Improve surface I/O patching in multi-surface systems

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    msteel
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    According to p4 of the “Understanding Multi Surface” document:

    I/O modules installed in the Primary Surface are accessible throughout the system.
    I/O modules in Secondary Surfaces are not accessible.
    Analogue and AES I/O on Primary and Secondary Surfaces are accessible throughout the system.

    But in my experience, it is only possible to patch surface I/O on the surface where it is physically located. A few examples:

    1) It does not appear possible to patch to/from the primary surface’s I/O ports anywhere but on the primary surface.
    If a channel has been configured with an input source from the primary surface’s I/O port (which is possible from the primary surface) then a secondary surface can correctly display the channel source as some socket of the Mix Rack’s main gigaACE connection. But because the main gigaACE connection does not appear as a choice it is not possible to patch from that interface. Interestingly, once the main gigaACE interface appears in the Source Select for a channel, it is already possible to select a different socket on the interface. It is just not possible to get back to “Main gigaACE” once it has been deselected. So it seems like it would be possible to allow secondary surfaces to select the main gigaACE interface. It would probably be better, though, to perform the same type of remapping that happens when patching on the primary surface. That way, instead of seeing the confusing “Main gigaACE socket 45” the user would see “Primary Surface Port 4 Socket 1” instead (or even just “Port4 socket 1” since the only Port4 that is allowed in a system is the one on the Primary surface).

    2) In a similar way, it does not appear to be possible to patch analogue and AES I/O to a channel from any surface except the one where the I/O is physically located. In addition, there is no preamp control unless the preamp is located on the local surface (or the Mix Rack). On the one hand, a Primary surface cannot be expected to know that Port1 Socket 1 has a preamp that is located on a secondary surface, and which surface that is, and so forth. On the other hand, a Secondary surface can control the preamps located on itself, and to do that it already has to discover whether Port1 socket 1 (as seen by the Mix Rack) is associated with its own local preamp #1 – there could easily be a different surface connected there, or some other I/O card in the port. So some part of that discovery is already happening somehow.

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