Studio Networking. Is it worth it?

Greetings, I've not posted here in several years, but I wanted to hear from the community on something I've jumped headlong into. I have a Midas M32r mixer as my studio interface. Not only for the high channel count, but so that latency would not be an issue. I just monitor straight out of the board during tracking and it has really nice built in effects, eq's and dynamics processing. The preamps are decent also. And you can easily add external preamps as there are 6 aux ins as well. However, I have noticed that the lowest latency I could get is still unusable in real time, going through my laptop pc and daw (reaper). It was pretty high end laptop a few years ago, but I won't bore you with the specs.
So, pretty impulsively, when I saw the price go down very significantly, I bought an X-Dante expansion card last week. I was hoping to get better real time audio performance. The goal was to be able to use my usb midi controller and virtual instruments on another computer and monitor the vsti's. In the past, I've just had to monitor the voices in my inexpensive Keyboard (Alesis Recital Pro) which has okay sounds , but when you are trying to lay midi tracks and hear what it may sound like in real time, it's a bummer. Also, the midi over usb is very limiting, so I would have to either get the keyboard close to the computer or vise versa. Very inconvenient. I've heard it said that recording with dante was no better and sometimes even worse than usb. I'm here to tell you that at least for me, there has been a major improvement in real time performance with dante. So, I will be able to monitor the tracking session out of the daw now with a few basic plugins if I want to. So, now I have a dante enabled mixer, 2 laptops with Dante virtual sound card and one copy of Via that I can use on either machine, just not at the same time. I can tell you that the latency on Via, makes it unusable. It does not work as an ASIO driver the way DVS does. If it did, it would be a game changer, because any hardware device or software application can to seen on the network with Via. The possibilities are endless. So, after some research, I came across a FREE application called rtp-midi by Tobias Erichsen. Simple but very nice. Unlike Dante, It allows midi messages to be sent over ethernet or wireless networks. Now I can link the computers together and send midi from the controller to one computer then to the main recording computer. Best of all, it is in very low latency. Now I can monitor using the virtual instrument in the daw of my main computer. I know there folks here who are much more knowledgeable about networking than I am. So, I want some feedback on what else I may be able to do with networking.
Thanks,
Adam Greene

rtpMIDI | Tobias Erichsen

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Audinate | Dante Audio Networking, AV's Leading Technology

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https://www.audinate.com

https://www.tobias-erichsen.de › software › rtpmidi
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I read this with interest, until I realised that when he says "when I came across" he means his company are selling the product. All credibility went out of the windows.

I have a Midas M32 mixer, an X32 and and X32 rack and I use them connected to my computers all the time. However, my DAW of choice is Cubase. There is NOTHING in the mixers I want to use, bar the preamps. The effects are fine for PA use, but I have so much better ones in the DAW. Dante, too, is a great and useful system - but for my studio I simply don't need it. The Behringer drivers are designed to get 32 tracks out of the mixer to the DAW which is great for live recording, but if you feed audio back into the mixer, as we do for live stems, the latency is just OK. Sending from my DAW to use an effect and then it going back, and then possibly returning for another effect is too much - but that's not what the mixers were designed for? I also don't see why you want to send MIDI via a network? The killer for MIDI is drums, which it does actually pretty well, but MIDI timing is the absolute here - it's less accurate that other protocols, but I never have any issues I need to sort with my setup - I never send MIDI to or from the mixers - I don't need to.

I really don;t know what problem is being solved here? What does the MIDI network actually help with?

The Midas preamps are nice, and the live recording from them is lovely - but once the data is in the computer, it stays there. I can use the mixer to let me hear the DAW output if I need to, but I don't. I don't do it daily, but Cubase has no problem responding to buttons I set up - which it picks up from the USB connection I assume.

This simply appears to be a post to promote a product, as the big promo tags at the bottom state. I'm sure the product is nice but the post suggests a problem is being solved. As an M32 owner, I don't see the problem that is being fixed. The mixer is really nice - I love it over the X32, but the effects are hardly mega comprehensive. My Cubase ones, plus the ones I've got since then are better, more adjustable and of course can be controlled in real time from Cubase.
 

gecko zzed

Grumpy Mod
I have two keyboards connected. Both are connected with, and I can switch between, midi din and USB. The controller sits at my left side. The digital piano sits asome distance away, and is connected via 6m midi din and USB cables. Both methods of connection give excellent results. There are no conection or latency problems.

I don't think Dante has many practical applications in a home recording enviroment. For live sound and major in-house installations, I expect it is a different story.
 
I read this with interest, until I realised that when he says "when I came across" he means his company are selling the product. All credibility went out of the windows.

I have a Midas M32 mixer, an X32 and and X32 rack and I use them connected to my computers all the time. However, my DAW of choice is Cubase. There is NOTHING in the mixers I want to use, bar the preamps. The effects are fine for PA use, but I have so much better ones in the DAW. Dante, too, is a great and useful system - but for my studio I simply don't need it. The Behringer drivers are designed to get 32 tracks out of the mixer to the DAW which is great for live recording, but if you feed audio back into the mixer, as we do for live stems, the latency is just OK. Sending from my DAW to use an effect and then it going back, and then possibly returning for another effect is too much - but that's not what the mixers were designed for? I also don't see why you want to send MIDI via a network? The killer for MIDI is drums, which it does actually pretty well, but MIDI timing is the absolute here - it's less accurate that other protocols, but I never have any issues I need to sort with my setup - I never send MIDI to or from the mixers - I don't need to.

I really don;t know what problem is being solved here? What does the MIDI network actually help with?

The Midas preamps are nice, and the live recording from them is lovely - but once the data is in the computer, it stays there. I can use the mixer to let me hear the DAW output if I need to, but I don't. I don't do it daily, but Cubase has no problem responding to buttons I set up - which it picks up from the USB connection I assume.

This simply appears to be a post to promote a product, as the big promo tags at the bottom state. I'm sure the product is nice but the post suggests a problem is being solved. As an M32 owner, I don't see the problem that is being fixed. The mixer is really nice - I love it over the X32, but the effects are hardly mega comprehensive. My Cubase ones, plus the ones I've got since then are better, more adjustable and of course can be controlled in real time from Cubase.
And thus why I haven’t posted in years here. Ridicule runs amuck. If you read the post you would understand that I just monitor out of the mixer not record effects out of the mixer.
Also, no I don’t represent any company or interest. I’m an electrician for a living. The studio is more of a hobby than anything.
The Dante network has helped with latency for real time monitoring directly out of the daw. The midi over network has solved a problem I have been having for years with midi over usb. That’s all.
Is that enough paragraphs? I can never tell.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
And thus why I haven’t posted in years here. Ridicule runs amuck. If you read the post you would understand that I just monitor out of the mixer not record effects out of the mixer.
Also, no I don’t represent any company or interest. I’m an electrician for a living. The studio is more of a hobby than anything.
The Dante network has helped with latency for real time monitoring directly out of the daw. The midi over network has solved a problem I have been having for years with midi over usb. That’s all.
Is that enough paragraphs? I can never tell.
I've seen a few articles on using Dante, specifically products intended for live sound, for recording. As someone who uses Dante a lot for work, it is great for some things. In recording I find the live interfaces to be a step down from those intended for studio use. Here, to each his own. It's not like many use 192k anyway. For latency, Thunderbolt seems to be the better choice. Presonus is 1ms round trip. I can create a 1ms delay with a long XLR cable, so this is short. It is one of the main reasons I went back to the Mac.

This isn't ridicule, just a forum where we post opinions. Thing is, if it works for you or others, doesn't affect me in the least. We all make choices but those however affect our bias'. I think it was more the Dante link that perked a couple suspicions. It is not a common solution but it is one.
 
Well I have a live sound rig also and do some remote setups for churches so I try to buy gear that can be used for both. Most of the time I record the events as well if there is live music.

It would take several thousand to go thunderbolt. New interface and computer. I’ve been a pc guy since I started so it’s probably a little late for me. I won’t tell my age but let’s just say I remember the 60’s. As far as the links, I just thought folks may want to look at what I was trying to talk about. I couldn’t care less if anyone buys it or not. If I ever post again I won’t include links.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Well I have a live sound rig also and do some remote setups for churches so I try to buy gear that can be used for both. Most of the time I record the events as well if there is live music.

It would take several thousand to go thunderbolt. New interface and computer. I’ve been a pc guy since I started so it’s probably a little late for me. I won’t tell my age but let’s just say I remember the 60’s. As far as the links, I just thought folks may want to look at what I was trying to talk about. I couldn’t care less if anyone buys it or not. If I ever post again I won’t include links.
Started recording at 15 in the mid 70's and multitracking by 76. So probably a bunch in common as to experience and approach. Always nice to chat with another old timer.

I was real early to digital. Studio I worked at had the Yamaha DMP7 which was Yamaha's first digital mixer in our analog video editing suite. Before that we sent an engineer to Japan to pick up the just released Sony PCM converter box to use with a VHS machine to record live classical concerts as part of a partnership with a local radio station. Manual and unit was all in Japanese. For my own studio and live sound company, I adopted digital early with the Yamaha O1V with Tdif cards doing both live sound and recording with Tascam DA38's.

A few years ago most of the DSP products we were installing were AVB but Dante seems to have won the format war. Prior to that it was Cobranet. It would be really great if you didn't need a specialized proprietary interface. One of my concerns about all of this is product stability and support for the longer term. Maybe Dante will do just that. Be great if the cost comes down too on the computer side as there really isn't that much to it.

Maxed out Mac Mini is more than enough for me, even for the Presonus 4848 which is a lot of I/O. Less than 2k with the 2828.

Do hope you stick around. I mean, most of us old timers don't really care what others think about us.
 
That’s cool. We did a couple of albums back in the analog days at large (not Nashville) studios. I started my studio when digital was just getting started with a Roland vs840. Recording to zip discs. Then I jumped to the venerable Yamaha AW4416. A big leap forward when it came out. 16 simultaneous track at 24/48 uncompressed was a big deal in 2000. Beat the stuffin out of the early daws. Good to talk to you too. I’m hoping to retire from my day job soon and do what I love a lot more.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
That’s cool. We did a couple of albums back in the analog days at large (not Nashville) studios. I started my studio when digital was just getting started with a Roland vs840. Recording to zip discs. Then I jumped to the venerable Yamaha AW4416. A big leap forward when it came out. 16 simultaneous track at 24/48 uncompressed was a big deal in 2000. Beat the stuffin out of the early daws. Good to talk to you too. I’m hoping to retire from my day job soon and do what I love a lot more.
I'm in absolutely the same boat. Covid really hit my AV install business hard so I might have to add a year or two to my work plans. Was way worse for the live guys. I know a couple that ended up liquidating after having big clients tell them it would be at least two years before they see any work.

The VS840 was probably the earlier version of the unit we used as ours had hard drives. Don't recall the model but they were long like a keyboard. Only thing I ever did was archive them with a digital tape data storage unit. The studio I worked at had a few of these they used for mix to pix as a temp solution while I ripped out the old 24 track analog suite. I stuck to the DA38-88's till I got my own Protools rig. Working at a studio I could use to mix down on my own time made that work.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Sorry Adam - but all the advertising stuff in your topic made it look like an advert. I'm surprised by the latency issues you have - I don't have these. I often use the X32 rack as an in/out centre and latency has never popped up as a problem and it's just a cable.

The equator around the earth with a long XLR cable is 134ms delay - so cables don't for all sensible lengths have any delay at all? So not sure what Folkcafe was having issues with? Using my X32 the latency figure indicates in Cubase as 9ms. I'm still confused by what you're doing that is causing issues and why? You seem to have problems that cause you grief - but I don't quite understand them. I've been running a couple of Midiman 8x8 midi units for years and they've never caused any issues - but now my MIDI use is minimal and they're still in the rack in the studio but doing very little.

I didn't intend upsetting you - but just figured the post was a promotional thing. Having the links made me wonder - I'm sorry I got the wrong end of the stick, no offence was intended - but I am very confused as to what the problem is? I use the M32 with a MacBook for live recording and it seems pretty much the same running on Windows 10 PCs - so what am I missing.
 

Folkcafe

Active member
Sorry Adam - but all the advertising stuff in your topic made it look like an advert. I'm surprised by the latency issues you have - I don't have these. I often use the X32 rack as an in/out centre and latency has never popped up as a problem and it's just a cable.

The equator around the earth with a long XLR cable is 134ms delay - so cables don't for all sensible lengths have any delay at all? So not sure what Folkcafe was having issues with? Using my X32 the latency figure indicates in Cubase as 9ms. I'm still confused by what you're doing that is causing issues and why? You seem to have problems that cause you grief - but I don't quite understand them. I've been running a couple of Midiman 8x8 midi units for years and they've never caused any issues - but now my MIDI use is minimal and they're still in the rack in the studio but doing very little.

I didn't intend upsetting you - but just figured the post was a promotional thing. Having the links made me wonder - I'm sorry I got the wrong end of the stick, no offence was intended - but I am very confused as to what the problem is? I use the M32 with a MacBook for live recording and it seems pretty much the same running on Windows 10 PCs - so what am I missing.
My math may be off. Old TV repair guy back when it was analog. Transmission of audio was via a carrier freq and the tuner would break out both video and audio intermediate frequencies. It took longer to demodulate the video than the audio and so TV's had a delay line which was simply a wire wrapped around an insulator. One of those cases where I've forgotten much of the numbers but not the principle. Then there is self induction and capacitance which opens a whole other topic. The delay lines had the same, LRC characteristics. Filters and mid range audio smearing due to the circuit impedance is caused by changes in phase aka timing. How does that work again. Anyway, 1ms latency round trip was my point, which is pretty low.
 
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Sorry Adam - but all the advertising stuff in your topic made it look like an advert. I'm surprised by the latency issues you have - I don't have these. I often use the X32 rack as an in/out centre and latency has never popped up as a problem and it's just a cable.

The equator around the earth with a long XLR cable is 134ms delay - so cables don't for all sensible lengths have any delay at all? So not sure what Folkcafe was having issues with? Using my X32 the latency figure indicates in Cubase as 9ms. I'm still confused by what you're doing that is causing issues and why? You seem to have problems that cause you grief - but I don't quite understand them. I've been running a couple of Midiman 8x8 midi units for years and they've never caused any issues - but now my MIDI use is minimal and they're still in the rack in the studio but doing very little.

I didn't intend upsetting you - but just figured the post was a promotional thing. Having the links made me wonder - I'm sorry I got the wrong end of the stick, no offence was intended - but I am very confused as to what the problem is? I use the M32 with a MacBook for live recording and it seems pretty much the same running on Windows 10 PCs - so what am I missing.
No problem here. I appreciate this forum and have learned tons just by reading threads over the years. It’s not an issue when tracking and using the main or mix busses coming direct out of the mixer for monitoring. When I’ve tried to monitor out of the daw it’s been an issue. Not terrible just not great. It’s probably my computer. It’s an 8th gen i7 - 6 core, 512 gb ssd so it boots in seconds. 32 gb ram, BUT it’s a Dell. Which I have learned after doing exhaustive research is not good for real time audio even after optimization. I don’t even think Dell knows why. I just got a great deal and bought it for the specs. Thanks all and I will continue to check in.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Sorry I explained badly. If the dell is dodgy then surely it’s dodgy with a daw, and the mixer is just like using any interface? That’s the bit that’s confused me. Probably I assumed you had a daw and an interface and it worked fine, but you wanted to use the nice and expensive bit of kit you have laying around Instead. I have a couple of dell machines but I don’t use them for audio, so I’ve not ever tried them, but I’m sure some people use them for audio? What kind of latency figures do you get? Maybe it’s your daw software that doesn’t like the dell? What have you got connected to the Dante network. I’ve not needed it for what I do. I did think it would be useful with linking the three 32’s I have but AES seems to let me run two happily and now the patching is more clever it does the trick.
 
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