Everyone is moviing towards audio over network, see our Wavefront Semiconductor piece from the MESSE. Whilst many are still under development, the Roland Digital Snake is available now. The system comprises of a master REAC unit, a stagebox which can be configured to house a number of different modular elements and the cable. The stagebox converts the analog signals to 96kHz 24-bit digital, then transmits them across the CAT5e cable at lengths of up to 100m. The usual signal degradation youâ€™d get from an analog multi-pair cable run is non-existent and once in the CAT5e domain, the signal can be repeated at lengths of up to 500m using standard ethernet switches and routers. It is also possible to split the signal out for monitors, recording etc using the same standard ethernet hub to other output racks without the need for expensive tranfsormer splits.
As well as the standard mic modules, there are remote control mic amps with a compact controller for gain, pad and 48v and digital modules which handle multiple digital sources and can samplerate on the fly so you can use a number of different sources while staying entirely in the digital domain.
The 96kHz 24-bit system runs over a pair of CAT5e cables with transparent redundant switching should one of the cables become broken. Not only that, but the weight of large analog multicores is astounding â€“ with this system, a couple of reels of CAT5e are all you need.