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4. Dante Setup

Introduction

An overview of the Dante network concept is provided here. The various parts of the measurement system (source, receiver, headphone amp, PC) connect to an Ethernet switch to form a standard computer network. Dante is the network protocol over which the various components stream audio to each other.

This page covers the remaining hardware setup and Dante network configuration to enable audio in and out of IRIS software.

Headphone Amp Configuration

The Revision 3 Kit includes a Studio Technologies Model 362 headphone amplifier for monitoring microphone signals. These are preconfigured in ready-made IRIS kits, but if you supplied your own hardware, we recommend configuring it in Level/Balance mode as described in this document. In this mode, CH1 pot adjusts level, and CH2 adjusts the L/R balance.

Information

The headphone amp accepts 1/4" and 3.5 mm headphone jacks.

PoE Switch

The Power-over-Ethernet switch forms the central hub of the Dante network and powers the devices connected to it. The following parts of the IRIS system connect to the switch via Ethernet cables:

  • Receiver (the Shure preamp via the 30 m STP Cat5e cable)
  • Source (via the Dante AVIO line output adapter)
  • Headphone amp
  • PC running IRIS software

The switch included in the Revision 3 kit has 6 ports. Ports 1 to 4 provide power (indicated in orange), whereas 5 and 6 do not. Always use ports 1 to 4, even if the device you're connecting does not need power (i.e. the laptop).

PoE switch

Note

The small switch on the front panel should be set to Standard mode.

IP Addressing

The Dante network in the Revision 3 Kit uses self-assigned IP addresses and does not require a DHCP server. You can also use this equipment in a network with a DHCP server if that is necessary.

Procedure

  1. Find a suitable location to set up the laptop and remaining equipment.

  2. Connect the 30 m Cat5e STP cable from the receiver assembly (Shure preamp) to one of the powered ports on the switch.

  3. Ensure the Dante AVIO Line Output adapter and headphone amp are also connected to powered ports on the switch.

    Tip

    We recommend you leave the line output adapter and headphone amp permanently wired to the switch in the bottom of the case.

  4. Setup your laptop and connect it via Ethernet to the switch.

  5. Connect power to the switch.

    Information

    The switch has a built-in 100-240 V power supply with IEC connector.

The connected switch in the base of the case may look like this:

PoE switch connected

Shure ANI4IN-XLR Configuration

The Shure preamp needs to be configured with the correct settings for use with IRIS. The preamp will remember its internal settings but please check each time you set up IRIS.

  1. Open the Shure Web Device Discovery software. It will list the Shure devices on any Dante networks with your PC.

    Shure Web Device Discovery

  2. Double click on the ANI4IN-XLR entry to open the configuration web page for this device.

  3. Enable +48V on all 4 channels

  4. Set the Analog Gain (dB) to 30 on all 4 channels.

  5. The other settings can be ignored (Digital Gain set to 0 dB, and Mute switches disabled)

The final configuration should look like this (click on the screenshot for a clearer view).

Shure ANI4IN-XLR Config

You should see some activity on the level meters if you make some noise.

Dante Network Configuration

Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS)

The Dante Virtual Soundcard allows IRIS to send and receive audio on the Dante network using ASIO drivers.

  1. Open Dante Virtual Soundcard software

  2. Set Audio Interface to ASIO. Click Options button and set:

    • Buffer Size to 128 samples or larger
    • Encoding to 24 bits
    • ASIO Latency to 10 ms

    DVS ASIO Options

  3. Set Audio Channels to 4 x 4

  4. Set Dante Latency to 10 ms

  5. Specify which network adapter your laptop is using to connect to the Dante network. Most PCs only have one wired Ethernet connection.

  6. Click Start to enable the virtual soundcard.

  7. You may close the DVS application. The virtual soundcard will remain active.

An example of Dante Virtual Soundcard configuration:

DVS Config

Important

Your PC should remember these settings, and the DVS will remain active unless you click Stop. However, please check that it is running each time you set up your IRIS system.

Note about buffer sizes and latencies

If you experience any issues with audio glitching during a measurement (a gap or click during sweep playback), try setting larger buffer sizes and a longer latency (ASIO latency and Dante latency). Low latency is not important for an IRIS measurement, and IRIS will automatically compensate for any latencies in the Dante network and Dante ASIO driver.

Dante Controller

Dante Controller software is used to configure the routing of audio signals between different devices on a Dante network. This is necessary so IRIS software knows which signals are arriving from the microphone array, and where to send the excitation signal to the loudspeaker.

Dante Controller does not have to be running once the network is configured as the routing information is stored on each device in the Dante network. In theory, you only need to do this step once, but we recommend you check the configuration each time you set up for an IRIS measurement.

  1. Open Dante Controller software.

  2. On first run you will be prompted to specify which Ethernet interface on the computer is connected to the Dante network

    • Set the Primary Interface to your PC's Ethernet port.
    • Leave Use shared Dante interface unticked.

    DC Network Interface

    You can also bring up this window by selecting the Dante interface button on the toolbar:

    DC Interface button

  3. The Dante Controller main window is shown below. It lists the various audio devices connected to the Dante network which can receive audio (horizontal) and transmit audio (vertical).

    Dante Receivers

    In an IRIS system, there are three devices which can receive audio: the Dante line output adapter (AVIOA01...), the PC running DVS (my PC is called DANP10), and the headphone amp (ST-M362-...).

    Dante Transmitters

    The two devices which can transmit audio are the Shure 4-channel preamp (ANI4IN-...) and the PC running DVS.

    DC Main Window

  4. Before we configure routing, let's check the clock status. This is a good indication of whether or not the Dante network is operating correctly. Click on the Clock Status tab.

    • The Sync status must be green on all devices
    • The Clock Source should be Dante on all devices
    • Only one device should behave as the Grand Master Clock. The Dante system will automatically elect one device for this role. In our example below, the Shure preamp is the master sample rate clock.

    DC Clock Status

    Warning

    If there any problems with clock status (e.g. a red Sync status), or multiple/no units assigned to Grand Master Clock, there's likely some kind of network issue. This needs to be resolved before continuing. Check your hardware setup, and try restarting all of the devices on the network.

  5. Select the Routing tab. We would like to configure routing as shown in this screenshot.

    DC Routing

    1. Expand all of the Dante Receivers and Dante Transmitters by clicking the + buttons.

    2. Channels 1 to 4 from the Shure preamp ANI4IN-... (transmitter) should go to inputs 1 to 4 on the PC (receiver).

    3. Output channel 1 from the PC (transmitter) should go to Dante line output device AVIOA01... (receiver)

    4. Output channel 2 from the PC (transmitter) should go to both channels 1 and 2 of the headphone amp ST-M362....

    You'll see green tick indicators if the routing was completed successfully.

  6. You can close Dante Controller once this is completed.

A note on sample rates

By default, the Dante network devices on an IRIS system will use 48 kHz sample rate. Some devices have selectable sample rates but the Shure preamp only operates at 48 kHz, so all devices must use 48 kHz.

You can use Dante Controller to change sample rate settings for a device:

  1. Select Device Info tab.

  2. Double click on a device.

  3. Select Device Config tab.

  4. In the sample rate section, there will be a dropdown box for selecting different sample rates if that feature is available.

DC - Sample Rate Selection

Tip

You are safe to unplug parts of your Dante network during a measurement session (e.g. to move the receiver upstairs). The Dante system will reconfigure itself automatically once the components are reconnected, but it may take a few moments. You could open Dante Controller to check - if there are green ticks in the routing tab and the clock status is green, you are good to go.