ARCHIVE: My Favorite Thing So Far: Q-Sys

It’s hard to pick a true favorite, but if I did…. So, Rich Zweibel and John Britton (the Media Matrix guys) inevitably had a next-gen idea–how could they not? They took their idea to QSC and the result is the Infocomm 2009 debut of Q-Sys. Not the greatest name, but nevermind. You’re going to want to know much more about this than I can tell you in a blog post, so at the end of this post I’ll provide some links and a schedule of Certification Training for systems designers and integrators.

You’ll need to learn about this, not only to do your job if you work with big installs, but to understand some key things about the future of DSP even if you work on a smaller scale. Besides if you like elegant technology, it’s just fun. Caveat here: I haven’t seen it work. I do know it’s already specified into some very high profile jobs with at least one very notoriously picky client. But for now, I’m so far impressed with the the idea, the design, and of course the personnel–Rich and John have made significant contributions to this industry going back to Cobranet.

On the booth I scratched the surface with Gerry Tschetter. He walked me through the basics of this new paradigm for audio routing, processing, control and monitoring. It’s actually pretty simple: there’s the Core (DSP) and the Frames (I/O). The brain and the hands. By uncoupling the DSP from the I/O each can do what they do best. You can scale–and locate–them seperately. You no longer have to calculate your system like a three-legged race and the DSP processing does not have to be a routing exercise of its own, you can concentrate on routing audio not DSP.

The DSP Cores come in different sizes and are scaleable–that’s where the audio routing, processing, and control happens. So you can scale your DSP power to suit. Meanwhile you can locate your I/O Frames wherever you need to as in near the source. “We started from Dear Mom…” Tschetter says citing the luxury of a blank slate in starting this design. “Technology has come a long way in this area,” he understates. As a result, Q-Sys and this concept of centralized (vs. distributed) processing lays the groundwork for a host of simplifications that can be transformative.

Here’s the training schedule and signup:
July 22 or 23 Dallas
Aug 19 or 20 Costa Mesa, CA
Sept 22 or 23 New York
Oct 21 and 22 Chicago
Nov 18 and 19 Atlanta

Read more about
Q-Sys backstory
Q-Sys Product Introduction

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The editors of Sound & Video Contractor post live from InfoComm as the news happens. Check back several times a day for the latest industry news, reports from press conferences, and product introductions.

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