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AVB-Powered Touring Rig Delivers Exceptional, Consistent Experience for International Rock Band

ACCEPT in concert

ACCEPT, is an internationally-recognized, classic heavy metal band from Germany, touring the globe for over three decades. The group has entertained legions of fans in North and South America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and beyond. Immensely successful, with a nearly unbelievable marathon of activity, the group is constantly on the road. But jet setting on international flights and piling into taxis and vans is no easy feat for three men who have to carry heavy performance equipment. When the group first began touring back in the 80s, the thought of taking your own monitor and amps was a massive undertaking. Trunks of equipment just weren't easy enough to move around -- whatever you couldn't carry on with you simply just didn't make the cut. Relying on local equipment wasn't always the safest option; since each front-of-house manager prefers their own specific gear, there is no way to ensure a consistent sound and performance at each venue. That's where a compact touring system, powered by Audio Video Bridging (AVB) stepped in.

ACCEPT needed an agile, mobile system that would deliver superior sound quality for a consistent performance at each tour stop, regardless of location. Set-up needed to be quick, seamless, and most importantly, easy to transport worldwide; fitting all of the pieces into luggage was a must. ACCEPT chose a stealthy combination of gear including an Avid VENUE | S3L-X console and a Pivitec personal monitor mixing system connected via Ethernet Audio Video Bridging (AVB) by the AVnu-certified Extreme Networks Summit X440-8p switch. Each piece was monumental in providing a powerful experience during their shows. The streamlined Avid S3L-X System represents a new paradigm in small-to-medium-format mixing, while also incorporating many features from the brand's acclaimed VENUE family of live sound consoles. With just three components, the system offers unparalleled flexibility and concert sound.

To combat excessive stage volume, which is a common problem in many show venues, ACCEPT paired its Avid solution with the Pivitec personal monitor mixing system that enables the perfect listening environment for the audience as well as the musicians and tech staff. With a potent feature set that includes Ethernet AVB network connectivity, Pivitec is a true networked audio solution that supports just about any audio interface or console and offers advanced control from a range of native iOS and desktop apps. The Pivitec network easily interfaces with AVB compatible Mac or PC computers for recording, playback, and virtual sound check. This standards-based Ethernet AVB networking solution also offers ACCEPT a future-proof way to take advantage of next-gen compatibility with hardware and software from other manufacturers.

Rounding out the band's system is the Extreme Networks Summit X440-8p switch, the first network switch to pass AVnu Certification and enables reliable real-time audio and video transmission over Ethernet via AVB, for high-definition and time sensitive multimedia streams. With AVB, ACCEPT was also able to utilize thin, Cat5 cables, to completely replace the cumbersome audio snake cabling. Together, the entire touring rig generated immense benefits -- offering a faster set-up time, producing higher quality performances, and most importantly, created consistency.

"Before we began using the AVB touring rig we had to rely heavily on local gear, which was different every time," said Wolf Hoffmann, guitarist for ACCEPT. "It easily took a couple of hours per day just to get acquainted with the products and set the entire system up. On top of that was the need for lengthy sound checks so that we could determine if the piecemealed gear was running correctly. Now with our AVB-powered system we have experienced drastic time savings. We take advantage of advanced virtual sound checks which allow us to run recordings from the previous night, listen to the channels and check the sound quality easily and efficiently from the front of the house."

All told, the ACCEPT's entire touring rig, including amps, is packed neatly into approximately ten bags, all small and weighing in at 50-pounds or less. The group has even integrated other elements from their presentation including lighting controls, a sound mixer, and in-ear earphones controlled via iPad.

"We definitely are an 'old school' rock band, but we've been around the block," added Hoffmann. "Most people don't associate us with cutting-edge technology. Incorporating this AVB-driven touring rig has been a huge success and motivated us to continue to explore and play with high-tech solutions that elevate our performances. AVB has certainly had a huge impact on the experience we deliver. The quality is just mind blowing."

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(13 May 2015)

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