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Biamp Systems

System Design Template - Shopping Mall Phase 2 (Non-Evac Paging with BGM)

This system design template shows how Vocia products can be used to easily create a simple multi-zone paging system.  Vocia is a highly reliable solution that provides excellent audio quality while managing all your paging, background music, and emergency communication requirements. It is powerful, scalable, and flexible, and can meet a facility’s needs well into the future.   A decentralized approach, which places digital signal processing in all of the endpoints, creates a solution with no single point of failure, and provides a means to expand an existing system as needs grow.

This article builds upon the previous example of a shopping mall paging system. In Phase 1 of the installation, a basic paging system was installed. With basic live paging working well, Phase 2 will introduce background music capabilities and ambient noise compensation to the paging system.  As the Shopping Mall enters it's busy season, this will help ensure that all background music and pages will be heard overtop the noise of increasingly large crowds. Later, Phase 3 will add emergency evacuation notifications to the paging system.

Paging system design

Application Template - Non-Evac Paging 8-Zones 2-Paging Stations BGM.pngPaging System Functionality Scope:

  • 2 Paging Stations to provide live paging from either the information desk, or security office
  • 8 Paging Zones capable of receiving the same, or unique pages
  • 70V distributed ceiling loudspeakers, wired into 8 discrete zones
  • 3 music sources available to all zones
  • Automatic level adjustment depending on background noise in all retail and food court zones

Equipment list

Below is the list of Biamp Vocia equipment used in this project:

  • 2 - Vocia DS-10      10-button desktop paging station, cardioid microphone, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • 1 - VA-8150CV        8-channel constant voltage 70V/100V amplifier, CobraNet audio/control
  • 1 - VI-6                    6-channel networked audio input expansion device, 4 line-level inputs, 2 mic/line inputs with phantom power, PoE, CobraNet audio/control
  • 4 - ANC-1                Provides automatic output level adjustments in response to changes in ambient noise levels, PoE, CobraNet audio/control

Note that other non-Biamp equipment is required, including the loudspeakers, ambient sensing microphones, music servers, and CobraNet PoE network switch.

Example files

The example file for this system design template is set with 8 Zones that might be found in a typical Shopping Mall environment:                                                                                   Vocia Zones.png

  • Zone 1 - Information/Main Entrance
  • Zone 2 - Security Office
  • Zone 3 - Admin Offices
  • Zone 4 - Food Court
  • Zone 5 - Floor 1
  • Zone 6 - Floor 2
  • Zone 7 - Floor 3
  • Zone 8 - Parking Garage


Nine page codes have been provided to allow for flexible paging throughout the zones.  As each DS-10 has 10 buttons, we will utilize Button Based Assignment for the page codes:

  • Page Code 1 - General Announcement: Supports live paging to all zones for general updates and announcementsVocia Page Codes.png
  • Page Code 2 - Staff and Security: Supports live paging to Zones 2 and 3
  • Page Code 3 - Parking: Supports live paging to only Zone 8
  • Page Code 4 - Food Court: Supports live paging to only Zone 4
  • Page Code 5 - Retail All Floors: Supports paging to Zones 5, 6, and 7
  • Page Code 6 - Retail Floor 1: Supports live paging to only Zone 5
  • Page Code 7 - Retail Floor 2: Supports live paging to only Zone 6
  • Page Code 8 - Retail Floor 3: Supports live paging to only Zone 7
  • Page Code 9 - Priority Page: Highest priority* page sent to all Zones

*For more information about paging priority, see the Priority Levels section of the Vocia help document.


Background music capabilities have been added to the system with the introduction of a Vocia VI-6.  Inputs 1 -3 of the VI-6 will support 3 music servers providing 3 unique background channels that can be assigned to any of our zones.  In this case, the Shopping Mall has decided to assign BGM has follows:

  • VI-6 Input Channel 1 - Zones 1,5,6, and 7 
  • VI-6 Input Channel 2 - Zone 4
  • VI-6 Input Channel 3 - Zone 8

Vocia ANC-1s are assigned to outputs 4-7 of the VA-8150CV amplifier.  This provides automatic level adjustment based on background noise in the retail and food court zones.  With the busy shopping season almost here, this will help ensure all background music and pages are heard as the bustling crowds grow.

File Download: Vocia System Design Template: Shopping Mall Phase 2 (Non-Evac Paging System, 8 Zones, 2 Paging Stations, BGM)

Networking details

2018-02-06_12h57_20.pngVocia supports two modes of network communication depending on the network topology. One requires a direct connection to a CobraNet network while the other requires an IP-based connection to the MS-1e Message Server to access the system. Since this system does not include an MS-1e, the first method will be used. The system is also small enough that an isolated network with PoE will suffice for CobraNet communication and audio transport between Vocia devices.   

Setup Requirements:

  • Network switch with sufficient ports for CobraNet connections
  • 802.3af (Class 2) PoE Injector for powering the information desk DS-10 (unless the CobraNet switch provides PoE).
  • 802.3af (Class 2) PoE Injector for powering the security office DS-10 (unless the CobraNet switch provides PoE).
  • 802.3af (Class 3) PoE Injector for powering the VI-6 (unless the CobraNet switch provides PoE).
  • 802.3af (Class 2) PoE Injector for powering each ANC-1 (unless the CobraNet switch provides PoE).

Audio setup

All Vocia devices are set, by default, to unity gain.  This allows the system to start working, once the file is loaded, with minimal adjustments.

  • Select output voltage on the VA-8150CV amplifier to 70V or 100V as needed
  • Check and confirm adequate DS-10 microphone input level from the Audio & Live Control tab found under DS-10 properties
  • Adjust amplifier output level as needed for each zone
  • Connect music sources to VI-6 and verify levels under the VI-6 Audio and Live Control found under VI-6 properties
  • Set background source for a zone
  • Configure the ANC-1 for each zone