Level UP: Dante Cert lv2! So. Many. TOOOLS!!!

On January 20, 2017

This week, I completed my Level 2 Dante certification. Although I’ve been working with Dante for over 2 years now, I felt that I really needed the knowledge in network management and an extra level of problem solving that these sessions give you. Each level can easily be done in a day, especially if you have worked with Dante in the past and have some level of IT networking and communications. For me, the major benefit was putting my networking knowledge in line with my Dante knowledge and really understanding what was going on under the hood.

Dante level 2 certified

At our studios in Oxford, Dante is taking over. Currently our Studio 1 Neve Genesys room has Rednet 2, 3 and 5 units powering all of our audio converting and routing needs. Our Studio 5 Neve 88D room is using the Rednet 6 to handle all of our MADI and our Studio 2 Audient ASP8024 room is due an upgrade at the end of January. Eventually we will put all of our studios onto the network and add more Dante components through the rooms. As such, we have also identified how important it is for students to be exposed to these systems and getting them to understand the networked signal flow alongside the traditional analogue signal flow being taught.

Our Rednets sitting pretty in Studio 1

Our Rednet system sitting pretty in Studio 1

Dante has also been a big part of what we do at Music Tech Fest. The incredible setup we had at #MTFCentral, #MTFScandi and #MTFBerlin all ran on Dante systems, with the last session at the Funkhaus being one of the trickiest installs. It allowed us a huge amount of flexibility, especially when working with broadcast and filming teams. The ability to do both unicast and multicast means huge flexibility in audio flows and the redundancy feature is especially helpful.  The latency and clocking monitoring tools are extremely helpful in the complex setups and allows you to quickly identify system errors. The amount of helpful info Dante Controller spits out was completely unknown to me until doing this course.

MTFBerlin Main Stage

The one great tool I had not worked with was Dante Via. This nifty bit of software allows you to connect any piece of hardware or software to a Dante network. For example, you can route iTunes L+R as two output channels, connecting them via Dante controller to two channels on a mixing console. You could send two outputs of a Dante mixer to the headphone output of a macbook. This is an unbelievably handy tool and something I didn’t even think possible. You should check out the video below:

With many major manufacturers taking on the Dante format, as well as working to the AES67 standards, we are making huge leaps in interoperability. Long live network audio!!

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