Processing and Control for Professional AV Installations

Frequently Asked Questions

Networked Audio

  • Why can’t I locate an AtteroTech device?

    There are a number of reasons relating to network setup that can contribute to not being able to locate AtteroTech devices. However, the large majority of cases relate to the fact that AtteroTech devices come from the factory with Type -U firmware (called Control Type by AtteroTech and QSC). Unfortunately, this type doesn’t communicate with Symetrix equipment and will need to be updated to Type B/C (or just Type C). This can be done by contacting AtteroTech and/or QSC.

  • If the master clock comes from a non-Dante unit, will Dante Controller ‘see’ it?

    Yes. We chose to use one of the Symetrix processors as the master clock. This was easily set within Dante Controller.

  • Why is Composer telling me that it is not able to create more flows, or that the number of Dante flows has been met/exceeded?

    In most cases, Dante devices place four channels in a single flow. If you are manually patching a device, Dante will add four consecutive patches to a single flow (e.g. 1,2,3,4 then 5,6,7,8 then 9,10,11,12, etc.). Once a flow has been created, Dante will not delete the flow until all channels in the flow have been re-patched. So, if you were to patch as above, you would use three flows for 12 channels. But if you un-patched 2,3,4 and 6,7,8 and 10,11,12, you would still be using three flows, but for only three channels. If you continued to patch channels this way, you could run out of flows quickly By resetting the Dante device, you also allow it to re-organize the channels into fewer flows, and free up more flows for patching.

  • Does Composer assume the functionality of Dante Controller Software?

    Composer can create the subscriptions which is basically what is done in Dante Controller on the routing page. We also add control, setup and monitoring functionality as provided by various manufactures which can’t be done in Dante Controller. An example would be setting the preamp gain and turning on the phantom power for an input on the AtteroTech unDIO2x2 or in the case of the Shure MX Dante Wireless mics we can also monitor things like RF signal strength, battery life, charge state, mic type and whether it is active plus multiple other things.

  • Symetrix seems to be leading the way in interoperability. Are you aware of cost savings for installers when using the multi-manufacturer configuration?

    Savings come from being able to use the best-in-class targeted device for the application, rather than being forced to develop a system solution based on a single manufacturer’s product offering. Savings also come from minimizing analog wiring infrastructure in favor of CAT5/6. We have found considerable cost savings using Dante for audio end points, especially when using logic I/O. The savings start with using CAT5/6, no costly audio snakes and termination costs, extra conductors for logic I/O and connecting all of the audio and logic I/O virtually in the design software. Not to mention the cost of drilling floor for snake wire, or using RF microphones because wiring to the table is impossible.

  • If the entire Dante network is reset (via building power shutdown) will the routing take care of itself or will an engineer need to go onsite and re-route the audio via Audinate Controller?

    All the subscriptions that were in place before the power down will be restored with no user intervention required. Dante end-points store all of their settings, including audio routing information locally on the end-point.

  • Is the Dante network operating in Multicast?

    There is always some multicast traffic in a Dante network, for discovery, clock synchronization, and status updates. Whether the audio is transported via multicast is a user setting in Dante Controller.

  • Does the PPM number for clock health monitoring translate to microseconds (-195 pm offset = 195 microsecond delay)?

    The PPM in clock health monitoring shows the offset from the center frequency of the device’s own clock to that of the Dante network master clock. It is unrelated to latency.

  • Is there any software/hardware available that simply provides a more advanced audio meter of multiple channels all on one screen/display?

    You can do this in SymNet Composer for any Dante channels routed through Symetrix hardware. You could also export them out through SymVue to be viewed on any PC with the SymVue application installed. The user with SymVue would only see the meters or have control of what you give them.

  • I had a setup where IGMP Snooping blocked the dante clock so we had to disable IGMP Snooping to get Dante Clock working. It was a setup with mixed data on one VLAN. Any suggestion to this problem or tips how to setup IGMP?

    IGMP Snooping settings are different for every manufacturer. I would suggest working with a network admin with specific experience or training on the particular brand or model of the switch. However, IGMP Snooping is not required for Dante, it is a network management tool that can be leveraged to optimize the network.

  • What is Dante DVS software?

    Dante Virtual Soundcard is a software application that works on Macs or PCs that acts as a soundcard. It allows you to access applications like DAWs, sound effects, iTunes, or Skype and connect to the Dante Network.

  • What are the best ways to minimize latency concerns?

    A suggested approach is to use the Dante Controller latency monitoring feature to verify adequate network latency headroom and tune network latency. When designing a network, use of gigabit ethernet links and switches is recommended to reduce latency.

  • What third-party products are currently supported in Composer software?

    Symetrix Composer-based products will work with any other Dante product. We also support deeper integration and control for specific products. Please visit the Control Library to learn more and to download plug-in modules.

  • I’ve seen issue in cases where the Network card expects an IP address through DHCP. Windows 7 will use the default address, but keeps broadcasting DHCP requests.

    This is the expected behavior. A computer or other network device will continue to ask for a DHCP address in the absence of a DHCP server.

  • Why is the 3rd party integration so important when I can just use Dante Controller for everything?

    Dante Controller can be used for routing audio only, while the level of 3rd party integration achieved in SymNet Composer allows both audio routing and full control (at both design time and in real time) of all adjustable parameters for all interoperable products. One GUI, full control of all products.

  • Do various switch ports have to be configured specifically for Dante interfacing?

    No, but when the network is heavily loaded (e.g. with many audio channels or other traffic), additional QoS configuration may improve performance.

  • What are the implications of using Dante multicast ?

    Multicast is very efficient for one-to-many signal distribution, such as front-of-house to many amplifiers in a stadium. With multicast, a single stream of network packets is transmitted by the source and the packets are replicated by the network switches as they travel through the network. In networks that do not support controlled distribution of multicast (a common case), the multicast packets carrying the audio channels will flood throughout the network. Dante devices support IGMP snooping which avoids flooding and delivers the multicast audio packets only to devices that have requested those channels. For point-to-point connections between two Dante devices, multicast is not useful and is not recommended.