It’s not often that an AV systems integrator finds that the audio component of a project presents more of a challenge than the video aspect, but that’s what Digital Resources (DRI) discovered when it recently entered into a multi-year master agreement with the City of Dallas to handle all of the municipality’s audio and video requirements at Dallas City Hall.

Fortunately, DRI also had the Roland M-5000 OHRCA Live Mixing Console as the perfect solution.

The city contracted DRI with a requirement to enable the recording of virtually every meeting held at City Hall, mandated by the City Council to assure complete governmental disclosure and transparency. DRI, based in nearby Southlake, Texas, built out a single-mode fiber backbone between floors at City Hall and to several locations on each floor, linking areas such as parks and recreation, the briefing room, the cafeteria, the auditorium, main entry, an EOC and the City Council chambers.

As part of this plan, three control-room locations were installed to allow simultaneous recording, live broadcasting and streaming of multiple events. “The video signal paths were pretty clear-cut, utilizing a large matrix router,” explains Tim Davis, DRI’s director of Engineering. “But audio was the big question: How can we mix audio from any of the locations in any of the three control rooms?”

The answer DRI chose was the M-5000.

In addition to audio features such as 128 configurable audio paths, 24-bit/96kHz resolution and an intuitive user interface with 28 faders, a 12-inch touchscreen display, the M-5000 also offers Dante connectivity and much more.

“We tried to plan for any contingency, and that includes letting City Hall make the best use of its manpower,” says Davis. “Running digital audio over fiber, we’re able to network all three control rooms and consoles. So, for instance, if one technician needed to operate a console in one control room for a meeting but also needed to set up the console in another room for another meeting, he or she could do so from any of the control rooms. The addition of the Dante network card to the M-5000 expansion slot allows every mixer to gain access of any other mixers’ inputs, which is a key requirement of the system. Along with passing multiple channels via fiber between the mixers, now multiple channels can also be moved between mixers on the data network via Dante protocol. Functionality like that is why we chose the M-5000.”

DRI further extended the reach of audio throughout the facility with the deployment of the Roland S-MADI REAC Bridge, which enables connectivity between MADI-equipped digital audio mixers/systems and any REAC-based devices.

‘We used these as stage boxes that we could put anywhere that we had a Cat cable run back to a control room,” he explains. “That way, we had a pre-amped input that could be placed almost anywhere and get a good, clean digital signal back to the control room to record. Between that kind of flexibility and functionality, and the M-5000’s excellent sound quality, it was the perfect solution for this project.”