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  #21  
Old 07-23-2017, 12:16 AM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

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Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
Dante is similar to AVB and is supposed to be compliant with the AVB standards (if the AVnu Alliance ever gets around to actually finalizing the AVB spec), but it is able to run on much more commonly available general consumer and enterprise level networking gear.
This AVB/Dante interoperability was mostly "product design by PowerPoint presentation", I suspect whilst Audinate were hedging their bets. Sort of like 1990s Microsoft saying that Windows would run OS/2 applications...

It is true that there is a profile of AES67 that supports AVB's time synchronization protocol (gPTP vs PTP) but I am not aware of any implementations actually using it.
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  #22  
Old 07-23-2017, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

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[...] AES67 has the advantage of being an open standard but it does not dictate a protocol for discovering endpoints, so interoperability can (at the very least) require some manual configuration or impose some limitations (Dante's 1ms latency limitation when speaking to an AES67 device stems from it only supporting multicast discovery in that mode).
I tried looking up some of the terminology and concepts that are new to me, and only uncovered more gaps in my knowledge. It seems one may need at least a basic understanding of networking, which I lack, for explanations of terms like "discovery" and "multicast" to look like more than a random jumble of acronyms and jargon. Everything I know about computer networking can be summed up with "the thick wire in the giant telephone jack is faster than the magic invisible connection."

Given that, is there any chance of you being able to successfully explain to me how these interoperability issues manifest, and what kind of configuration might be required to make a system work? I assume AoIP is not a plug-n-play proposition?

For example, to bring this discussion back to something vaguely resembling the original topic, if I connect an audio interface to my switch, can I assume that Pro Tools will immediately recognize the existence of those inputs and outputs? If not, how would I "tell" Pro Tools they're there?

In the case of things like the 1ms latency hard deck, would I be made aware of that via some sort of visible interface (like a pull-down menu that only goes down to 1ms), or would I find out by selecting something beyond the capability of the system and it failing to work? Or is it not a user-adjustable parameter?

It's becoming clear that, for people like me, just making sure every device in the system says "Dante" somewhere on the panel is the best approach, but I'd still like to understand the basics better. I don't want to be one of those guys who can't troubleshoot when things go sideways.
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  #23  
Old 07-23-2017, 04:53 PM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

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Given that, is there any chance of you being able to successfully explain to me how these interoperability issues manifest, and what kind of configuration might be required to make a system work? I assume AoIP is not a plug-n-play proposition?
I don't really have any experience with Ravenna/AES67 (except for briefly trying to make it interoperate with Dante), so I'll have to confine my comments to AVB and Dante.

Dante is pretty much plug-and-play, something which falls out from the software and hardware being supplied by a single vendor (Audinate make chips/boards which third-parties can integrate). So that is a massive win as far as the end-user is concerned. The disadvantage is that it is a proprietary solution.

AVB and AES67 are open standards, anyone with the necessary knowledge can implement them royalty-free (patents notwithstanding). Apart from the fact that fewer devices support AVB, once you get beyond a point-to-point configuration with macOS, it does become more fiddly to configure. (If you are curious about the details, see my previous posts on this forum.) It also requires support in your Ethernet switch/hub which is not yet widespread; Dante and AES67 will work with pretty much any modern switch.

Quote:
For example, to bring this discussion back to something vaguely resembling the original topic, if I connect an audio interface to my switch, can I assume that Pro Tools will immediately recognize the existence of those inputs and outputs? If not, how would I "tell" Pro Tools they're
there?
Taking Dante as an example, you have a few options for getting Pro Tools to talk to it: the cheapest is to use Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS), which makes the Dante network appear as a CoreAudio device. The disadvantage is that it has high (several milliseconds) latency. For lower latencies, there is a Dante PCIe card, or there are Dante to Pro Tools HD bridges (from Avid, DAD and Focusrite). For DVS and the Dante PCIe cards, the Dante network appears as a CoreAudio device; with a Pro Tools HD bridge, it appears as a HD interface.

You then use a separate application (Dante Controller) to patch the I/O between your local Dante interface and other Dante devices on the network.

In the case of the Red 4Pre, well, first you figure out how you wish to connect your computer to it (Thunderbolt, DigiLink, or Dante). Then I imagine Focusrite has its own application for patching inputs and outputs; and then, you can patch its Dante I/O to other devices on the network. This double level of indirection/patching can require a clear head!

Configuring AVB in a multipoint network is similar in theory but more complicated in practice.

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In the case of things like the 1ms latency hard deck, would I be made aware of that via some sort of visible interface (like a pull-down menu that only goes down to 1ms), or would I find out by selecting something beyond the capability of the system and it failing to work? Or is it not a user-adjustable parameter?
The former.
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  #24  
Old 07-24-2017, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

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(Heaps o' helpful snipped.)
Thanks for the helpful information! You is a good people.

I didn't think the switch issue was a big deal until I looked up the price of the one MOTU sells. USD$400 for a five port switch?! Yikes.

In principal it seems like using an open standard would be the most flexible and future-proof approach, but the vendor-adoption figures you provided earlier seem to suggest that, in this case, the proprietary scheme may actually be the safer choice. If the majority of vendors are using Dante, it seems like fighting inertia to go with anything else.
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  #25  
Old 07-24-2017, 01:19 AM
LukeHoward LukeHoward is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

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Originally Posted by V5V View Post
I didn't think the switch issue was a big deal until I looked up the price of the one MOTU sells. USD$400 for a five port switch?! Yikes.
Still a lot cheaper than the competing options.

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In principal it seems like using an open standard would be the most flexible and future-proof approach, but the vendor-adoption figures you provided earlier seem to suggest that, in this case, the proprietary scheme may actually be the safer choice. If the majority of vendors are using Dante, it seems like fighting inertia to go with anything else.
I agree. I think possibly AES67 will eventually supplant it, and Audinate's offerings will move further up the stack, but that might take a while. I'd be really surprised if AVB gets much further traction outside of the industrial/embedded and automative markets. Ask me again in five years!
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  #26  
Old 08-11-2017, 05:41 AM
RyanC RyanC is offline
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Default Re: Focusrite Red 4Pre!

Just thought I would throw out there that I replaced my 16x16 and Omni with a Red 8Pre and it absolutely ROCKS.

What I did not expect is that the Red 8 Pre TB performance is substantially better at lower latencies than an HDN card. What's also really cool is with a TB hub I now only need a single optical TB cable between the machine room and the control room- It carries HDMI, USB, network and TB to the Red 8Pre and there is no change in performance with the 32 sample buffer.

Of course you are limited to only 32 i/o in HD via TB- hopefully Avid will lift this at some point because they are getting left in the dust here.

The built in routing/mixing is awesome. Finally I don't have to have a convoluted template in PT just to route the mix to everywhere (headphones, lounge etc). I haven't replaced my behringer P16 with the ipad/ios headphone mixer, but I probably will because it's pretty smooth as well. It is multiclient, so you can use this in a larger studio setup with multiple red pres (ipad can be assigned to any computer/red pre in the facility).

The Pre's are solid, nothing amazing in the color department and they aren't Grace level clean, but very usable. The front panel interface is a little annoying, you will want to plan to have TB connected IMO even if you use digilink.

I have two Red 8Pre's now (as well as a Rednet PCIe, and Rednet 5) and am planning a full Dante network when I move the studio this fall/winter. My only requests for them would be to make it work on Rednet Control, and to make a monitor A/B switch with output trim and allow any outputs (even dante) to be assigned to monitors.
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