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Riedel RockNet
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
Talking Riedel RockNet

Has anyone had any experience with this range of products?

Looks promising for a quick setup option for remote or concert work.

Details at RIEDEL.net > Audio Solutions > RockNet Overview > Overview

Thanks

Larry Elliott
Old 26th November 2009
  #2
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Larry,

This product looks inviting.
Have you played around with it yet?
Old 26th November 2009
  #3
Steve,

I haven’t had a chance yet - it has just become available in New Zealand.

As you say - it does look interesting.

Larry
Old 28th November 2009
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Hey Larry,
We used RockNet a couple of years ago for the NBC Tree Lighting, to deal with signal chains across multiple desks (Monitors, FOH, Broadcast) with mixed results. The product line is very interesting, not without its flaws, and not easy to setup and implement. When it is finally setup and working, however, it seems to be quite robust.

I'd say you need to look very closely at the product line, determine how you'd want to use it, and get a serious product demo before investing.

Hope this helps!

JvB
Old 30th November 2009
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
What kind of flaws did you find JvB?
Old 30th November 2009
  #6
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
What kind of flaws did you find JvB?
We had issues in the programming and testing phase, with the designer of the product onsite to setup and troubleshoot. We expected the programming to work flawlessly; it didn't. Once it did work, we expected the same exact system to work in the field as it did in the shop- it didn't. Once everything was working, we had to follow a strict power-up/down sequence to insure the units saw each other correctly. Of course, this was a large star system with many drops of inputs & outputs and console I/O, not a single stage box talking to a single console. All I'm saying is, get a demo for what kind of system you want- it might be perfect, but as a building block system, it will require a learning curve to make it work as you need.

JvB
Old 30th November 2009
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Thanks Jim.

It's been a few years since you used them; I wonder if they worked out these issues yet.
Old 30th November 2009
  #8
Jim / Steve

The company has recently been purchased by Riedel who have extensive networking experience. Given their work in high end communications systems I would expect the problems Jim had to be resolved by now.

In any event - we plan to do a full set up to verify the system we are planning to install into a music school.

Will let you know how things progress - but the implementation will be about 12 months away.

Larry
Old 2nd December 2009
  #9
Gear Addict
 

I replaced my Ethersound based system with a Rocknet one in September.

This is my live sound rig (I'm mostly a live sound engineer). It's just a small system (2 x Rocknet100 16/8io boxes and 2 Rocknet MY-cards for Yamaha mixers).

My experience with it contra the Yamaha Ethersound based solution (AD8HR preamps and DME24N engine) so far has been:

Sound Quality: Very nice!

So far it seems to be very good sounding inputs (and outputs!), with a very low noise floor. I haven't recorded anything with them yet and taken it to the studio for more careful listening, but compared to the preamps in my Yamaha LS9, they are much quieter and also compared to the AD8HR pres. They also sound nice and open. The PA (d&b Q) is dead quiet when the band is not playing using both Rocknet ins and outs.

Convenience: Ace!

I realize my system is probably a lot smaller/simpler than the one Jim talks about (the one that had some issues), but in my experience - coming from Ethersound - it has been extraordinarily easy to set up and robust as heck! I figured out how to set it up and did it within 30 minutes and I haven't really touched anything since then.

Everything just works. It says nothing when unplugging and plugging things (Rocknet links, I mean) which is a great advantage in live sound with a PA connected at full blast. My old Ethersound system would sometimes emit a squeal that could damage your hearing when unplugging the "multicore"/Cat5-cable. Rocknet is very well-behaved in this manner.

It really feels like it was designed by people who know what at least I want. Once setup in September, everything has remained the same. All units have remembered their settings. They don't care in which order I connect them - neither chronologically or link-wise. Everything just works and keeps working. The ring-redundancy works beautifully - not a glitch in sight. When testing it initially, I sometimes found myself having problems INTERRUPTING the signal - it became a task in itself to figure out which cable I had to yank to break the damn thing! heh

Interrupting links, reconnecting them, removing others. The system quietly enumerates in the background and just feels trustworthy.

Also the Yamaha Remote Gain protocol has worked flawlessly. Much easier to setup than Ethersound. Never think about it anymore - it too just works.

The software-side of things is also very well thought out. All units have a USB-port. Take a regular USB A-B cable and a laptop, connect to any unit in the chain, download the very light and small program of the web, run it and voila! Instant access to the network. No complicated driver install or server/client something or host/editor what-have-you required. Just a small self-contained utility that instantly recognizes the USB connected unit and hooks up. It just works! Hurrah! This is how it's supposed to be, folks! These guys got it right. Coming from Ethersound where you have to connect the computer at the upstream-most point and install several utilities before connecting, this is just a breeze!

Size/Weight: Ridiculous.

My Ethersound/Yamaha setup was a very deep 12U rack that weighed about 60-70 kgs. My Rocknet setup (using Rocknet100) is about the size of a regular toolbox. 32 channels down / 16 up in one extremely easy one-hand pickup. About 10 kgs.

After having written all this I realize that I should probably make it clear that I have no affiliation with Riedel or Rocknet!
Old 3rd December 2009
  #10
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Hey DogBoots,
I'm thrilled to hear that you have a great, robust system you are happy with!
I should have realized how over-the-top the the NBC Tree Lighting System was, it was indeed VERY aggressive and very high profile- and perhaps impossible to serve.

I'm very encouraged to hear this kind of results from a simple system end-user, and in comparison to a direct competitor trying to do the same thing, like Yammie.

Good report! Larry, this is probably a lot closer to the report you needed to hear!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog Boots View Post
I realize my system is probably a lot smaller/simpler than the one Jim talks about (the one that had some issues), but in my experience - coming from Ethersound - it has been extraordinarily easy to set up and robust as heck! I figured out how to set it up and did it within 30 minutes and I haven't really touched anything since then.
Old 8th December 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Just wanted to post a follow-up...

This friday I had a gig (I'm using Rocknet for live SNR, as mentioned) and the Rocknet snake started acting up! Oh, no! I knew I shouldn't have praised it so loudly in here just days before. Hybris!

I had tested the snake by playing back some music over the PA, which went fine but a bit later I noticed the remote gain control wasn't responding as the phantom powering on the Rocknet units didn't reflect the settings in the desk.

Quickly hooked up the PC-utility, which stated that a bad cable had been detected in one of my MY-slots in the Yamaha console. But this couldn't be - I did have sound through the system...

After a little going back and forth it turned out that the Cat5-cable connecting the stage and FOH was indeed faulty. So the system was accurately diagnosing the problem right away. I just didn't heed the advice as I didn't realize that even if a Cat5-cable is bad in one direction Rocknet can still use the other direction... I'm used to all things Cat5 (hereby also Ethersound) - if it works, it works and if it's broken just a little - it doesn't work at all. Rocknet apparently makes a half-broken snake half-work.

So much the more impressive - I just had to learn it.
Old 16th December 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

RockNet experience

We just did a tree lighting a few weeks ago at the Grove in Los Angeles. It was video taped and edited into a show which played a few days ago. We had a truck mix, FOH and monitor position. Each desk had three RN141 MY RockNet cards all with separate gain control. The truck had control of the analog pre and the other two desks were in slave mode with gain compensation. After the show we were talking and realized that no one had any issues or even realized they were using the RockNet system compared to the traditional copper snake.

We utilized a RN 302 8ch line out unit in the truck for additional outs for ISO records, 3 RN 101 IO at the stage. We used copper sub snakes to go to the stage. We had feeds going everywhere. The truck had a TV mix that had to go to three different locations, VIP area and green rooms. One location was near the Monitor mix position and the other was near the FOH position. I sent one feed down RockNet and the guys routed the signal to there output and feed the location. I also had tracks that needed to be at FOH and Monitors also just sent it down RockNet and they placed it on there input strip, done. I also had a shotgun mic that was behind FOH, I had the mic plugged into the FOH desk and he routed the mic to me via the PM5D. I did not have gain control but it was a set and leave it. Worked in a pinch.

In the software we labeled every input and output so that when it came time to route signals to different locations it wouldn't get confusing.
Our truck run was 400' to the stage and the front of house run was 350' to stage.

Once we get the boxes made we are going to use the RN 101 IO as a stage box. We will be able to drop 4 RN 101 IO throughout the stage with one where the wireless mics and IEM reside. At each location we have the option of 16 mic inputs and 8 outputs. FOH or Monitors can send back feeds or mixes to any of these locations. The boxes will also be able to be connected together so they can act like a standard split on the side of the stage. We have been using it all together as one large system or just a MY card and a stage box. There is not other system that provides this type of flexibility with such ease and reliability. Load in and load out is way faster. Take a look at the dog house on the back of the FOH desk for this tree lighting. Does that look like a typical 48 in and 24 out mess?

Since the day we bought out RockNet system we have not used a copper snake since...and don't plan on it. I have been waiting for a digital snake system that I feel good about and that could deal with multiple splits with seamless gain compensation. They’re minor tweaks we would love to see happen but they are insignificant compared to the over all package.

I guess I like the system this was easy to write.


PS. The picture with the RockNet in the box was our first use. The rep brought it to our load in and we had it up and running in 45 min. We used two cards and two RN 101 16x8 IO boxes.


Trace Goodman
Goodman Audio Services, Inc.
Los Angeles, California
Goodman Audio Services News
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Last edited by Trace Goodman; 17th December 2009 at 08:23 AM.. Reason: Contact info at the bottom
Old 17th December 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 

trace-

Good to see you here... Might want to introduce yourself in one of the other threads- love to see you posting more if you've got the time for it.

You probably don't remember me, but I worked with you years back on a bunch of gigs at UCLA... A couple colleagues of mine also speak very highly of the work you do as well.

--Ben
Old 27th February 2018
  #14
Have to say. Rocknet really rocks!
Excellent sound quality, easy setup, no complicate configuration.
My problem now, is which console to choose? Soundcraft Vi is too big, pricey. Si is compact, but no small enough.
Looking the integration with Waves LV1 through MADI, but no iPad APP...
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