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Sennheiser’s MobileConnect gets the party going at Slush Music Silent Disco

The wi-fi based technology enables low-latency transmission of audio content to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets

Organised for the first time last year, Slush Music took place in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, to enhance the dialogue between tech entrepreneurs and music. Part of the event’s offering was its Silent Disco, where Sennheiser’s MobileConnect technology provided a very personal experience.

MobileConnect is a wi-fi based technology, which enables low-latency transmission of audio content to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Slush Music, gathered 1,500 industry professionals, and featured topics including global music consumption, the revenue distribution of streaming and the revolutionary aspect of using blockchain technologies for music.

The first day ended with the Silent Disco afterparty at The Cable Factory in Helsinki, the largest cultural centre in Finland, and featured Finnish DJs Rony Rex, Lil’ Tony and Windows95man and Finnish trance music duo Super8 & Tab.

Sasu Paakkunainen, head of partnerships at Slush Music says: “The biggest difference between MobileConnect and other solutions is that you don’t need anything other than what most of the audience carries with them anyway.”

MobileConnect systems can be combined via standard network switches and integrate seamlessly to work in a similar way to a single unit, both for the configuration interface and for the listeners.

The initial idea for the event was to integrate the MobileConnect on to the existing public wi-fi being built for the Slush Music event, but due to technical limitations this was not possible. The solution was to build a standalone wi-fi infrastructure to handle the expected number of listeners and, even though the airwaves were heavy congested with as many as 38 other wi-fi access points, the MobileConnect streams performed flawlessly.

Eight MobileConnect systems were combined to provide a capability of up to 400 clients, streaming a maximum of 32 different audio channels. For the Slush Silent Disco, the system was configured with just four audio channels to supply the audio from four DJs for up to the stated 400 listeners.

An audio channel layout was set up in the MobileConnect app interface that made it easy for the listeners to select between the DJs without having to worry about which system had free available streams.

Paakkunainen comments: “When I got to the venue in the morning of the event, everything was plung’n’play ready and the wi-fi was easily accessible and connected. Our source signals went through the mixer, so I had three headphone jack inputs for the day program sources and one main PA out as another source.”

He notes: “We had only an hour to change the day program to the Silent Disco. Sennheiser’s Jonas Naesby made all the changes needed to MobileConnect and the DJs, working with SunEffects and Red Bull, built the stage for the disco. All the headphone jacks were replaced with four DI boxes for the DJs connections. Once again, it was simply plug’n’play.”

Adds Paakkunainen: “The eight systems worked flawlessly. They daisy chain nicely inside the app and when one system reaches capacity it doesn’t crash or leave you with nothing. It gives you a pop up alert and you join the next channel of streams. The eight systems were more than sufficient for us as we had a maximum capacity 300 people for the space.”

Sennheiser Momentum On Ear headphones were also provided for those people who had not brought their own headphones with them.