Processing and Control for Professional AV Installations

Frequently Asked Questions

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Edge DSP #

  • How is the RS-232 port on Edge used?

    RS-232 is a standardized protocol for serial communication. Edge can talk to 3rd party controllers and devices on the RS-232 network using simple ASCII control strings.

  • Does Edge contain local GPIO or is a control accessory, such as the xControl needed?

    Yes, the Edge does have local GPIO so the xControl is not needed in most cases. The Edge frame has 8 analog control ports (8 pots or 16 switches) and 8 Logic Outputs.

  • What if I order an Edge or Radius AEC Frame but do not fill up the card slots?

    Filler panels will reside in the empty slots. 

  • If 8 channels of Dante audio are sent from one Edge Frame, does that mean that the second frame in the system now has only 56 channels of Dante left to transmit on, similar to how SymLink shared 64 channels amongst the entire ring?

    Each Edge unit uses a Brooklyn card which gives each Edge unit 64×64 discreet Dante inputs and outputs. This is not a shared number between units, as a total of 1024 channels can live on a Gigabit network at one time, such as in the case that 16 Edge frames are all transmitting 64 unique channels of Dante.

  • Where can I find an owner’s manual for my Symetrix product?

    All technical and operational instructions and documentation for current Symetrix products are contained within the Help menu of the Designer and/or Composer software. Simply click on the question-mark icon on the toolbar in Designer/Composer and search your topic.

    Download the latest version of Designer or Composer at www.symetrix.co.

  • What is the maximum voltage recommended for the analog control inputs on a SymNet device?

    The input stage of an analog control input of a SymNet device will clamp on an input exceeding +5.5V. Anything above +5.5V will draw excessive current (the amount depending on the output resistance of the device supplying the current) and could possibly damage the input stage. Keep analog control input current to below +5.5V.

  • How much processing and routing can be handled with my DSP?

    Processing and routing capabilities vary greatly per design and hardware being used. Each module block indicates its DSP usage. Total usage is viewed in Designer or Composer below the Tool-kit on the bottom left of the screen.

  • How does my 3rd party external controller talk to my Symetrix unit?

    Serial or Ethernet (UDP/IP)

    Note, the control protocol / command strings are the same regardless of the communication mode.

  • In a multi-box system, what unit do I connect the 3rd party controller to?

    Serial: For normal use you will always connect to a Master unit.

    Ethernet: Connect to the same network that connects all devices’ Ethernet ports.

  • How much processing does an Edge frame contain?

    An Edge frame utilizes a 400Mhz SHARC processor for DSP.

  • Does a Edge frame have enough processing for to support a xIn 12 or xOut 12?

    Absolutely, the Edge has enough processing to support two xIO devices in most cases. In heavy laden DSP applications, it may be preferable to use only one xIO per Edge.

  • Do Edge Frames, when Dante is daisy chained, need to be looped back into a ring configuration like SymLink?

    Edge units are daisy chained, and not a ring configuration. In an Edge system the last unit should not be connected directly to the first unit, rather just daisy chaining them creates the entire Dante network, as each Dante port is truly its own Gigabit network switch.

  • What steps are necessary in order to run Dante DSP with Dante set to “Redundant Mode”?

    All Dante devices ship with Dante in the default “Switched mode”. This allows units to be daisy chained, eliminating the need for 3rd party networking hardware. When in “Switched mode” if the Dante hardware is setup physically in a Redundant network configuration, traffic from the Primary Dante port will flow out the Secondary Dante port, and the Dante traffic from the Secondary Dante port will flow out the Primary Dante port. This creates a data feedback loop on the Dante network that will crash the Dante cards in the SymNet units. SymNet units with only Dante connections, such as the xIn 12 and the xOut 12, may become unresponsive until they are power cycled and the redundant Dante network switch is turned off or the redundant ports are unplugged from the secondary Dante network.

    As such, to set the system to run Dante in “Redundant mode”, first go online with the system with only the Primary Dante port connected to the network or network switch. Alternatively, if the Secondary Dante ports are already connected to a network switch, turn off the secondary Dante network switch/switches. If the Secondary network switch cannot be turned off, or both Primary and Secondary Dante use the same network or switch, then unplug all Secondary Dante ports.

    Next, go to Composer>Dante Flow Manager and hit the “Configure Dante…” button and set the Secondary Dante jack to “Redundant Network”. Then push the file to the SymNet system.

    Verify via a DSP’s front panel display that the Dante mode now reads “Redundant”. When it does indicate “Redundant” mode is active, plug in the secondary Dante ports or turn on the secondary Dante network switch/switches.

  • When is shielded CAT5/6 cable recommended?

    SymLink bus and Dante network connections. In addition to EMI and RF protection the shield also helps ensure the same ground potential between units. Under normal controlled conditions it’s unlikely that using unshielded CAT5 will have negative results.

    Audinate recommends using only CAT6 cable for Dante as it can support larger bandwidth than CAT5.

  • What are the most common external control commands for 3rd party controllers?

    CS – Controller set. Generally use for buttons.

    CC – Controller change. Generally use for faders.

    LP – Load preset.

    Examples:

    CS <controller number><controller position><cr>

    CC <controller number><1 for increment or 0 for decrement><amount><cr>

    LP 1

  • Can I talk to Composer-based DSPs using HyperTerminal?

    If the unit has RS-232 control, yes. HyperTerminal can be used to simulate an external controller.

    Default settings:

    Baud: 38400

    Data bits: 8

    Parity: None

    Stop bits: 1

    Flow control: None

  • Where do I find the latest firmware for my DSP?

    The latest firmware is always bundled with the latest software. There is no need to manage the firmware independently.

  • What is SymVue?

    SymVue is a custom, stand-alone user control application for Composer-based DSPs. A SymVue panel is created from a Designer control screen and runs on any Windows compatible PC. SymVue connects to hardware via the hardware’s IP address and up to eight (software) instances of SymVue can run on each PC.

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DSP General #

  • Where can I download archived versions of Composer software?

    Archived versions of all final public releases of Composer software are available here. The software runs on a Windows PC and is used to configure, design, and control Composer-based products. For new designs we highly recommend using the latest version of Composer, however archived major release versions can be found below for legacy compatibility and/or troubleshooting requirements. All firmware files are included as part of the downloaded Composer software package. The Composer firmware
    versions and Dante Kernels listed below are to help in cross-referencing the firmware running on the installed DSP(s) with the corresponding version of Composer that should be downloaded.

    To communicate with Symetrix hardware from a given version of Composer, it may be necessary to upgrade (or downgrade) firmware in each hardware device. This can be done directly from the Composer application and only takes a few minutes per device. Firmware upgrade is done from the Composer Hardware menu. 

  • What is DSP and how does to apply to Composer-based hardware?

    Advanced Digital Signal Processing is at the core of our Composer-based hardware. Our solutions simply design and deliver superb fidelity, adding value for designers, integrators, and end users.

  • What is the maximum number of networked devices allowed in system?

    Control Devices – Composer Limits #

    The maximum number of control devices in a Site file is 128. This includes DSPs, Touchscreens, W series, Control Servers, and xControls. The limit is based on the maximum number of units Composer can communicate with at once. If this limit is exceeded, some will not locate correctly so Composer will not go online. This limit does not include Dante only devices that are located through a DSP. See the section below for limits on these devices.

    Dante Devices – Dante Audio Routing Limits #

    The maximum number of Dante devices that can be routed to by one Brooklyn based DSP is 128. But in reality, this limit is rarely met as there are other soft limits that are reached first. First, the maximum number of Dante Channels (64) and/or Dante Flows (32) supported by one DSP will usually limit the number of devices that can be used. 

    Dante Devices – Intelligent Module Limits  #

    The CPU/Memory resources used by Intelligent Modules will also limit the real world number of devices that can be used. The maximum number of 256 Intelligent Modules per DSP may theoretically come into play, but other practical limits will almost always be reached first. For xIO Devices, Intelligent Module requirements for CPU processing limit is different for Radius NX class DSPs and Edge/Prism class DSPs. Radius NX devices can support about 30 Intelligent Modules communicating with xIO Devices. Alternately, Edge/Prism Class DSPs, which have an older CPU and less Memory, can support about 20 Intelligent Modules communicating with xIO Devices. This is a rough estimate because the available processing is also affected by other things the Site might be doing (e.g. running Control Screens, recording/playback, etc.). In practice, this means that if you want to run more than 20 or 30 xIO devices in a single Site, you will need to divide them between multiple DSPs.

  • What is Phantom Power?

    Phantom power derives its name from its invisibility to audio signals, even though the microphone cable carries both phantom power (as direct current) and audio signals (as alternating current). Specifically, the term phantom power means a positive DC voltage sent to the microphone on both audio leads, through current-limiting resistors which also serve to isolate the audio leads from one another. The front panel phantom power button applies phantom power via pins 2 and 3 of the mic input XLR connectors.

  • Will phantom power damage my non-condenser microphones?

    Generally no, some older ribbon microphones are somewhat susceptible, but it’s always a safe bet to disable phantom power when not needed.

  • What kind of cable do I use to hook up the Analog Control Inputs?

    Standard two-conductor shielded twisted pair.

  • What is the RS-485 network?

    RS-485 is a standardized network for balanced digital multipoint communication. In Composer-based hardware, only ARCs can use the RS-485 network.

  • Should Symetrix hardware have an extra rack space above and below it in the equipment rack?

    Anecdotal evidence suggests a longer life-span of Symetrix hardware that is separated by at least one additional space in the equipment rack. This is in addition to following the guidelines for maximum recommended ambient operation temperature. See unit’s Quick Start Guide for information.

  • Will phantom power damage my non-condenser microphones?

    Generally no, some older ribbon microphones are somewhat susceptible, but it’s always a safe bet to disable phantom power when not needed.

  • What is required to configure a Symetrix DSP?

    Windows 7 or later.

    250 MB free storage space.

    1024×768 graphics capability.

    16-bit or higher colors.

    CD-ROM drive or Internet connection 512 MB or more RAM as required by your operating system.

    An available serial port capable of operating at 57600 or 115200 baud.

    A straight-through RS-232 cable and/or CAT5 cable.

  • Are Crestron modules available for Composer?

    The following archive contains Crestron modules for the most commonly controlled functions of Composer:

    Composer Crestron Modules v.3.0

    The v3.0 Crestron modules are compatible with Composer hardware including Edge, Radius 12×8 EX, Radius AEC, Prism, Solus NX, xControl, 2 Line
    Analog Telephone Interface Card, and the 2 Line VoIP Interface Card. The following control modules have been developed and will be available for use with the Crestron 2 and 3 series controllers:

    • Volume Up/Down Control Module with User Limits
    • Fader Set Control Module
    • Button Push Module
    • Preset Execution Module
    • Controller Receiver Module
    • Input / Output Selector Module
    • VoIP Dialer Module and ATI Dialer Module
    • Speed Dial Module / Speed Dial Store / Delete Phone Number / Name Module

    The updated Crestron modules utilize command processor architecture to maximize efficiency and responsiveness. The command processor is responsible for all the data parsing to and from the Symetrix DSP which makes it more efficient for the individual control modules to operate. When the control ID’s match a particular control module, then the controller information is used and updated.

    Note: Crestron v.3.0 modules were specifically designed to work with SymNet Composer hardware over RS-232 (baud rate 57600), TCP/IP or UDP/IP port 48631. These modules will not work with legacy SymNet hardware. If you have legacy SymNet hardware, please use the Crestron v.1.0 or 2.0 modules.

    Composer Crestron Modules v.2.0

    The v2.0 Crestron modules are compatible with SymNet Composer hardware including Edge, Radius 12×8, Radius AEC, Prism, Solus NX, xControl, SymNet 2 Line Telephone Interface Card.  Examples provided include Fader control, Button press, Increment and Decrement button, Preset Recall, Mute All, and Controller Receiver.

    Note: Creston v2.0 modules where specifically designed to work with SymNet Composer hardware over RS-232 (baud rate 57600) or UDP/IP port 48631.  These modules can also be used for UDP/IP control with legacy SymNet hardware, Integrator Series, Jupiter Series, and Solus by simply changing the RS-232 buad rate to 38400 or the UDP/IP port to 48630.

    2 Line Analog Telephony Interface Crestron Control Module v2

    This program was created to demonstrate the capabilities of the SymNet 2 Line Analog Telephone Interface (ATI) card in the context of Crestron
    external control. The user module and touch panel signals that comprise 95% of this program can be easily copied to other integration projects where the Symetrix ATI card will be used. A Composer file has been created that has the controller numbers corresponding to this external control program. This allows the correct information to flow in both directions between the device and control system processor.

    Composer Crestron Modules v1.0

    The v1.0 Creston modules are compatible with: Jupiter, Zone Mix 761, 780, 788, 722, Solus, 8x8DSP, CobraLink, and 4×4, 4×12, 8×8, 12×4 Express Cobra hardware), Examples provided include Volume, Fader, Button, Switch and Dialer control plus Preset recall. Additionally, the v1.0 modules will work with the legacy SymNet hardware across a multi-unit ring, as well as a multi-ring system. A matching example SymNet Designer Site File is also included. The modules are fully documented by the SymNet Control Protocol Crestron Module. 

    Addendum linked here: SymNet_Control Protocol_Crestron_Module_Addendum 

  • Can I change the temperature scale in Composer’s DSP diagnostic module?

    Our diagnostics module is set to Celsius by default and, currently, there is no feature to change this to Fahrenheit or any other temperature scale. 

  • How do I factory reset my DSP?
    • Remove power from the DSP.
    • Locate a pin hole on the back of the DSP. There is a reset button recessed under the surface.
    • Remove power from the unit, push and hold the reset button, re-apply power and continue to hold the reset button for 20-25 seconds.
    • You may hear relays clicking inside the DSP, this is normal. The front screen should display “Performing factory reset” at some point.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    Ensure there is a backup of the site programming saved prior to performing a factory reset. A factory reset will erase all memory from the DSP and return it to factory specification. This includes site programming, assigned IP address, and firmware updates since original factory firmware. If you would like assistance or have any questions about this process, please reach out to Tech Support at support@symetrix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728, Ext. 5.

  • Why are my DSPs LED lights “running” back and forth?

    This can mean that the unit has no site file/programming loaded onto it or that the loaded programming has been invalidated. If the latter is the case, contact Tech Support at support@symetix.co or call +1 (425) 778-7728, Ext. 5.

  • How do I reset my DSP’s IP address and return it to DHCP mode?

    Some of our DSPs don’t have a front screen that will display the current IP address, which can cause some connection issues. You can reset the DSP’s IP configuration back to DHCP by locating and pushing the reset button on the back of the unit for about 1-2 seconds. The button should not need to be held – just a good, solid press.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:
    Do not hold this reset button for longer than 10 seconds to avoid the risk of a factory reset, which will erase all memory of the DSP including site programming and firmware upgrades since factory spec.

  • Can I downgrade a DSP below its factory spec?

    No. When a DSP leaves our factory, it is loaded with the current firmware at the time. Units cannot be downgraded below this factory spec in the field. If there are other units in the site that are below this, they will need to be upgraded to meet this firmware version.