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Author Topic: Dante questions  (Read 2816 times)

Kevin Maxwell

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Dante questions
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:31:31 am »

Dante questions

I have mixed on a system that was interconnected with Dante but I had nothing to do with the setup and I am a complete novice regarding Dante. I have watched some videos but that hasnít helped me too much yet.

I am working on a change to the speaker system in an install and the amps that look like the best choice that have the needed DSP also have Dante. This is a distributed system that will consist of around 20 Ė 30 speakers, there are 21 at the moment. The present mixer (Avid SC48) that we are in no rush to replace doesnít have Dante but does have the AES XO16 card installed. I will most likely use the AES outputs on that card because I need a lot of outputs for different things. Including stems sent to the IEM system, thatís another story but no questions regarding that at the moment. The Amps donít have AES inputs. I was going to use the Audinate Dante AVIO adapters to convert the AES outputs from the mixer  to Dante.

Am I correct to assume that I would need a gigabit switch at the FOH end to combine all of these AVIO adapters (4 or 5 of them) and another in the amp room backstage to split to the amps? I also assume that I can then in the amps pick the sends from FOH out of the Dante stream, including picking off the same signal to multiple amp channels. I will be using the matrix outputs of the mixer to send to the different amp channels. If this works as I think I see the advantage of Dante working as an audio distribution method to the amps instead of needing an additional DSP of some sort. Instead of a lot of Y cables.

Is there anything that I am missing?
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Erik Jerde

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 09:39:09 am »

Dante questions

I have mixed on a system that was interconnected with Dante but I had nothing to do with the setup and I am a complete novice regarding Dante. I have watched some videos but that hasnít helped me too much yet.

I am working on a change to the speaker system in an install and the amps that look like the best choice that have the needed DSP also have Dante. This is a distributed system that will consist of around 20 Ė 30 speakers, there are 21 at the moment. The present mixer (Avid SC48) that we are in no rush to replace doesnít have Dante but does have the AES XO16 card installed. I will most likely use the AES outputs on that card because I need a lot of outputs for different things. Including stems sent to the IEM system, thatís another story but no questions regarding that at the moment. The Amps donít have AES inputs. I was going to use the Audinate Dante AVIO adapters to convert the AES outputs from the mixer  to Dante.

Am I correct to assume that I would need a gigabit switch at the FOH end to combine all of these AVIO adapters (4 or 5 of them) and another in the amp room backstage to split to the amps? I also assume that I can then in the amps pick the sends from FOH out of the Dante stream, including picking off the same signal to multiple amp channels. I will be using the matrix outputs of the mixer to send to the different amp channels. If this works as I think I see the advantage of Dante working as an audio distribution method to the amps instead of needing an additional DSP of some sort. Instead of a lot of Y cables.

Is there anything that I am missing?

Using AVIO units you donít have the secondary network so youíre a little more exposed to a failure.  Iíd recommend using switches that support link aggregation groups so you can have a couple cables (or more) between switches which are always active and will give you some built-in redundancy.

Make sure the FOH switch is a POE switch for powering the AVIO adapters.  You donít want the mess that comes with having to put POE injectors on every line.
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Michael Lawrence

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 09:44:56 am »

Good point about the POE.

I would just add that distributing the same signal to multiple amplifiers is what Audinate refers to as a Fanout Configuration, and you can do things a little more efficiently with a multicast flow. Not the end of the world in a small network but if things are added over time, you'll want to go with multicast.

It's covered in this Dante training video, and if you've got a spare hour, watching the Level 1 training online is well worth the time. Plus you get a certificate!

EDIT: funky grammar
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Andrew Hollis

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 10:26:35 am »

You may find it more cost effective to use a single AES/Dante converter box instead of a bunch of dongles. This can also give you redundancy.

https://www.audinate.com/products/dante-enabled

Rick Earl

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 11:55:40 am »

We are mainly a Yamaha facility as we do some pretty extensive Dante' networking,  but our recording studios have been using the Focusrite equipment for some time without issue, the RedNet D16 AES might be a better long term option over the dongles.
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Phillip Ivan Pietruschka

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 03:00:20 am »

Dante questions

I have mixed on a system that was interconnected with Dante but I had nothing to do with the setup and I am a complete novice regarding Dante. I have watched some videos but that hasnít helped me too much yet.

I am working on a change to the speaker system in an install and the amps that look like the best choice that have the needed DSP also have Dante. This is a distributed system that will consist of around 20 Ė 30 speakers, there are 21 at the moment. The present mixer (Avid SC48) that we are in no rush to replace doesnít have Dante but does have the AES XO16 card installed. I will most likely use the AES outputs on that card because I need a lot of outputs for different things. Including stems sent to the IEM system, thatís another story but no questions regarding that at the moment. The Amps donít have AES inputs. I was going to use the Audinate Dante AVIO adapters to convert the AES outputs from the mixer  to Dante.

Am I correct to assume that I would need a gigabit switch at the FOH end to combine all of these AVIO adapters (4 or 5 of them) and another in the amp room backstage to split to the amps? I also assume that I can then in the amps pick the sends from FOH out of the Dante stream, including picking off the same signal to multiple amp channels. I will be using the matrix outputs of the mixer to send to the different amp channels. If this works as I think I see the advantage of Dante working as an audio distribution method to the amps instead of needing an additional DSP of some sort. Instead of a lot of Y cables.

Is there anything that I am missing?

One of the things you need to pay careful attention to when working with dante systems, is their flow limitations. a device using an ultimo interface has a maximum of two flows (up to 4 channels per flow) in each direction. So using unicast transmission, you are limited to transmitting to (or receiving from) two devices. If you want to transmit to more than two devices you can do so using multicast flows, but you will need to make sure your network is appropriately setup with IGMP snooping, especially with a bunch of 100Meg interfaces on the network.
There is not as easy a work around for the flow limitation on the input side (i use an audio router to combine signals into a signal flow when necessary). I am not so familiar with the AVIO units, however I expect their flow resources to be inline with the similarly small ultimo interfaces. However, if you put a larger (and more expensive) Brooklyn 2 based AES interface with you console, you would likely not need a network switch at FOH.

Audinate has some good resources on switch configuration if you end up multicasting from your AVIO units.

I hope that helps.
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 09:46:31 am »

Thank you for the attempts at helping me. I will look at the video link and see if that helps at all. I am actually more confused now from these replies them I was before. I guess I have to learn what the terms mean so I can understand what you are talking about. It is Greek to me. I am by no means a novice except to Dante.

I would usually lean to buying a rack mount AES to Dante converter but they seem to be A LOT more expensive than the AVIO units. The AVIO units sell for under $130 each and I would probably only need 3 or 4 of them. I am only looking to send Dante to the amps from about 6 matrix outputs from the (Avid SC48) mixers AES sends. So I donít understand why I need a more expensive AES to Dante converter. Or maybe I am just not finding a simple unit that will do what I want.

I am looking to go with the Dante to the amps because I am hoping this would work the best for what we are doing and will be usable in the future if they ever change out the mixer to one with Dante in the future.

BTW I watched a video of someone that dissected one of the AVIO units and they look to be built very solidly. It took a lot for him to cut it apart. The Brooklyn II seems to be a card that is used in some devices like the Focusrite RedNet D16R AES/EBU Interface that sells for about $2100. And I would need to make a cable that goes from XLR to DB25 for that unit. I actually may have one of them lying around but I donít like the DB25 connectors. But that unit at the moment seems like serious overkill.

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Erik Jerde

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 03:19:05 pm »

Thank you for the attempts at helping me. I will look at the video link and see if that helps at all. I am actually more confused now from these replies them I was before. I guess I have to learn what the terms mean so I can understand what you are talking about. It is Greek to me. I am by no means a novice except to Dante.

I would usually lean to buying a rack mount AES to Dante converter but they seem to be A LOT more expensive than the AVIO units. The AVIO units sell for under $130 each and I would probably only need 3 or 4 of them. I am only looking to send Dante to the amps from about 6 matrix outputs from the (Avid SC48) mixers AES sends. So I donít understand why I need a more expensive AES to Dante converter. Or maybe I am just not finding a simple unit that will do what I want.

I am looking to go with the Dante to the amps because I am hoping this would work the best for what we are doing and will be usable in the future if they ever change out the mixer to one with Dante in the future.

BTW I watched a video of someone that dissected one of the AVIO units and they look to be built very solidly. It took a lot for him to cut it apart. The Brooklyn II seems to be a card that is used in some devices like the Focusrite RedNet D16R AES/EBU Interface that sells for about $2100. And I would need to make a cable that goes from XLR to DB25 for that unit. I actually may have one of them lying around but I donít like the DB25 connectors. But that unit at the moment seems like serious overkill.

Kevin there's lots of good info in this thread but I'm not surprised that for a Dante novice it's overwhelming.  With the setup as you've described it could be simple or it could be complicated depending on the multi-cast vs uni-cast flows thing described above.  That's part of the Dante system that starts to get confusing fast.

In order to figure out if this would impact you we'd need to have a fuller vision of the amp side of things.  You mentioned 20-30 speakers.  How many amps are driving these speakers?  How many channels in each amp?  Is each channel getting a different input or are they sharing inputs and just processing differently via onboard DSP?  You said 4-5 AVIO adapters.  Lay out your console to amp patching for us and we can help out.

I won't make your head spin more by trying to explain uni-cast vs multi-cast.  It is important though and with limitations of the AVIO adapters it could make your system less flexible than you anticipate if you were to just buy the gear and slap it all together.
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Phillip Ivan Pietruschka

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2019, 11:53:00 pm »

Thank you for the attempts at helping me. I will look at the video link and see if that helps at all. I am actually more confused now from these replies them I was before. I guess I have to learn what the terms mean so I can understand what you are talking about. It is Greek to me. I am by no means a novice except to Dante.

I would usually lean to buying a rack mount AES to Dante converter but they seem to be A LOT more expensive than the AVIO units. The AVIO units sell for under $130 each and I would probably only need 3 or 4 of them. I am only looking to send Dante to the amps from about 6 matrix outputs from the (Avid SC48) mixers AES sends. So I donít understand why I need a more expensive AES to Dante converter. Or maybe I am just not finding a simple unit that will do what I want.

I am looking to go with the Dante to the amps because I am hoping this would work the best for what we are doing and will be usable in the future if they ever change out the mixer to one with Dante in the future.

BTW I watched a video of someone that dissected one of the AVIO units and they look to be built very solidly. It took a lot for him to cut it apart. The Brooklyn II seems to be a card that is used in some devices like the Focusrite RedNet D16R AES/EBU Interface that sells for about $2100. And I would need to make a cable that goes from XLR to DB25 for that unit. I actually may have one of them lying around but I donít like the DB25 connectors. But that unit at the moment seems like serious overkill.

Kevin, the Brooklyn2 and Ultimo (and Broadway) are modules that OEMs buy from Audinate and incorporate into their devices as a dante interface. Whilst there is some custom configuration with each device, these modules have particular characteristics that set some upper limits on performance. In brief an Ultimo (or its variants) can have a maximum of 4 channels in and 4 out, with two flows in each direction (so the four outputs can only be from a maximum of two sources); it always has a 100Mb network interface, and can not support a redundant network. A brooklyn2 can support a maximum of 64io (though not every implementation does) with 32 flows in each direction, it is always a 1Gb network interface, and some implementations can support redundant network connection.

A unicast (one to one) flow carries four channels; a multicast flow (one to many) can carry up to 8 channels.

IGMP snooping is a process network switches use to determine which receivers want a multicast transmission, and then delivers it only to them. If your network switches do not support IGMP snooping, or it is not configured correctly, a multicast flow may behave like a broadcast transmission (one to all) and go to every interface. If your interfaces are only 100Mb they will be flooded with data they don't need or want without IGMP snooping. This would potentially include all of your AVIO AES transmitters receiving all the audio data from all the other AVIO AES transmitters.

If you made a detailed map of the required distribution (ie dante patching), you would have a better idea of if multicasting would be necessary.

Ultimately my suggestion for using a Brooklyn2 based interface was because the increased cost of the device is traded off against possibly only needing one network switch (or at least, not needing one at FOH, as there would only be a single cable run); and a lower mandatory level of network configuration for many applications making implementation easier. This may also open the door to some form of network redundancy (depending on the end points), but I'd consider this a lower priority than the two points above.

If you go to the audinate website you can do a search of all dante enabled equipment to find suitable candidates. There are several devices I use that could do the job such as the Yamaha Rsio64D and NTP Penta 720; however I have no doubt there are many others probably at more appealing price points, and with XLR connectivity. ASL make AES interfaces that have XLRs for instance.

I would strongly encourage you to do as much of the online dante training as you can. Consider it insurance again future headaches.

Phillip.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 12:26:07 am by Phillip Ivan Pietruschka »
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Dante questions
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 10:33:36 am »

I will attempt to explain the routing intended with this system. This is all just one way from mixer to amps.

This sound system is all in one room, it seats about 1800 people. It is a rectangular room that is 175 feet wide by 92 feet deep. The stage is built into the center of the long wall, so the room is wide and shallow. The speakers arcing out from the center of the front of the (new to be) curved stage jutting out from the center of the long wall. Right now the stage is mostly flush into that long wall. The renovation requires a rebuild of the speaker system and they want an upgrade of the speaker system in the process. There will be 4 delay arcs including the first arc. Plus front full speakers built into the front of the stage. The subwoofers will also be built into the front of the stage, they are self-powered with only analog inputs. I have nothing to do with the choice of the subs. The stage is low and they need to fit under the stage. The ceiling in the house is relatively low there are multiple levels in the room it is 15í10Ē in some places and 17í11Ē in others and even down to 13í11Ē in some. I give you that information to help you understand why the distributed sound system for this room. And the phrase I keep hearing over and over from the client is we only want to do this once.

Most likely 6 matrix outputs from the mixer (Avid SC48) using the AES outputs will be converted to Dante. 5 AES outputs are available, 3 will be used to give me 6 Matrix outputs. The Dante will go to the backstage equipment room to I assume a gigabit switch there to feed the amps. There will be four - four channel amps. For a total of 16 amp channels. The speaker layout is basically a mirror image from one side of the room to the other so in most cases each amp channel will feed 2 speakers. Except for the three speakers that will each be on their own channel running up the center of the room. BTW these will be Fulcrum Acoustic speakers.   I just want to pick off in the amps from the different matrix outputs to the individual channels of the mixer. Some matrix sends will feed multiple amp channels. There will be no mixing of multiple matrix sends to the same amp channel. The amps will be Powersoft Quattrocanali 4804 DSP+D.

The amps will handle all of the EQ and delay for the different speakers. The main reason for the matrix outputs of the mixer is so that the different zones can be muted at the mixer for smaller services or events in this room. Also so the levels of the person speaking can be pushed a LITTLE BIT more in speakers farther from the center of the stage. Giving more gain before feedback on the speech sends.

There seem like some of you are concerned about using the AVIO AES to Dante devices and saving the cost of a Gigabit PoE switch at FOH but it looks to me like those switches are under $200. So 3 AVIO or even 4 at a cost of around $130 each and 1 switch at under $200. For a total of around $720 compared to over $2000. I am not trying to cheap out, this speaker upgrade is possibly around $100,000  so a difference of one or 2 thousand dollars is a drop in the bucket. I was just having a hard time finding an AES to Dante rack device that looked like it fit the need and the AVIO devices looked like a simple way to do it. Also if in a few years they upgrade the mixer I assume it will be one with Dante built in. so the AES to Dante device we buy now will no longer be needed. 

Does this give enough information to explain what I am trying to do?

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Dante questions
¬ę Reply #9 on: February 17, 2019, 10:33:36 am ¬Ľ


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