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Thanks Scott.

I'm working on a bigger written piece and video showing tips and tricks in the setup.

 

Here's one tip from Inkmaster: We ran the LTC through the RIO preamps, so that audio and timecode would be subject to the same latency.

 

A few additional notes:

 

Its early so I know things will get smoother. Since each manufacturer can pick and choose Dante features a la carte, single manufacturer implementations tend to be the most straightforward, but here's one exception:

 

The Yamaha 01V96i with the Dante card cannot control the gain of the Yamaha RIO1608 preamps, even though they both happily "see" each other on the Dante network. So we are effectively cut out of a very slick, inexpensive set up. I'm currently implementing a workaround using the Lectro Dante BOB, but still - it's  irritating.

 

 

 

Peter

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Thank you Peter for this incredibly thorough explanation and for sharing with us in such clear detail your personal experiences with Dante implementation. You have provided unquestionably valuable information here, totally appropriate to the title of this thread "Why Dante?". It is a lot to digest and the potential uses for Dante or any of the new technologies always presents a challenge, requiring of us all to get an education and to think through these things clearly.

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Thanks Jeff and CrewC.

 

Incidentally, we're already starting to see bridge interfaces between MADI, AES, ADAT and even Aviom16 and Dante. They aren't particularly location friendly (rackmount A/C boxes) , but they are ideal for allowing current location recorders to participate in a larger Dante network.

Peter

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Good point, Robert, and it is true that the Dante discussion has been populated by discussions of track count, workflow, etc., and as long as it all stays in proper perspective the discussions are good and useful. The most demanding jobs where the expectations are very high (and often unreasonable) are the jobs where every bit of new technology needs to be explored. The danger, of course, is that we often slip into the trap of believing that the "problems" we are having on a job have a technical solution. Regarding some of these technical considerations for the jobs that seem to require what would be considered excessive track counts (inputs and outputs and control over all of it), jobs that at this time are being done with the Yamaha mixer and some recorder, Dante could be useful. I still stand by what I said earlier in the discussion that Dante could provide a potentially easier and more elegant means to accomplish these demanding jobs.

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Larry suggested I jump into this discussion since I'm the one at Lectrosonics with the most hands on Dante experience. Warning - long post (Jeff is going to invoice me for bandwith....)

First, why did Lectrosonics choose to go with Dante? There are, after all, many many digital transport system available now.

A) Dante runs on a standard Ethernet network (preferably 1GB) with off the shelf components. And by "off the shelf", I mean off Best Buys shelf (or equivalent). Not the high end type switches and routers.

B) Reliability. Lectrosonics installed a 6 node Dante network in my church (yeah, there's actually one who would have me) as a beta test bed. It is close to the factory and gets heavy use - almost every day. We installed the system in July last year, removing 3,000 ft of standard audio cable and replacing it with 150' of Cat6a. We have a 56 in by 20 out Aspen front end handling all 7 of the 8 input stage boxes on the altar/stage area. This is submixed down to 24 channels of audio that is transported via Dante on an SPNDNT (Our 32X32 Dante mixer with Aspen ports) to three BOB88 boxes in the sound booth in back (100ft away) which break out the audio to a 24 channel Presonus mixer (this model did not have a Dante port) .

After mixing live at the Presonus, the 14 tracks (Mains, hearing assistant and IEM) are routed back (on the same cable) back to the stage stack where it is split out for IEM and amplifier feeds (which go via another BOB88 to a BOB88 in the amplifier room).

We did not install a redundant system (which is quite simple with Dante) because we wanted to know when and if there was ever a failure. The system runs 24/7 (only the amplifiers and Presonus are powered down). Since the installation, we have had zero failures - the Dante has been bullet proof - and we mess with the actual units a lot. Total channel count on the network is 46 channels of audio running about

C) Ultra fast - latency is configurable and based on the number of switches in your system - our system is set up for 0.5ms latency

D) Simplicity - It's pretty bone-head proof. Left to its own devices, a Dante network is pretty much self configuring. Once you get the actual routings worked out in each unit, they remember their "role" is signal routing and any changes to the Ethernet network make NO difference in where your signals show up. If you are a network Guru or answer to one - it is highly configurable in a really straight forward manner.

Example - we originally configured the beta system to be on redundant networks. We realized that a failure would not be noticed. (If one network fails, Dante has a sizable buffer in the audio and you hear NOTHING with a failure in the cabling or the network in redundant mode). So, we went from redundant to a single network. At first we ran the networking through a simple NetGear switch. No problem. But then we decided to just connect the units in a serial fashion using the internal Ethernet switch in each unit (thus eliminating the external switch). This changed the wiring configuration from a star routing to a linear routing. I had to make NO changes in the Dante units themselves - audio still showed up at all the correct ports.

Imagine configuring a system for a set where, for convenience sake, having a switch centrally located and Cat6 running off to various components makes sense (a star configuration) Then, on a location day on a different set, it is easier to simply run a set of cables from one unit to another. With Dante, you don't have to reconfigure your components - just lay new (and cheap) cat6 cable. (see notes below about Category wiring and the related tools)

E) Cost - Dante adds cost up front, no doubt. But how much is the cable for an analog 16X8 channel snake (just the cable)? It is about $10.50 per foot (Mogami cable - Markertek) and weighs in at a 0.46 pound per foot. For a 100ft snake - just the cable is going to cost $1,050 and it will weigh nearly 50 pounds. You would also have to terminate (solder) 48 connectors.

Cat6e will cost you 0.36/ft and weighs 0.04lb per foot. That's 100ft for $36 and weighing in at a whole 4 pounds. With TWO terminations and no soldering. And a whole lot more channels of audio than the 24 available in the analog snake. (with our gear, up to 32X32 - higher with other products)

I picked up a 1000 ft spool of shielded Cat6a for $250 on Amazon. (a stands for augmented - the outer pairs are a larger gauge to handle the higher current required for the new POE - Power Over Ethernet - standards of 35 watts (and higher)

By the way, like it or not we are all getting dragged, kicking and screaming into the CAT6 world. I recommend the Platinum Tools RJ45 connectors and crimp tool - it's almost impossible to get your RJ45/RJ11 connectors wrong with these.

http://www.amazon.com/Platinum-Tools-EZ-RJPRO-HD-Crimp/dp/B002OFP55E/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_1

My success rate with this tool is nearly 100% - not bad for a colorblind guy working sometimes in the dark with a small flashlight between my teeth. (Larry alleges I am in the dark all the time) With regular Cat5/6 crimpers, my rate was more in the 80% range. WIth this tool I am fearless about making custom runs of Category cabling.

F) Future compatibility. AVB (Audio Video Broadband) standards have been kicking around for a while now. The standard is still not ratified. But, should it go through and should it catch on, Dante promises future compatibility. I say "should it", because Dante is catching on already and faster than any other standard I have seen before. More manufacturers are on this bandwagon including some really big players in the AV industry including Yamaha, Allen and Heath, Extron and Bose. In the production world we already have Sound Devices and Lectrosonics plus others. And we can all play together nicely with off the shelf switches and routers (not the case yet with AVB).

Quality of sound? Immaculate so far - and it breaks ground loops. At the beta install we have four grounds because the building was constructed in four stages over 30 years. The ground loops are horrible. In the analog world, I had to go through some extraordinary measures to make the system work quietly. Dante just solved it - period.

I like the flexibility and compatibility - a 2X2 Dante interface (coming soon) can be used in conjunction with a a 32X32 or a 64X64 or a laptop with 32 X32 channels. Or all of the above.

Gordon - Lectrosonics

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Hi, Gordon, and welcome...

I was just telling someone that you are Lectro's 'Dante Guru'

 

http://www.audinate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99#What%20is%20Dante?

http://dev.audinate.com/kb/product_catalogue/webhelp/#manufacturers.htm

http://www.audinate.com/

 

 

take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a5UHUCR8R8

Edited by studiomprd

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I would personally like to thank the folks who have put forth their knowledge and experience with the Dante protocol and networking system.  This thread has been very interesting and a wealth of information.  I appreciate the real world applications put forth here, though they may not exactly look like a location recording signal path, you can see how a smaller (or not) system can benefit from the interconnectivity presented by Audinate.

 

By using Dante as interconnectivity between my current mixer and recorder, I can make my signal path much more direct, clean and (I feel) robust enough to achieve a 16 track recording rig.  On my next job I may never get past 8 tracks, maybe even 2...but this one has a couple of extra things going on.

 

We'll just see what happens in my cart overhaul this hiatus.

 

PWP 

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This...this...is what I've been craving to hear about Dante.

 

Huge props to y'all for taking the considerable time it took to share what you know, most particularly details of your real-world implementations.

 

Track count is not so much what makes me drool-y for this tech, it just seems cleaner somehow (cable reduction and matrix-based routing); more flexible = better in my playbook. Gordon's testing proves my intuition correct in those regards. Peter's cautions and explorations prove that yes, it's still a young tech for us.

 

Good reminders that higher track count projects = bigger staff requirements.

 

Eagerly await the future :)

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Peter:

 

Very useful piece of info, as I was planning to try some various interfaces with our 01V96i board. I wonder which device doesn't conform to the protocol!

 

Thank you Gordon for sharing as well-all good stuff!

 

--S

Thanks Scott.

I'm working on a bigger written piece and video showing tips and tricks in the setup.

 

Here's one tip from Inkmaster: We ran the LTC through the RIO preamps, so that audio and timecode would be subject to the same latency.

 

A few additional notes:

 

Its early so I know things will get smoother. Since each manufacturer can pick and choose Dante features a la carte, single manufacturer implementations tend to be the most straightforward, but here's one exception:

 

The Yamaha 01V96i with the Dante card cannot control the gain of the Yamaha RIO1608 preamps, even though they both happily "see" each other on the Dante network. So we are effectively cut out of a very slick, inexpensive set up. I'm currently implementing a workaround using the Lectro Dante BOB, but still - it's  irritating.

 

 

 

Peter

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Henchman - not too sure about the Avid S3 yet - I see they elected to go with the not-yet-ratified AVB which Dante is supposed to be compatible with (via firmware upload).   I'llbe at INFOCOMM in Florida next week and hope to get more answers from Audinate about the AVB compatibility - stay tuned

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If it does work, it would seem Iike a good one stop solution. I know their Venue systems have become a big success on the live circuit.

So, reliability shouldn't be an issue. And direct protools session recording would be a big plus as well.

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The RIO preamps are only compatible with those Yamaha mixers that can accept the Dante mini-YGDAI cards (obviously) AND are capable of remote head-amp (HA) control.

 

The 01v96i fails on this last point. You need to go up to a DM1000 to get them to work.

 

The funny thing is that because the are both Dante, they'll happily see each other, but the preamps won't pass audio.

 

As a workaround, I was going to build an iPad mini app using Touch Osc (http://hexler.net/software/touchosc

) to send midi commands to the mixer (or serial commands to the RIO via the serial in on the DANTE card), but Yamaha does not publish the command protocol for their HA. (At least I couldn't find it on the internet).

 

It's frustrating because they publish the midi control spec for every other aspect of their mixers in great detail - including the 01v96i.

 

SO - if anyone here has access to the Yamaha HA control specs, I'll happily test and share an external control solution for the 01v96i/RIO. Unfortunately, I am beginning to think that Yamaha  deliberately obfuscates this information - it differentiates their product lines.

Peter

 

 

 

Peter:

 

Very useful piece of info, as I was planning to try some various interfaces with our 01V96i board. I wonder which device doesn't conform to the protocol!

 

Thank you Gordon for sharing as well-all good stuff!

 

--S

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Peter, if you can get some sort of remote control of RIO head amp gain worked out - most likely by feeding appropriate serial messages into the control-in serial port of the Dante card in the 01v96 - I'd be very interested! The Mini YGDAI slot in the 01v96 doesn't have the internal serial control connection, nor does the console have the head amp control page, of course, so I'm not sure how you could access the head amps via MIDI. Of course one can use the Focusrite Rednet 4 mic preamp - the Rednet stuff comes with a 'shell' program for Dante controller that runs on whatever laptop you are using to administer the Dante network (and probably using as a recorder) that includes remote head amp control down the Dante cable to stage. When street prices settle, it may not be that much more expensive.

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Peter: Thanks much-you just saved me a huge amount of potential headaches with respect to the 01v96i. My suspicion was that there were most likely some limitations in regards to what commands it could address via Dante, as the interface is now somewhat dated. Great stuff to know!

 

--S

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I was able to first use Dante this past week on the newer Allen & Heath GLD 80 with Dante Card installed and my laptop with Dante Virtual Soundcard.

 

I simply ran ethernet from laptop to Dante Card and started up Dante Virtual Soundcard, then patched the I/O on the board and then routed everything through Dante controller and it worked. It took a few minutes to figure everything out initially but once I learned the software which is quite simple, everything just worked. I am only playing a couple of tracks off of my laptop through QLab but it sounds great so far. I will be reconnecting everything again tonight for the second time so I will see how reconnecting is. I plan on purchasing the Yamaha Dante card for my O1V96v2 and using that since everything has been so smooth.

 

I'm excited to see what new products come out over the next few years.

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Jeff,

Thank you for starting this "one stop" Dante thread. Even though you felt my post to Zaxcom "was somewhat disingenuous with its faux concern for the future of Zaxcom and the Deva." - it did start people asking and talking about the viability of the Dante network, including Mr. Sanders himself!

 

This thread is now going to be a valuable resource for a lot of people contemplating utilizing Dante. I salute Scott Harber, Brett Grant Grierson and Phil Palmer, to name a few, who have embraced this technology and are boldly using it in their day to day production mixing.

 

In regards to the ever increasing track count. Not one of us enjoys the need to have to wire eight or more cast and then get the job done with two or three boom microphones. This increased track load is being driven by both production and post editorial, partially due to poor location choices, misconceptions about how we do our job and the skill of production mixers.

 

Ironically, in 1978, I worked with the late Bob Gravenor on an Altman film, where recording eight tracks and wiring the cast wall to wall was the only way to do the job. I guess we've come full circle, where everything old is new again.

 

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"Thank you for starting this "one stop" Dante thread. Even though you felt my post to Zaxcom "was somewhat disingenuous with its faux concern for the future of Zaxcom and the Deva." - it did start people asking and talking about the viability of the Dante network, including Mr. Sanders himself!

 
This thread is now going to be a valuable resource for a lot of people contemplating utilizing Dante."
 
I still feel the original post was an unrealistic and unreasonable assumption that the use of Dante network protocol was somehow going to spell the end of Zaxcom and the Deva. I did start this topic with the simple title "Why Dante" specifically so that it could be an exploration of possible uses for Dante, general enough to include specific accounts of those who are already experimenting with Dante, and also encouraging the ongoing discussions as Dante is adopted in our world. It is a lively topic that will indeed be a valuable resource for us all. As I said before, if all you can do with Dante is make it easier for those using the Yamaha mixer to connect it to a PIX-260, then it will be of little interest to probably 90% of the people who hang out here on JWSOUND. I am quite sure that Dante will find a place in many of the setups we encounter in the future.

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In regards to the ever increasing track count. Not one of us enjoys the need to have to wire eight or more cast and then get the job done with two or three boom microphones. This increased track load is being driven by both production and post editorial, partially due to poor location choices, misconceptions about how we do our job and the skill of production mixers.

 

Very true. Too many neophyte directors and overwhelmed producers just assume that if they throw enough wires at a job, even the worst locations can be salvaged. We know it doesn't quite work that way, and the post dialogue editors will say all it does is make their jobs many times harder (or at least more time-consuming). Cutting the sh!t up into smaller piles does not really make it go away. 

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<I guess we've come full circle, where everything old is new again.>

 

Bob Katz says something similar - that by 2020 we will be back in the era of the LP. All the loudness requirements of today is doing this to music recordings. 

 

-vin

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+1 on both these comments-when will it ever end? When we did the multi-track music work on "Nashville" back in the 1974 or so (on 2" 16 track), I had no idea it would lead to this....

 

--Scott

Very true. Too many neophyte directors and overwhelmed producers just assume that if they throw enough wires at a job, even the worst locations can be salvaged. We know it doesn't quite work that way, and the post dialogue editors will say all it does is make their jobs many times harder (or at least more time-consuming). Cutting the sh!t up into smaller piles does not really make it go away. 

And from Richard Lightstone:

In regards to the ever increasing track count. Not one of us enjoys the need to have to wire eight or more cast and then get the job done with two or three boom microphones. This increased track load is being driven by both production and post editorial, partially due to poor location choices, misconceptions about how we do our job and the skill of production mixers.

 

Ironically, in 1978, I worked with the late Bob Gravenor on an Altman film, where recording eight tracks and wiring the cast wall to wall was the only way to do the job. I guess we've come full circle, where everything old is new again.

 

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Wanted to post an issue that I was having with Dante. After successfully using it on a few shows, I plugged everything in last night and did some playback to make sure everything was good and I noticed that there was a lot of crackling coming through. I rebooted everything and still the same problem. I made sure it wasn't something else in my signal chain and just used the 1/8" out on the laptop and it was clean. I wasn't able to fix the problem last night and I think that there was a solution on Audinate's FAQ troubleshooting but I haven't tested that yet.

 

I feel like this could be a possible problem that could occur on set and then we would have to have a backup in place since most of us aren't network engineers. Also has anyone else experienced this problem using Dante and were you able to fix it?

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