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The Spark 3 is the first of Glensound's next generation of commentary unit using Audinate's Broadway Dante chipset. It is a sub compact, single user unit, with 3 talkback circuits. It is fully integrated with GlenController, allowing comprehensive remote control and monitoring functions. With the increased demand for remote production and home working, the Spark fits the bill.
The Spark is the most technically proficient commentary or announcers interface available, from such a small design. For applications where desk space is at a premium, but quality and features are still paramount, Glensound proudly introduce the Spark.
Spark 3 - With 3 talkback channels and monitors
Glensound Grade Mic Amp
The Spark includes the highly regarded Glensound Grade mic amp system. This results in a clean audio input without distortion or clipping, that can be taken live to air with confidence and without any further processing. The mic input is on the rear panel via a 3 pin XLR socket. A small pot adjusts the gain level and there is a switch for 48v phantom power. Mic gain, phantom power and the compressor can also be set via the GlenController remote software.
Glensound Referee Compressor/Limiter System
Glensound has been fine tuning the way input signals are managed for decades. Glensound boxes are used in live news and sport environments, where the announcer can get immediately over enthusiastic, and be screaming down the microphone. Glensound manage this input in two ways. One by giving the input a high headroom to prevent clipping in the first place, then by using a specially configured compressor/limiter system. This system does not affect the general dynamics of the audio, so there is no lifting of levels. It only becomes active as the signal reaches peaks and approaches clipping. Then a gentle compression is added that, in a unifron mannar, becomes harder and harder as the signal approaches clip. The result is a background system, that has no affect on the general dynamics of the input, but prevents it from clipping.
The rear panel has a 6.35mm jack socket for connecting headphones from 32-1000 ohms. The Spark features Glensound's automatic impedance matching system. This means the relative headphone pot level will be consistent regardless of the impedance of the headphones used (as long as they are between 32-1000 ohms).
Power is supplied on the network connection via an Neutrik EtherCON locking RJ45 connector. The SPARK 3 must be connected to a PoE network switch for power, or by using a midspan PoE injector.
For clarity, the Spark 3 uses large and bright LED buttons for mic on and talkback. These can be configured via GlenController remote software, and can be set in the following way:
- Always on
- Always off
- Always on but muted when pressed (cough button)
- Latching on
- Momentary push to talk
- Intelligent (momentary and latching)
Interaction can also be set for the talkback buttons, to set if the activation of the button should mute the main programme mic.
The front panel has two small monitoring pots that are routed to the headphones from the inputs on the Dante network. These are sprung pots that are kept flush with the panel when not in use. Pressing them in slightly allows them to spring out to make adjustments, and then return to the flush position. This method allowed the functionality of pots for the monitoring input, but also allowed us to keep the overall dimensions of the Spark 3 to a minimum.
Using the GlenController remote, a total of 4 inputs can be adjusted directly (with only three adjustable directly on the unit) and each input can be set to a separate pan position. The pots can also be set to cut at the full anti clockwise position, or just to a dim level so that the user cannot turn the monitoring input all the way off. These features are also present on the further auxiliary and background monitoring inputs.
There are 4 further inputs to the headphone monitoring that can be adjusted on Glencontroller only:
- Sidetone to adjust the users own voice level in their headphones
- Aux 1 - Mono input direct to headphones controlled only in GlenController (Aux 1&2 controlled together)
- Aux 2 - Mono input direct to headphones controlled only in GlenController (Aux 1&2 controlled together)
- Bkg - Stereo input direct to headphones controlled only in GlenController.
The Spark 3 features 8 inputs and 8 outputs across the Dante network, but it only directly needs 4 inputs and outputs. This means that we have 4 inputs and 4 outputs on the network available for further use. Below we show how we utilise the I/O resource of the Spark to maximise its flexibility for various applications:
Mic/Line Input - This is the main mic/line input and can be switched to:
- The Main programme output on Dante out 1, via the top panel button
- Talkback output 1 via Dante out 5, via the top panel button or GlenController
- Talkback output 2 via Dante out 6, via the top panel button or GlenController
- Talkback output 3 via Dante out 7, via the top panel button or GlenController
- Permanent live output on Dante out 2
- It is also mixed via a top panel control into a two channel headphone output as sidetone monitoring.
- Cue input 1 via Dante in 1, is sent to the headphones via a front panel mix pot or GlenController
- Cue input 2 via Dante in 2, is sent to the headphones via a front panel mix pot or GlenController
- Cue input 3 via Dante in 3, is sent to the headphones via a front panel mix pot or GlenController
- Cue input 4 via Dante in 4, is sent to the headphones via a front panel mix pot or GlenController
Dante out 3 and 4 - These outputs are in parallel to what is sent to the users headphones, making the 2 channel headphone mix available on the network
Dante out 8 - This is a 1kHz tone for assisting with line up
The following settings on the Spark are configurable on the unit directly:
- Master headphone volume/panning
- Mic sidetone volume/panning
- Incoming call chime volume
Using the blue side panel buttons enables configuration mode directly on the Spark.
Using the Windows 10 app GlenController enables full remote configuration and monitoring and enables the following control:
- Talk button config options
- Mic input gain/pan
- Phantom on/off
- Compressor on/off
- Pot/switch lock
- Headphone levels volume/pan
- Mic sidetone volume/pan
- Headphone monitoring pot range
- Incoming call chime volume
- PPM meter per input
Multi Channel Sync With Your Computer Application
The Spark 3 can easily connect with a PC or Mac and exchange bi-directional multi channel audio. To do this use the Dante Virtual Sound Card (VSC). This is very low cost and available directly from the Audinate web site at www.audinate.com. The Sparks I/O can then interface with any application running on a PC or Mac by simply selecting Dante VSC as its sound device.
This has been very popular when using browser based multi channel intercom and IP solutions.
Latest Dante Broadway Design
This Broadway Design can receive audio from multiple network connections, and allows a higher number of Dante inputs and outputs across the network. The design on the Spark 3 actually presents itself on Dante Controller with 8 inputs, and 8 outputs (see routing table graphic at top for further info)
-70dBu to -7dBu input range for -18dBFS lineup
47dB adjustable gain range
+/- 0.01dBu 22Hz to 22kHz.
-1.5dB roll off at 20Hz
High Q notch filter at 20kHz
EIN 126dB 22Hz to 22kHz
THD at 0dBu output (-54in (dynamic), 39db gain to lineup at -18dBFS)
0.074% @ 100Hz
0.069% @ 1kHz
0.061% @ 10kHz
THD at 0dBu output (-38in (condenser), 22db gain to lineup at -18dBFS)
0.011% @ 100Hz
0.011% @ 1kHz
0.009% @ 10kHz
Phantom power = +48V
Impedeance 32-1000 Ohms
Max output level +18dBu into 600 Ohms
+/- 0.01dBu 22Hz to 22kHz
-0.5dBu roll off 100Hz to 22Hz
-0.5dBu roll off 12kHz to 22kHz
Distortion 0.01% @ lineup output level
Noise -83dBu @ line up
Sample rate 44.1kHz and 48kHz
Weight: 0.4 kg
Width 8cm Depth 12.5cm Height 8cm
The Design Buildings, 6 Brooks Place, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 1HE, UK.
Tel UK : 01622 753662 | Tel international : +44 1622 753662 | Email : firstname.lastname@example.org