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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 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).

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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

4000 feet is the longest recommended cable length.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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 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.

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 Terminal.zip