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Thread: Moving to Dante thoughts

  1. #1

    Default Moving to Dante thoughts

    Dale B posted a question on my classifieds thread, which is better answered here, about moving to using Dante kit.

    I built an SAC rig using Motu 424 card and 2408 interfaces. I used the appsys extenders to let me stick the ada8000s on the stage and keep the host at foh, which allowed additional IO on the analogue from the 2408.

    A lot has changed, not least my employment, and live sound is now only an occasional part of my life... back to being a hobby really. As a result I had a greater need for a smaller mixer I could take out for little jobs. I also wanted to get rid of the ada8000 and toslink connectors from my life. I opted for a rack mixer with dante card option and ended up with the Presonus RM series as these seemed to be the best value for my needs.

    So I now have an RM32ai and an RM16ai, both with dante cards. By default every input channel goes straight to a dante transmitter channel. I've configured snapshots routing the incoming dante audio to the outputs. So I can easily switch between using an RM as a mixer or a dante stagebox.

    At the PC end I have a focusrite rednet card. This provides me with up to 128 channels in and out to the Dante network at low latency. It's just an asio driver so works like any other audio interface. I use all basic unmanaged gigabit switches as there's no need for qos on such a small system. There's a wifi router that provides DHCP to the network and connects my tablet. All the audio devices are using a static IP address.

    At foh I can either use one of the RMs as a stagebox for monitoring and playback input. When I do something really big, about once a year now, and I need both stageboxes out I use Dante Via to give me analogue i/o from a laptop at foh.

    This setup is extremely flexible and more than meets my needs. The cabling setup is easy and the networking piece is simple. The only slightly inelegant aspect is having to use the Presonus UC app to adjust preamp gain and phantom power. This is no different to the ADA8000s though and is at least remotely accessible.

    Things I've learned are...
    • Use static IP for everything that matters. This isn't necessary but it helps with management. I have a DHCP server in the router, but this is only for additional clients not the audio devices.
    • Use real switches. By this I mean a gigabit network switch that's nothing else. If you can go for good quality managed switches than great. You don't need to. A basic netgear is fine. Beware the ports on a wifi router. These are often cheap, poor quality devices designed for domestic use. They are often not a straight forward switch and each interface might send traffic via the built in firewall or CPU. The end result is even though there's a gigabit port on the back of a wifi router you might have very poor or unreliable network throughput. I've encountered glitching that I traced to this.
    • Dante is awesome

  2. #2

    Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    One other thought... Once you have a Dante network you can take the audio into multiple computers very easily. This means you no longer need to think about running SAW alongside SAC and linking them to get the audio. You can keep your SAC host machine to be just that and then run your recording software on another machine using Dante Virtual Soundcard. This gives you the ability to capture 32 channels into any ASIO software. That's usually enough.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    I switched to Dante. I bought a card from the AMP developer. He has a custom driver that enables stable performance down to 0/8 buffers. I run 0/16 just to be safe. It's analog level fast!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    I believe down to something like 1.75ms analogue in to out with the Yamaha Tio boxes. Latency just isn't a concern.

  5. Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mojogil View Post
    I switched to Dante. I bought a card from the AMP developer. He has a custom driver that enables stable performance down to 0/8 buffers. I run 0/16 just to be safe. It's analog level fast!
    Do you have a link for the card?

  6. Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattseymour View Post
    One other thought... Once you have a Dante network you can take the audio into multiple computers very easily. This means you no longer need to think about running SAW alongside SAC and linking them to get the audio. You can keep your SAC host machine to be just that and then run your recording software on another machine using Dante Virtual Soundcard. This gives you the ability to capture 32 channels into any ASIO software. That's usually enough.
    I guess you can use the Virtual Soundcard anywhere latency will not be a problem? Multi-track recording or possibly streaming?

  7. Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    Thank you for the information.

    I guess with a good Dante Sound Card you can hook up to any Date system in any venue and run sound?

    Anybody else wish to list their Dante set-ups?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale B View Post
    Thank you for the information.

    I guess with a good Dante Sound Card you can hook up to any Date system in any venue and run sound?
    Yes and no... In theory you can plug into an existing Dante installation and make use of the audio sources. However whilst Dante is all by Audinate so there are no compatibility issues, there are some limitations you can come across. For example, although it's unlikely, you might find a system configured for 96k sample rates and yours can only do 48k, perhaps....

    More likely is password protection on kit restricting your ability to use the dante controller virtual patch bay.

    Far far better than AVB or any other proprietary system but you still have to negotiate this stuff.

  9. Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    Thanks for the information. I may end up going this route. How do you control the preamp gains on the Presonus mixer?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mattseymour View Post
    Dale B posted a question on my classifieds thread, which is better answered here, about moving to using Dante kit.

    I built an SAC rig using Motu 424 card and 2408 interfaces. I used the appsys extenders to let me stick the ada8000s on the stage and keep the host at foh, which allowed additional IO on the analogue from the 2408.

    A lot has changed, not least my employment, and live sound is now only an occasional part of my life... back to being a hobby really. As a result I had a greater need for a smaller mixer I could take out for little jobs. I also wanted to get rid of the ada8000 and toslink connectors from my life. I opted for a rack mixer with dante card option and ended up with the Presonus RM series as these seemed to be the best value for my needs.

    So I now have an RM32ai and an RM16ai, both with dante cards. By default every input channel goes straight to a dante transmitter channel. I've configured snapshots routing the incoming dante audio to the outputs. So I can easily switch between using an RM as a mixer or a dante stagebox.

    At the PC end I have a focusrite rednet card. This provides me with up to 128 channels in and out to the Dante network at low latency. It's just an asio driver so works like any other audio interface. I use all basic unmanaged gigabit switches as there's no need for qos on such a small system. There's a wifi router that provides DHCP to the network and connects my tablet. All the audio devices are using a static IP address.

    At foh I can either use one of the RMs as a stagebox for monitoring and playback input. When I do something really big, about once a year now, and I need both stageboxes out I use Dante Via to give me analogue i/o from a laptop at foh.

    This setup is extremely flexible and more than meets my needs. The cabling setup is easy and the networking piece is simple. The only slightly inelegant aspect is having to use the Presonus UC app to adjust preamp gain and phantom power. This is no different to the ADA8000s though and is at least remotely accessible.

    Things I've learned are...
    • Use static IP for everything that matters. This isn't necessary but it helps with management. I have a DHCP server in the router, but this is only for additional clients not the audio devices.
    • Use real switches. By this I mean a gigabit network switch that's nothing else. If you can go for good quality managed switches than great. You don't need to. A basic netgear is fine. Beware the ports on a wifi router. These are often cheap, poor quality devices designed for domestic use. They are often not a straight forward switch and each interface might send traffic via the built in firewall or CPU. The end result is even though there's a gigabit port on the back of a wifi router you might have very poor or unreliable network throughput. I've encountered glitching that I traced to this.
    • Dante is awesome

  10. #10

    Default Re: Moving to Dante thoughts

    I use the Presonus UC Surface app. Any Dante stagebox device you choose, whether it be a mixer like the Presonus RM series or the Mackie dl32r or dedicated stagebox like the Yamaha tio boxes, you would use the dedicated software to control the device preamps.

    The tio boxes are interesting because it's possible to control them quite easily so, in principle, support for these could be built into sac.

    I went for the Presonus because they're good enough for my purposes whilst being the best value in terms of channel count, at least at the time. You get either 16 or 32 in and 11 or 19 outputs, depending on model.

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