Anyone know anything about Dante?

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by _Some Dude, Mar 3, 2024.

  1. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    Someone mentioned offhand that live sound is going the way of using Dante for multi-channel audio networking, and that I could use a Cat5 cable to connect my IEM mixer to the FOH mixer, thus eliminating the requirement for splitters and a snake.

    Anyone know about this? I've been trying to do some research, but most of what I've found kinda assumes that I already know something, which I don't.

    I also have a new mixer on order (Presonus StudioLive 24R), and want to figure out if I should cancel it and order something different instead?
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  2. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I am by no means an expert but I don't believe this is anything new. The Yamaha LS9s I ran over 15 years ago used ethernet snakes. I don't remember if any of them used Dante, but pretty sure it was a possibility. AFAIK Dante has been around since 2006.

    The cable is not the basic ethernet cable. I believe our snakes came on 100' (or more) reels and had ends something like this:
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  3. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    It’s NOT that simple, and it’s late here.. I’ll reply more in the am.
  4. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Really late, or early, but look into the AVB networking features of the Presonus SL24R. Very similar in scope and purpose. AVB is built in to the 24R. And it connects the Presonus EarMix personal monitor mixers to the 24R
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  5. EvilJ

    EvilJ Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2023
    Southern Nevada
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  6. In it self that's a broad statement, for a while now it has been the main go to for multi channel networked audio.
    You would need two mixers that either have built in Dante networking or have the option for a Dante plug in card. Depending on the brand and model those cards can be expensive to really expensive and sometimes with a low back order.
    My Dante set up work has been very limited, but it can get very deep, I'll leave that to someone else!

    If this system will be your own self contained system then yes it could be a good idea, if you plan on using Dante to connect to someone elses FOH
    system at every show then I would say it's not a great idea.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2024
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  7. mdlewis

    mdlewis Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    Boston Metro
    Wow, I’m pretty good with network stuff but that was something else.
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  8. The Presonus uses AVB for multi-channel over ethernet. Presonus does make an AVB <-> Dante bridge, but it is only 16 channel in each direction. A big variable is, what will the venue have? I am guessing here but more likely it'll be Dante. Dante is more complicated and more expensive as it is technology licensed by the equipment manufacturer. One can get a certification for Dante network management. With an in-ear system, one wants consistency. This means having one's own mic'ing and using the front end (mic pres and ADC) for audio. Presonus analog and ADC is okay, perhaps on par with Behringer X32. A step up might be a Midas M32C with a Midas DL32. Certainly more than the Presonus. Not that the Presonus is a bad product. A good transformer splitter is the only 100% guaranteed solution. Oh, and why not the Presonus 32R? It's small dollars more for more inputs and outputs.
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  9. FullumMusic

    FullumMusic Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2022
    Queens, NYC
    Audio/Music software developer, contracted with a company you've heard of and deving my own stuff.
    I used Dante systems a little bit at my Sound Design Masters program at the Uni of Edinburgh. They were in the process of hooking all their studios into a Dante system. At the time, each studio room was pretty much on its own Dante system, but at some point after i left they probably finished hooking them all together. That means any source can be routed to any destination in any DAW on any computer from any of the studios/live rooms, to any control room or even any computer in any audio lab that's hooked into their Dante system.

    There are a ton of benefits. But i'll start with the downside:
    It can be quite complex and expensive to make the switch and set everything up properly. All your routing is virtual, which means a lot of your troubleshooting will be on the computer/dante system, unlike checking physical cables, ins/outs, and gear. Plus you'll still have to troubleshoot whatever hardware you're still using.

    The good is, all the complexity it takes to make setting up really complicated also means it's practically infinitely customizable. Moving audio digitally over ethernet means you're not losing fidelity over long cable lengths. Depending on what hardware you buy, you can set your Dante system to be completely redundant simply by running a second ethernet cable. (Of course, the setup on the software side might become more complicated, setting up a redundant system, but you can essentially have that redundant system waiting to go, and if there's any issue, just flip over to it.)

    All that said, i'm not an expert in Dante systems. I only really used it while i was in my program, never became a "power user", and haven't used it since, sooooo... yeah.
  10. Tosh


    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    Get the Presonus StudioLive 24R. It has AVB/TSN built in. You probably won't use it immediately, but you might later on.

    Audio Video Bridging/Time Sensitive Networking is simpler than Dante. It's open source, whereas Dante is licensed. The hardware to run AVB is also typically less expensive. If you have a Mac with an ethernet port, it already supports AVB. The thing you must keep in mind is that every piece of gear that is in your device chain must also support AVB, or the protocol will be blocked. Presonus makes an AVB switch that you would want to buy when you decide to start using it.

    I use AVB in my home studio with MOTU hardware. I connect different rooms (that are all on the AVB network) to my main interface at the computer. It's very much overkill for home use, but it's very easy to expand and who knows when I'm going to have a 10 piece band come over?
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  11. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    Honestly, I never thought to price out the difference. I'm upgrading from a 16R to a 24R as the band had one too many good ideas. I also learned the hard way that the 16R doesn't have all the same features as the 24R/32R when it comes to recording.
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  12. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I'm not a expert but have used it, and configured it, so - to add to what has already been said, here a link explaining Dante
    What is Dante | Dante

    Basically, think of it like your home network.
    You need a controller (Router) and attached devices, each with Dante capability - either inbuilt or via add-in card.
    It's not really designed for portable applications, more for fixed installations..
    I've used it at a couple of churches and for the few months I worked at the Esports Stadium in Arlington TX.

    You can't just run CAT5/6 between stage and FOH and have a DANTE network.
    My Dante experience has all been with Yamaha consoles like this one below and a full size X32 with a Dante card added:

    To the right of the CL5 (in that room out of view - thought I had a pic but can't find it) is a PC which acts as the "controller" routing audio to from devices. It works like a typical matrixed I/O controller where devices (plus channels) are listed left col and across top, so audio can be routed as desired. In a complex installation like eSports, there's a lot going on and we were trying to correct the routing issues left by the previous "contractors". Depending ont he size of the event, different audio consoles - such as the one shown elow could be used for FOH in the auditorium.

    Again, thought I had pics, but behind that stage (back right) was the input banks.. all the audio channels, wireless units.. etc. ALL hooked into the Dante network. Keep in mind that id DOESN'T work like a traditional audio setup, because it can be routed anywhere.. in the pic above (TF1 mixer?) audio was routed to it (via Dante controller) and from there to the FOH speakers ONLY in the arenas shown in the pic... which was a totally separate "mix" from the audio in the control room, being mixed with video for live streaming.

    FWIW - the device to the left of the TF1 is a comms unit. One can communicate with any of the other station in the facility...

    I need to dig out some more pics..
  13. Nightsprinter

    Nightsprinter Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2023
    ʻOumuamua (Mass)
    I have the first level of dante certification (which is free to get I believe and takes no time at all) and have worked on systems which utilize Dante and DSPs between neighboring towns for remote A/V operation for several years now. I really like it. Real time manipulation and routing in Dante controller when you're nowhere near the room the audio devices are in is really helpful.
  14. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    What I'm getting out of reading through the comments is that Dante isn't universal, that at my level I'm not likely to have the time/expertise to pull this off at random bars/venues, thus I'll still need to be able to run a physical splitter/snake. Is that what I should take away?

    The AVB is interesting. I've had one soundman that knew Presonus and told me he didn't need the splitters, he'd put my mixer in remote mode. In hindsight, I wish I'd asked him *** he was talking about as I'm now wondering if that's how he did it.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2024
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  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I think think this is probably a pretty good assessment.

    An analog split snake may not be required. Behringer can be setup to split the digital signal. Perhaps some of the other low end digital mixers have similar capabilities.

  16. Anyone know anything about Dante?


    He died 14 September 1321
    (aged c. 56)

    Dante Alighieri - Wikipedia


    What was the question?

  17. Tosh


    Jul 12, 2020
    Salem, Oregon
    I *think* he meant that by putting the Presonus in "remote" or "target" mode, it becomes an input device to the AVB network rather than being a controller device, so he can run it from his station. A single CAT6 ethernet cable can handle all the traffic.

    AVB won't scale up to the level that Dante can, but it still has much to offer.
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  18. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Yes, that is indeed how he accomplished that. It works well, too.
  19. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Since AVB has come into the conversation, I advise the purchase of the Presonus SW5 purpose-built switch to manage the AVB traffic between consoles as well as the Presonus EarMixes, their individual petdonal monitoring system.

    I’ve used this system on a one-off with a StudioLive 32S, a 32R stagebox, and 5 EarMixes. It’s easy to deploy and works well. I personally used my iPad and an aux from the desk as I had a little more control, but the other players were quite happy with them, especially using them for the first time, which I was kinda nervous about.
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  20. bfields


    Apr 9, 2015
    Ann Arbor, MI
    It's nuts to me that, in this day and age, the default way to send audio data between two mixers is still a big bundle of XLR cables.

    I mean, they're almost all little digital computers at this point, and we're only talking about 1.4MB/s of data per channel--it would be cheaper, faster, easier, and more reliable to just send the data over a single standard cat6 cable, compared to converting it all to a bunch of analog signals and back. This is not rocket science, right? It just needs the mixer manufacturers to all pick a standard and stick to it....
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