Connecting an H9000 Dante card to a Mac Pro (2013)

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    • #157287
      jbamberg
      Moderator
      Eventide Staff
      chriscarter wrote:

      I've just got the H9000 Dante card and I'm figuring out a workflow before I install it. Our H9000 is attached to our main Internet connected network router via Ethernet (for software updates and such).  Our Mac Pro (2013, Cylinder) has two separate Ethernet sockets – one is currently attached to the same router as the H9000, the other socket is free. So my question is… if I connect the H9000 Dante card to the Mac Pro spare Ethernet socket will the H9000 Dante become part of our main network or will it function independently of it?

      Hi Chris,

      I have exactly this setup.  If you connect a cable between the secondary Ethernet port of the Mac and the H9000 Dante card, it will create a completely separate network independent of your main (Internet connected) network.  The Dante network will use link-local addressing (i.e. the Mac and Dante card will negotiate IP addresses in the 169.254.x.x range).

      If you enable "Internet Sharing" between the primary and secondary interfaces of the Mac, then I think it will put the Dante network behind a NAT (network address translation).  It would probably still work, but I can't think of any reason you'd want to do this.  The H9000 Dante card doesn't need to connect to the Internet.

      Make sure you're using the most up-to-date versions of Dante Controller and Dante Virtual Soundcard.   There was an issue with an earlier version where you couldn't run both DC and DVS on the same computer, but it's been fixed.

       

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    • #157289
      chriscarter
      Participant

      Thanks, that’s good to know, and what i was hoping for too. As you say I don’t need the Dante card connected to the web and I want to keep it all relatively simple.

      I have a second small router that I was considering using just for a Dante star network (I have a few other Dante bits n pieces) – should I just connect that second router to the secondary Mac Pro port and connect the H9000 Dante card and other Dante gear to that router?

    • #157293
      chriscarter
      Participant

      Wonderful, thanks.

      Yes that was my error… it is actually a Netgear Soho Switch, so all good there. I didn’t realise that the H9000 Dante card had two primary switches, that will be really useful.

      On a slightly different but related note…

      would there be any benefit (latency wise) using a PCIeR Dante card mounted in Thunderbolt PCI enclosure to communicate with the H9000 Dante card?

    • #116381
      chriscarter
      Participant

      I’ve just got the H9000 Dante card and I’m figuring out a workflow before I install it. Our H9000 is attached to our main Internet connected network router via Ethernet (for software updates and such).  Our Mac Pro (2013, Cylinder) has two separate Ethernet sockets – one is currently attached to the same router as the H9000, the other socket is free. So my question is… if I connect the H9000 Dante card to the Mac Pro spare Ethernet socket will the H9000 Dante become part of our main network or will it function independently of it?

    • #157428
      zengomi
      Participant

      Would love to bring the H9000, and other gear, into Live. I’ve attempted to use Live’s External Audio Effect. Compared with Logic’s I/O plugin, it’s clunky, as in rather primitive. You have to set up a return track to bring the external signal into the Live environment, and that return track has its own routing requirements. Somehow it must work, but I’ve yet to figure out how. Still trying.

      Someone correct me if I’m off base, but Live seems to be designed from an ‘internal is best’ philosophy. It offers so much cleverness within itself. One could work happily ever after in that mono environment. I’ve a friend who is both a long time Live user and certified Live instructor, and yet he is clueless about incorporating external gear, and yet he has tons of external gear. 

      Honestly, the only reason I bought Live was because I thought it might offer an easy way to connect my iMac and my modular system and other gear. Reflecting on that realization, I realize I prioritize my modular and other gear over any DAW. Hence (here’s the relevancy) purchase of an H9000!

       

    • #157291
      jbamberg
      Moderator
      Eventide Staff
      chriscarter wrote:

      I have a second small router that I was considering using just for a Dante star network (I have a few other Dante bits n pieces) – should I just connect that second router to the secondary Mac Pro port and connect the H9000 Dante card and other Dante gear to that router?

      You can certainly do that.  Strictly speaking what you want is not a router, but a switch or hub.  It's also worth noting that the H9000 Dante card has an internal 2 port switch (in fact it has two of them, for the primary and redundant networks).  So if you had only one other piece of Dante gear, you could plug that straight into the other port on the H9000 Dante card.

    • #157305
      jbamberg
      Moderator
      Eventide Staff
      chriscarter wrote:

      On a slightly different but related note…

      would there be any benefit (latency wise) using a PCIeR Dante card mounted in Thunderbolt PCI enclosure to communicate with the H9000 Dante card?

      I see this is being addressed in another thread so I'll just link this here for anyone following: https://www.eventideaudio.com/comment/41361#comment-41361

    • #157367
      chriscarter
      Participant
      jbamberg wrote:
      You can certainly do that.  Strictly speaking what you want is not a router, but a switch or hub.  It’s also worth noting that the H9000 Dante card has an internal 2 port switch (in fact it has two of them, for the primary and redundant networks).  So if you had only one other piece of Dante gear, you could plug that straight into the other port on the H9000 Dante card.

      Just a short followup to this thread to say how relatively straightforward it was moving over to a Dante workflow, once I had installed the card and download the Dante software – and having followed your instructions too of course. For now I’m on the DVS option and have the overall network latency down around 6-7ms. I may get a PCIe card but that’s quite a chunky investment for a few ms less latency. Anyway I’m now in the process of reconfiguring our studio (by pulling out all the ancient multicores) and expanding the Dante network to include a bunch of other FX units, interfaces, mixers, amp etc.

    • #157373
      zengomi
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:

      expanding the Dante network to include a bunch of other FX units, interfaces, mixers, amp etc.

      It’s good to hear the initial stage of your studio’s Dante transition went so well. Do you have any specifics to share on the next stage? Namely, how might you go about including other gear? 

    • #157381
      chriscarter
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:

      It’s good to hear the initial stage of your studio’s Dante transition went so well. Do you have any specifics to share on the next stage? Namely, how might you go about including other gear? 

      Until I got the Dante expansion for the H9000 we didn’t have any Dante enabled gear, so it was a bit of a leap of faith really. But using the H9000 as a kind of hub I’ve setup a Dante star network and installed DVS on a couple of laptop workstations, one runs Logic, one runs Live. I’ve also installed some Dante AVIO adaptors – two digital I/Os connected to a couple of stereo effects units, some stereo input and output adaptors to a MOTU interface, a sub-mixer and to our main amps for monitoring. Next purchase will be a Sonifex 16 input Dante unit, to feed a bank of synth and drum machine outputs into the network. It’s early days and we haven’t done a major project yet (that will be in a couple of weeks) but the Dante Controller app makes everything so much easier to configure and reconfigure, it’s a revelation. I just wish I’d gone down this path a year ago, before our previous refit.

    • #157388
      zengomi
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:

      using the H9000 as a kind of hub I’ve setup a Dante star network

       

      Thank you for the overall glimpse of what you’re doing. You make an intriguing case for going full-on Dante. Please continue to share updates. 

      My understanding of network topology is still very limited. I can’t grasp how to use the H9000 as a hub. Which of the expansion card’s four connections are using? Is there a switch of some sort as well to accommodate the various AVIO adaptors? To what would you connect the Sonifex AVN-AI16 (assuming that’s the unit you’ll get)?

       

       

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    • #157390
      chriscarter
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:

      Thank you for the overall glimpse of what you’re doing. You make an intriguing case for going full-on Dante. Please continue to share updates. 

      My understanding of network topology is still very limited. I can’t grasp how to use the H9000 as a hub. Which of the expansion card’s four connections are using? Is there a switch of some sort as well to accommodate the various AVIO adaptors? To what would you connect the Sonifex AVN-AI16 (assuming that’s the unit you’ll get)?

      Well when I say hub what I really mean is the H9000 as a ‘processing hub’. So I can route various signals from around the network (laptops, synths, drum machines etc.) thru the H9000 and into our DAW. 

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      There is a physical hub, which is a Netgear 8-port Gigabit PoE switch. That’s connected to our Mac Pro secondary ethernet port, and everything Dante enabled is plugged into the Netgear. Although the way things are going I may have to upgrade it to a 16-port version pretty soon.

      I have one of the H9000 primary Dante ports connected to the Netgear and the second primary port is connected to an AVIO digital I/O adaptor, which is attached to a TC Fireworx directly underneath the H9k.

      Yes the Sonifex AVN-AI16 will connect to the Netgear.

      I just have to figure out a method of feeding multiple signals into our surround amp (7.1). We still have a MOTU828x for that purpose but it’s looking increasingly redundant.

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    • #157392
      zengomi
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:

      Well when I say hub what I really mean is the H9000 as a ‘processing hub’. So I can route various signals from around the network (laptops, synths, drum machines etc.) thru the H9000 and into our DAW.

       

      How do the ‘various signals’ enter the H9000? 

      Thanks for answering my questions. I really appreciate your guidance. Hopefully, other folks are benefiting as well.

       

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    • #157395
      chriscarter
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:

      How do the ‘various signals’ enter the H9000? 

      Thanks for answering my questions. I really appreciate your guidance. Hopefully, other folks are benefiting as well.

       

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      At the moment I’m trying two methods… one is bringing signals (mostly synths, drum machines for now) into Logic Pro via Dante and using the Logic I/O plugin to reroute those in and out of the H9000 channels. The other method is to use the Dante Controller app to send signals directly into the H9000 channels before they get to Logic – but that’s not as flexible as doing the routing from within Logic, as you can send more than one signal (or whole mixes) via Dante to the H9000 from within the DAW.

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    • #157407
      zengomi
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:

       

      At the moment I’m trying two methods… one is bringing signals (mostly synths, drum machines for now) into Logic Pro via Dante and using the Logic I/O plugin to reroute those in and out of the H9000 channels. The other method is to use the Dante Controller app to send signals directly into the H9000 channels before they get to Logic – but that’s not as flexible as doing the routing from within Logic, as you can send more than one signal (or whole mixes) via Dante to the H9000 from within the DAW.

      Thanks. Good to have options.

      Method #2 would seem to promise lower latency. Is there any noticeable difference in latency between the two methods?

      On another tangent, from a wholistic viewpoint in terms of recording, do you generally lay down individual tracks and then adjust their timing (if necessary) when mixing down? Or do you compose all or most tracks and then record them simultaneously? Does using Dante change any aspect of your fundamental approach to recording?

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    • #157412
      chriscarter
      Participant

      zengomi wrote:

      Thanks. Good to have options.

      Method #2 would seem to promise lower latency. Is there any noticeable difference in latency between the two methods?

      On another tangent, from a wholistic viewpoint in terms of recording, do you generally lay down individual tracks and then adjust their timing (if necessary) when mixing down? Or do you compose all or most tracks and then record them simultaneously? Does using Dante change any aspect of your fundamental approach to recording?

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      I’m still attempting to set all this up into a streamlined workflow and so far I haven’t gotten around to testing the latency – other than reading the Dante app settings. I haven’t perceived any noticeable difference between using either method but I’ll post anything significant on here in the coming weeks. I’m still trying to figure out if getting a Dante PCIe card (and expansion chassis) will noticeably improve the latency as it’s quite an investment.

      My preferred method will be to adjust the routing inside the DAW, it’s more flexible and much easier to make complex live signal or recorded track-to-hardware-to-plugin configurations. But that may change if the latency is notably different.

      As far as recording goes… we usually lay down vocals individually (to a ref mix) but keyboards (or modular) and drum machines are recorded simultaneously, sometime not – it depends on the project. But adjusting the timing post-recording has been a way of life forever. I’m hoping this will change somewhat with Dante. Time will tell.

      I’ve removed all our ancient multicore trunking, which has been troublesome for years and having single Dante cables for all those extra channels – and available on both sides of the studio – is great. The fact that I can (if needed) run extra channels from the other side of the room without any additional cabling is wonderful – well assuming I have a big enough Dante interface. At the moment I’m aiming for 16 external channels on the far side (near our permanent array of modulars, synths and drum machines) and another 8 channels next to the DAW, for temporary external access to the network.

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    • #157422
      zengomi
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:

      I’m still attempting to set all this up into a streamlined workflow and so far I haven’t gotten around to testing the latency – other than reading the Dante app settings. I haven’t perceived any noticeable difference between using either method but I’ll post anything significant on here in the coming weeks. I’m still trying to figure out if getting a Dante PCIe card (and expansion chassis) will noticeably improve the latency as it’s quite an investment.

      My preferred method will be to adjust the routing inside the DAW, it’s more flexible and much easier to make complex live signal or recorded track-to-hardware-to-plugin configurations. But that may change if the latency is notably different.

      As far as recording goes… we usually lay down vocals individually (to a ref mix) but keyboards (or modular) and drum machines are recorded simultaneously, sometime not – it depends on the project. But adjusting the timing post-recording has been a way of life forever. I’m hoping this will change somewhat with Dante. Time will tell.

      I’ve removed all our ancient multicore trunking, which has been troublesome for years and having single Dante cables for all those extra channels – and available on both sides of the studio – is great. The fact that I can (if needed) run extra channels from the other side of the room without any additional cabling is wonderful – well assuming I have a big enough Dante interface. At the moment I’m aiming for 16 external channels on the far side (near our permanent array of modulars, synths and drum machines) and another 8 channels next to the DAW, for temporary external access to the network.

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      Thanks for sharing quite a bit of detail, and for any future updates on latency.

      I’m nowhere as far along the Dante path as you. I’ve just the Dante expansion card and an RME Digiface Dante. My Mac is a 2019 iMac, attached to which is a Thunderbolt 3 dock with an ethernet port. So, I’m imagining possibilities building on all of that. Hence my interest in your situation.

      Managing within a DAW routing to external gear is my preference as well. Logic has been easy to use. On the other hand, Live, which is quite new to me, is outfoxing me on routing. From your experience, can you share anything on the differences between the two in this particular area? 

      What you’ve told us thus far about your working methods and your evolving studio is top-drawer community enhancement. 

      ‘But adjusting timing post-recording has been a way of life forever’ is down-to-earth eloquence that speaks volumes about music-making technology and our bittersweet reliance upon it. Will Dante offer significant relief? Please do continue to share your findings from your perspective as both an artist and an engineer. 

       

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    • #157423
      chriscarter
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:

      Managing within a DAW routing to external gear is my preference as well. Logic has been easy to use. On the other hand, Live, which is quite new to me, is outfoxing me on routing. From your experience, can you share anything on the differences between the two in this particular area? 

      DAW routing can be can of worms – I guess it could be an entirely new thread.

      I’ve been an occasional Live user for many years (my partner even longer and a lot of musicians we collaborate with too) but I still struggle with, what seems to me to be, rudimentary routing options. One of the features that make routing so easy in Logic is the I/O plugin, which as you know can route/mix anything to anywhere from within a channel strip – and which multiple instances of can be used in the same channel. Which I can find no equivalent to in Live, not even as a Max for Live device. All you have are basic Audio From/To and Sends. Honestly I’d love someone to correct me on this, or suggest a workaround that gives a workflow similar to Logic’s I/O feature. 

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      At the moment I’m setting up a workflow for project that feeds my partners MacBook running Live through DVS as six stereo tracks over Dante and into Logic for recording in realtime – and where we can use the I/O plug if needs be. It’s working well at the moment and I would even consider this for recording such a performance setup in a live situation too – when we come out of lockdown.

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    • #157424
      bsfreq
      Participant
      chriscarter wrote:
      I’ve been an occasional Live user for many years (my partner even longer and a lot of musicians we collaborate with too) but I still struggle with, what seems to me to be, rudimentary routing options. One of the features that make routing so easy in Logic is the I/O plugin, which as you know can route/mix anything to anywhere from within a channel strip – and which multiple instances of can be used in the same channel. Which I can find no equivalent to in Live, not even as a Max for Live device. All you have are basic Audio From/To and Sends. Honestly I’d love someone to correct me on this, or suggest a workaround that gives a workflow similar to Logic’s I/O feature.

       

      Do you mean something like the “External audio effects”-plugin in Ableton Live? 

    • #157425
      chriscarter
      Participant
      bsfreq wrote:

      Do you mean something like the “External audio effects”-plugin in Ableton Live? 

      And voila! yes that looks like it could do the job… thanks.

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      Like I said I’m an occasional Live user, I wasn’t aware of that.

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    • #157429
      John Baylies
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:
      You have to set up a return track to bring the external signal into the Live environment, and that return track has its own routing requirements. Somehow it must work, but I've yet to figure out how.

      For my workflow, I just use 'Audio To' to send audio into an FX Chain, and 'Audio From' to receive audio after it's been processed by that FX Chain. Every time I try using return tracks I end up deleting them shortly afterwards…

    • #157432
      zengomi
      Participant
      John Baylies wrote:

      For my workflow, I just use ‘Audio To’ to send audio into an FX Chain, and ‘Audio From’ to receive audio after it’s been processed by that FX Chain. Every time I try using return tracks I end up deleting them shortly afterwards…

      What is this “FX Chain” of which you speak? 😉 Is it another internal location? Where does the H9000 sit amongst all of that?

      Although I want to use Dante to connect H9000 and DAWs, maybe chriscarter is right that a new thread is warranted. 

    • #157436
      John Baylies
      Participant
      zengomi wrote:
      Although I want to use Dante to connect H9000 and DAWs, maybe chriscarter is right that a new thread is warranted.

      I've made a new thread here: https://www.eventideaudio.com/community/forum/rackmount/ableton-lives-external-audio-effect

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