Dante or Gigaace Card?

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    Profile photo of Jonproaudio

    Should I get a Dante Card, or a Gigaace Card?

    We are a church with 2x SQ6, and a avantis spread across our campus. Our stage io is DX32.

    Im under the understanding that gigaace can go over the network to connect our Allen and heath products together? Same with Dante.

    Profile photo of KeithJ A&H
    KeithJ A&H


    Whilst it is possible to use gigaACE in very particular situations with network equipment, it’s designed as an easy to use, plug-n-play protocol, intended for point to point direct connection between console and expanders or console to console.
    You can find more details on gigaACE (and DX) here – https://support.allen-heath.com/hc/en-gb/articles/4403553378449-Audio-Networking-gigaACE-and-DX-networking-VLANs-and-fibre-optics

    On the other hand, audio distribution over an existing network or using standard networking equipment is where Dante really excels. Because Dante uses addressing (unlike layer 2 protocols like gigaACE), it’s possible to create far larger and more complex setups, including:

    • Cascading more than two devices (where switch mode is available on the expander or option card)
    • Using ‘star’ configurations with a single connection to a network switch and many devices connected from it
    • Tapping off of the network at any point for extra equipment or something like Dante Virtual Soundcard
    • An extra layer of soft patching from Dante module to module, meaning different configs can be recalled without necessarily needing to change patching on each device
    • Interoperability between equipment from hundreds of manufacturers, including inputs from wireless receivers and outputs to amps or speakers
    • Tunneling control network information (for Director or MixPad) on the same connection you’re using to share audio

    It’s not possible to say which would be more suitable without more info about how you plan to use the consoles together, what your requirements are for cabling, whether there is any other equipment involved now or if things might be added in future. But some other points that may help…
    The DX32 will need to be connected to one of the consoles whichever option you want to go with – this expands that system and the system will therefore need to be turned on to share audio with any other system.
    Our DT expanders can be connected to a Dante network and their preamps controlled by multiple consoles also on the network – this means they can be run simultaneously or independently.
    gigaACE/SLink cards or Dante cards would need to be added to the consoles, with gigaACE/SLink you would need minimum 2 cards, with Dante all 3 would require them.


    Profile photo of Dave

    This is really a job for Dante… I wish we’d leaned on it more when we did our last system upgrade.

    To be clear, gigaAce is very good at what it does, but Dante is more flexible. They both have their place, but on the whole I think the extra flexibility would have benefited us more than the deeper integration between our FoH/mon and broadcast MixRacks.

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