Snyder Spearheads RDL Dante Interface & Headphone Amplifier Installation

As part of a progressive movement to put students ahead of their time with professions in audio engineering and multimedia content creation, Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication incorporated RDL’s TP-HA1A FORMAT-A™ Headphone Amplifier, along with other RDL FORMAT-A and Dante networked audio products, into its new Schoonover Center for Communication.

While the School of Media Arts & Studies (MDIA) at Ohio University is already globally recognized for its diverse programs in the media industries, the Schoonover Center demonstrates forward thinking from the school’s faculty, says Lecturer and Outreach Coordinator Kyle P. Snyder.

“We’re training students for jobs that do not yet exist, but will in 18 months,” he recently stated in an article for ProSoundNetwork.com

Snyder, a systems engineer on the Schoonover Center project, says that they designed the Critical Listening and Post-Production Studio as a facility where students can learn a variety of listening and playback scenarios, both conventional and cutting edge.

Schoonover Center was a multi-year renovation that brought all the schools of Ohio University under the same roof for the first time since 1968. Snyder says they implemented the RDL FORMAT-A/Dante headphone solution, which was “a major upgrade over our previous facility. This new studio allows us to teach updated technology and techniques to students and prepares them for the audio jobs of tomorrow.”

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The Schoonover Post-Production and Critical Listening Lab is comprised of the following: a 32-fader Yamaha Nuage control surface (driven by Nuendo and Yamaha interfaces); a Dynaudio BM15A 5.1 surround monitoring array; 22 RDL TP-HA1A stereo headphone amplifiers on student desks; three RU-TPDA FORMAT-A distributors; and an RDL RU-NFDP Dante to FORMAT-A Interface, which connects the headphone amplifiers to the Dante network.

RDL’s FORMAT-A family of products send, receive, and distribute audio and DC power over standard CATx cable and connectors. When combined with RDL FORMAT-A/Dante interface products, all FORMAT-A products may be used as Dante endpoints.

Starting with a “clean slate” when designing the Critical Listening and Post-Production Studio, Snyder says RDL’s products were the obvious choice.

“We were excited by the RDL solution because of its Dante integration, which allowed for seamless connectivity between our 100% Dante room as well as the overall simplicity and ease of installation. We could find no other solution that would afford us the opportunity to run audio over standard Cat 6, which is tremendously easy to terminate compared to soldering endless connections. As we handled facility installation in-house, this ease of deployment was truly critical. Vintage King LA and RDL engineering support both proved tremendously valuable resources throughout the design phase and we’re thrilled with the end result.”

After conducting extensive research, Snyder says they discovered that RDL’s TP-HA1A allows independent monitoring and listening, which they had never seen. “Generally devices like that are completely analog/hardwired and we have to worry about grounding issues, so I love that FORMAT-A uses Standard Cat 6 and would be simple to deploy and repair in our large installation.”

The students at Ohio University are “overwhelmingly enthusiastic” about the system integrated within Schoonover Center, Snyder says, and the RDL headphone amplifiers have worked well because “they can live as just another Dante output on our network. Students can listen to work and hear us via talkback provided through the Nuage, which is fantastic, and we can carry on a ‘normal class.’ It’s a fantastic installation and an amazing product.”

Original article by RDL: Radio Design Labs (pdf)

Kyle P. Snyder

Kyle P. Snyder is an engineer, educator, and consultant skilled in audio recording and mixing, sound design for film and video, facility design and integration, and live event production. Snyder works remotely on projects of all sizes from his Ohio-based studio, White Coat Audio, LLC. He is also a faculty member within Ohio University’s School of Media Arts & Studies dedicated to the advancement of audio education for engineers at every stage of development where he routinely teaches courses in music production, critical listening, and sound design for film and video.