I/O
80 fader control surface : width
copper
All connections and network topologies can be fully redundant.
solidstatelogic.com/SystemT
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