SymNet Designer Version 1.21 Release Notes
Copyright 2002, Symetrix, Inc.

Overview of contents of this file
  • Introduction
  • I) Main New V1.2x Features
  • II) Changes in version 1.21 from Version 1.20
  • III) Installation Notes
  • III) Upgrading Firmware for V1.2x
  • IV) Issues with SymNet Designer 1.1x and 1.2x Site Files


    This document is intended for those users upgrading from Version 1.1x. If you are upgrading from Version 1.0x, you should first read the upgrade instructions for version 1.1x. This file is located on the installation CD in the "Help" folder. It is also installed to the SymNet Designer folder, C:\Program Files\Symetrix\SymNet Designer 1.2\Release 1_1x Notes.txt and is available on the web site.

    I) Main New V1.2x Features

    1) Automixers - Two classes of Automixers have been added, Master and Slave Automixers. See a discussion on these modules in the help file.

    2) The "Mute/Solo/Gain" modules from Version 1.1x have been renamed "Gain" modules and now have master controls as well as invert controls per channel. All mixer modules also now have invert controls per channel.

    3) Matrix modules are now available in versions up to 32 Inputs. Matrix modules now have namable I/O.

    4) A new class of module called "Combiners" has been added. These are room combiner modules that can be used by themselves or in conjunction with Automixers. See the SymNet Designer Help for a discussion of their use.

    5) A new Report feature replaces the netlist feature and adds the ability to create customizable and printable reports on site files. This allows for hardcopy records of site designs.

    6) Design and Configuration View worksheets can now be sized based on your printers capabilities so that screens can be printed out with better resolution. This feature is accessed by right-clicking on empty space in a sheet and selecting Sheet Size from the pop-up menu.

    7) Several bugs in version 1.1x have been addressed. These include significantly improved wire interpretation logic for more accurate implementation of designs with very complex wiring.

    8) Several speed improvements have been made. These are most evident for users or large mixer and matrix modules as well as designs with many Control Screens.

    9) Nearly all graphical objects now have a "Notes" field where designers can place textual information of interest to them. This information is saved in the site file.

    10) Some DSP modules were made more efficient so that they utilize less DSP power. These include stereo parametric EQs and stereo mixers. In all cases, there is no reduction in features or audio quality.

    II) Changes in version 1.21 from Version 1.20

    All users of V1.20 should upgrade to V1.21. Version 1.21 includes fixes to a few bugs which were detected in the initial release of V1.2. V1.21 includes upgrades of the Microprocessor firmware file which is required when upgrading. Files generated with V1.20 are readable by V1.21. Files generated by V1.21 may or may not be readable by V1.20.

    III) Installation Notes

    Version 1.2x installs to a separate location than 1.1x on your hard drive. Version 1.2x will not interfere with your Version 1.1 settings. The two versions can cohabitate on your PC. It is important to note, however, that the firmware on the hardware must match the version of SymNet Designer that communicates with it. Version 1.1x will only communicate with hardware that is running the firmware released with Version 1.1x. If you intend to switch between versions of SymNet Designer with the same hardware units, you must remember to change the firmware each time.

    IV) Upgrading Firmware for V1.21

    IMPORTANT: In order to run SymNet Designer version 1.21, the firmware in your hardware devices must be upgraded to the latest level. If you are receiving this software with a new SymNet device from the factory, then the firmware versions should already be correct. However, if you are using it with an existing SymNet device, then the firmware must be upgraded.
    There is a new "Verify" button in the Upgrade Firmware dialog. This makes it easier to verify that you have the correct Microprocessor firmware file for the currently running version of SymNet Designer. However, it does not check for the correct version of the FPGA firmware file. This must still be done manually.

    Current Versions
    As of this writing, the current versions of the SymNet firmware are as follows:
    SymNet Microprocessor file: Version 1.201 (applies to both SymNet DSP and CobraLink devices.)
    SymNet FPGA file for SymNet DSP Devices: Version 1.200
    SymNet FPGA file for CobraLink Devices: Version 2.002
    (See "Why are there two different files?" below for more information.)

    Upgrading Firmware
    1. Install SymNet Designer 1.2 using the provided Setup utility. This will copy the necessary firmware files to your hard drive. 2. Launch SymNet Designer 1.2. 3. Connect your hardware devices as they would be for normal operation. It is recommended you disconnect or power down all audio sources connected to SymNet during the upgrade. 4. In SymNet Designer 1.2, choose Hardware -> Upgrade Firmware. The dialog that appears will tell you the current version of the firmware in your hardware devices. 5. Click the Upgrade button under SymNet Microprocessor file. An open file dialog will appear allowing you to navigate for firmware files. By default it should take you into the C:\Program Files\Symetrix\SymNet Designer 1.2\Upgrade folder. Select the file SNMv1200.bin and click Open. 6. After this finishes, click the Upgrade button under SymNet FPGA file. Select the SDFv1200.bit file and click Open. (If you are upgrading a CobraLink device, select the CLFv2002.bit file instead.) 7. If you have more than one SymNet device, select each device using the address dropdown at the top of the dialog box and repeat steps 5-6. 8. If you are using CobraLink and have more than one ring, also repeat for all devices on all rings using the Ring dropdown at the top of the dialog box. 9. When finished, click Close.

    Why are there two different files?

    SymNet firmware has two components, the microprocessor file and the FPGA file. They are generally independent and both may need upgrading. The microprocessor file contains the code that SymNet's embedded microprocessor runs. This microprocessor is responsible for communicating with the host, managing the DSPs, external control, and many other tasks. The microprocessor file is common to all SymNet DSP devices and CobraLink devices. The FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) file controls the programmable logic devices used in SymNet. These devices manage the SymLink bus, facilitate DSP communication, and several other tasks. The FPGA file is common to all SymNet DSP devices. However, a different file is required for CobraLink devices. The file intended for SymNet DSP devices is prefixed with SD, e.g. SDFv1200.bit. The file intended for CobraLink devices is prefixed with CL, e.g. CLFv2001.bit. SymNet Designer checks the file contents to prevent you from using the wrong type of FPGA file

    V) Issues with SymNet Designer 1.1x and 1.2x Site Files

    In version 1.2x, the site file (.sym file) format has changed from 1.1x. You will be able to open all 1.1x site files in V1.2x. However, files saved with version 1.2x will not be readable by version 1.1x. If you intend to maintain both versions on your computer, we recommend the following guidelines to minimize difficulties with file formats:
    A) Backup Version 1.1x design files.
    B) Don't use the same file names for Version 1.1 design files.
    C) Choose the default locations when installing software.
    D) Do not use Version 1.2 software with V1.1x firmware or Version 1.1x software with V.1.2 firmware.

    A) Backup Version 1.01 design files.
    It is recommended that you backup your version 1.1 design files to a secure location before using or installing Version 1.2. Even if all else goes completely wrong, as long as you have those files, there is a way to recreate your old setup.

    B) Don't use the same file names for Version 1.2x design files.
    If you are going to maintain both versions of the software on your PC, it is highly recommended that you include something in the file name of all Version 1.2x files you save that indicate their version. This way you will be able to tell which files are which if the files become co-mingled. Even if you are not going to maintain both versions, it is a good idea to use this practice at least until all your design files have been converted and you have fully embraced Version 1.2x.

    C) Choose the default locations when installing software.
    When you install any version of SymNet Designer software, allow the installation to go to the default folder. This will ensure that different versions do not interfere with each other.

    D) Do not use Version 1.2x software with V.1.1x firmware or Version 1.1x software with V1.2x firmware.
    The versions of software and firmware must match. The only operation that accesses hardware you should do with mismatched software and firmware is upgrade to the correct firmware. Upgrading is generally possible regardless of the firmware mismatch. If this is not true the ReadMe.txt file will make a point of mentioning this.