Getting my computer in to a machine room...dante?

Mbira

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
2,417
Location
Austin, TX
I'm building out a new control/project studio room and I have an opportunity to use a machine room that is about 30' from my room.  I use an Apollo 16 firewire which I need to keep in my room because it's hooked up to my outboard and my modular synth.  In order to move the computer it looks like I will need to use two 15' firewire repeater cables.

I'm also starting to get more in to mastering and 95% of the time I only am using a stereo output from the Apollo for monitoring.  I'm considering maybe getting a smaller i/o interface that is a "mastering" quality AD/DA that could also give me a few line level inputs for my outboard.  I'm thinking of using Dante because then I can just feed the computer with a cat6 cable in to the machine room. 

Anyone here using a Dante system-maybe specifically so you can have your computer out of your control room?  Any favorites?
 

Mbira

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
2,417
Location
Austin, TX
squarewave said:
Don't you need to connect the computer directly to change routing and hardware plugins and such?

From my understanding the computer is connected directly with the Dante enthernet cable. 
 

squarewave

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
2,342
Location
New Jersey, USA
Mbira said:
From my understanding the computer is connected directly with the Dante enthernet cable.
Yeah but does Dante also send / receive regular TCP data or just audio data? And even if it does, can you control things on the apollo over the network?

Just because you can see audio ports on the computer and send / receive audio, that doesn't necessarily mean you can control the features of the device over Dante or even a regular TCP network. Usually firmware controlled features like monitor level out, routing, hardware plugin parameters are only accessible over USB / thunderbolt or whatever direct digital connection.
 

Mbira

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
2,417
Location
Austin, TX
squarewave said:
Yeah but does Dante also send / receive regular TCP data or just audio data? And even if it does, can you control things on the apollo over the network?

Just because you can see audio ports on the computer and send / receive audio, that doesn't necessarily mean you can control the features of the device over Dante or even a regular TCP network. Usually firmware controlled features like monitor level out, routing, hardware plugin parameters are only accessible over USB / thunderbolt or whatever direct digital connection.

Sorry if I wasn't clear-I'm considering Dante instead of the Apollo.  Yeah, all that stuff can be controlled with the various interface software.  Checkout the Focusrite Rednet stuff.  the ethernet cable is the only thing connected to the computer. 
 

zamproject

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,019
Hello

You can also have a look at AVB devices.
I suppose you don't want the MOTU's converters but they also have various digital to AVB brides (AES, MADI, ADAT)

Best
Zam
 

ruairioflaherty

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
2,300
Location
Los Angeles
Hey Joel,

I’m on the run today but I’m selling a Focusrite Rednet D16r that I used for exactly this purpose. It’s Dante to 16 AES in and 16 AES out and some extra io.

I used with a Benchmark DAC 2’to feed the analog chain (also for sale) and a custom AD and DA for monitoring.

I switched to a different platform for various reasons but the Rednet was rock solid once I got it set up (not trivial!).

New units are $2k ish, they go for $1200 ish used. Asking $1k for mine.

Good luck!
Ruairí
 

Mbira

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
2,417
Location
Austin, TX
Thanks for the ideas folks.  For right now I'm going to first see if a couple of firewire repeater cables will work for my apollo.  It's a $30 experiment before I look at $3K+ for Dante....wish me luck!
 

totoxraymond

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
113
Location
Paris - France
I think RME offers  some AVB soundcards too.

AVB is better than Dante in my opinion because it's open standard and not proprietary.

Anyway, when building the room, i suggest that you run a couple of extra cat6 cables, it's cheap  and might be usefull in the future.

Cheers,

Thomas
 

Mbira

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
2,417
Location
Austin, TX
ruairioflaherty said:
Hey Joel,

I’m on the run today but I’m selling a Focusrite Rednet D16r that I used for exactly this purpose. It’s Dante to 16 AES in and 16 AES out and some extra io.

I used with a Benchmark DAC 2’to feed the analog chain (also for sale) and a custom AD and DA for monitoring.

I switched to a different platform for various reasons but the Rednet was rock solid once I got it set up (not trivial!).

New units are $2k ish, they go for $1200 ish used. Asking $1k for mine.

Good luck!
Ruairí

Ruairi, thank you for the offer! I don’t really have any AES stuff-mainly needing audio line i/o
 

MatthewF

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
113
Location
London, UK
totoxraymond said:
AVB is better than Dante in my opinion because it's open standard and not proprietary.

I'd second this concern about the proprietary nature of Dante.

My personal preference would be a true AES67 based solution - all open standards based and it'll happily run on most normal ethernet switches (unlike AVB which, AFAIK, requires special switches).

Cheers,

Matthew
 

cyrano

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,087
Location
Europe
AVB requires AV-QOS aware switches. These are available from all the usual suspects by now. A little bit more money than an average decent switch.

BUT

It also works with most ethernet ports in a recent computer of decent upbringing. Like all Macs that have an onboard ethernet port.

The biggest difference is that AVB is routable and can also carry synchronised video. Dante is local network only and audio only, atm.

That's why you'll find more AVB in broadcast and very little Dante. Dante is a smaller investment.
 

MatthewF

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
113
Location
London, UK
That's interesting, I hadn't realised that Dante isn't routable. Another reason to avoid it!

I'd be interested to hear about AVB in broadcast. All the broadcast folk I've spoken to (mostly UK based) are using AES67 and / or SMPTE 2110 in new installations. (2110-30, the audio element of the suite, is very closely aligned with AES67 and can generally be made to inter-operate without too much sweat.)

Of course, the above standards all depend on PTPv2 for synchronisation which benefits from special features in switch hardware, just as AVB does. I do, however, see wider availability of PTPv2 aware switches than I do 802.1ba compliant ones. And, for those on a tight budget, AES67 will work on just about any switch hardware, even if it's not PTP aware. (In my home setup I currently have a bunch of AES67 flows running fine on a £30 Netgear switch. Not recommended but it works!)

Cheers,

Matthew
 

cyrano

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,087
Location
Europe
The problem with AVB is that the AVB group, who is developing the standard, is painfully slow. Some years ago, a lot of people in broadcast were betting on AVB, but ran into a "can't wait for..." problem.

AES67 is a completed standard. But it doesn't do video. As long as you don't need video, it seems like a good solution. Unfortunately, all the big boys in broadcast need video. That's why there still are others in use out there, like Ravenna or Cobranet. And why conversion hardware is still being developed.

Personally in a case like this, I'd also look at ADAT. Optical cable goes up to 30 ft, is very affordable and has no ground loop problem.
 

squarewave

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
2,342
Location
New Jersey, USA
cyrano said:
The problem with AVB is that the AVB group, who is developing the standard, is painfully slow.
I see that as a plus. If you go fast, you make mistakes. And for a hardware standard that might not be recoverable. Slow and steady wins the race.

cyrano said:
AES67 is a completed standard. But it doesn't do video.
And there ya go.
 

fragletrollet

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2010
Messages
346
MADI might be an option? I`ve got an SSL system I really like (MX4/Alphalink AX & SX). They`re out of production now tough  ::)
 

MatthewF

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
113
Location
London, UK
cyrano said:
AES67 is a completed standard. But it doesn't do video. As long as you don't need video, it seems like a good solution. Unfortunately, all the big boys in broadcast need video. That's why there still are others in use out there, like Ravenna or Cobranet. And why conversion hardware is still being developed.

Where synchronisation between discreet audio / video flows is required, SMPTE 2110 seems to be emerging as king, at least as far as big broadcasters here in the UK are concerned. The audio portion of the 2110 suite (2110-30) is very closely related to AES67, so much so that in most cases it can be inter operated without headaches. As far as Ravenna goes, I thought that was basically a (very nice) layer of discovery and connection management which operates on top of a standard AES67 transport?
 

MatthewF

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2005
Messages
113
Location
London, UK
By the way, did you know that Ravenna (province of Northern Italy) is where the poet Dante went to die?  8)
 

cyrano

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,087
Location
Europe
squarewave said:
I see that as a plus. If you go fast, you make mistakes. And for a hardware standard that might not be recoverable. Slow and steady wins the race.

I agree. But broadcast needs to plan, budget years ahead. If your boss wants networked audio and video everywhere by 2020 and you bet on AVB, you might be feeling a little nervous by now.
 

cyrano

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
1,087
Location
Europe
MatthewF said:
Where synchronisation between discreet audio / video flows is required, SMPTE 2110 seems to be emerging as king, at least as far as big broadcasters here in the UK are concerned. The audio portion of the 2110 suite (2110-30) is very closely related to AES67, so much so that in most cases it can be inter operated without headaches. As far as Ravenna goes, I thought that was basically a (very nice) layer of discovery and connection management which operates on top of a standard AES67 transport?

Ravenna is older than AES67...

I don't know a lot about SMPTE 2110 yet. What I've been told is that it needs a dedicated network. Another can of worms.
 
Top