AudioCompass Direct Connect™ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Audio Compass Direct ConnectTM is a slim Audio Over IP solution, created by radio professionals with the broadcaster in mind. The simple interface, and complete peer-to-peer nature of Audio Compass Direct ConnectTM sets it apart from all other Codec solutions.

Audio is bi-directional and peer-to-peer. A pinhole in the firewall on one end is required.

Audio Compass Direct ConnectTM can be used with the Internet, Intranet, WAN, LAN, 3G, 4G, and a host of other networks.

• Choose from the following broadcast quality codecs: Opus, G.722, RAW-PCM.
• Complete online manual (with real life examples)!
• Improved audio quality and stability when other applications are running!
• Bi-directional text chat!
• Remotely control audio switchers and send relay closures via RS232 serial port!
• No complex configuration required!
• UDP protocol!
• Direct control over its receive audio buffer (50-unlimited ms) providing the greatest flexibility for your broadcast.
• Separate send/receive audio codecs for on-air quality broadcasts with a reduced bandwidth return IFB channel!

Broadcast quality codecs give Audio Compass Direct ConnectTM a long-awaited niche in the broadcast marketplace and a one-time purchase with upgrades available, for a nominal fee!


Q: Why AudioCompass™?

Answer: AudioCompass™ is perfect for your stations or networks remote broadcasting needs. Please consider AudioCompass™ for sporting events, live remotes, remote talk show hosts, pre-recorded broadcasts and MORE.
ISDN is becoming more difficult to find and is obsolete. Other options are expensive, requiring a "degree" in the setup and implementation of the software/hardware. Since AudioCompass™ is purely software, once your computer is configured for connectivity (access to the Internet) AudioCompass™ just works!
Networks, stations and remote broadcasters need a new, reliable, technology that will fill this void! Broadband Internet connections including wireless and wired, are everywhere (...well, almost). Allow AudioCompass™ to transfer low-delay, crystal-clear audio from one location to another. If you need a great remote broadcast solution, look no further!


Q: I hear a lot about Audio Over IP... Is it really ON AIR ready?

Answer: Voice Over IP / Audio Over IP technologies have been around for some time and are now quite stable. However, the "real-time" nature of broadcasting has, in the past, presented challenges in the "new frontier" known as the Internet.
Lots of work has been done in this field to improve reliability, stabilize connections and produce a smooth ON AIR presentation. AudioCompass™ allows direct control over it's receive audio buffer, providing the greatest flexibility. The buffer can range from 0 to as long as your computer's memory can support. This allows you to adjust the buffer based on the needs of your broadcast.
For a talk-show host this number would be quite low. In contrast, for a sports broadcast or single direction audio transmission, this buffer may be increased for stability. Although this technology is reliable and improving rapidly, the quality of your broadcast still depends on your connection to the Internet at both locations.


Q: What is the audio quality like?

Answer: AudioCompass™ boasts several codecs for you to choose from including; broadcast quality Opus, G.722, and RAW-PCM. The default is Opus. This is the best sounding, broadcast quality speech codec, specifically designed for both voice and music.
After selecting the codec, choose the preferred kilohertz which determines audio quality. This ranges from phone line quality (8kHz) and surpasses ISDN audio to near studio quality audio (44kHz). Select your connectivity options and you're ON AIR!


Q: Why buy a software solution when hardware codecs are more stable?

Answer: It is true that many times a hardware solution is more stable than a consumer grade computer option. However, that's not the only consideration:
If you have hardware issues, do you want a computer (easily replaced or substituted) or, a proprietary solution that needs to be sent back to the manufacturer? The computer can be replaced in minutes while the proprietary device may takes days or weeks to be repaired or replaced.
When you have a hardware solution, it's dedicated to the "task at hand." You will need a computer out in the field to check email, news, sports, etc. If you are already using a computer, you can do BOTH on a single device out in the field, instead of two or more.
If you have trouble getting connected with a computer solution, any IT person can help you solve your problem. With a proprietary device, the IT folks on site may not feel competent or comfortable to troubleshoot it for you.
A software solution can be installed at a lower cost point than hardware any day.
Example: Your main sports jock is sick; he has the hardware device. The backup guy is ready to go but to pick up the hardware may be 50 miles or minutes out of the way. Software saves the day once again. Remember that both software and hardware have their place... the unique situation will help you decide what fits best for you.


Q: Realistically speaking, what is the expected delay when using AudioCompass™?

Answer: With the buffer disabled in AudioCompass™, the delay to encode, and decode, audio is approximately 70 ms. The delay will vary depending on the quality of the Internet connection; ranging from 100 to 500 ms.
Due to the nature of the Internet, we cannot tell you what your exact delay will be, however, in the real world, as little as 200 ms is commonly seen. A LAN and Intranet has a lower delay, where the Internet usually has a longer delay.


Q: What specifications are required to run AudioCompass™?

Answer: Check out our System Requirements page.


Q: Is your 30-day free trial limited in any way?

Answer: No. We want you to experience exactly what AudioCompass™ is like out in the real world. Offering you a fully functional version to try for 30-days does exactly that. Download and try Audio Compass Direct ConnectTM today.


Q: Why should I buy AudioCompass™ when there are cheaper and free solutions available?

Answer: Here are 7 reasons why you should buy AudioCompass™:
[1] AudioCompass™ Direct Connect (ACDC) was developed by radio professionals with the broadcaster in mind.
[2] ACDC boasts separate send/receive codecs. Use a broadcast quality codec for the broadcast and a low bandwidth codec for the return IFB channel.
[3] Remotely control audio switchers, and send relay closures via RS232 Serial Ports; even get an acknowledgement that the command was sent successfully.
[4] Set your audio buffer with a few mouse clicks to deal with those pesky connectivity issues. Receive Buffers can be controlled at both ends of the link separately.
[5] Broadcast quality codecs: Opus, G.722, and Raw PCM to name a few.
[6] Use a corporate solution that is more secure.
[7] AudioCompass™ has simple configuration screens - change your sound card send/receive, increase/decrease the audio buffer, change codecs - you don't need to dive-down into complicated menus full of things that don't have anything to do with your broadcast/remote.
Try the 30-day demo of AudioCompass™ today!


Q: Do you offer a discount for multiple copies?

Answer: No, and here's why: We have priced AudioCompass™ to be affordable for the smallest of stations and larger organizations already benefit from the low cost solution as well.


Q: What about upgrades?

Answer:Minor upgrades are provided free of charge. Major upgrades will be offered at a nominal fee, however, the version you purchase may be used with no restrictions.


Q: What Technical Support options are provided?

Answer: Email technical support is provided with your AudioCompass™ software purchase, Monday – Saturday, anytime. Phone support is available Monday – Friday from 9a-5p MT. The online FAQ has answers to the most common questions.


Q: I'm speaking but the sound isn't getting back to the studio. Any suggestions?

Answer: There are various things to consider when troubleshooting this issue:
Make sure all audio cables are securely connected.
Verify that AudioCompass™ is running on both the studio and remote machines.
Make certain that both the speaker and microphone buttons are not muted. If they are muted, a red line appears. Be sure both the input and output sliders are relatively in the middle (not turned down all the way).
Check your network connections. A network engineer can resolve these problems with relative ease.
The most common cause is a software or hardware firewall preventing connectivity.
You may need your network engineer to open a single port. AudioCompass™ can be configured to use any ports desired.


Q: I see that ACDC supports separate send and receive codecs. How do I set this up?

Answer: There is only one codec dropdown in the AC settings window. AudioCompass™ allows for the selection of the Receive codec in the settings window. The Send codec is detected and matched on the fly from the sending end.
Example: You want broadcast (on-air) quality from the remote user to send to the studio. In the ACDC settings window on the studio machine, choose the raw pcm 44kHz codec and click OK. Remember, you are selecting the Receive Audio codec in the settings window of each computer. On the remote computer, you want a simple codec that will provide queues but doesn't take much bandwidth. On the remote machine, select the Opus 16kHz codec and click OK. The Send codec is detected and matched on the fly on each end. Thus, the remote computer is sending raw pcm 44kHz and the studio is sending Opus 16kHz. Since the send codec is detected and matched on the fly, the remote machine will receive the Opus 16kHz codec for the IFB channel, and the studio machine will receive the raw pcm 44kHz codec.
Think of it this way; whatever you want to receive or hear, select that codec from that location.


Q: How do I determine which codec to select for my broadcast?

Answer: Visit our support page to view a description of each codec with suggested applications.


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