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AES67: An Open Standard for Digital Audio Networking Interoperability and Convergence

Kevin Gross

For its upcoming August 25 monthly meeting, the AES Los Angeles Section will spotlight the commercial applications of digital audio networking for a broad spectrum of communities, from music recording and touring sound to permanent installations, broadcast, film, and TV facilities. Presented by Kevin Gross, an acknowledged expert in networking topologies, the meeting will provide a valuable overview of emerging trends during the past 30 years, covering operating principles and capabilities of various Ethernet-based protocols ranging from Cirrus Logic's CobraNet through Audio Video Bridging (AVB) to the new AES67 protocol.

Last October's AES Convention in Los Angeles saw the launch of the Media Networking Alliance, which was set up to promote adoption of the non-proprietary AES67-2013 networking standard. An open audio-over-IP interoperability protocol that uses a Layer-3 protocol suite based on existing standards, AES67 is designed to enable interoperability between various IP-based networking formats, such as Audinate Dante, Ravenna, Telos Alliance Livewire, and QSC Audio Q-LAN.

AES67-2013 (formerly known by its project name, AES-X192) was created to address the interoperable operation of different high-performance networked audio transport systems for live-sound reinforcement, broadcast, and fixed installations. AES67 provides interoperability recommendations in the areas of synchronization, media-clock identification, network transport, encoding and streaming, session description and connection management. The network performance to meet these requirements is available on local-area networks and achievable on enterprise-scale networks.

Looking towards the future, Gross will focus on the ways in which users can create enhanced interoperability between systems and devices using the non-proprietary, low-latency AES67-2013 standard over Ethernet. The meeting will also look at how the concepts used for audio networking are being extended to carry video, and how network convergence is being applied to unify all manner of communications onto a single network infrastructure. Gross is current chairman of the AES Technical Committee on Networked Audio Systems.

"Quality of service is essential for any real-time networking scheme, including AES67," Gross states. "Any standard needs to provide guaranteed delivery of packets of digital audio over a properly configured network. AES67 provides reliable multichannel connections with very low latency, and can be implemented as an interoperability mode on existing devices, in addition to the device's native protocol."

Gross is an independent consultant to AV equipment manufacturers and systems designers. As an AES Fellow, he is a recognized expert at the intersection of real-time media and networking. Gross has worked in multiple standards bodies, including IEEE where he participated in AVB development; where he has authored several requests for comment; and the Audio Engineering Society, where he led the group that produced the AES67 standard. Gross conceived and developed CobraNet, helped build the first configurable audio DSP system, and developed early DAW products.

Meeting date: Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Location: The Sportsmen's Lodge, 12825 Ventura at Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, California
Time: Social 6:30pm, dinner 7:00pm, meeting 8:00pm
Participants should check with the LA Section Treasurer regarding dinner costs.


(5 August 2015)

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