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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, the audio can be sent over the same network as control information, and even unrelated data traffic.
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.
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.
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.
No. however we strongly recommend that Gigabit switches be used due to the clear advantages in performance and scalability.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dante Controller is free of charge and is available for download to registered users from the MONISMS website.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Yes. Once routes are established with Dante Controller, a simple network of two Dante devices will work in a stand-alone fashion.
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.
Multicast and unicast can be used simultaneously on a Dante device. Channels are individually selectable for multicast transmission.
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.
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.
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:
In addition to audio routing the Dante Controller allows you to:
For more information, see the Dante Controller User Guide.
Dante Virtual Soundcard allows you to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)”.
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.
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.
As most Dante devices support gigabit Ethernet, CAT5E or CAT6 cable is recommended. For purely 100Mbps networks, CAT5 may be used.
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.
While Gigabit switches are recommended, 100Mbps switches may be used in limited scenarios.
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.
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 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.