What is AudioTX Communicator?
Communicator is a combination of products in one. We call it a broadcast
audio transmission system. It IS an ISDN Audio Codec, but can ALSO
connect over Internet - offering better than ISDN quality and with
the same low delay, simple, highly reliable connections.
be amazed at Communicator's performance over the Internet.
can also send and receive live audio over provate IP networks -
from LAN/WANs to Satellite, WiFi and other RF IP links etc, or over
larger networks like ATM, T1, T3... As an IP network codec, you
can use it for permanent 24/7/365 connections with our sophisticated
fallback functionality in case of network failure or for ad-hoc
links just like ISDN.
- so you know what an ISDN Audio Codec is? An ISDN Codec allows
you to make a live audio connection over ISDN lines. Broadcasters
and pro-audio studios use ISDN Codecs to link studios, for remotes
or outside broadcasts and also for studio to transmitter links.
Because of the limited data bandwidth available over ISDN, all codecs
use compression. The three most popular forms (in order of most
regular usage) are MPEG Layer 2, MPEG Layer 3, and G.722. (All of
these are supported in AudioTX). APTx is also used in some countries/industries
and this is available as an option in Communicator too!
an ISDN Codec comes as a 'black-box' - you plug in audio at one
end and an ISDN line at the other. AudioTX Communicator is a software
only solution. This brings several key advantages:
cheap! The software will currently set you back between 15% and
25% of the price of an old-fashioned codec.
portable - because Communicator will run on a Laptop, you
can take it with you anywhere.
easy to use - Communicator has an auto-detect algorithm
built in... so when you make a call or someone calls you, the
system recognises the type of codec, the compression used etc
and just connects you - no fuss!
has the best Internet audio connections available on the market
also built in and ready to go plus access to the AudioTX Global
What PC Specifcation do I need to use AudioTX
is written to be a very efficient program and will run on very basic and even on most older PCs. Practically speaking
any PC you can buy today will be more than powerfull enough!
system runs on all Windows versions - generally, we'd recommend
Windows 7 for professional use.
What about the hardware or cards I need
- Sound, ISDN or Network?
Communicator has been designed to work with any Windows compatible
sound card and any CAPI 2.0 compliant ISDN board. We have a recommended
list and guidelines on Sound and ISDN
cards in a seperate section of the site, and you can buy both
ISDN and Sound cards from us if you wish.
practice, almost all Sound cards work fine - but there are some
important criterion involved in choosing the right card for a professional
audio application - these are outlined in the guide.
ISDN cards, we do recommend that you buy your ISDN card from us
to be sure of reliable, professional performance. Again, see the
guide. (CAPI is a standard specification that ISDN board manufacturers
use - you should also check that the card is capable of making 'Bit
cards: all cards - both Ethernet and other larger scale networking
hardware - will all work as long as they offer an IP based networking
connection to the Windows operating system... Communicator
will simply try and connect you over networks by attempting to link
to the IP address you enter as a destination or by using Windows
DNS to resolve any hostname you enter.
We love the idea, but is a software ISDN audio
codec really reliable and stable enough for, say, a 3 hour outside
broadcast or a 24/7/365 permanent STL over IP?
software engineers are experts in both Broadcast Transmission and
PC Audio systems. One of the most fundamental principles used in
the design of Communicator was that it should be as reliable
as an old-fashioned 'black-box' solution.
strongest point is its near universal compatibility and high quality
as an ISDN codec. As an IP solution it is still fairly unique in
that it provides for a low-delay, robust audio connection, unlike
the somewhat poorer solutions still being offered by our competitors
based upon streaming media technologies.
is a professional broadcast-quality audio tool, and works as
one, rather than a toy!
If you do have an STL application, or requirement for other permanent,
high quality connection, or want to do outside broadcasts / remotes
over IP networks, we now have an even better product range in our
AudioTX STL-IP range - see
How good is the audio quality?
good as it gets... in designing Communicator, we went to
the biggest players in MPEG 2 and MPEG 3 coding and selected the
best of breed in each case. These algorithms were designed and updated
for our products and so contain the latest improvements to each.
IP networks, you can use MPEG coded audio at up to 384kbps, or even
Linear (uncompressed) audio if you wish. And optionally, APTx coding
at up to 384kbps. The new Internet connection modes via the Global
Phonebook also offer a Lossless Linear PCM mode. This gives you
full linear PCM audio at a reduced bitrate - meaning that full studio
grade connections are possible over most standard internet connections.
our recommendations on audio cards (see the 'Guidelines on Sound
and ISDN cards' section) or any decent professional audio card,
you should get better sound than from an existing codec.
What's the transmission (coding) delay?
an ISDN Codec, very low - in fact our tests show the delay to be
shorter than most other ISDN products on the market today. Expect
around 100ms in MPEG layer 2 mode, slightly longer for MPEG Layer
3, less for the optional APTx coding.
a good network (e.g. over your existing LAN/WAN, private circuits,
ATM etc) transmission times are slightly shorter than those shown
for ISDN above.
'Internet' network mode, similar to ISDN.
What ISDN codecs is AudioTX Communicator
much any and every available codec.
includes Musicam USA's entire range such as the CDQ Prima and Prima
LT ranges, the CDQ 1000, 2000 and RoadRunner... Telos' entire range
such as Zephyr and ZephyrExpress... all GlenSound products... all
APTx products (when you buy the APTx coding option)... all Philips,
Dialog, Maycom and Mayah products... do you need us to carry on?
standard version of Communicator is compatible with MPEG
Layer II, MPEG Layer III, G.722 and G.711 protocols at 64 or 128
kbits - that's one or two b-channels.
the APTx coding version adds both Standard and Enhanced APTx at
64kbps or 128kbps.
How does the IP codec functionality
Our IP functionality
is absolutely unique. Whilst other manufacturers offer IP codec
functionality, most if not all are still using streaming media technologies
(like those used for web radio). Whilst streaming media technologies
are fine for what they are most commonly used - streaming lower
quality audio direct to consumers - they do not work well in professional
system for audio over IP gives you robust, low-delay, live, professional
quality audio over IP. There's also the option to use the built-in
auto-fallback functionality which allows you to switch to an alternative
IP connection, ISDN connection or even telephone backup in case
of failure of your network circuit.
is suitable for ad-hoc connections, or for 24/7/365 single or bi-directional
audio for studio-transmitter links, telco, security or comms use.
I send audio over an IP network to more than one remote location?
take a look at the Multicast tab in Communicator. This allows you
to Multicast audio over your network (beware: the Internet does
not currently support Multicast technologies) - this is highly efficient...
the audio is only sent once regardless of the number of receiving
What limitations are there in the
free trial version?
trial version will run for 30 days from the date of installation.
During this time, it functions exactly as a purchased version except
that it will disconnect you in between 8 and 30 minutes on every
OK, I'm convinced... how do I buy this thing??
you must download and install the trial version on the PC you intend
to run Communicator on. (You should also install any new
Audio or ISDN cards and ensure that everything works ok).
then have a choice of two ways to buy:
Unlock Code: make a note of the 'Product ID' which is
shown on starting the application. Use this to purchase Communicator
online from this site. You will be emailed a registration code -
this normally takes only a few minutes. Enter the registration code
into the registration screen shown at startup. . If you change
your PC or decide to (or have to) change major hardware components
inside your PC change like your hard drive (say if it crashes) or
motherboard, you will have to purchase another key. Reinstalling
the same operating system or other software changes do NOT normally
cause a problem. This is instant so useful if you need the product
right away... but read on for the preferred option...
Dongle: a small, compact hardware key which plugs
into a USB port on your computer. This offers more flexibility -
you can move the software to another machine if you wish at a later
stage, and, of course, you are protected against losing the product
key, for example in the case of a system failure on your PC - e.g.
hard drive crash. We really do strongly recommend that you purchase
the product this way.
APTx Codec Pack option (for Standard and Enhanced APTx coding) is
only available when you buy the hardware dongle version.
What about upgrades?
with any popular product, we continually work on improving Communicator.
As and when we make in-version improvements and upgrades to the
program, these are freely downloadable to our existing users.
Do you offer volume discounts on multiple purchases?
- but generally only for larger orders... contact us with your requirements
by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org