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Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Building organ consoles for use with Hauptwerk, adding MIDI to existing consoles, obtaining parts, ...

Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby engrssc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:47 am

Not a new topic, but looking for possible new, better ideas. Large 3M console is being re-worked, upgraded, expanded. It presently is "mounted" on a rolling platform. Plan is to expand to 20 - 24 audio channels. How best to bring the balanced audio (pairs) out of the console? Power amps, speakers are approx 150 ft away. No problem with that.

Previously have tried bringing audio out via multi paired cable(s) thru mouse accessible holes (on console) low, near the ground. Another way was to provide external (on the console) connector(s) for the "umbilical" cord connection. Last was to terminate by a barrier terminal strip using spade lugs. (Least desirable). Rather not deal with large scale connector-itis.

Planning for the 2 - "umbilical cord(s)" to each be approx 30 ft long. (2 - 12 pair shielded cables) Each cable approx 5/8" diameter. Obviously there are more expensive and undoubtedly better ways. but the word there is expensive.

What say ye?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby dcaton » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:33 am

I've got a similar issue, although my cable runs will not be nearly as long. You could locate the audio interface with the speakers/amps and use a USB extender with an ethernet cable.

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01FHTCH68/ref=psdc_13983791_t1_B003L14ZTC

At $40, it's pretty economical.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby engrssc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:18 am

I've tried a similar spec'd USB extender unit which worked fairly ok at short distances - 15 ft or less. But failed at longer distances. Data coming from Hauptwerk is pretty intense.

Perhaps if there was one of these for USB 3.0 it would work better. Haven't found one yet.

But my original question is about cable(s) exiting the console, esp not being a tripping hazard. Not sure there is a solution. Thought of using something similar to router as used with WiFi. Also I need more than 2 audio channels.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby magnaton » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:33 am

Have you considered Cat3 telco trunk cable connectors? These are 25 pair centronics style connectors.

Danny B.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby dcaton » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:04 am

If you don't want any cables exiting the console then your only solution is wireless.

The specs for the USB extender I posted say it supports full USB 2.0 speeds at up to 328 feet. I really don't think you need USB 3.0. My MOTU 24ao interface only has a 2.0 port so that must be sufficient bandwidth for at least 24 channels.

Short of going wireless, I don't think you're going to get anything smaller than a single CAT5 cable from your console to the speakers.

Danny: 25-pair cables generally aren't shielded, so I'd be hesitant to use those for balanced line level outputs.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:51 am

With the price of copper I'd be looking at the possibility of replacing 20 x 150 feet of stranded, shielded pairs with an AVB solution such as running from a Mac to a Motu 24Ao with an ethernet cable. The plus is that you need the interface and just need to factor in the cost of the Mac versus an equivalent PC.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby erikds » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:19 pm

USB Network Gate offers to access a USB device over WiFi.

http://www.net-usb.com/usb-over-wifi

They mention USB sound cards on the list of supported devices.

This would require a second PC (could be older or not very powerful one) to be placed near the Power Amps and connecting a suitable USB sound card to it.
The USB Network Gate software, installed and running on the PC in the console and the one close to the Power Amps would make the USB sound card appear to be connected to the console PC.

Just an idea.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby jkinkennon » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:43 pm

I was asked about the feasibility of connecting a PC to a MOTU 24Ao via Ethernet instead of using a Mac. At this time Microsoft does not have native AVB capability and may not for a long time. There is one Echo brand AVB adapter that might work but it is priced so high that it would be easier to just buy a second MOTU device for the PC end. The manual for the MOTU 24Ai/Ao devices includes a variety of configurations for connecting the 24Ao directly to a Mac or for connecting a pair or MOTU devices such as a 24Ai to a 24Ao for an audio snake where either a Mac or PC could be connected to the 24Ai via USB.

USB connection to MOTU devices is supported for either a Mac or a PC (with their drivers). Only the Mac can readily connect to a remote 24Ao via Ethernet.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby Eric Sagmuller » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:25 pm

I found this seems to be the case with Thunderbolt too. I was hoping to find a Thunderbolt card for a PC, but the existing ones are very limited to certain motherboards, as they need a special connector on the mb to interface with the card.

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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby organtechnology » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:59 pm

Ed,

For AVB: I would use a PC-USB to AVB Box1 and CAT6 cable from Box1 to AVB Box2 and audio cables to the speaker chambers.

or a Dante solution: PC dedicated Ethernet card->CAT5e ot CAT6 to 32 channel Break out Box from Atterotech -> Audio cable to amps/speakers.

However MADI is optical and would also provide a long run of small cable to the audio interface for $$$.

AVB and Dante only require an ethernet cable from the console to the next box. The AVB solution gives you local channels for headphones and other speakers at the console. Dante is a little more complex for the headphones.

I would love to participate in a large Dante project like this. Let me know if I can help.

Thomas
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby engrssc » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:58 pm

Hi Thomas,

One thing I'm trying to find out about using AVB is (in your example) does Box 1 (connected to the PC by USB 2.0) need to be the same number(s) of circuits as Box 2?

In other words, thinking of using a AVB MOTU 24Ao as the output Box 2 (next to the power amps), can a smaller AVB box such as a MOTU Ultralite AVB be used as the AVB "interface from the PC": as Box 1 along with the 24 Ao as Box 2 on the other end of the Ethernet cable? Will H/W be able to "connect" to those 24 output channels of the 24Ao.?

Lots of info on this page

http://motu.com/avb/avb-faq

There is an option of a dedicated, internal (PC to AVB) card from Echo that is meant as a connection from a PC to AVB Ethernet, the Streamware NIC-1 licenced for 16 channels at $800.

https://echoavb.com/products/streamware-nic-1.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby mdyde » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:30 am

Hello Ed,

engrssc wrote:In other words, thinking of using a AVB MOTU 24Ao as the output Box 2 (next to the power amps), can a smaller AVB box such as a MOTU Ultralite AVB be used as the AVB "interface from the PC": as Box 1 along with the 24 Ao as Box 2 on the other end of the Ethernet cable? Will H/W be able to "connect" to those 24 output channels of the 24Ao.?


Correct. MOTU's driver/control panel software allows you to configure the AVB devices and how their respective channels are routed to the computer. I have two MOTU AVB interfaces connected in that way (two 16A units in my case) and they work and perform very well with 64 simultaneous channels (the extra 32 via their ADATs).

See also these topics:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16127
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16279
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=15358
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16280

engrssc wrote:an option of a dedicated, internal (PC to AVB) card from Echo that is meant as a connection from a PC to AVB Ethernet, the Streamware NIC-1 licenced for 16 channels at $800.

https://echoavb.com/products/streamware-nic-1.


Murph mentioned that the Echo AVB card might not work well with the MOTU interfaces:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=16280#p122320

(I have no experience with the Echo card myself.)
Best regards,
Martin.

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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby Tweedle_Dee » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:12 pm

For what its worth, I've been using a MOTU24Ao with a 30-40 ft active USB2.0 extension cable from a Windows PC in a church application for over a year now and it's been very reliable.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby jkinkennon » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:15 pm

I've also used a 10 meter (33 ft.) active USB cable since relocating my console away from a Focusrite Scarlet 18i20 interface that was already wired to 10 to 12 speakers. Works great.

For a church that I'm working with I will be proposing the MOTU 24Ao and will be recommending they go with a Mac, perhaps an iMac with i7 and 32GB at $1900, primarily because the Mac offers native AVB in addition to the usual native Core Audio that requires no additional drivers for most audio interfaces. The ability to easily remote the audio interface or to add a second interface makes AVB so attractive and justifies the extra expense for the Mac.

With a PC one can use a local MOTU AVB interface for little more than the cost of an Echo adapter ($800) and add flexibility to drive local speakers or headphones at the same time. The local AVB interface would connect to the PC normally via USB and then to remote AVB interfaces where more than one remote interface would require an AVB bridge.
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Re: Terminating console audio pairs - how to?

Postby murph » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:54 pm

Have a look at the Motu M64. It will do the usb/avb interface, but also does madi (co-ax! even the most ancient fossils in the electrical world know how to impliment coax cable.) It's the price of the Echo and it works with Motu gear.
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