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Author Topic: Hardware controlled Dante Patching  (Read 6295 times)

Andrew Broughton

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Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« on: June 13, 2015, 12:37:30 pm »

I built a playback system that uses 2 computers outputting audio simultaneously into a Radial SW8 switcher so if there's a problem with one computer, I can flip a switch to go to the backup computer almost instantly.

Since the rig they run into is now using Dante, I would love to do away with the soundcard and interface, SW8, preamps, etc. and have the computers output their signal using DVS directly.
Obviously in the case of a failure, I could switch outputs using Dante Controller, but that would be too slow and problematic, even if I was using a preset, and it needs to be able to be switched by anyone, ideally using a hardware switch like before. Can a Dante Controller preset be recalled somehow with a hardware switch?

Is there another way to do this? I guess the switching could be done at the consoles, but again, it needs to be a simple remote switch that can be actuated by anyone.

Suggestions?
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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2015, 12:58:19 pm »

I built a playback system that uses 2 computers outputting audio simultaneously into a Radial SW8 switcher so if there's a problem with one computer, I can flip a switch to go to the backup computer almost instantly.

Since the rig they run into is now using Dante, I would love to do away with the soundcard and interface, SW8, preamps, etc. and have the computers output their signal using DVS directly.
Obviously in the case of a failure, I could switch outputs using Dante Controller, but that would be too slow and problematic, even if I was using a preset, and it needs to be able to be switched by anyone, ideally using a hardware switch like before. Can a Dante Controller preset be recalled somehow with a hardware switch?

Is there another way to do this? I guess the switching could be done at the consoles, but again, it needs to be a simple remote switch that can be actuated by anyone.

Suggestions?

Andrew,
One possible solution would be to use one of the many open architecture DSP's out there.   I am most familiar with the BSS BLU-806.   This could accept both dante streams, and you could have a hard wired switch (or computer control panel, or ipad, or hardware remote control like the EC-4BV, or..or..or) select the appropriate stream via a matrix router.   Not exactly a cost friendly option as your are looking at $4000 plus, but their would be a lot more horse power under the hood for additional tasks.   
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 12:59:32 pm »

I guess there was a similiar discussion a couple of years ago on the QLab Google Group, and Andy seemed to imply at the end of the discussion that there would be some switching devices coming out at USITT, not sure if that would be a Dante switcher or not...

Quote from: Andy Leviss from Google Groups
That's the problem with Dante, it requires either active
routing or twice as many console inputs to allow instaneous one-button
switching to the backup.

Other digital methods, and analog, can be switched passively, so the
options for switching two sets of outputs to one set of console inputs
have a wider selection, and (with some options) lower cost. Again, at
USITT in a week and a half I'll have some exciting news as far as
lower cost switching options go, so stay tuned!

-Andy
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 01:04:57 pm »

Andrew,
One possible solution would be to use one of the many open architecture DSP's out there.   I am most familiar with the BSS BLU-806.   This could accept both dante streams, and you could have a hard wired switch (or computer control panel, or ipad, or hardware remote control like the EC-4BV, or..or..or) select the appropriate stream via a matrix router.   Not exactly a cost friendly option as your are looking at $4000 plus, but their would be a lot more horse power under the hood for additional tasks.   
Thank you for that suggestion, but I'm trying to go the other way and simplify the setup, using LESS equipment and lower cost.

Switching Dante Patching on the fly may not be a good solution since it can take time for the devices to renegotiate and I'm not sure whether that might also cause audio dropouts on other Dante lines...

So some simple Dante Matrix device that can switch it's output audio between 2 Dante channels? Probably doesn't exist atm.
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John Penkala

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 01:06:04 pm »

I built a playback system that uses 2 computers outputting audio simultaneously into a Radial SW8 switcher so if there's a problem with one computer, I can flip a switch to go to the backup computer almost instantly.

Since the rig they run into is now using Dante, I would love to do away with the soundcard and interface, SW8, preamps, etc. and have the computers output their signal using DVS directly.
Obviously in the case of a failure, I could switch outputs using Dante Controller, but that would be too slow and problematic, even if I was using a preset, and it needs to be able to be switched by anyone, ideally using a hardware switch like before. Can a Dante Controller preset be recalled somehow with a hardware switch?

Is there another way to do this? I guess the switching could be done at the consoles, but again, it needs to be a simple remote switch that can be actuated by anyone.

Suggestions?

Even if you could switch faster than you could make the change in Dante Controller, the new patch takes a few seconds to synchronize to the network. You are much better off doing the Dante assignments beforehand and switching between inputs, on/off, at the desk.

-JP
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 01:23:10 pm »

Even if you could switch faster than you could make the change in Dante Controller, the new patch takes a few seconds to synchronize to the network. You are much better off doing the Dante assignments beforehand and switching between inputs, on/off, at the desk.

-JP
Yeah, that's what I'm starting to think as well. Now, with a FOH and MON console both needing to be remotely switched at the same time, that's a bigger trick. If I were able to use control signals down the Dante line (the way the CL/QL does with communication between Nuendo Live and the console) that would be a slick solution without the need for extra GPIO lines running to FOH.
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-Andy

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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 01:46:58 pm »

I'm not sure if this applies to your case, but dante have this nice feature for device backup.

If you name two or more devices with the same name (and they are not connected to the network at the same time) you can disconnect one device and connect the other one and it will retain the routing configuration.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2015, 01:50:42 pm »

I'm not sure if this applies to your case, but dante have this nice feature for device backup.

If you name two or more devices with the same name (and they are not connected to the network at the same time) you can disconnect one device and connect the other one and it will retain the routing configuration.
That's very interesting!
If that works and Dante doesn't complain during the switchover, I could just use a CAT-5 switcher...

Have you or anyone ever tried this?
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 02:06:36 pm by Andrew Broughton »
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Ade Stuart

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2015, 07:11:59 pm »

Would a patch library or a scene with patch focus work for you?

Just FYI, I have seen issues when more than one DVS is running on a network, where the patch was incorrect after a power cycle.

http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/global/en/downloads/firmware_software/cl/cl5_firm204_170.jsp

"Known issue

If the Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS) is patched to the CL series device using Dante Controller, the patching may not be recalled correctly when the CL series device is restarted. Patch DVS again."
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Chris Johnson [UK]

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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 05:51:09 am »

Andrew, the fundamental problem you have here though is one of redundancy.

The key thing about the SW8 is that in the event of power failure, it will continue to pass audio (from the A side i believe). The problem with using any kind of DSP (Symetrix, say) is that you have now added a lovely single point of failure in between your dual redundant setup.

Personally, I would manage this either in the analogue domain, or by doing it within the console. In most consoles, you can use a tone input to key a gate accross the backup set of inputs quite effectively.
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Re: Hardware controlled Dante Patching
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 05:51:09 am »


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