We've collected the following FAQ's from years of helping clients achieve success. If your question isn't listed, please contact us for more information.
Are Dante audio packets transmitted using unicast (point-to-point) or multicast (one-to-many)?
The audio packets can be transmitted using either unicast addressing or multicast addressing. By default they are sent using unicast addressing, but the user can change this to multicast using the Dante Controller.
Can Dante devices be daisy chained?
In most cases the answer is “no”. Dante devices are connected via a network switch, which most often means a “star” topology – all devices are connected to a single central point, which minimizes the number of “hops” through which data must pass. This also avoids the scenario in which the failure of one device causes the entire “daisy chain” to break.
Can I configure my Dante devices with static IP addresses?
Yes, you can configure static IP addresses for one or both of the Ethernet ports (for supported devices), via the Network Config tab of the Device View for the device.
However, by default, Dante devices obtain IP addresses automatically - so there should be no need to specify static IP addresses, unless it is a specific requirement for your network.
Can Dante operate over a Wi-Fi network?
No. While possible in principle, the practical limitations of current wireless technology (802.11a/b/g/n) render reliable audio performance, with ultra-low latency unachievable. For this reason, Dante Virtual Soundcard and Dante Via will not recognize wireless connections for audio data.
However, you can use Dante Controller to control and configure the Dante network over a Wi-Fi connection. Dante Controller must be version 3.10 or higher for Wi-Fi support.
To enable this feature:
1.Open the Configure Dante Interfaces dialog.
2.Uncheck 'Use shared Dante interface'.
3.Select your wireless adapter.
The wireless adaptor must be connected to the Dante network.
Can I connect a Dante device directly to my computer?
Yes. Simply connect your Dante enabled devices to an Ethernet switch, using Cat5e or Cat 6 Ethernet cable, and then connect your computer to the same switch. If you have only one Dante-enabled device to connect to your computer, you may eliminate the switch and simply connect the two with a Cat5e or Cat6 Ethernet cable.
Can I use any network switches with Dante Via?
Most off-the-shelf switches are fine for use with Dante, apart from unmanaged switches with Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE), which interferes with Dante clocking.
This PDF lists some of the switches that are not compatible with Dante.
For best performance you should use managed Gigabit switches with Quality of Service (QoS) functionality.
Can I use Dante Via over Wi-Fi?
No – Dante does not support Wi-Fi, your networked devices must all be physically connected to the Dante network via Ethernet Cat5e or Cat6 cables across a compatible network switch.
Can I use Dante Virtual Soundcard with multiple computers?
Yes. Multiple instances of Dante Virtual Soundcard can be used as both Transmitters and Receivers.
Note: Dante Virtual Soundcard is authorized for only one computer per license, and so this will require multiple licenses which may be purchased directly from the Audinate website.
Can I use EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet or 'Green Ethernet') in my Dante network?
Short answer: no.
EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet) is a technology that reduces switch power consumption during periods of low network traffic. It is also sometimes known as Green Ethernet and IEEE802.3az.
Although power management should be negotiated automatically in switches that support EEE, it is a relatively new technology, and some switches do not perform the negotiation properly. This may cause EEE to be enabled in Dante networks when it is not appropriate, resulting in poor synchronisation performance and occasional dropouts.
Download list of incompatible, unmanaged switches with Energy Efficient Ethernet
Therefore we strongly recommend that:
1. If you use managed switches, ensure that they allow EEE to be disabled. Make sure that EEE is disabled on all ports used for real-time Dante traffic.
2. If you use unmanaged switches, do not use Ethernet switches that support the EEE function, because you cannot disable EEE operation in these switches.
Can you mix control and audio on the same network?
Yes, the audio can be sent over the same network as control information, and even unrelated data traffic.
Do I need Dante Controller? What does it do?
Yes, you need Dante Controller.
Dante Controller is a free application that may be downloaded from our website (include URL). Dante Controller allows you to see and make connections between Dante-enabled devices on your network. You need it in order to establish connections to and from your Dante Virtual Soundcard. Once the connections and routes are initially set up, Dante Controller does not need to be running.
Do we need another standard?
The fact is there will always be new standards. AES67 is based on mature IETF standards, such as RTP, that have existed for some time, so in many respects the underlying protocols can be thought of as mature and widely deployed, rather than new.
Do I need to start Dante Virtual Soundcard each time I wish to use it?
No. It is not necessary to turn Dante Virtual Soundcard off when you power off your computer. The Dante Virtual Soundcard application acts like a control panel, allowing the user to configure and enable the software. Dante Virtual Soundcard will show up as a soundcard in your audio settings. Once the application window is closed, Dante Virtual Soundcard continues to function and be available, even if the computer is restarted.
Does Dante require special switches?
No. however we strongly recommend that Gigabit switches be used due to the clear advantages in performance and scalability.
Does AES67 require new switch infrastructure to support the standard?
No. Unlike some other network standards, it does not depend on specialized or modified Ethernet switches in order to operate. AES67 was designed to operate on existing Ethernet infrastructure.
Does Dante require a dedicated network infrastructure?
No. Dedicated network infrastructure is not required. Dante-enabled devices can happily co-exist on an existing converged data network. Dante, VoIP, and email traffic can all transmit across your business network together.
Does Dante require a IP multicast capable switch?
Yes, but all Ethernet switches support multicast. Dante doesn’t need special multicast features from switches and is designed to work efficiently with advanced multicast features like IGMP Snooping.
Does Dante require any special network infrastructure?
No. Unlike other many other audio networking protocols, no special network infrastructure is required. Since Dante is based upon universally accepted networking standards, Dante-enabled devices can be connected using inexpensive off-the-shelf Ethernet switches and cabling.
Does Dante work with Fiber Optic network cable?
Yes. Because Dante works with standards based networking technology, using fiber is simple. Use a switch that supports fiber connections to send Dante data over a fiber optic cable.
Ethernet is not copper or fiber based, it is independent of the cabling medium. Many organizations will have fiber already in place from other projects and this can simply be re-used on a Dante network.
Does the Dante Controller need to be present at all times for a Dante network to operate?
No. Once the system has been set up the Dante Controller can be shut down or removed. The routing information is stored in the Dante-enabled devices themselves.
How do I set up audio routes on a network?
Audio routes are most frequently configured using the Dante Controller software, running on any Windows or Mac OSX computer that is attached to the Dante network.
To route signals, Dante Controller presents a grid-style view of devices. Transmitting channels are shown on the upper horizontal axis, while receiving channels are shown on the left hand vertical axis. Clicking at the intersection of a desired transmitter/receiver pair creates a connection instantly, and is indicated by a green checkmark.
Audio may also be routed via licensed third-party configuration software available from suppliers of some Dante-enabled equipment. An example of such a third-party application is the Lake Controller from Lab.gruppen, which can be used to configure Lab.gruppen PLM Amplifiers as well as Dolby Lake Processors.
How do I obtain Dante Controller?
Dante Controller is free of charge and is available for download to registered users from the MONISMS website.
How accurate is Dante clocking?
It is very accurate. Dante clocking guarantees that all devices are synchronized to within 1 microsecond or less, and that all devices can play out audio at the level of sample accuracy.
How is the Master Clock determined?
Dante uses a distributed Master Clock election protocol that automatically selects the best clock for the network, based upon information advertised by each Dante device. This information includes the quality of its clock, clock source, link speed and other parameters, and results in the best clock being elected as the Master Clock.
How hard can I push a Dante network link?
As a rule of thumb, total bandwidth utilisation (including multicast and unicast) on any given link should not exceed 70% of the supported bandwidth for any link.
Utilisation above 70% of supported bandwidth can adversely impact clock synchronization (especially if there is also non-Dante traffic on the network).
Is AES67 a competing standard to AVB?
No. AES67 is an interoperability specification that could potentially provide an RTP-based transport in an AVB Layer 3 solution. The AVnu Alliance is responsible for defining the future specifications of the AVB Layer 2 and ultimately IP / Layer 3 transports.
In Dante Controller, I can't see my Dante enabled device.
- Check that the network cable is plugged in, and that the activity lights are flashing (fairly rapidly).
- Check that the correct network interfaces are selected. The selected network interfaces can be changed via the 'interface selection' button in the main Dante Controller toolbar.
- Check that your network interfaces have the correct IP addresses (set to acquire IP address automatically).
- If there are two different wired network interfaces on your computer, ensure that they are in different subnets – or disable the unused network interface.
- Check that you have no Antivirus software installed (Dante uses 'unusual' port addresses, due to the 'usual' port addresses already being used by other common applications).
- Check that you have no firewall active – please see the Dante controller user guide for details of how to safely configure a firewall for use in a deployed network.
Is it possible to make direct connections between Dante-enabled equipment?
Yes. Once routes are established with Dante Controller, a simple network of two Dante devices will work in a stand-alone fashion.
Is AES67 or AVB a competing protocol to Dante?
Audinate does not see networking protocols as competing technologies. Neither AES67 nor AVB are competitive equivalents to Dante. AES67 and AVB are both a collection of standards, which are not actual implementations. Dante is a commercially supported solution, and more than just a standard. It is important to emphasize that AES67 will be incorporated as an option within Dante, rather than an alternative to it. Our OEMs recognize the benefit we provide to enable them to develop their products quickly and benefit from our expertise.
Is the ability to do multicast defined on a per-channel or per-device basis?
Multicast and unicast can be used simultaneously on a Dante device. Channels are individually selectable for multicast transmission.
Since Dante is already the dominant IP audio networking technology, why is AES67 needed?
Dante is a complete media networking solution designed for high quality AV streaming. The A/V industry has embraced Dante because it is easy to set up, delivers a rich and robust feature set and is the most interoperable networking solution available. From the beginning, Audinate has incorporated standards to create the Dante product suite, and AES67 provides another standards-based transport choice within Dante for Layer-3 / IP-based audio networks.
There are lots of Ethernet switches available. Will they all work with Dante?
All Ethernet switches are capable of working with Dante. However, please be aware that there are some features on some kinds of switches that will allow you to build larger and more reliable Dante networks.
What features are important when purchasing a switch?
Dante makes use of standard Voice over IP (VoIP) Quality of Service (QoS) switch features, to prioritize clock sync and audio traffic over other network traffic. VoIP QoS features are available in a variety of inexpensive and enterprise Ethernet switches. Any switches with the following features should be appropriate for use with Dante:
- Gigabit ports for inter-switch connections
- Quality of Service (QoS) with 4 queues
- Diffserv (DSCP) QoS, with strict priority
- A managed switch is also recommended, to provide detailed information about the operation of each network link: port speed, error counters, bandwidth used, etc.
- The ability to deactivate Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE). Unmanaged switches that feature EEE should not be used with Dante.
What else does the Dante Controller allow me to do?
In addition to audio routing the Dante Controller allows you to:
- Configure device parameters such as device name, receive latency and sample rate and clocking parameters.
- View network and device information such as link speeds, status and utilization; clock status and firmware version.
- Be notified when significant changes happen on the network such as a change of clock master.
For more information, see the Dante Controller User Guide.
What are the minimum system requirements for Dante Virtual Soundcard?
- Processor: Dual core CPU
- Memory: 1 Gigabyte of RAM
- Network interface: Standard wired Ethernet, 100Mbps or higher. A Gigabit (1000Mbps) interface is necessary for use with channel counts above 32x32 @48kHz.
- Storage/Disk: Disk speeds of at least 7200rpm are strongly recommended when recording 16 or more channels of audio.
- Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) interfaces are not supported.
What are some uses for Dante Virtual Soundcard?
Dante Virtual Soundcard allows you to:
- Use a computer as an audio source or a destination on the network
- Record multitrack audio directly to your computer
- Record audio from multiple Dante equipped devices at one time
- Send audio to multiple Dante equipped devices at one time
- Record online conference audio (e.g. Skype)
Dante Virtual Soundcard is bundled with several popular Dante-enabled interfaces, thus providing a simple, complete and cost-effective recording solution. Since you are on a network you are no longer restricted by limited cable lengths. A Cat5E cable can be 100 Meters (110 Yards) between switch hops.
What are the benefits of AES67?
While AES67 does not provide performance improvements beyond what Dante already delivers today, the inclusion of AES67 in the Dante solution enables interoperability with other AES67 implementations by other compliant vendors.
Today, Dante provides interoperable audio networking between hundreds of products developed by our licensees. Dante already implements an IP Layer 3 transport, but AES67 will provide an alternative open standard within Dante for transport using the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
To achieve interoperability, AES67 mandates a specific RTP payload format for delivering audio over IP networks, as well as methods for exchanging information about audio streams. RTP is already used extensively in communication and entertainment systems that involve streaming media, such as VoIP telephony, video conferencing, and IP television. AES67 offers the potential for lower cost network transport built on mature standards when compared to other less widely adopted industry standards.
AES67 can exploit Ethernet switches supporting the IEEE-1588 precision time protocol and Quality of Service (QoS) but, unlike some other network standards, does not depend on specialized switches in order to operate.
Like Dante’s transport layer today, AES67 is by nature a routable IP protocol. This allows for audio over IP solutions to scale beyond simple local area networks, passing through routers as well as switches. This potentially opens broad new markets for audio over IP solutions.
What are the benefits of Dante?
Dante is a powerful technology that allows many channels of audio to be transmitted and received over a single Ethernet cable without the complexities and limitations of earlier solutions. Dante’s low latency and tight play-out synchronization meets the most demanding of professional audio and installed sound requirements using off-the-shelf IT equipment. It is easy to set-up configure and manage because Dante-enabled devices discover one another over the network and learn each other’s capabilities (number of input and output channels, sample rates and bit depths supported etc.) Dante devices and channels can be given “friendly” names meaning audio can be routed without having to use or remember magic numbers.
What is the AES67 standard?
The AES67 standard provides interoperability recommendations for professional quality audio networking in the areas of synchronization, media clock identification, network transport, encoding, streaming and session description. The Audio Engineering Society published the AES67 standard in September 2013. You can obtain a copy of the standard here.
What is Dante Virtual Soundcard?
Dante Virtual Soundcard is software that allows computers to act as Dante-enabled devices on a network. With Dante Virtual Soundcard, audio applications on your computers to send and receive up to 64 channels of uncompressed audio to and from other Dante-enabled devices, including other computers running Dante Virtual Soundcard. Dante Virtual Soundcard eliminates the need for expensive hardware soundcards.
What happens if you try to give two Dante devices the same name?
If you try to give two Dante devices the same name, a conflict will be detected and one of the devices will be automatically renamed in order to preserve unique names. For example, if you call two Dante devices “Fred”, one of them will retain the name “Fred” and the other will rename itself as “Fred(2)”.
When do I need to use QoS in a Dante network?
QoS is required when using Dante in networks that have 100Mbps devices and is optional in networks with Gigabit devices. We recommend that QoS be enabled in all Dante networks in order to ensure proper operation under all possible conditions.
See this FAQ for information about DSCP/Diffserv values.
What’s the maximum number of devices that an Ultimo-only network can support?
Testing under heavy load conditions has indicated that an Ultimo-based clock master can support at least 40 clock slave devices before synchronization issues may begin to manifest. Thus, dedicated Ultimo-only networks of up to ~40 devices should operate well under most load conditions.
A range of other network conditions may however affect the performance of the network, such as high multicast traffic, and the presence of non-Dante network traffic.
QoS can be configured on your switches to prioritise PTP clock packets over audio packets. The use of QoS will increase the number of devices that can be supported on an Ultimo-only network (see this FAQ for more information about using QoS for Dante networks).
Also, the inclusion in your network of a Brooklyn II, Broadway, Dante HC, Dante PCIe or Dante-MY16-AUD/2 device to act as clock master will significantly increase the number of devices that can be supported in the network.
What type of Ethernet cable is recommended for Dante?
As most Dante devices support gigabit Ethernet, CAT5E or CAT6 cable is recommended. For purely 100Mbps networks, CAT5 may be used.
Will Dante Devices with AES67 support be able to connect to other manufacturers AES67 compatible devices?
Yes. The purpose of the AES67 standard is to tie several existing protocols together to create an interoperability specification. The goal of AES67 is that every audio device can eventually connect together with a standard IT network, and share audio.
What is the minimum requirement for switches in a Dante network?
While Gigabit switches are recommended, 100Mbps switches may be used in limited scenarios.
- For low channel count (<32) applications, a 100Mbps switch may be used as long as it supports proper QoS, and QoS is active. The use of 100Mbps switches without QoS is not recommended or supported.
- For higher channel counts, Gigabit switches are essential. QoS is recommended for Gigabit switches on networks that share data with services other than Dante.
What is the difference between a 100Mbps, 1000Mbps and 10000Mbps switch, and how does this affect Dante?
These numbers indicate the maximum rate that a port on a switch can transfer data. 100Mbps is often referred to as “Fast Ethernet”, 1000Mbps as “Gigabit Ethernet” and 10000Mbps as “10Ge” or 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
The number of channels that can traverse one link in a network is proportional to the link speed. A link will always slow down to the lowest speed connector on that link; for example if a Gigabit port on switch A is connected to a Fast Ethernet port on switch B, the link speed will be 100Mbps Fast Ethernet. This is good, because it allows you to mix link speeds in a network without having to do anything complicated.
Naturally the faster the links in your network, the higher the performance, and for this reason we recommend that you use gigabit Ethernet as much as possible, especially when switches are being linked together. Many Dante enabled devices use Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, for this reason it is a good idea to use gigabit switches throughout your Dante network.
Which audio applications does Dante Virtual Soundcard support?
Windows: any audio application that supports WDM or the ASIO interface. This includes nearly all currently available professional level audio workstations such as Nuendo, Cubase, Reaper, and Pro Tools, and many consumer-level audio applications such as iTunes and Skype.
OS X: any audio application that supports the Core Audio interface. This includes all professional level audio workstations such as Logic and Cubase, as well as all consumer level applications such as iTunes and Garage Band.
When does it make sense to use multicast rather than unicast?
When a particular audio channel or group of audio channels is being sent to multiple receivers (typically three or more) then it is a more efficient use of available network bandwidth to send a single multicast packet to many receivers than to send individual packets with identical payloads to each receiver.