Further advancing Harman HiQnetâ„¢ audio network configuration and control protocol, Harman Professional today launchedHiQnet System Architectâ„¢ Version 1.9, a free download which delivers a host of new features including network troubleshooting tools, file compression and management and advanced control panel customization, to name just three. According to Rick Kreifeldt, Vice President, Harman Professional Systems Development & Integration Group (SDIG), today's introduction comes just as
the community of registered HiQnet System Architect users exceeds 20,000.
“It's fitting that we pass the threshold of 20,000 registered users as we continue to add new features and improvements to System Architect,” Kreifeldt said today. “I believe our commitment to systematically evolve and improve System Architect is a key reason that audio professionals continue to deploy HiQnet systems in an expanding array of applications. The improvements do not stop here, however, and we will continue to listen to the community of contracting and tour sound professionals to make HiQnet System Architect the most current and progressive configuration and control tool available.”
As new members join the community of registered HiQnet users, Harman continues to add new devices to the HiQnet portfolio. Control of the three models of the new Crown I-Tech HD Series will be possible with the device plug-ins included with System Architect 1.9, which support the configuration of the FIR filters and LevelMAXâ„¢ limiters included in the new flagship touring amplifier, the algorithms for both of which were co-developed with BSS Audio. System Architect 1.9 also brings with it the fourth member of the Crown XTi Series – the XTi 6000, taking the total number of shipping HiQnet devices to 94 and the total number of System Architect-controlled devices to 67.
High among the new additions is a Network Troubleshooting tool, which actively monitors the network, diagnoses and alerts of any problems and, where possible, automatically resolves the problem or, if manual intervention is required, provides specific instructions on how to address the problem. In addition to providing real-time monitoring and alerts, the tool also creates a backup log of any IP address changes which were made in the event that the previous configuration is required to be restored. One welcome use case will be for those less experienced with network
configuration who have the frustrating situation of a HiQnet device being connected to the PC but not showing up in System Architect due to a network configuration error. The Network Troubleshooting tool will see the device, and work with the user to resolve the issue in a few simple steps.
Also new to Version 1.9 is a compressed file format which dramatically reduces file sizes - in test cases as high as a ratio of 100:1. Separately, a new utility installed with System Architect 1.9 enables advanced users to expand and explore the contents of a saved file and thereby edit individual custom panels in an XML editor, and update images offline, etc. The same utility recompresses the file for opening again in System Architect.
Working closely with the user-base of tour sound and contractingprofessionals, SDIG engineers have carefully enhanced the Custom Control Panel design experience. This includes a more automated mechanism of creating controls on a panel and assigning them to system-wide parameters. By dragging any device parameter from the System Explorer tree or Advanced Parameter Search utility and dragging onto a Custom Control Panel in the design environment, the user will be prompted with a concise list of only the appropriate controls to which it can be assigned. In user tests this mechanism has proved a significant impact on the time taken to create Custom Control Panels. The same mechanism has been implemented for enhancing Custom Control Panel navigation panel: shortcut controls can instantly be placed on a Custom Control Panel simply by dragging the appropriate panel icon from the panel toolbox.
Other Custom Control Panel additions include a freshly-designed Parameter Address Editor dialog, which primarily provides a mechanism for editing parameter assignments of pre-existing controls, but the layout of which is also perfectly suited to enabling fresh parameter assignments. SDIG has also added the ability to copy and paste just the visual elements of a control without copying any parameter assignment. Together these enhancements serve to speed up not just the functional design process of a
panel, but also the visual design element.
Additional user interface enhancement includes new window management improvements, offering menus to cascade all open windows or select an active window from a list. Concentrating further on user experience and interaction, a Device Arrange Tool in the Venue View enables the reordering of a selection of devices by device name, device type, device address or device brand.