Old 09-17-2018, 12:58 PM   #41
Steviebone
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Yamaha AIC128D Dante Accelerator PCI Express Audio Interface Card

Dam expensive for a nic. But then there is not much in the way of alternatives. Even at a grand I would sell off some equipment to make the transition but without a spdif in/out it wouldn't solve my particular delima. I use a stand alone LUCID A/D for input. Old hat I know, but it is what it is. I only need two channels at a time and prefer it be two channels of quality rather than 8 of cheaper repute.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:51 PM   #42
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Yamaha AIC128D Dante Accelerator PCI Express Audio Interface Card

Dam expensive for a nic. But then there is not much in the way of alternatives. Even at a grand I would sell off some equipment to make the transition but without a spdif in/out it wouldn't solve my particular delima. I use a stand alone LUCID A/D for input. Old hat I know, but it is what it is. I only need two channels at a time and prefer it be two channels of quality rather than 8 of cheaper repute.
Well, it's not a simple NIC really
It is a 128 in/out, extremely low-latency audio interface (exclusively Dante-audio-over-IP - no other data transfer whatsoever) with a second port for Dante redundancy which not all Dante PCIe accelerators provide. You may have a look at the Focusrite RedNet PCIe (older model) which only provides a primary port and is therefore available for a slightly more moderate price. In a studio envoironment, redundancy is not required. I don't use the redundancy ports. Full redundancy would mean that you'd have to run two cables in parallel to and from every device and you'd also need double the amount of switches.

On a computer fitted with a Dante accelerator card you have to use the computer's "real" NIC to manage Dante Controller, any possible Dante device's remote controlling and the normal LAN/internet data traffic.

The following screenshot shows the "device view's" latency tab of my AIC128-D in Dante Controller (in this case: Have audio packets arriving at the AIC128-D from my DM1000 console or from the Ferrofish converter been late or not?):



I've set all hardware Dante devices to a device latency of 0.25 ms. The device view's latency tab keeps track of all packets running to and from a resp. device. If everything is green, all packets have arrived in time. Looking at the latency peak values (0.145 ms in case of the Ferrofish), we can see that I could even set all devices to the lowest possible device latency setting of 0.15 ms, however, the "arrival headroom" for the packets would then be very small and I would risk lost packets. In contrast, 0.25 ms yields plenty of timing headroom for the audio packets and no packets are lost ever. Average packet arrival time is around 0.1 ms (sometimes lower) with audio travelling across 2 switches at most in this particular case.


btw, how exactly is the Lucid connected into your monitoring system?

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Old 09-17-2018, 02:00 PM   #43
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Guitar/Vocal -> Lucid ->spdif out -> Lightbridge spdif in -> DAW -> spdif out (lbridge) -> monitor

Yeah that's probably overkill for me but then again... I just need to sell some old gear...

Looked at Rednet... the PCIe card still has no support for the spdif directly.
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Old 09-17-2018, 02:35 PM   #44
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Looked at Rednet... the PCIe card still has no support for the spdif directly.
no Dante card offers such a feature. I mentioned this card because as it lacks the secondary (redundancy) Dante port it is quite a bit cheaper than the cards which dispose of a secondary port. Apart from that, functionality (i/o channel count, latency) is exactly the same as that of the AIC128-D.


I just did some tests. I launched Dante Virtual Soundcard on my laptop and routed 32 channels from the AIC128-D fitted in my main DAW pc to the laptop.

1.) Using an unmanaged, very cheap old TP-LINK 100 Mbit switch:



Data throughput is 46 Mbit/s. It basically works! However, latency monitor in Dante Controller shows occasional packet loss:



Note: Packet loss occured only during the small moment when I clicked in Dante Controller to make the subscriptions. Apart from that, audio was floating without glitches.



2.) Using the usual connection over the manageable Cisco 1Gbit switch:



All packets arrive in time with a large timing headroom. Conclusion: Use proper cabling (cat 6) and a decent manageable switch and you'll not risk audio packet loss at all.

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Old 09-17-2018, 02:37 PM   #45
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Guitar/Vocal -> Lucid ->spdif out -> Lightbridge spdif in -> DAW -> spdif out (lbridge) -> monitor
So you are feeding an SPDIF signal directly into your monitors?? What model are they?

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Old 09-19-2018, 07:36 PM   #46
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@SonicAxiom,

Dumb question that I can't seem to find. Will Dante (VSC, PCIe-R, etc.) send 32-bit float over the network or just 24 bit PCM?
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Old 09-19-2018, 08:26 PM   #47
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not dumb at all, JS

had to look it up in Dante Controller: AIC128-D (and I assume all Dante accelerator cards as they are virtually identical hardware with different brand names on them) is fixed at 24 bits per sample (same as Yamaha Dante-MY16-AUD). DVS has a dropdown menu offering 16, 24 and 32 bits per sample, same as the Ferrofish A32 Dante. I'm pretty sure that its always fixed point encoding. I think floating point audio is never used for realtime transmission, only for file storage (just guessing, though).

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Old 09-20-2018, 12:57 AM   #48
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Man this is so exciting. As I'm looking to get some spare 8 channel to adat pres as spares for when these things keep croaking, I keep wondering, do I REALLY see myself using a traditional interface in the near future anymore?

This Dante stuff, the behringer X32 stuff, it all just looks so much smarter and more convenient
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:25 AM   #49
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not dumb at all, JS

had to look it up in Dante Controller: AIC128-D (and I assume all Dante accelerator cards as they are virtually identical hardware with different brand names on them) is fixed at 24 bits per sample (same as Yamaha Dante-MY16-AUD). DVS has a dropdown menu offering 16, 24 and 32 bits per sample, same as the Ferrofish A32 Dante. I'm pretty sure that its always fixed point encoding. I think floating point audio is never used for realtime transmission, only for file storage (just guessing, though).
That's why I asked. DVS and some of their other documentation says 32-bit, but it doesn't say float. The PCIe-R documentation that I can find doesn't mention bit depth. It's not a big deal...just seeing if I can avoid an extra 24-bit dither step in my monitor path.

I don't "need" Dante, for what I do. But, it would be kind of cool and would actually save money compared to AES (which is obviously 24 bit). And I have to admit the easy expandability with cat6 + switches is rather appealing.

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Man this is so exciting. As I'm looking to get some spare 8 channel to adat pres as spares for when these things keep croaking, I keep wondering, do I REALLY see myself using a traditional interface in the near future anymore?

This Dante stuff, the behringer X32 stuff, it all just looks so much smarter and more convenient
I'm not sure I do. The channel count and anywhere-to-anywhere routing just based on cat6 cable and some switches is really appealing.
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Old 09-20-2018, 08:23 AM   #50
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So you are feeding an SPDIF signal directly into your monitors?? What model are they?

.
Well no, for brevity I left out some stuff, LOL.

The guitar/vocals go through Presonus preamp, then into the LUCID, out the spdif of the lucid into the DAW. The spdif out of the DAW is going into a Roland M1000 which is high end spdif merger with stable clock and multiple balanced monitor outputs. The balanced output also travels through a Big Knob before going to a multiple sets of powered monitors.

The M1000 is left over from my original configuration which was unorthodox to say the least. A decade ago computers were still slow and memory above 4 GB was not yet possible. My solution was a brute force approach which used many computers for sound generators. These computers output digital signal over ADAT to multiple digital consoles. The output of the digital consoles was then summed at the M1000 (together with the output of the Daw itself) before traveling to a mixdown machine. While this approach worked it has some obvious drawbacks which I am endeavoring to eliminate, hence the interest in moving to a Dante enabled network..

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Old 09-20-2018, 08:29 AM   #51
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Man this is so exciting. As I'm looking to get some spare 8 channel to adat pres as spares for when these things keep croaking, I keep wondering, do I REALLY see myself using a traditional interface in the near future anymore?

This Dante stuff, the behringer X32 stuff, it all just looks so much smarter and more convenient
One of the issues with my setup has always been too many damn components. It has been costly to keep spares of everything around. ADAT and Firewire are disappearing. As technology has advanced tremendously in recent times I decided it was time for a complete reconfiguration of my setup. One of my goals is to simplify simplify simplify. Fewer components means greater reliability. And for me the ability to finally get everything back into a single box. The reality that I've come to face, however, is that this is going to cost me some bucks for some Dante enabled hardware. However, I should be able to free up half a dozen adat devices, a few FireWire cards, multiple digital consoles, a few spdif mergers, a few MIDI patch bays and even a few spare computers. So at some point I will be all over eBay, LOL.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:00 AM   #52
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What convenient facilities are there available for Dante right now?

I mean some way to get it to your monitor speakers, mic pres and line inputs to get it in, that sort of thing?
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #53
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One of the issues with my setup has always been too many damn components. It has been costly to keep spares of everything around. ADAT and Firewire are disappearing. As technology has advanced tremendously in recent times I decided it was time for a complete reconfiguration of my setup. One of my goals is to simplify simplify simplify. Fewer components means greater reliability. And for me the ability to finally get everything back into a single box. The reality that I've come to face, however, is that this is going to cost me some bucks for some Dante enabled hardware. However, I should be able to free up half a dozen adat devices, a few FireWire cards, multiple digital consoles, a few spdif mergers, a few MIDI patch bays and even a few spare computers. So at some point I will be all over eBay, LOL.
I'm in a similar-ish place. Kind of.

My big thing is that half the world seems to me moving to USB-C/TB3 for a lot of newer things. And the max cable lengths just don't work for me. I want to use a separate machine room. It would probably be simpler to just get an iMac, but the direction Apple is going bugs me.

So, if I move away from USB (which I'll have to do eventually), I have a choice between long analog cables, long AES cables, or long cat6 cables. And given my experience, I trust cat6 most. There are optical and active USB-C cables out there, but all the reviews are very mixed compared to USB-2 active cables (which I've had great luck with, even for audio).

So, it's about simplicity. Plus all of the channels. And relatively easy (and cheap) integration of new stuff.
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:54 PM   #54
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I'm in a similar-ish place. Kind of.

My big thing is that half the world seems to me moving to USB-C/TB3 for a lot of newer things. And the max cable lengths just don't work for me. I want to use a separate machine room. It would probably be simpler to just get an iMac, but the direction Apple is going bugs me.

So, if I move away from USB (which I'll have to do eventually), I have a choice between long analog cables, long AES cables, or long cat6 cables. And given my experience, I trust cat6 most. There are optical and active USB-C cables out there, but all the reviews are very mixed compared to USB-2 active cables (which I've had great luck with, even for audio).

So, it's about simplicity. Plus all of the channels. And relatively easy (and cheap) integration of new stuff.
Although the official USB standard says 25 feet is the max for USB I have found that this is a very loose limitation. Many USB devices like keyboards and mice for example will work with longer runs just fine. I have several in my studio that are well past the 25 foot limit. If you need to go past the 25 foot limit to a really long run you can buy USB repeaters. You can chain these together to go quite a distance if need be. The one caveat is that anything that is drawing power straight from USB needs a short run. If this is the case then you need to use self powered hubs every 20 feet or so. By self powered I mean hubs that have an AC adapter that plugs straight into an outlet, not one that draws power from the USB line it is plugged into. In fact I would highly recommend avoiding power over USB any time you can. I have many devices in my studio that will draw power from USB or external adapters. I always opt to use an external adapter even if it costs a few extra dollars. Most computers will not supply that much power on a single USB port anyway. If you plug something that draws too much current straight into a USB port on some computers you can fry the port or worse. I'm not 100% positive but I believe you can buy USB repeater cables that will also provide power over longer runs. I'm not saying I recommend that though.

USB is also a polling protocol. This means that the more USB devices you have connected to a computer the less efficient they are all going to be. This can be a factor that starts to affect timing in certain situations as you approach practical limits. So it's a good idea to avoid USB altogether wherever possible IMO.

That said it seems that the future of studio interconnection is going to be audio over network. It just makes sense. ADAT and Firewire are all but dead.

The philosophy between AVB and Dante is a subject for other people more knowledgeable than I. From what I can tell it depends on your particular application and level of networking knowledge. To me Dante appeared to be better suited for plug-and-play studio work where AVB might be better suited for broadcast situations. That's not to say that Dante doesn't have large routing capability because it does. But I will leave that area of discussion to those with more firsthand knowledge.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:12 PM   #55
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Although the official USB standard says 25 feet is the max for USB I have found that this is a very loose limitation. Many USB devices like keyboards and mice for example will work with longer runs just fine. I have several in my studio that are well past the 25 foot limit. If you need to go past the 25 foot limit to a really long run you can buy USB repeaters. You can chain these together to go quite a distance if need be. The one caveat is that anything that is drawing power straight from USB needs a short run. If this is the case then you need to use self powered hubs every 20 feet or so. By self powered I mean hubs that have an AC adapter that plugs straight into an outlet, not one that draws power from the USB line it is plugged into. In fact I would highly recommend avoiding power over USB any time you can. I have many devices in my studio that will draw power from USB or external adapters. I always opt to use an external adapter even if it costs a few extra dollars. Most computers will not supply that much power on a single USB port anyway. If you plug something that draws too much current straight into a USB port on some computers you can fry the port or worse. I'm not 100% positive but I believe you can buy USB repeater cables that will also provide power over longer runs. I'm not saying I recommend that though.

USB is also a polling protocol. This means that the more USB devices you have connected to a computer the less efficient they are all going to be. This can be a factor that starts to affect timing in certain situations as you approach practical limits. So it's a good idea to avoid USB altogether wherever possible IMO.

That said it seems that the future of studio interconnection is going to be audio over network. It just makes sense. ADAT and Firewire are all but dead.

The philosophy between AVB and Dante is a subject for other people more knowledgeable than I. From what I can tell it depends on your particular application and level of networking knowledge. To me Dante appeared to be better suited for plug-and-play studio work where AVB might be better suited for broadcast situations. That's not to say that Dante doesn't have large routing capability because it does. But I will leave that area of discussion to those with more firsthand knowledge.
The limits are actually shorter than that. USB 2 is 5M. USB 3 is 3M before problems crop up.

But, I've been using 30-foot active extensions (with powered hubs or audio interfaces on the end) for years. They work great.

As for the polling thing, halfway-modern computers (last 5-10 years or so) and modern OSs are fine with it, even under somewhat demanding situations (though Linux and *BSD seem generally better at it than OS X or Windows). And it's still just a matter of dropouts, not sonic degradations.

It's more a matter of what's available when I upgrade. And that for the "next step" at least on that side of things, startup cost is over $1000 less for Dante than AES. And with the AVIO AES interfaces being so cheap...if they're decent, it creates zero additional limits.

It'd be even cheaper to abandon the machine room and just use thunderbolt, but for the amount of IO I need, that drastically limits my converter choices or makes it expensive again. And despite the rapid adoption of USB-C, I've been burned one too many times by formats Apple championed and then dropped.
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:57 PM   #56
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I have numerous mice and keyboards running over 25ft standard USB cables. If the device does not require power over USB and is a low resolution device like a mouse or keyboard longer runs work fine. With audio over USB that may be different although I have also done that on occasion with acceptable results. The real issue is when there is power on the same line.

USB 2.0 or 3.0, still a polling thing. The more ports that have to be polled the less time on each port. USB is NOT interrupt driven. This means that a device with no data is still consuming resources. If you have alot of heavy activity like midi streams with lots of controller data for example you can see small timing issues if there are alot of devices on a single port. Not a problem until there are a bunch of devices. At one point I had 2 keyboards, two mice, a pair of headphones, and two external controllers plus a keyboard all plugged in USB. Problems. Ran all the MIDI devices via midi instead of USB, problem solved.

With power over USB, anything over a few feet and the device will likely not power up. In these cases you need a self powered hub or a powered repeater.
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Old 10-17-2018, 05:45 AM   #57
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Anyone have any experience with this?

https://www.audinate.com/products/so...tual-soundcard
yes I have a Yamaha tf1 with Dante card installed with a 16X8 Dante snake box. I use the Yamaha board for monitoring during tracking. I use a cheap unmanaged switch I bought at Walmart. It works well.

computer has DVS+controller

The Yamaha mixer is the clock master.
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