Frequently Asked Questions

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Knowledge Base > Discontinued Products > 8×8 DSP

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.

Where can I find a "white paper" or technical overview of the SymNet Express and SymLink system?

The SymNet Technical Overview document can be found below.

SymNet Technical Overview

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 kind of DSP is used in SymNet 8x8, 8 In, 8 Out and DigIO?

SymNet 8×8, 8in, 8out and DigIO units use Analog Devices SHARC ADSP-21065L DSPs running at approx. 66MHz. The 8×8 has four, and the 8in, 8out and DigIO each contain two DSPs. The four DSPs in the 8×8 can deliver a theoretical maximum combined total of 786 MFLOPS (Mega Floating Point Operations Per Second).

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 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 do I get audio between units using SymLink?

Use the SymLink Bus Sends/Returns, which can be found in the ToolKit at the left side of the SymNet Designer screen. SymLink Bus Sends/Returns are also used to bus Control Signals.

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.

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 many SymNet units can I connect together with SymLink?

There can be a maximum of 16 SymNet hardware units in a SymLink ring. This includes the 8×8 DSP, 8in DSP, 8out DSP, CobraLink, BreakIn12, Breakout12, and DigIO 12×12 DSP.

Is SymLink compatible with CobraNet?

Not directly. The similarity between SymLink and CobraNet is that they both use CAT5 cable and handle 64 channels of audio. In all other ways they are dissimilar and incompatible. However, by adding a SymNet CobraLink hardware module to a SymNet ring you can send to CobraNet and receive from CobraNet up to 32 channels of audio in each direction.

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 the maximum recommended length of a SymLink cable?

10 meters is the longest recommended cable length. In our lab, we have successfully used longer cables, up to 25 meters, but we only test and guarantee functionality at 10 meters. Additionally, the cables must be shielded to guarantee performance in environments susceptible to EMI and or RFI interference.

Attention power users:Visit this tech tip to find out how to extend SymLink up to 200 feet in certain applications.

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.

What is the maximum recommended length of an RS-232 cable?

Typically, 50 feet is the maximum length for reliable communications over RS-232. Some laptop PC’s use the low power, low emission RS-562 instead of RS-232. With RS-562 your cable run will be much shorter than with RS-232. You can use a low cost RS-232 buffer/repeater amplifier to extend both RS-232 and RS-562 maximum cable lengths. There are many manufacturers of these types of products. Here are links to a few US sources:

B & B Electronics
R. E. Smith
Integrity Instruments

Third Party Product Disclaimer – From time to time we test the compatibility of our own products with those of third parties. While we are happy to share with our customers the results of our own studies as well as other (possibly unsubstantiated) information regarding these third party products, it is the policy of Symetrix, Inc. to neither endorse, recommend nor support products manufactured and/or supplied by third parties. The responsibility of choosing third party products which are compatible with Symetrix products rests solely with the qualified contractor, consultant or system designer.

In recognition of the relative risks and benefits to both the Integrator and SYMETRIX, INC, any recommendation or suggestion relating to the use of the Products made by SYMETRIX, INC or any other manufacturer either in technical literature or in response to a specific inquiry or otherwise, is given in good faith. HOWEVER, it is for the Integrator to satisfy himself that the Products are fit for the purpose of being utilized by a Consumer as the end-user of the Products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, SYMETRIX, INC is not liable for any and all claims, losses, costs, or unforeseen damages of any nature whatsoever. It is intended that this limitation apply to any and all liability or cause of action however alleged or arising, unless otherwise prohibited by law.

Can SymLink busses be re-used to accommodate higher channel counts?

Yes, this can get confusing so it shouldn’t be attempted until users are familiar with the SymLink architecture. SymLink is a circular bus. The transmit port from one unit is connected to the receive port of the next unit using standard CAT5 cabling. You can send unique audio on this cable between any 2 units in a SymNet ring by using the “Send” object in SymNet Designer software. Every time you drop a “Send” object into a design, you have the ability to send new audio on the bus. Thus, audio can be received in a DSP unit caring a set of signals and then transmit a whole new set of signals “on the same” bus to the next device in the Ring. You must be aware of the order that SymNet devices are connected together. Please see Tech Notes for more detail concerning the re-use of SymLink busses.

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.

USB to serial (RS-232) converter and Symetrix manufactured products.

Many USB to serial converters (RS-232) were designed and manufactured before the release of Windows XP. If you are having trouble connecting to a device with a USB to serial converter, make sure you have a current driver. Go to the converter manufacturer’s website and download the latest driver(s).

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.

My RS-232 to USB adapter is not working.

Is your RS-232 to USB adapter not working? Visit the manufacturer’s website to download and install the XP driver for the adapter in question. We found many adapters ship with older Windows 2000 drivers and these have been problematic under XP.

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

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 II 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.

What is the battery for on the SymNet 8x8 DSP motherboard?

There is indeed a battery on the DSP motherboard. Its only function is to keep the real time system clock running when power is disconnected from the SymNet hardware. FYI – the system clock drives the Event Scheduler – the feature that allows you to create a timed roster of preset and control output changes.

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.

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 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.

In a multi-box system, what unit do I connect the host computer to?

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

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 is a SymNet Ring, Address, Master and Slave?

A Ring is a group of hardware linked together via the SymLink bus.  A single Express unit is also a Ring within it’s self.

An Address is the unique identifier of a device in a SymLink Ring.

A Master is the Address 1 unit.  Express units are always Address 1 and are therefor a Ring Master as no other devices “slave” to an Express.

A Slave is a non-Master unit in a SymLink Ring.

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.

What do the DIP switches on the back of hardware do?

DIP switches determine the Ring and Address of the unit, whether the unit is a Master or a Slave, and what the baud rate is for host computer serial communication.

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 much latency is there in a SymNet SymLink system?

This question has a three part answer since the digital signal path through a SymNet system has three different major components.

Converter delay: Approximately 850 microseconds for the AD, and 624 microseconds for the DA.
One DSP core: Maximum delay through any given 8×8 DSP core is approximately 240 microseconds, though typically it will be much lower. The max delay through the DSP core of an 8in or 8out is 120 microseconds.

SymLink: Approximately 80 microseconds for an audio signal to travel, via SymLink, from the DSP core of one 8×8 to the unit immediately downstream. If there are any units in between, add an additional 80 microseconds for each SymNet DSP, 20 microseconds for each CobraLink and 20 microseconds for each BreakIn12 and BreakOut12.

In summary: The typical delay for a signal that goes into an analog input on an 8×8, and exits from an analog output on the same 8×8 is usually around 1.5 milliseconds.

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

In a multi-box system, which DSP do ARCs connect to?

Generally connect ARCs to the Master unit so that data will be disseminated to all units in the system.  ARCs can be connected to Slave devices but control will be limited to parameters contained within that Slave device.

What is the RS-232 pinout on my Symetrix manufactured product?

All Symetrix manufactured products with RS-232 ports have them wired straight-through. Only pins 2, 3 and 5 are required. If you want to make your own cable, refer to the RS-232 standard below:

RS-232 Standard Configuration: The following table documents the pin assignments for the RS-232 standard using DB9 and DB25 connectors. Following the table is a set of diagrams to assist in identifying what pin numbers are assigned to each pin inside the different connectors.

The RS-232 standard:

DB-25 DCE DB-9      
1     AA x Protective Ground
2 TXD 3 BA I Transmitted Data
3 RXD 2 BB O Received Data
4 RTS 7 CA I Request To Send
5 CTS 8 CB O Clear To Send
6 DSR 6 CC O Data Set Ready
7 GND 5 AB x Signal Ground
8 CD 1 CF O Received Line Signal Detector
9     x Reserved for data set testing
10     x Reserved for data set testing
11       x Unassigned
12 SCF     O Secondary Received Line Signal Detector
13 SCB     O Secondary Clear to Send
14 SBA     I Secondary Transmitted Data
15 DB     O Transmission Signal Element Timing
16 SBB     O Secondary Received Data
17 DD     O Receiver Signal Element Timing
18       x Unassigned
19 SCA     I Secondary Request to Send
20 DTR 4 CD I Data Terminal Ready
21 CG     O Signal Quality Detector
22   9 CE O Ring Indicator
23 CH/CI     I/O Data Signal Rate Selector
24 DA     I Transmit Signal Element Timing
25       x Unassigned

Where is Pin 1?

25 pin DB25 Male Connector: Image

25 pin DB25 Female Connector: Image

9 pin DB89 Male Connector: Image

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 is the default baud rate for host computer serial connection?


How do I place AGC ahead of the Automixer DSP module Designer?

AGC and Automixing
It is often desirable to place dynamic processors such as Compressors and Automatic Gain Control (AGC) ahead of the Automixer DSP module however; this presents a small technical issue. Automixers determine which channels are active by discriminating between the differences in each channel’s signal level. Compressors or AGCs effectively minimize the differences between each channel’s signal level. This tech tip illustrates the recommended use of dynamic processing after an Automixer module.

Wiring and Module Layout
This example requires a single AGC module attached to the Mix out of the Automixer. The AGC Ctrl (control) output wires to the VCA Control input. (The VCA module is located in the Mixer and Matrixes section of the SymNet Designer toolkit). The VCA audio inputs are connected to the channel outputs of the Automixer. The VCA audio output is wired to a Matrix module to create mix-minus feeds for zones. Prior to the AGC is an Expander/Gate module that is used to remove the noise floor of the channel outputs as necessary.

Example 1 Image

VCA Max Gain Compensation
There is one more consideration; the VCA has a Max Gain parameter. Different dynamic processors send out different control signal levels so the Max Gain parameter is used to compensate for any differences. When using the AGC module in this fashion, the Max Gain needs to be at +36 dB.

Example 2 Image

More information on this subject is located in the SymNet help file. Within the Dynamics section, there is a heading titled “Creating Multi-channel Dynamics Modules” which discusses the VCA output settings for various Dynamic processors.

The intent of this design is to flatten out the mics so that soft and loud voices come out the speakers at the same volume. Many will argue that dynamics should be wired prior to the Automixer. However, this design serves to conserve DSP resources as well as allow the Automixer to do its job as designed. Give it try; you may be surprised with the results.

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.

How do I extend SymLink up to 200 feet?

SymLink is one of the fastest, easiest to use audio busses in the industry, but some integrators want to run SymLink cables longer than the maximum specified length of 10 meters. In the past it just wasn’t possible, but we are happy to announce that this is no longer the case — with a few stipulations.

First, let’s explore some background on SymLink. Put on your propeller caps for a quick cable lesson.

As you may know, SymLink uses standard STP (shielded twisted pair) CAT5 cable supporting up to 10 meters in length. Typical CAT5 cable, by design, has different twist lengths for each pair which means that each pair has a different physical length. This difference in length causes a signal delay difference from pair to pair which is known as skew. Excessive skew between the twisted pairs that carry data and the audio clock can cause a great deal of grief.

Fear not! Your friendly Symetrix engineers have found an alternative solution brought to us from the land of video, a cable that can increase the maximum SymLink cable length from 10 meters to 61 meters, or 200 feet worth of SymLink. Read on for the details…

We’ve tested a new low-skew cable manufactured by Belden, model number 7987. Designed for long distance video runs, Belden 7987 has extremely low skew. It is even available in Plenum-rated and Riser-rated versions. The Belden part number for the plenum-rated version is 7987P while the riser-rated version is 7987R.

To attain SymLink distances of 200 feet, three conditions must be met:

1. You need a cable with sufficiently low skew.

2. Since the Belden 7987 is an unshielded cable, particular attention needs to be paid to the ground potential between SymNet devices.*

3. Lastly, the quality of the RJ-45 connections must be perfect. Sloppy connections or slightly bent pins will reduce the achievable length.

*In our testing of a worst case scenario (one device floating and the other grounded), we measured a ~50 VAC (RMS, measured with multi-meter) mismatch between the devices. However, as soon as a SymLink cable was connected between them, even an unshielded cable, the ground difference was reduced to a few volts. While the SymLink transmitter/receiver chips have some built-in protection to prevent any damage, the long term effects of a large voltage differential between units is unknown at this time.

As always, your mileage may vary. While this revelation in cable technology has proven itself in our lab environment, we can not possibly test all of the unknowns one may encounter in a real-world installation. A little care to ensure that all devices are indeed grounded and all SymLink RJ-45 connections are tight should provide great reward.

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

What happens if a SymLink ring is interrupted due to a bad, or unplugged cable?

All units in the ring will continue to function but audio and control signals will not be transmitted across the gap nor will any control information be transferred “downstream” of the gap.

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.

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 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 can I use a "DJ Tamer" in Designer?

Clever Use of Dynamic Side-chains Creates a “DJ Tamer” This tech tip is more of a featured application. The “DJ Tamer” linked below is no more than a clever use of the side-chain inputs on a few of the standard dynamics modules found in SymNet Designer.

The DJ Tamer works by tricking a DJ to stay within a predetermined gain range, allowing him/her to push their gain up to a certain point. After that point, his/her gain will be automatically attenuated. The DJ should then be able to figure out the point of maximum gain (allowed by the system installer) and remain there, thus saving your precious sound system from overload.

The Site File linked below contains text notes for setup. A Super-module which can be exported for use in other Site Files is also embedded within the Site File.

DJ Tamer.sym

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.

Is it necessary to power-cycle hardware after changing the DIP switches?


Tip: only the Master unit needs to have the proper baud rate set as determined by DIP switch number 1.

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.

Where can I find specifications or a Data Sheet for the CobraNet and SymLink SymNet line?

A Full Line SymNet Product Catalog complete with specifications can be found below. Additional installation information and/or specifications may be found in each product’s Quick Start Guide (if applicable).

SymNet Full Line Product Catalog (EN)

Can I plug a microphone directly into a SymNet 8x8DSP, 8 In, or BreakIn 12?

Yes. All SymNet 8×8 DSP, 8 In and BreakIn 12 units’ with analog audio inputs are equipped with software controlled mic/line inputs. In the 8×8 and 8in, digitally controlled precision analog attenuators are part of the analog input stages. Adjustments made to the input gain block in SymNet Designer actually trim the level of analog signal being sent to the A/D converter – allowing you to maximize the dynamic range performance of the SymNet hardware. On the BreakIn12, software controls the coarse gain levels of the mic preamp and fine trim is done with DSP modules in SymNet Designer.

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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