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Author Topic: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?  (Read 953 times)

Tim Weaver

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Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« on: October 02, 2019, 04:08:32 pm »

So just wondering here. Most consoles limit the number of phones or ipads or whatever that can connect to them. Why? It seems like an arbitrary amount too, since often it's 10 devices. If these things are using existing network technologies why couldn't it be a hundred devices? Why limit it? Especially on bigger desks like I'm using (CL5's). I hit the device limit all the time with a fairly reasonable church band. I'd hate to think what a big horn band would do.

Is there a legitimate reason to limit devices?
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2019, 04:24:00 pm »

So just wondering here. Most consoles limit the number of phones or ipads or whatever that can connect to them. Why? It seems like an arbitrary amount too, since often it's 10 devices. If these things are using existing network technologies why couldn't it be a hundred devices? Why limit it? Especially on bigger desks like I'm using (CL5's). I hit the device limit all the time with a fairly reasonable church band. I'd hate to think what a big horn band would do.

Is there a legitimate reason to limit devices?

It seems strange to me too.

The control is TCP and is fairly low bandwidth.

The meters is UDP and fairly high bandwidth (considering).

I'd setup the devices to link up to a multicast address and take away any processing duties of the desk for the data-intensive part.

I could see the console being overwhelmed by too many input sources, it would be hard to tell 50 devices hey this control is locked while device 1 adjusts a parameter, but the race conditions would seldom happen with what most of us are using as many devices (personal mix apps).

dLive's custom control doesn't have a limit though I assume its in the hundreds of devices (though can be bogged down from too much metering), so there has to be some design considerations and methods around the device limit.
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Andrew Broughton

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2019, 04:52:09 pm »

DLive I thought had a limit of something like 40 connections.
Seems to me that on any connection that's getting realtime meter data, you'd have to limit the number of devices or things would get pretty laggy pretty quick.

I expected the limitations have more to do with responsiveness than anything else. Over 10 and stuff starts to slow down and be non-responsive...
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Rob Spence

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2019, 05:10:24 pm »

The connection is just that, a connection. The limit isnít tcp or udp.

Each device that connects is actually connecting TO a computer program running in the desk. The device requests actions to be done. The architecture of the computer in the desk determines how many controllers can connect.
The older a Yamaha desks could only do one.
Also, each connections uses resources, ram & cpu. That is always a limited resource.
Another issue is that a program in the desk needs to keep track of the requests from the remote devices and deal with conflict.
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Robert Lofgren

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2019, 05:24:02 pm »

Many times you buy into a chipset and get what the chipset manufacturer decided to implement.

Limited memory, bandwidth, stack and realtime performance of other tasks than data communication must still work so you must limit available resources to make everything roll.
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Mal Brown

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2019, 11:28:29 am »

Processing power, pure and simple.   Implemented DSP has a finite limit and the implementer has to decide how to allocate that.  In the case of products like the XR-18, ui-24r and other lunch pail mixers or the soundcraft SI series, there is generally no external computer doing processing.  If attached, they are recorders or sometimes clients.  All the processing happens inside the mixer.

Older architectures like the original Presonus SL boards were different.  There the external computer interfaced to the board and handled the client connections passing control information off to the board.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2019, 01:38:19 pm »

It seems strange to me too.

The control is TCP and is fairly low bandwidth.

The meters is UDP and fairly high bandwidth (considering).

I'd setup the devices to link up to a multicast address and take away any processing duties of the desk for the data-intensive part.

I could see the console being overwhelmed by too many input sources, it would be hard to tell 50 devices hey this control is locked while device 1 adjusts a parameter, but the race conditions would seldom happen with what most of us are using as many devices (personal mix apps).

dLive's custom control doesn't have a limit though I assume its in the hundreds of devices (though can be bogged down from too much metering), so there has to be some design considerations and methods around the device limit.

In the case of Yamaha Monitor Mix you only get master metering anyway. Actually I'd be happy without metering at all on phone apps. You just need to adjust levels, which is super low bandwidth.

I can understand the need to limit actual "full mix" apps. Whether they be ipad or computer based. That is a lot more bandwidth transmitting all the meters to the client.




I was an early, early user of remote mixing and on my 01v96 I had to turn the meters off after I got things up and running, or the response was just too slow.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2019, 08:53:38 pm »

How many clients can dance on the head of a pin... er, connect to the console server?
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Scott Helmke

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2019, 09:20:01 am »

This is sort of like asking why power amps are limited to a specific number of watts.  Why can't they simply just pass along as much power as the wall outlet will provide?
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dave briar

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 12:31:38 am »

Actually I'd be happy without metering at all on phone apps. You just need to adjust levels, which is super low bandwidth.
Personally I vote metering all the way as I dearly appreciate having a hi-res RTA on my tablet EQ screen for ringing out monitors :)
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Nathan Riddle

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2019, 10:43:21 am »

Eh my point is a Raspberry Pi can host a webserver and 20+ clients can login without issue using $20 hardware. A ~$5000 soundboard should be able to do the same.
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2019, 12:00:02 pm »

Eh my point is a Raspberry Pi can host a webserver and 20+ clients can login without issue using $20 hardware. A ~$5000 soundboard should be able to do the same.

In my case a 20+ thousand dollar CL5 surface.
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Brian Jojade

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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2019, 01:05:02 pm »

Hosting a webserver is vastly different than realtime control of a surface.  If your web server hiccups for a second and the page takes slightly longer to load, most people wouldn't notice.

If your console suddenly became unresponsive, and adjustments made took 2-3 seconds to happen, suddenly that console would be considered a piece of shit and replaced with something that doesn't do that.

The limits they put in place are there to make sure that the resources of the console are NEVER taxed beyond the worst case scenario for remote control. That way, it works all the time.

Just a few short years ago, the concept of 10 tablets being able to control a single mixer was an insane concept.  Now that it's more mainstream, that limitation seems a little lower than some may like.  As time goes on, I'm sure manufacturers will see the demand for more devices being able to connect, and will produce hardware that can do more.
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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 02:48:47 pm »

Hosting a webserver is vastly different than realtime control of a surface.  If your web server hiccups for a second and the page takes slightly longer to load, most people wouldn't notice.

If your console suddenly became unresponsive, and adjustments made took 2-3 seconds to happen, suddenly that console would be considered a piece of shit and replaced with something that doesn't do that.

The limits they put in place are there to make sure that the resources of the console are NEVER taxed beyond the worst case scenario for remote control. That way, it works all the time.

Just a few short years ago, the concept of 10 tablets being able to control a single mixer was an insane concept.  Now that it's more mainstream, that limitation seems a little lower than some may like.  As time goes on, I'm sure manufacturers will see the demand for more devices being able to connect, and will produce hardware that can do more.

When Yamaha first came out with the iPad control for CL/QL the limit was ONE device, so yeah we've made progress.  :)

Goalposts keep moving...
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Re: Why is there a limit to devices that can connect to a console?
¬ę Reply #13 on: October 10, 2019, 02:48:47 pm ¬Ľ


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