ISDN and Source Connect at Trident

Monday, October 29, 2012

ISDN is the stalwart of remote links between recording studios and has been for decades now, and here at Trident we've been running as an ISDN studio since our establishment as a voice over studio in 1993, almost 20 years ago!

In case you're not sure what an ISDN link is, it's a digital telephone line that can carry broadcast quality audio between two studios and it works across the globe, so whether the the ISDN studios are in Europe, USA, or Australia, they can link up via an ISDN line carrying your Voice Over or ADR audio with ease.

The downside to an ISDN connection with a voice over studio is call charges; a full bandwidth ISDN line occupies two phone lines, and these are generally charged at full, undiscounted rate by the telecoms companies, so a link between international voice over studios can soon add up. However with the modern advancement of broadband internet connections, other alternatives are available, with the most common being a Source Connect link.

Source Connect essentially gives you the exact same results as an ISDN link; studio quality audio between 2 remote studios. The difference is that it sends the audio over the internet rather than a dedicated ISDN line saving money on line costs in the process. So if running a Voice Over session for more than a few hours, the savings can be considerable.

Of course, Source Connect isn't perfect, and what it makes up for in costs savings over ISDN, it loses out in complexity; the need for a perfect network setup in the local studio, and for uninterrupted internet links, which if bouncing a voice over connection round the world, can be quite a challenge especially if hitting peak internet times. It shouldn't be seen as all doom and gloom though, as any studio with patience will have eliminated as many of the gremlins as they possibly can before attempting a Source Connect studio link.

Luckily here at Trident, we have spent many an hour setting up and testing Source Connect as a viable alternative to ISDN, and are happy to report that it works well and is more than up to the challenge of replacing ISDN for your voice over or ADR link.

So if in need of an ISDN studio or Source Connect studio, call us here at Trident with your requirements and we can guide you through your options.