Venue System Design

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  • #121390
    Profile photo of Asa Kelley
    Asa Kelley
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I’m working on a renovation proposal for our main performance hall and we’re looking at the dLive consoles to replace two Midas M32 consoles and a DL32 stage box. This is my current plan:

    DM32 at stage right
    gigaACE card
    Dante 128×128 card
    2x DT168 stage boxes
    S7000 at FOH
    S3000 at stage right monitor world

    DT164-W in lobby
    IP8 in lobby

    IP8 in video control room

    We already have 12 channels of ULXD mics, JBL line arrays, video streaming system, music recordings studios, etc. all integrated on the Dante network with DDM so I’m very familiar with that part.

    I have a few questions to make sure I’ve got all dLive the concepts right.

    1. The control surfaces provide gain/phantom control of the preamps in the Dante stage boxes, correct? (This feels like a very stupid question that should be an obvious yes, but all I can find online is about using these with third party devices and using the PC software to control the preamps.)

    2. Assuming the answer to #1 is yes, does the console talk to the Dante boxes via the Dante ports on the Dante card, the control port on the Dante card, or the network ports on the mix rack?

    3. With redundant gigaACE links from the mix rack to each control surface and network uplink from the mix rack, is there any reason to connect the control surfaces to the network also?

    4. We plan to use the DT164-W and IP8 to run small ensemble events in our lobby. Again assuming #1 is yes, can a page of the IP8 be configured to control Dante preamp gain or would we need a computer with director?

    5. I’m really excited about the Shure ULXD integration. I assume this connection is via the mix rack network port, not the Dante card. Does the setup rely on local mDNS discovery or can I manually enter the ULXD IP addresses if I want it to jump subnets? (In our current configuration, Dante audio and control systems are on separate VLANs.)

    6. Once a Shure channel is associated with a Dante input, will they remain linked regardless of channel assignment, power cycle, etc.? Does the association and tellemetry automatically carry over to the secondary console and any IP controllers?

    7. Is there anything I have completely wrong, I’m missing, or I need to be considering?

    Thanks!
    Asa

    #121406
    Profile photo of Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    I would not use DT boxes on stage. Dante is never going to be as fast or as stable as the DX protocol. With something as critical as your main stage’s inputs, I would want to use the most reliable connection. That is the DX by far…… You will still have access to your MixRack & DX I/O over Dante as long as the system is powered on and you have a Dante card within the system somewhere. If you put the Dante card in the MixRack, only the MixRack would need to be powered on to have access to the MixRack and DX box inputs over Dante. If you put the Dante card in a Surface, and/or need access to the Surface’s local I/O over Dante, then the Surface will obviously have to be powered on as well.

    You should read the multi-surface white paper that A&H has released: https://www.allen-heath.com/content/uploads/2023/05/Understanding-Multi-Surface-ISS1.pdf In fact, there is a whole set of good papers listed here: https://www.allen-heath.com/white-papers/

    3. You only want ONE network connection within the DLive MixRack & Surfaces. So connect either the MixRack or a Surface to the network (obviously the MixRack makes the most sense IMHO), but don’t connect more than one of these to the network. As you noted, the GigaAce connection will handle the data transfer between the different DLive devices.

    #121408
    Profile photo of msteel
    msteel
    Participant

    Here are some answers:

    1) The DT168 Getting started guide says:

    “Preamp control of the DT168 by a dLive mixer requires dLive
    firmware V1.8 or higher and a dLive M-DL-Dante 64×64 or 128×128
    card. Use of the iLive/GLD M-Dante card is not supported.”

    So, I’d say that is a yes.

    2) Not entirely sure, but the fact that control requires a Dante card, seems to indicate that the preamp control is through the Dante network.

    3) All of the control network ports build into the Mix Rack and Surface(s) are bridged together through the GigaACE link(s). This is useful in some cases where the dLive system itself is a small self-contained network. But in cases where you want to connect the system to a building network, say for iPad control through existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, then only one of the devices should be physically connected or you will create a network loop. Logically, all the devices will be on the network and will need IP addresses compatible with the network either through DHCP or through static allocation.

    4) As best as I can tell, preamp gain is not directly available on the IP8, even for Mix Rack preamps. Any preamp control through the IP8 would be by recalling a scene. Conceivably you could set up a whole bunch of scenes with appropriate recall filters and toggle through a small number of fixed gain settings for each channel.

    5) I haven’t used Shure integration. But some it would make a difference whether your Shure devices are using the same VLAN for control and for Dante, or separate. The dLive Dante card can be on a separate network from its control network, so there are multiple possibilities depending on how your networks are set up, and whether they are routable to each other.

    6) Don’t know this one. If I had to guess then I would think the association would be saved in the show file, and associated with the “socket” that belongs to the I/O Port and channel of the Dante card. Routing things differently in Dante Controller would probably mess things up, but patching the socket to a different processing channel would probably “just work.” Since the surfaces to not do any processing, all processing happens on the Mix Rack, and as such changes there will apply to all surfaces and IP controllers that use that same processing channel.

    7) Read the “Multi Surface” document to get an idea about how that works to use one Mix Rack for FOH, Monitor, AND lobby. And make sure that works for you.

    #122054
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    4) I don’t think an IP8 can do that. At least you can’t assign a fader to gain (or trim) for any other kind of input.
    5) IIRC, we just used the “Locate Shure” button and it scanned the network. Not sure if it used mDNS or if it just does a /24 scan and adds devices it finds. We use a separate network for control stuff and it’s all on the same subnet. There is a “Add Sennheiser Device” button — presumably the “Locate Shure” button would change to “add device” if I disabled Shure devices, but it’s the middle of the sermon and I don’t want to poke at it too much right now.
    6) The associations certainly hold with regular inputs through power cycles. I don’t see why it’d be different with Dante, but I haven’t had a chance to try it myself. Not sure about shows vs scenes since associating the RF devices with their inputs was one of the first things I did when I was setting up the console and we don’t have any shows where they aren’t assigned. I don’t see anything about it in the scene filtering options so it’s probably a show setting. However it works, recalling shows and scenes hasn’t messed it up.
    7) You’ll probably want to set up an external monitor for, well, for both surfaces, but especially for the S3000. The board outputs a 4:3 signal over VGA. If you don’t have an old LCD laying around you can probably get one for pretty cheap at the thrift store.

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