Dante and S-link cross compatibility

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of chrisc chrisc 2 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #82717
    Profile photo of chrisc
    chrisc
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I’m looking for some advice on Dante and S-link cross compatibility. I’m speccing up an SQ system install at the moment amd want to be sure I’m not shooting myself in the foot or making my life more complicated than it needs to be.

    The SQ will be mixing FOH and monitors for live music and theatre but regularly crossing paths with a pro tools system for recording and other FOH mixers from time to time (mostly Digico). Having the option to share audio with the studio over a Dante network will save me hours of patching each week, but it’s not the native protocol for A&H or AVID gear, so I’m not sure if I’m creating a headache or not.

    My main question is whether I should:
    a) stick with S-link and a few DX168’s and just buy a Dante card if I need it
    b) but a Dante card and some new DT168’s
    c) buy third party dante stage boxes
    d) something else

    Are there any patching and control issues when using S-link and Dante in the same system? Are there advantages to using a DT168 over other Dante boxes? Are there any other pros and cons to these options that I might not be aware of? Or any deal breakers that might make one solution a much better or worse choice?

    Thanks in advance!
    Chris

    #82724
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    third party stage boxes will not be controllable from the SQ

    #82769
    Profile photo of chrisc
    chrisc
    Participant

    Thanks Steffen.
    Can you patch between s-link and Dante so that devices on the Dante network can see the inputs/outputs on a DX168? I assume that if this cross patching is possible it would use up an input and output from the desk? Are there advantages to doing things this way? Or is a full Dante solution going to be better every time?

    #82778
    Profile photo of Barryjam
    Barryjam
    Participant

    I’m also exploring this. I think you can have your I/O via dx168 (Slink) and Dante devices would be able to receive all your signals via a Dante card in your SQ. It might be done via tie-lines. I don’t think you are using-up inputs/outputs to do this.

    The gotcha for me is that I couldn’t run Dante, Dx168 thru Slink and Me-1 through the same Sq (unless I got MU-e with Dante option to connect ME-1.

    Of course, the mixer you are connecting to must also have Dante capability.

    #82785
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    tie lines from SLink to Dante and vice versa are possible
    this means there is no processing involved on sending some signals from input to output

    however the Dante device can not really see the SLink device
    they don’t know from each other, but it doesn’t matter since the console is the “link” between them

    #82792
    Profile photo of Barryjam
    Barryjam
    Participant

    But, a FOH mixer with Dante can mix channels from inputs that are physically plugged into a dx168 connected via Slink on Sq on stage, correct? My use would be SQ as an IEM mixer only.

    #82794
    Profile photo of Stretch480
    Stretch480
    Participant

    Option A
    This is what we purchased and it works well however not all Dante devices run at 96k. If any Dante device or DVS that routes through the Dante card is unable to run at 96k then the Desk & Dante card’s sample rate much be changed to match. Tie lines from Dante to Slink work great, but HA control is proprietary to A&H. Any FOH desk that has Dante can receive the signal, but the HA would only be adjustable via the monitor desk and the FOH desk would need to use trim. For some desks this is not ideal and can cause frustration.

    #82801
    Profile photo of chrisc
    chrisc
    Participant

    This sounds promising…
    So, if I understand correctly, the process for using an SLink stage box on a Dante system would be:
    1. Set the SLink channel as an input so that you get preamp control from the SQ
    2. Go to the I/O -> Tielines menu on the SQ and set up the ties between SLink and the I/O Port
    3. Enjoy!

    Limitations are that:
    You have to patch the SLink input to a channel on the SQ to control the head, so it uses up an input channel (at least until you set a preamp level)
    Head control is only available from the SLink mixer, not Dante devices
    You have to manually set up the Tie Lines unlike a native Dante system
    You can’t use an ME-1 and a DX168 together (but it should be possible to use an ME-1 and DT168 together)

    Do we know if the DT168 will allow head control from non A&H devices? If I assume no, then the only advantages of going for Dante would be not having to setup Tie Lines and the ability to use an ME-1 system. I would still need to setup DT168 on the SQ to have head control.

    #82804
    Profile photo of Barryjam
    Barryjam
    Participant

    Informative thread. For me, the other factor is the high price of MU-e with Dante and the expected steep price of DT168.

    #82805
    Profile photo of SteffenR
    SteffenR
    Participant

    The preamp control on dLive is possible even if the socket is Not connected to a Channel
    but I‘m not shure if this is possible on SQ as well

    #82806
    Profile photo of chrisc
    chrisc
    Participant

    The SQ reference guide 1.3.0 says:
    For socket preamp control when using expanders, the socket must first be patched to an input channel. This can be done during setup and sockets can then be unpatched and
    will retain their setting.

    Seems reasonable. Most of us can probably leave them patched but it may be an issue if you are pushing channel counts.

    Thanks for the input everyone! My takeaway is that it may be worth looking into specking a Dante only system if starting from scratch (depending on the price of a DT168) but it’s likely an expensive upgrade with limited benefits if you already have a bunch of SLink gear.

    #82808
    Profile photo of Barryjam
    Barryjam
    Participant

    “Any FOH desk that has Dante can receive the signal, but the HA would only be adjustable via the monitor desk and the FOH desk would need to use trim. For some desks this is not ideal and can cause frustration.”

    Hey, Stretch480, Could you share which desks for which this is not ideal and can cause frustration?

    #82825
    Profile photo of Stretch480
    Stretch480
    Participant

    Cl5 – signal would come through as Digital Input and would only allow for Digital Trim, Gain Compensation on this desk would need to be set.

    M7CL/LS9/*Similar Desks – fitted with a Dante card these would bring the signal in post HA and would require the user to use the Channel EQ trim for adjustments. No gain compensation is available for these.

    *If I/O Patches are needing to change for a show I would suggest either Monitor guy incorporates TIE line patch changes for the FOH guy
    Or *soon, turn on Control pass through for the SQ and the FOH engineer should be able to trigger the SQ over the Dante primary Network with midi commands. SQ would need specific scenes with only Tie Line changes.

    #83071
    Profile photo of Jiminthebox
    Jiminthebox
    Participant

    How would you find the preamp on a Dlive input if it isn’t assigned to a channel? The only place that preamp control lives is on the channel.

    #83087
    Profile photo of chrisc
    chrisc
    Participant

    I imagine you can’t find the preamp on a Dlive input if it isn’t assigned to a channel. According to the manual you can assign a channel, adjust the preamp and then unassign it. Preamp settings stick and the audio can be used by other Dante devices but you no longer have any preamp control. Perhaps you could adjust the preamp on a Dante box using Dante Controller or some other device, but I doubt it? Until the box appears in the wild, it’s all just speculation.

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