Last week’s blog dealt with the upcoming Biamp training for their Tesira line that I took this week. This week we will review the three day course.
As with most manufacturer’s training, there was time dedicated to the product line; specifically to the Tesira line. However, after the product review was complete we dove straight into the Tesira software. One of the main advances between Tesira and Biamp’s other DSP products are the “partitions” available. This feature allows you to separate your DSP project by room, type of processing, really any sort of categorizing you want to do. From a GUI standpoint, the color set is dramatically darker than that of their other software interfaces. I actually like it better than the interface for Nexia or Audia. From there we talked about AVB and the AVnu Alliance.
This was when the training was particular interesting to the blogger/podcaster side of me. Make no mistake, I was there to learn so I could finish a project where we will be installing a Tesira. However, seeing AVB and the AVnu Alliance through the eyes of one of their members was a unique opportunity. Biamp did not disappoint. In addition to talking about the signal flow, talkers and listeners, and making certain your switches are AVB compatible, they also talked about the University of New Hampshire lab. This is where all AVB products will eventually be sent for interoperability testing. That is at least the hope of some at the AVnu Alliance. As with most manufacturer training you will learn from your classmates as well. One nugget that came from our group discussion is the existance of a Cisco “patch” that turns AVB on inside some of their newer switches. You have to find the right person at Cisco, but once you do they can walk you through how to set it up. If you don’t know anyone at Cisco you might just want to purchase the Extreme Network AVB switches for right now.
Day two lead us through Biamp and Tesira’s various DSP processing blocks. Everything from Input modules through to their Auto Gain Control processing capabilities. We learned about matrix blocks and EQ processing. From there it was on to the Presets section of working inside Tesira. This was more relevant to me in my line of work as recalling presets is a huge time saver over interacting with the Tesira on a micro-control level.
Speaking of control, Logic was up next. This was the least useful to me personally. After speaking with some classmates and other colleagues in the industry, I can see where it would be useful. Logic is, basically, a simple way to get control in and out of the Tesira. As most, if not all, of the systems I would be installing Tesira in would also get a control system, I didn’t see the point. It was pointed out to me that sometimes you need audio processing/DSP more than you need a control system and those Logic I/Os are very helpful to cut costs.
We took a brief look at Biamp Canvas, which is their graphical interface for the logic portion. One really great trick was to copy the DSP blocks from the Tesira program and paste them into the Canvas program. It automatically created the GUI and connected the graphics with the program logic.
The last day was incredibly insightful. We started off the day looking at AEC and how Tesira processed it different. I’m not going to say I understand all the magic involved, but let’s just say it was impressive. From there VoIP was on the menu. I have never done a VoIP system but feel like I could muddle through one after that lesson. The rest of day three was a factory tour and working on our final projects.
A couple of final thoughts before going into the review. Yes, Biamp takes care of their trainees. They feed you well, put you up in a nice hotel in a small suburb of Portland. They transport you back and forth between the hotel and their headquarters and take care of all three meals the days you are there. This was not my first manufacturer’s training session. There are some that pay for everything from flight to food. There are others that require you to pay for transportation, hotel, and training. Biamp is a pretty full-service training experience.
This was Biamp’s first Tesira training that did not require an Audia certification. That being said, I would give the training an A-. It was their first time at this, so the results are slightly skewed. The software, DSP, AEC, VoIP, and Presets sessions were well thought out and presented well. The only thing I wish they would have taken more time with was the AVB portion. It did not take away from the overall experience, but I was really wanting a bit more. Maybe why they decided to go down the AVB road, or what some of their upcoming products may look like.
Overall, the Biamp educational experience was a positive one for me. It was my first time in Oregon/Washington area and the views are breathtaking. The instructors were well-versed in their area of expertise and the timing was darn perfect. One side note about the food. They didn’t over-feed us. That is a small thing, but when you are in training all day the last thing you need is a carb-laden lunch that will put you to sleep during the afternoon session. Thanks to Ned and everyone at Biamp. I hope to be back to continue learning about you and your products.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Have a great week. Oh, and below is the results of my week at Biamp.