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Novice Ethernet/CAT5/Dante questions...
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hsfinlayson
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Joined: 20/04/2009 10:02:12
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Please pardon my ignorance.

Rick N. spoke about the possibility of adding an expansion card that supports "Dante". I presume that is a form of Audio over Ethernet...? (I really do not know). I am wondering if there are differing means of utilizing Ethernet/CAT5 connections... or if "Dante" is sort of the ubiquitous name for such technology, like Bluetooth, FireWire or MIDI.

The other part of the question: Does that mean one could purchase a (in my case) 16-channel stage box that connects to the new 16.4.2-AI via a SINGLE Ethernet connection...? And is it safe to assume that from that connection, each channel still gets routed over to its appropriate preamp - or is there some other "magic" going on before the signal hits the board's pre...?

Sorry for sounding so dumb, but I never dealt with digital distribution of audio like this. Thanks in advance.
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hsfinlayson
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See...? like a quick search brought-up THIS product by Roland:

http://www.proaudio.com/product_info.php?products_id=5797

Which references technology dubbed REAC... and talks about having preamps already.
I feel a headache coming on...
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sunmachine
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You're right about Dante.

Audinate wrote:Audinate’s patent pending Dante™ technology is a flexible Internet Protocol (IP) and Ethernet based digital AV network technology that eliminates the many bulky cables needed to provide point-to-point wiring for analog AV installations.
With Dante, existing infrastructure can be used for high performance audio as well as for ordinary control, monitoring or business data traffic. Digital networks utilize standard Ethernet over IP offering high bandwidth capable of transporting hundreds of high quality channels over 100MBs or 1 Gigabit Ethernet.
Set-up and configuring the system is made easy as well, saving enormous installation costs and long term cost of ownership on a digital network. The physical connecting point is irrelevant: audio signals can be made available anywhere and everywhere. Patching and routing now become logical functions configured in software, not via physical wired links.

http://www.audinate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91
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b_dann_b
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hsfinlayson, your not a novice and nor are you ignorant and dont ever think that you are

Dante is a protocol that can be used over cat5/network cable. to put this in perspective, another protocol for the cable is TCP/IP which is what "language" computers communicate with over a cat5/network cable.

Dante is one of the possible protocols that can be used to send audio over cat5. another one that is common is CobraNet. QSC have just come out with their own proprietary one called Q-LAN.

Essential they all do the same thing and transfer audio over cat5, but they differ in terms of who owns the trademark and therefore which products use it. You can't use a CobraNet mixer and connect it to a Dante stagebox as they wont understand each other.

It does get a bit more complex as there are Layer 1, 2 and 3 protocols that have pros and cons for each.
An example, Layer 2 and 3 protocols for audio over ethernet (CobraNet - Layerr2, Dante - Layer) have the pro of being able to use standard network switches/routers that are used for computers which means you could set up a audio network fairly cheap using a home router if you wanted to. Whereas some of the other ones you need to buy network hardware that is specific to that protocol. I believe an example of this is BSS sound's "Soundweb London" where it can do audio over cat5, but you need the BSS hardware/switches to actually put it altogether. You couldn't use a netgear/cisco switch with their products.

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b_dann_b
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also see this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_over_Ethernet
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hsfinlayson
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Thanks for the kind words, but in the grand scheme of audio, I think it's fairly accurate to say I'm a novice. I know more than your average gigging musician, but a FRACTION of an experienced sound engineer.

So - to make some assumptions: If PreSonus were ONLY to offer a Dante expansion card (highly unlikely)... then I would be restricted to finding a Dante solution, obviously.

So... to modify my question...

Are there Pro-sumer stage boxes out there (attainable cost) that would allow a user to drop a 16-CH stage box on the stage and connect directly to the appropriate I/O expansion card via whatever proprietary CAT5 protocol if made by PreSonus...?

I am intrigued by the idea of making *ONE*, single connection to my board, but having a labeled stage box for the rest of the band to plug into. It's a simple dream, but hopefully not too costly of one.
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hsfinlayson
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Just also saw the Behringer 16-Ch in (8 out) digital stage box (not really a box, it's rack-mountable). Like the one I mentioned above, it seems to have its own built-in preamps.

Is it safe to assume that going digital audio over Ethernet means the preamp MUST happen before being sent over the Ethernet cable...?

I am still trying to understand how the SL16.4.2-AI's preamps come into play when using an expansion I/O option. Are they bypassed because of the necessity to boost the signal PRE transfer over CAT5...?

I really feel dumb... heheh.
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hsfinlayson
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... or do I smell a Presonus offering...? Heheheh

A PreSonus-branded breakout stage box in various I/O sizes per need.
I know, I shouldn't make any presumptions, but that WOULD be awesome... ESPECIALLY if the (needed?) onboard preamps' settings could be SAVED as part of a scene. (hintedy-hint-hint)
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b_dann_b
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hsfinlayson,

unfortunately from what we know about the Presonus offerings (they have talked about Dante) the behringer wont work directly with the desk. It uses AES50 which is another protocol. Unless presonus come out with an expansion card that supports both Dante and AES50, you'll have to get a Dante compatible stage box.

One thing that may be on the plus side is that the Audio Video Bridge (AVB) protocol which aims to standardize all of this stuff is supposedly going to be compatible with the Dante protocol. Given Presonus is part of the AVB alliance, there's a good chance that their Dante card will support AVB compatible products when AVB becomes a/the standard.

This a list of manufacturers that are part of the alliance:
http://www.avnu.org/about_us/our_members

this site has a list of currently available Dante stageboxes:
http://dev.audinate.com/kb/product_catalogue/webhelp/

The thing with the Behringer stage box is if you buy 2 of them, you can use one at either end independant of the mixer, but they are like $1200 a piece - at thats cheap from what i've seen.
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roblof
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Yeah, digital stage boxes aren't cheap looking at the offerings from different vendors.

However, an analog snake with a stage box of a good/pro quality will cost a fortune also.

One drawback with digisnakes is the length of the cable. An analog snake can be very long while digisnakes are limited to around 100m/300ft without the use of active repeaters.

On the other hand if a truck rips your digisnake cable you can buy a replacement at any walmart. The analog would become a boat anchor
Behringer x32 with Dante, x32-rack, s16 stagebox, p16 monitor system, StudioLive 24, FirePod 10, Alesis HD24, M-Audio FastTrack Pro, Studio One Pro v2, NI Komplete 5-8 Ultimate, Cubase 4, Ableton Live 8 Suite, Reaper 4, misc Line6 gear/software, True Temperament Frets on basses and guitars, Korg Kronos, Roland vk-7, Yamaha 02r.....
hsfinlayson
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seems like it may end-up being cost prohibitive. oh well.
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SwitchBack
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I guess so. As long as the SL's analog and signal processing part can't be detached from the control surface part a stage box plus digital snake solution will always be sub-optimal. You'll either lose signal quality (preamp-AD-DA-preamp-AD-DA-preamp-AD-DA-output) or you'll have the SL's preamps sit idly by (which is a waste of good preamps).

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 30/10/2013 12:23:48

roblof
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http://www.thomann.de/gb/rme_madiface_usb.htm

I found this cool gadget. I don't know if presonus are going to offer madi but a madi stagebox + studioone up to 2.000m/6.000ft using optical

Now, which walmart have optical cables in that lenght
Behringer x32 with Dante, x32-rack, s16 stagebox, p16 monitor system, StudioLive 24, FirePod 10, Alesis HD24, M-Audio FastTrack Pro, Studio One Pro v2, NI Komplete 5-8 Ultimate, Cubase 4, Ableton Live 8 Suite, Reaper 4, misc Line6 gear/software, True Temperament Frets on basses and guitars, Korg Kronos, Roland vk-7, Yamaha 02r.....
hsfinlayson
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Wait... of COURSE... I get it now... it cannot go over CAT5 unless it is first digitized... it's not sending analog audio over ethernet.

*slaps forehead*

So, that answers my other question above... basically, you're bypassing the SL's preamps if you use any sort of AoE solution. I get it now. Thnx.
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roblof
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Yeah,

A 'stagebox' is just a generalized name for many things.

It can be a simple snake just passing analog audio. Like any xlr.
It can be a digital stagebox with preamps. Like the behringer s16
It can be a complete mixer without the faders. Like the a&h iLive

At times they have extended functionality like adat, remote control, standalone operation, etc...
Behringer x32 with Dante, x32-rack, s16 stagebox, p16 monitor system, StudioLive 24, FirePod 10, Alesis HD24, M-Audio FastTrack Pro, Studio One Pro v2, NI Komplete 5-8 Ultimate, Cubase 4, Ableton Live 8 Suite, Reaper 4, misc Line6 gear/software, True Temperament Frets on basses and guitars, Korg Kronos, Roland vk-7, Yamaha 02r.....
 
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