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Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby organtechnology » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:22 pm

A few days ago DHM posted an email about using the Dante audio system with Hauptwerk and I got curious. Now I am glad I did because this really looks like the way to go on systems with large numbers of speakers (up to 64) and as few as 4 speakers. If using powered speakers like the JBL LS305 or the Behringer 2031 monitors the only audio wiring needed over hundreds of feet is Ethernet Cat5e cable we all use for the internet. One Cat5e cable can handle 64 channels and a few audio jumpers to the speakers from the Dante box.

So since most of us have fewer than 64 speakers in our setup it means one small cable from our Hauptwerk computer to the location of the speakers and Dante interface Break out Boxes (BoB) which provide Dante Digital to analog conversion and a few short analog cables to the powered monitors. There are also Dante compatible amplifiers which can accept the Dante Digital audio directly and run passive speakers.

The sound card is a $30.00 license for the Dante Virtual Soundcard which can Send 64 channels of Hauptwerk ASIO digital audio out through the Gigabit Ethernet port. The signal is sent to the proper devices by using the Dante Controller software to route the from signals from transmitting devices to the appropriate receive devices where it comes out as analog audio to feed powered speakers. I have loaded a trial version which seems full fledged but I have yet to receive any Dante compatible D/A boxes to try it.

The main advantage of Dante is that it runs on readily available non-blocking, layer 2 switches which can be had for about $50.00 on Amazon for an 8 to 10 position Ethernet switch and Ethernet Cat5e cable. In the case of a Dante 32 channel BoB', only one cable needs to be run between the Hauptwerk computer and the BoB. The other cables are short analog cables that run to the speaker cluster.

As someone pointed out earlier, Dante, AVB, RedNet and others are similar but not always compatible with Dante. Still Dante seems to be the protocol of choice for more and bigger venues. From a medium sized church to a university campus, Dante audio over ethernet is the one to watch.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby wurlitzer28 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:08 pm

I realize this is quite an old post but I am looking to redo my current Hauptwerk/M-Audio 1010lt 32 bit XP computer system and while I am only using 4 speakers, Dante may be overkill, but I am quite intrigued by the concept if the price is not at the caviar level.

My M-Audio card has always been flaky with Rice Krispy like snap, crackle, pops since day one, so it will not be reused.

I'd be looking to run HW and Band in a Box [for auto bass/percussion] on a 64 bit PC or MAC. From the PC what would I need to add to drive my 4 powered monitors?
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby rhedgebeth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:59 pm

Dante for our purposes is mainly called for to reduce the amount of wiring in an installation. It typically adds about $500.00 to the cost of your interface. Your interface would be Dante enabled either as a separate component (DAC unit) or integrated into your amplifier in the case of a few channels in a single amp. Rack-mounted equipment nearer the speakers is implied. (The interface cost is multiplied for multiple amps when accommodated there). This also implies professional grade amps, again at greater cost.

In the case of a residential scaled system, a higher quality standard interface, such as from RME or MOTU, will result in similar improvement at lower cost.

(Dante level 2 certified)
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby wurlitzer28 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:06 pm

Thank you very much for the quick reply Richard.

I knew this might be squirrel hunting with an elephant gun but again I liked the technology.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby rhedgebeth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:45 pm

There is indeed a lot to like about the technology. The software iteration allows very high quality transmission of 64 channels over a single ethernet Cat 5 or 6 cable at low latency. Hardware accelerator versions increase that to 128 channels from a single unit at sub millisecond latency. We'll be using the hardware version in a major forthcoming project, though for most situations the software version is thoroughly adequate.

A bit over the top for the typical living room however! (unless you happen to have a very large music room with a large number of channels to feed.)

Do bear in mind as you make your system choices that the end result can never be any better than the weakest link.

Best wishes for your endeavor.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby wurlitzer28 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:13 pm

Thanks again Richard.

My 1928 Wurlitzer 2/10 Pipe Organ has been sold so the HW part of the system, that I had incorporated, will be removed and is in need of upgrading any way. I could no longer maintain the Pipe Organ, health issues, and hopefully it will be going back into a theater.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby organtechnology » Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:42 pm

Hi Richard,

We have found some Dante Output Only modules that come in 4 channel blocks for about $125.00 per channel and in conjunction with the software ASIO module and a Level-2 Non-blocking switch comes in at about the same price as an a MOTU AVB system. Good dynamics, good frequency response and lots of audio for powered speakers. The next step up is a 32 channel output only rack mount for about $3000.00 plus it does not need the switch as it can be fed directly from the PC. Also turns out that Focus Rite Rednet is Dante based. We have switched to Dante for all our church and large venue systems and have made Dante an option for home use. That skinny little wire that takes 64 channels 300' is a real draw.

Best regards,

Thomas

(Dante Level 2 Certified.)

rhedgebeth wrote:There is indeed a lot to like about the technology. The software iteration allows very high quality transmission of 64 channels over a single ethernet Cat 5 or 6 cable at low latency. Hardware accelerator versions increase that to 128 channels from a single unit at sub millisecond latency. We'll be using the hardware version in a major forthcoming project, though for most situations the software version is thoroughly adequate.

A bit over the top for the typical living room however! (unless you happen to have a very large music room with a large number of channels to feed.)

Do bear in mind as you make your system choices that the end result can never be any better than the weakest link.

Best wishes for your endeavor.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby jgallops » Sun Jul 29, 2018 11:24 am

Deleted.
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby dw154515 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:39 am

I STRONGLY considered using 2 Attero Tech D32o's for my new organ but decided against it due to cost.

https://www.atterotech.com/products/dante-aes67-rack-mounts/und32

I use Dante all the time (for work - never for Hauptwerk yet) and it is a great tool that is rapidly becoming the standard. Latency is nearly NOTHING.

Next week I am actually putting in a "church chime" system that uses a single Attero Tech encoder to send a Dante Audio signal from one source, to multiple decoder endpoints spread across an entire campus to roof-mounted speakers. The idea being that Dante can actually broadcast the signal, all the way across the campus network, without delay, and it be played from multiple rooftops in synchronization. Pretty neat.

I will try to report back with how successful it is.
Drew A. Worthen
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby Romanos » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:35 pm

dw154515 wrote:I STRONGLY considered using 2 Attero Tech D32o's for my new organ but decided against it due to cost.

https://www.atterotech.com/products/dante-aes67-rack-mounts/und32

I use Dante all the time (for work - never for Hauptwerk yet) and it is a great tool that is rapidly becoming the standard. Latency is nearly NOTHING.

Next week I am actually putting in a "church chime" system that uses a single Attero Tech encoder to send a Dante Audio signal from one source, to multiple decoder endpoints spread across an entire campus to roof-mounted speakers. The idea being that Dante can actually broadcast the signal, all the way across the campus network, without delay, and it be played from multiple rooftops in synchronization. Pretty neat.

I will try to report back with how successful it is.


Drew, this sounds like it deserves its own post! I'm intrigued...
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Re: Using Dante Ethernet Audio with Hauptwerk

Postby dw154515 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:56 pm

It works beautifully, but it was a real nightmare, since it required very strict adherence to Audinate’s network requirements. This lives on an enterprise network at a university, so having their IT folks do exactly what we asked was a real hassle - proper switch/port configurations, multicasting properly, VLAN, etc. Long story short, however, it works beautifully once everyone got on the same page. From end to end, the two furthest speakers are almost a half a mile apart and, when standing in the center of campus, they are as in sync as is possible to determine. We are hopping between buildings, through many switches, over fiber and copper, and ultimately it all works. Pretty cool. I believe Audinate or Atterotech will be writing a feature article on it at some point.
Drew A. Worthen
Master of Music in Composition - Butler University
http://www.drewworthen.com
Director of Music - Greenwood UMC
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