Frequently Asked Questions

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Knowledge Base > Discontinued Products > Solus 4

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 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.

What is the default baud rate for 3rd party controller serial connection?


Can different versions of SymNet Designer be installed on my PC simultaneously?

Yes.  It is recommend that SymNet programmers have the last few major software releases installed.

How do I determine the power-on state of the system?

Hardware menu > Triggers and Power On Default.

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

How is my programming transferred to and from hardware via “upload” and “download” in Designer?

“Upload” pulls the program from hardware to the computer.  “Download” pushes the program from the computer to the hardware.

What software is used to configure SymNet Solus?

All SymNet Solus hardware is configured using SymNet Designer.

Will SymNet SymLink and Express hardware work with AMX or Crestron control systems?

Yes. There is a dedicated RS-232 port on the rear panel of all 8×8, 8in, 8out, DigIO and CobraLink units for this purpose. This port can be used simultaneously with the host computer connected to the front panel RS-232 port, and the rear panel RS-485 port. The Express units have a dual-purpose rear panel port. The control protocol documentation is available for download from Documentation link in the Support section of this website. The protocol can also be found in the online Help section of the SymNet Designer application.

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.


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

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

LP 1

How do I control SymNet Designer's Speaker Management modules with SmaartLive?

Depending upon the version of SmaartLive you are currently using, the necessary support files may or may not be already installed on your hard drive. The required files are included with the SymNet Designer 7.x installer, or you may download them separately below.

SymNet Smaart Plug In

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.

Can I use a USB to serial adaptor to communicate to a Composer-based system with RS-232?

Yes.  Note, Belkin cables show mixed results.

What is SymVue Discovery?

SymNet Designer 9.1+ software features a discovery app that gives users immediate visibility of IP equipped devices on your network.  Learn more in this Tech Tip:

Tech Tip: SymVue Discovery

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.

The updated Designer 9.0 example design files and super-modules did not install with SymNet Designer 9.0 or higher.

If you are installing the full release version 9.0 but had a beta version previously installed, you must first completely uninstall the beta version for the new example files to appear.

If the example design files and super-modules do not appear after uninstalling the beta version and installing the full release, it may be necessary to manually delete the SND 9.0 beta registry section (HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareSymetrixSymNet Designer 9.0) as well as the SymNet Designer 9.0 folder (My DocumentsSymNet Designer 9.0).

Then re-install SymNet Designer 9.0 and the new example files will appear.

What is the maximum recommended length of an RS-485 cable?

4000 feet is the longest recommended cable length.

Is SymNet Designer Mac compatible?

No, but SymNet programmers have success using various virtual Windows solutions.

Tip: Select bridged network mode as opposed to NAT. This will force your virtual machine to use the same network interface your Mac is using.

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

Why am I missing the bottom of my SymNet Designer control screen?

SymNet Designer is configured to work with displays that have 1024×768 resolution of greater. If your computer is running 800×600, then some controls and status indicators will be outside the display area of your monitor. You may be able to change your display resolution via the Windows Control Panel.

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.

What are the default IP settings of network ready SymNet devices?

Express and CobraLink do not have default IP settings. IP settings are user specified and are static.

Solus hardware will obtain an address through DHCP. If no address has been assigned (either by the user or by DHCP) a default 169.254 IP base is used.

Tip: The last two octets of the IP address can be determined by converting the last two groups of numbers of the unit’s MAC address from hex to decimal.

After upgrading to SymNet Designer from an earlier version, my control screens are behaving strangely.

There is a remote chance that the control screen or SymVue panel created in an earlier version of Designer contains control data that no longer matches the current module.  (Pre Designer 8.0 and older increases this risk.)

First, replace the control in the control screen with a new one from the existing module.  If this does not solve the problem, it may be necessary to replace the original module from which the control was copied.

What are dual-mono modules?

Dual mono modules are two independent mono modules that are physically grouped together.   The major benefit is DSP efficiency as they use only about half as much DSP as two separate equivalent mono modules.  Note, dual mono modules are not available in the 8×8 DSP.

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

Standard two-conductor shielded twisted pair.

I just added up all the % numbers in the DSP modules I put in my design, and it doesn’t quite match what the DSP resource meter reads. Why?

The DSP resource percentage figure located on each Module is rounded to the nearest integer value. The DSP resource total meter (located below the toolkit) tallies the actual, non-rounded figure. In addition, hidden routing modules are added to move audio between DSPs. These routing modules take a small amount of DSP resources.

Can I upload the Designer Site File from SymNet hardware into my laptop/desktop computer?

Yes. SymNet’s archiving function, which is part of the Full Site Download (F4) operation, allows you to store and extract SymNet Site Files to and from the rack mounted hardware. Provided that hardware security is not enabled or you know the Supervisor password if it is, you can connect to the hardware with any version of SymNet Designer and open the Upgrade Firmware dialog in order to determine which version of SymNet Designer you should use to communicate with the hardware. Once that is known, you can upload the Site File from SymNet using the proper version of SymNet Designer.

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.

How do I know what COM port my USB to serial adapter is using?

See your PC’s Device Manager.

Right-click My Computer > Manage > System Tools > Device Manager > Ports (COM & LPT).

How do I program SymNet to work with the Analog Control Inputs in Designer? For instance, I’d like to use a 10k rotary potentiometer as simple zone volume control.

You can link almost any DSP module parameter to one of the Analog Control Input ports on the rear panel. Just right click on the fader, button, etc and choose “Assign Controller”. This launches a dialogue box that steps you through the short process of creating a parameter-control link.

How do I control SymNet Designer's Speaker Management modules with SmaartLive?

Depending upon the version of SmaartLive you are currently using, the necessary support files may or may not be already installed on your hard drive. The required files are included with the SymNet Designer 7.x installer, or you may download them separately below..

SymNetSmaart Plug In

What is the default baud rate for host computer serial connection?


I receive a ‘Component transfer error’ when attempting to uninstall SymNet Designer 9.0 or higher.

If you have installed multiple versions of SymNet Designer using the ‘Repair’ option, there is a possibility the uninstall utility will encounter difficulties when trying to remove all associated files.

Start the uninstall process again from the Control Panel using Add or Remove Programs (XP)/Uninstall or change a program (Vista).  If the error is encountered, repeat uninstall process until the utility completes without error.

Verify uninstall by making sure the following folders were removed:

Registry entry:  HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareSymetrixSymNet Designer 9.0

In My Documents:  My DocumentsSymNet Designer 9.0

How do you downgrade a SymNet Designer system?

Going backwards: Restoring to previous versions of Firmware, in other words downgrading. When traveling back in time and reverting to a previous version of SymNet Designer, there are a few gotchas to be aware of:

First… Turn off All Amplifiers! You’re upgrading (or in this case, downgrading) an entire audio system! Murphy’s Law always applies – anything can happen and will happen. Do not turn on the amps until you are sure all software changes/reconfigurations are finished and successful. Then, it is suggested that you turn the amps down and ease them up. An ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure. Also, in later versions of SymNet Designer (version 3.5 or higher), the volume will ramp up after a Site file is downloaded according to a time setting in the Preferences dialog box located in the File pull-down menu. Set this for a long ramp up period. If there is distortion, feedback or unintended routing in the system, it will ramp up slowly and give you time to react. Consider yourself warned.

Next, you need to downgrade the system in reverse order. So, you must start with the highest numbered device address in a ring and work backwards in decending address order. If you change the Master unit to a previous version first (i.e. the first unit in a SymNet Ring), you will not be able to address the Slave units through the SymLink bus. If this happens, you have 2 options:
Change the Master unit back to the “more recent” version and then begin the firmware downgrade process again starting with the last unit.

Disconnect the SymLink connections from all units. Change the DIP switches on the back of the slave units to make them a master unit and change all their addresses to ID #1. Then, connect to the front panel of each unit individually and perform the upgrade (downgrade). Finally, reconfigure the DIP switches to their original settings, re-patch the SymLink bus and re-power the system.

Make sure you have an older version of the SymNet Site File! This is important, as when you double click on a SymNet file, Windows will launch the Site File with the last version of SymNet Designer software installed, not the older version, and your Site File will be loaded into it. If Auto Save is turned on (Go to the File pull-down menu and select Preferences to see the Auto Save Enable setting) in the newer version and it executes a Save, then you have essentially upgraded your Site File. Now it will not open in the earlier version. It is best to have a copy that is saved in the previous version that has not been opened in the newer version.

For more information on upgrading SymNet systems, see the ReadMe file that accompanies every software release.

Why do the DSP delay modules in SymNet Designer require so little DSP resource?

The actual delay memory is a handled outside of the SHARC DSP chips – by fast synchronous DRAM chips that can be accessed extremely quickly by the DSP. This greatly reduces the ‘load’ on the DSP core.

Where can I download archived versions of the SymNet Designer software?

Archived versions of SymNet Designer (found below) run on a Windows PC and are used to configure, design and control the SymNet units. For new designs we highly recommend using the latest version of SymNet Designer, however archived major release versions can be found below for legacy compatibility and/or troubleshooting requirements.

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

SymNet Designer 1.01 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 1.01

SymNet Designer 1.15 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 1.15

SymNet Designer 1.21 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 1.21

SymNet Designer 2.02 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 2.02

SymNet Designer 3.04 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 3.04

SymNet Designer 3.52 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 3.52

SymNet Designer 4.02 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 4.02

SymNet Designer 5.00 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 5.00

SymNet Designer 5.53 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 5.53

SymNet Designer 6.02 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 6.02

SymNet Designer 7.03 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 7.03

SymNet Designer 8.01 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 8.01

SymNet Designer 9.0 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 9.0

SymNet Designer 9.13 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 9.13

SymNet Designer 10.07 Release Notes

SymNet Designer 10.07

Is my Microsoft Vista operating system compatible with SymNet Designer 9.0 software?

The following Vista operating systems are officially supported for SymNet Designer 9.0 software:

Windows Vista Business – 32-bit OS installation only

Windows Vista Ultimate – 32-bit OS installation only

The following Vista operating systems are currently not supported for SymNet Designer 9.0 software:

Windows Vista 64-bit (any version)

The following Vista operating systems are not tested for SymNet Designer 9.0 software:

Windows Vista Home

Windows Vista Home Premium Edition

Although Windows Vista Home and Home Premium have not been tested by Symetrix Inc., there are currently no known issues with Vista Home and Home Premium 32-bit operating systems and SymNet Designer 9.0 software compared to the supported Windows Vista Business or Ultimate Edition operating systems.

Be sure you are running only latest version SymNet Designer software available at

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.

Are SymNet Designer site files backwards compatible?

No.  A site file created later than the version of Designer you are running will not open.  The latest version of Designer will open any site file.

Do SymNet modules need to have a wire connecting them to pass audio in Designer or is there another way to route an audio signal within the system?

SymNet Designer DSP modules do need to have a wire connecting them to pass audio signals. Control modules are the only modules that in some circumstances can be assigned internal via a “virtual” path instead of graphically wired together.

Where can I find the External Control Protocol for SymNet SymLink, Express, and Solus units?

The External Control Protocol for SymNet units can be found below. This document covers all third-party control for SymNet units including both RS-232 and UDP (IP).

SymNet External Control Protocol

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.

What is required to configure a Symetrix unit?

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.

Can I copy/paste DSP module settings in Designer?

Yes. Use the mouse right-click to save and load DSP module settings to and from your disk-based ‘Settings File’. The ‘Settings File’ is a library that you can use to store EQ, Compressor, Crossover, etc. setups and recall them at will for later use. Alternatively, you can copy a whole DSP module within a configuration or between configurations. From the Design View, just click on the module, choose copy, and then paste it where you want the new module to go.

How much current is provided by the phantom power supply on SymNet?

About 10mA per input. Each input supply is current limited so a short in one input will not adversely affect other inputs.

What is the RS-232 network?

RS-232 is a standardized protocol for serial communication.  Some Symetrix devices talk to 3rd party controllers on an RS-232 network using simple ASCI control strings.

What pins are used on the serial cable?

2, 3, 5, straight-through.

How do I upgrade firmware in Designer?

After establishing connection between Designer and the hardware, go to the Hardware menu > Upgrade Firmware/Hardware Settings.  Choose either Auto Upgrade to automatically upgrade all units in the system, or manually upgrade the firmware components (FPGA, Microprocessor) per unit.

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.

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.

How do I control SymNet over the Internet?

In SymNet Designer 9.1 and later it is possible to control multiple IP equipped SymNet units over the Internet (wide area network, or WAN).  Multiple devices can be accessed from a single external IP address.  This is accomplished by using unique port numbers for each device.

To configure WAN communication for your system open the Help files contained within the SymNet Designer software and perform a search for “WAN” or see the chapter entitled “Menu Bar – File – Preferences.”

Can you acccess multiple SymNet units over the Internet?

Did you know SymNet Designer 9.1 or later can access multiple SymNet units over the Internet?  Find out more in this Tech Tip:

Tech_Tip: WAN Access for SymNet Systems

Are pre-made Designer program templates available?

Yes.  There are templates installed with Designer, and there are templates based on the Jupiter app library available at

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.

Where can I find an Ethernet application with IP capable Symetrix products?

SymNet Remote Terminal is a UDP terminal test application for testing Ethernet-based control for Symetrix products.

SymNet Remote

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