Prospective purchase of Dante & ME mixers

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Nicola A&H Nicola A&H 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #40079
    Profile photo of ChannelZero
    ChannelZero
    Participant

    Greetings one and all!

    I’m about to take the plunge into the world of Dante networking, and have a couple of questions to put to you all (apologies if this should be two separate posts!)

    Firstly, I’m currently out on a UK theatre tour with a T112/IDR48/M-MADI combination. The M-MADI takes an input stream from an RME ADI-648, which in turn is driven from the ADAT outputs of a Tascam multitrack and an RME Fireface audio interface.

    Currently, all the musicians are on Genelec 8030A pit monitors, and only have local control of volume; for changes to the mix content they have to notify me. The MD I think would like to control his own mix, so I’m looking with interest at the ME-1 mixers.

    So here’s the first question (after all that!) – if the ME-U hub is fitted with an ACE input card, can it be then used to ‘split’ the ACE stream from T112 to IDR48, or does that always have to go point-to-point?

    My main reason for switching over to Dante is to try and reduce the fit-up time for the show, and to reduce cable runs. It would, for example, allow me to run one signal cable from the MixRack to the FOH and monitor amp racks.

    I understand that if I use a Dante card in the ME-U instead of an ACE card, then the ME-1s will not pick up the channel names from the MixRack? This wouldn’t be too much of a problem I suppose, as for most of the time I’d be setting the gig up offline so all the naming could be done then – I was wondering what sort of experiences forum members have had with this kind of setup.

    So, the second question – currently, the RME ADI-648 is the clock master for the system, embedding the clock in the MADI stream for the MixRack and sending WordClock out to the Fireface and Multitrack – if I move over to Dante, thus replacing the M-MADI card in the IDR-48, how does one set up a clock master in a Dante network? I was hoping to retain use of the ADI-648 for interfacing to the ADAT sources, and use some sort of MADI/Dante bridge to interface this gear (which normally sits in one of the FOH racks) into the Dante network.

    Regards,

    Andy

    #40083
    Profile photo of ahjeff
    ahjeff
    Moderator

    Hi Andy

    I’ll try to answer your questions in order:

    if the ME-U hub is fitted with an ACE input card, can it be then used to ‘split’ the ACE stream from T112 to IDR48, or does that always have to go point-to-point?

    An ACE link is always point to point; if you wanted to feed the ME-U with ACE, you would need to have an ACE card in the IDR48. Note that the ‘ME-D’ card that comes with the ME-U accepts ACE (as well as dSnake and Aviom Pro-16), so you would not need to buy an ACE card for the ME-U in any case.

    I understand that if I use a Dante card in the ME-U instead of an ACE card, then the ME-1s will not pick up the channel names from the MixRack?

    No matter what interface you use for the audio, the ME-U can always pick up the channel names from the MixRack by connecting its control network socket to the one of the MixRack’s. Depending on your setup, you may be able to make this connection via the Dante network, by plugging a MixRack control network socket into its Dante card’s ‘control’ port, and doing the same at the ME-U end. If not, then you might have to run a seperate cable from the MixRack to the ME-U in order to receive channel names.
    With this connection made, the ME-U can be set up to probe the MixRack for channel names; it then passes these on to any ME-1 units in real time (there’s typically a few second delay for a newly changed channel name to appear on the ME-1s).

    if I move over to Dante, thus replacing the M-MADI card in the IDR-48, how does one set up a clock master in a Dante network?

    There are two ways to approach this. Option 1 (and this is what we typically recommend) is that you can specify that the a particular device (for example the MixRack) is the clock master, by settings its clock source to internal, then configuring the other Dante devices to match using the Dante Controller software and/or the other devices own control software. Option 2 is to set everything to slave from the Dante network, and let the Dante system decide for itself which device should be the clock master.

    I was hoping to retain use of the ADI-648 for interfacing to the ADAT sources, and use some sort of MADI/Dante bridge to interface this gear

    This should be possible. There are a few such products out there for converting between the different digital audio transports. I don’t know if your ADAT-MADI box can be a clock slave, or if it has to be master, but in either case I think you should be able to configure a system where everything is in sync. Another option that might be cheaper would be to replace the ADI-648 with something that converted directly between ADAT and Dante. At least Auvitran and FocusRite seem to offer products that would do this.

    Hope this helps

    – Jeff, A&H

    #40086
    Profile photo of ChannelZero
    ChannelZero
    Participant

    Many thanks Jeff for the response – that helps a great deal.

    Currently the ADI 648 is the master, but it will slave to WordClock, so having that as a slave isn’t a problem.

    No matter what interface you use for the audio, the ME-U can always pick up the channel names from the MixRack by connecting its control network socket to the one of the MixRack’s

    This is good to know; I already tunnel control data for the radiomic receivers and the digital EQ/speaker management processor over the ACE link, so if the ACE link from FOH to stage has to stay point-to-point, I can continue to use this to tunnel Dante control data as well.

    Another option that might be cheaper would be to replace the ADI-648 with something that converted directly between ADAT and Dante. At least Auvitran and FocusRite seem to offer products that would do this.

    I’ll have a look at this – it would be a shame to lose the ADI as it’s a solid box, does exactly what it says on the tin etc etc but if a separate gigabit network stream (in addition to ACE) can handle bidirectional 64ch audio, getting signals back to FOH for recording, etc., shouldn’t be a problem. Less gear to carry about I suppose!

    That’s a point, actually; I was also thinking about using Waves MultiRack on the computer out front, with Dante as the I/O (possibly the Focusrite card in the PC), but I’m not sure how the latency will be. Will have to do some more searching!

    #46058
    Profile photo of avoreis
    avoreis
    Participant

    Jeff,

    I’m currently trying to pass channel names from my IDR64 via dante in the matter that you said would work, but I am not having success. The A&H USA tech support said it isn’t possible to send channels, as indicated in the manual. I’ve searched the internet for a video or guide to show how to accomplish this via Dante, but I’m not having any luck.

    Has anyone been able to successfully get channel names to push to their ME-1’s via Dante? Here’s a photo of how I have it wired. Sorry for the sloppy cabling… I’ll mount it once everything is working!

    Thanks,

    Adam

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    #46094
    Profile photo of Nicola A&H
    Nicola A&H
    Keymaster

    Hi Adam,

    Have you tried with a separate Network to Network cable (from the iDR to the ME-U)?
    In the ME-U browser interface, have you enabled the option to poll names from the iLive, and selected the iDR MixRack?

    Bridging into the Dante cards (as in your picture) would require all devices set to the same subnet, i.e. set the two Dante cards to static IP addresses compatible with iLive and ME-U.

    Hope this helps.

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