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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor



SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – MARCH 2010: The Mobile Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Interactive Trainer (MCIT for short) helps to train American fighters to recognize what is arguably their greatest threat in modern theaters of battle: the improvised explosive device, or IED. Using sophisticated A/V technology, soldiers and officers learn about IEDs, their components, the ways they are deployed, and the clues to recognizing them in the field. Then, using cutting-edge interactive gaming technology, they partake in a simulation that pits a “red team” of insurgents against a “blue team” on patrol. The Symetrix Automix 780 and SymNet DSP units play an integral role in the MCIT, delivering both conditioned, matrixed audio and, for the simulation, “party line” routing and conditioning for the participants’ intercom systems, as well as appropriately-routed simulation audio.

The military’s Central Command, together with the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization Joint Center of Excellence, ordered the creation and defined the goals of the MCITs. They contracted University of Southern California think tank, The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), to design and develop the content and substance of the MCITs. Isolated Ground, a Los Angeles-based set design firm was brought in to fabricate the MCITs. Isolated Ground hired Technical Multimedia Design of Montrose, California to both design and install the A/V components.

Each MCIT is composed of four mobile, self-contained, forty-foot Conex shipping boxes. They can be moved and used virtually anywhere there is a tennis-court-sized area in which to place them (using either local or generator power). Currently three MCIT systems exist, one at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, one at Camp Pendleton in California and a third “final prototype” at Camp Shelby in Mississippi. The organizations and companies are currently in negotiation for the construction of additional units for deployment around the country and around the world.


The first three of the four boxes are dedicated to interactive, multimedia teaching scenarios. Small groups of soldiers walk into these containers to watch videos, witness hands-on demonstrations, and test their knowledge in self-paced exercises. One of the boxes is modeled after an Afghanistan bomb maker’s residence, complete with the sorts of materials – some obvious and some not so obvious – that one would use to build IEDs.

Those three boxes contain video playback devices and a variety of Samsung and Sharp 32-inch and 42-inch displays. Two of them include coordinated video walls composed of six screens that combine to form one large image. Two of the boxes use two Symetrix Automix Matrix 780s, while the third uses just one. All of the multifarious input sources unite in the Automix Matrix 780s, which provide leveling, equalization, dynamics, and routing on both the input and output sides. The Automix Matrix 780s interface with an AMX touch-panel control system to coordinate video and audio playback appropriately. Crown D75 amps provide power for JBL line arrays. Self-powered JBL Control 2Ps provide additional output.

The fourth container is an interactive gaming simulator in which two teams apply what they have learned under the conditions they will be faced with when they are truly in harm’s way. Three players on the Red Team take the role of insurgents, whose job is to successfully plant a bomb. Six members of the Blue Team take the role of mounted patrol, whose job is to avoid that bomb. The six Blue Team members split between two mock Humvees operated by a driver, a navigator, and a gunner. All the windows are replaced with screens, and the game uses actual terrain data from Afghanistan or Iraq depending on the scenario. A single White Team member serves as moderator.

ICT wrote the software for the game, which is based on the VBS2 game engine. A SymNet Express 12×4 Cobra coordinates dialog among and between the teams. Every participant wears a headset, and the SymNet unit is programmed so that members of the same team can automatically talk with each other, in addition to hearing appropriate output from the simulator. The White Team member holds a Symetrix ARC-SW4 wall panel that allows him or her to monitor the teams individually or collectively. In addition, the ARC-SW4 gives the White Team member the ability to speak to any or all of the participants.

When asked why they specified Symetrix, Dave Revel, president at Technical Multimedia Design, was unequivocal, “With Symetrix and SymNet, we get a tremendous amount of processing power for the price point. The programming is flexible and easy – we had the entire MCIT system programmed in half a day! Of course, Symetrix is well known for building reliable gear, and that’s important as well because our servicemen and women’s lives may hinge on the proper functioning of the MCITs.”

ABOUT SYMETRIX For over three decades, sound system designers, broadcasters and sound engineers have relied upon the performance, value and reliability of the Symetrix suite of audio routing and processing products.

Symetrix continues to set the benchmark in sound quality, and user-friendly control interfaces, while providing legendary reliability hand in hand with our commitment to non-stop innovation.

You’ll love the ease of doing business with our incredible team of audio and business professionals, who excel in their commitment to serve our customers at the highest level from start to finish, again and again.

Innovative Audio Routing and Processing Solutions – Engineered by Symetrix

For more information on professional audio products from Symetrix, SymNet, Lucid and AirTools please call (425) 778-7728 or refer to websites, www.SymetrixAudio.com, www.SymNetAudio.com, www.AirToolsAudio.com and www.LucidAudio.com.

The following terms are trademarks ™ of Symetrix Inc., Symetrix(tm), AirTools(tm), SymNet(tm), Lucid(tm), all rights to these trademarks reserved.

PHOTO CAPTION Symetrix gear is used to coordinate IED military audio simulation at the Mobile Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Interactive Trainer (MCIT) located in Seattle, Washington to train soldiers and officers in the intricacies of bomb avoidance, recognition and detonation.
PHOTO CREDITS (IMAGE ONE) © David Revel; (IMAGE TWO) © Todd Richmond/ICT

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