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Author Topic: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live  (Read 1039 times)

Tim Weaver

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2023, 11:11:01 AM »

If there were a device that did this I would imagine this would be past the point of diminishing returns of using Dante for this. Dante is great for a lot of things but low latency straight into a DAW is a limitation. Some associates who are building a studio chose to use Merging Horus interfaces/MADI in their set-up over anything Dante due to latency concerns. I'm not privy to every factor that went into decision this but it's safe to say that being economical was not on their list of considerations. If you're set on using a DAW with low(er) latency it looks like Dante is not the way to go.


ou can get low latency in and out of a computer. You just have to use the proper hardware. I paid 900 for this card two years ago. Now it's a bit more than that it seems.

This makes your computer as fast as any other dante device but you still have the latency that the DAW itself will add to the system.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2023, 03:25:46 PM »

The Codec that syncs Dante, and the AD/DA conversion has a minimum overhead of 4ms. {...}

Sorry Tim, what? The 4 ms minimum latency only applies to VSC (or 10 ms for Via), which helps to compensate for the fact that VSC (and Via) are running on user-provided network interfaces. Latency on actual Dante hardware defaults to 1 ms, and the minimum setting for more powerful Dante chips is 150 Ķs.

ou can get low latency in and out of a computer. You just have to use the proper hardware. I paid 900 for this card two years ago. Now it's a bit more than that it seems.
{...}

Huh, I had ASSumed that all PCIe Dante cards would go away when Audinate discontinued their reference card; glad to see that someone is still making them (although it's too bad they're being sold for "proper RedNet" prices now).

{...} Any good, low latency Dante to say USB boxes that might solve this problem?

In addition to Tim W's suggestion, RME (who are known for their high-stability, low-latency drivers) make a Dante USB3 interface called the Digiface Dante, although it's even more expensive than the Focusrite PCIe card and it only supports half the number of Dante channels.

{...} I realize the potential for a crash, but several of the consoles out there are really Linux boxes inside, {...}

Just to clarify something, while many current consoles are running some flavour of either Linux (or Windows), the vast majority are not doing any actual audio processing within the operating system environment. Instead, the audio processing is done using dedicated hardware (typically some flavour of DSP, although a couple manufacturers extol the virtues of using FPGAs instead), with Linux (etc.) only being used for the UI. The only current exceptions to this I can think of off the top of my head are Waves SoundGrid servers (which run on a highly-optimized Linux installation) and Avid S6Ls (which run on a highly-optimized third-party re-working of Windows called RTX); almost as important as the high-customized operating system is that both platforms only run on very specific hardware.

In a nutshell, the problem with mixing live audio "in-the-box" is that the latency budget is so short (even for FOH) that there isn't enough margin-for-error for a general-purpose operating system running on a general purpose computer (with all the attendant background tasks and interrupts) to be able to reliably guarantee that "the next sample" will always be ready for delivery to output device. This is where the value of real-time operating systems really starts to show, but real-time operating systems have their own limitations (hardware in particular), and you don't have to go very far down that road before you quickly lose sight of "easy and cheap".

Of course, you can mix a band live on a laptop using a DAW and a low-latency audio interface, and with a little bit of tweaking (at a minimum, turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) such a setup can probably achieve "good enough" most of the time. Just always be prepared for it to fail unexpectedly between soundcheck and the show.

-Russ
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2023, 04:03:50 PM »


ou can get low latency in and out of a computer. You just have to use the proper hardware. I paid 900 for this card two years ago. Now it's a bit more than that it seems.

This makes your computer as fast as any other dante device but you still have the latency that the DAW itself will add to the system.

Is there a way to get this to work with a laptop as the OP requested? Not trying to be smart, I would honestly like to know. I moved away from PCI cards years ago when MOTU stopped supporting Audiowire and went Firewire... that's how long it's been.

For the cost of a TIO and a RedNet card plus the laptop we are firmly in small console territory.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2023, 04:38:58 PM »

Is there a way to get this to work with a laptop as the OP requested? Not trying to be smart, I would honestly like to know. I moved away from PCI cards years ago when MOTU stopped supporting Audiowire and went Firewire... that's how long it's been.

For the cost of a TIO and a RedNet card plus the laptop we are firmly in small console territory.

The RME Digiface Dante unit I mentioned is a USB3 interface and would work just fine with a laptop (I've also heard of people with laptops using the PCIe card in a Thunderbolt enclosure). But, as you say, by the time you've bought the Tio and the Dante interface (let alone the pretty beefy laptop), you're well into SQ5 money (i.e. something that will be lower latency, more reliable, and has actual faders).

It think the only real cost advantage to be realized using such a system is to skip network audio entirely and just use a "plain old" USB audio interface (ideally something you already have lying around).

-Russ
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2023, 06:01:39 PM »

Is there a way to get this to work with a laptop as the OP requested? Not trying to be smart, I would honestly like to know. I moved away from PCI cards years ago when MOTU stopped supporting Audiowire and went Firewire... that's how long it's been.

For the cost of a TIO and a RedNet card plus the laptop we are firmly in small console territory.

Iím no computer expert, but I do know there are outboard pci cages that can be used over usb or sata. Iíve never used one though.
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2023, 02:05:02 AM »

The RME Digiface Dante unit I mentioned is a USB3 interface and would work just fine with a laptop (I've also heard of people with laptops using the PCIe card in a Thunderbolt enclosure). But, as you say, by the time you've bought the Tio and the Dante interface (let alone the pretty beefy laptop), you're well into SQ5 money (i.e. something that will be lower latency, more reliable, and has actual faders).

It think the only real cost advantage to be realized using such a system is to skip network audio entirely and just use a "plain old" USB audio interface (ideally something you already have lying around).

-Russ

For a "stage box" I guess one could use a USB interface of choice plus laptop, then remote control the DAW on that laptop.

But I totally agree, a real console is a much better solution. This was more an academic curiosity as I had heard of people mixing shows on a DAW, the Waves solution is kinda a DAW, and I could see some bands seeing it as a cheap way to replicate their studio sound live.

So while possible (and I'm sure some people do it), it still sounds problematic. But interesting discussion and thanks to everyone who has contributed. I've never had a need for Dante so my knowledge in this area is rather thin.

Iím no computer expert, but I do know there are outboard pci cages that can be used over usb or sata. Iíve never used one though.

Yes, people mainly use them to host GPU cards on laptops.

Helge A Bentsen

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2023, 05:51:06 AM »

One option for a lowish latency system is a Midas DL251 feeding a DN9650 with a USB option card.
You'll have to downgrade firmware on the DL251 and install the old Snake controller software to access preamp gain, but you'll get 48 ins and 16 outs this way.
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Matthew Knischewsky

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2023, 10:10:26 AM »

For a "stage box" I guess one could use a USB interface of choice plus laptop, then remote control the DAW on that laptop.

But I totally agree, a real console is a much better solution. This was more an academic curiosity as I had heard of people mixing shows on a DAW, the Waves solution is kinda a DAW, and I could see some bands seeing it as a cheap way to replicate their studio sound live.

So while possible (and I'm sure some people do it), it still sounds problematic. But interesting discussion and thanks to everyone who has contributed. I've never had a need for Dante so my knowledge in this area is rather thin.

Yes, people mainly use them to host GPU cards on laptops.

Way back when there was a product called "Software Audio console" (looks like it is still available): https://www.rmllabs.com/MainSite/sac.html

When it first appeared it was considerably more powerful than the available digital consoles of the day, and users could choose their own I/O interfaces or use what they already had. There was some discussion about it on these forums at the time, I had briefly considered it but didn't go that route. 
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2023, 10:40:42 AM »

Way back when there was a product called "Software Audio console" (looks like it is still available): https://www.rmllabs.com/MainSite/sac.html

When it first appeared it was considerably more powerful than the available digital consoles of the day, and users could choose their own I/O interfaces or use what they already had. There was some discussion about it on these forums at the time, I had briefly considered it but didn't go that route.


I've often wondered if anyone is still using this. Or if it was updated at all.
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2023, 03:03:50 PM »

Way back when there was a product called "Software Audio console" (looks like it is still available): https://www.rmllabs.com/MainSite/sac.html

When it first appeared it was considerably more powerful than the available digital consoles of the day, and users could choose their own I/O interfaces or use what they already had. There was some discussion about it on these forums at the time, I had briefly considered it but didn't go that route.


I've often wondered if anyone is still using this. Or if it was updated at all.

Oh wow. I had some vague memory of a program for live mixing but wasn't sure if it was real or if I was imagining it. Thanks. Yes, I wonder if anyone is still using it. From the looks of the website it doesn't appear to have been updated in a long time.

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Dante Stage boxes and a DAW - Live
¬ę Reply #19 on: April 05, 2023, 03:03:50 PM ¬Ľ


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