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Dante Monitor Controller Control Surfaces
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Head
 
miketeachesclass's Avatar
 

Dante Monitor Controller

I’m looking for a dante monitor controller - something between the focusrite AM2 and the Grace 908. (I really only do 2.1).

If the Avid S3 was dante rather than AVB, I’d use that.

I’m avoiding things like the SSL nucleus because of bad HUI integration with pro tools.

In any case, I’m having a hard time finding something appropriate. Anybody have a suggestion?

Thanks!
Mike
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
I’m looking for a dante monitor controller - something between the focusrite AM2 and the Grace 908. (I really only do 2.1).

If the Avid S3 was dante rather than AVB, I’d use that.

I’m avoiding things like the SSL nucleus because of bad HUI integration with pro tools.

In any case, I’m having a hard time finding something appropriate. Anybody have a suggestion?

Thanks!
Mike
Why not the AM2?
Or look at Klang for their products.
What do you need your controller to do (I only ask because if you were looking at the S3, the AVB implementation is pretty small scale.)
What are your Dante devices currently (ie, converters out? audio interface?)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Gear Head
 
miketeachesclass's Avatar
 

The AM2 has the Audinate Ultimo chipset which isn't capable of latency as low as the Brooklyn ii chipset.

My needs are fairly simple - switch between 2 sets of speakers, and allow headphones. I reached out to a Klang rep, but they indicated that their products are really not meant for monitor control, as there's no volume control. Just line out or headphones.

I'm using (3) Grace M108s and the rednet PCIeR card as my interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Why not the AM2?
Or look at Klang for their products.
What do you need your controller to do (I only ask because if you were looking at the S3, the AVB implementation is pretty small scale.)
What are your Dante devices currently (ie, converters out? audio interface?)
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Hmm, nothing I can think of that suits this perfectly. There’s the DAD AX32 with MOM but that’s likely to be an expensive solution.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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Agreed. I’ll keep looking. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
Hmm, nothing I can think of that suits this perfectly. There’s the DAD AX32 with MOM but that’s likely to be an expensive solution.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
The AM2 has the Audinate Ultimo chipset which isn't capable of latency as low as the Brooklyn ii chipset.

My needs are fairly simple - switch between 2 sets of speakers, and allow headphones. I reached out to a Klang rep, but they indicated that their products are really not meant for monitor control, as there's no volume control. Just line out or headphones.

I'm using (3) Grace M108s and the rednet PCIeR card as my interface.
I'm heavily invested in Dante- (Focusrite Red 16 Line, A16r, X2P, Nucleus 2) and I had a similar request/requirement.

I currently use a Grace M905 as my monitor controller.
I don't use the Nucleus monitor section at all, other than to throw talkback up on the Dante network to the vocal booth.

There isn't really an option to what you want and I actually asked Grace if they were going to do a Dante monitor controller and they said 'no plans at this stage' or something to that effect.

IMHO the best solution is to use a Dante device with a digital out that goes into the digital input of your monitor controller (M905, Avocet etc).

Something you might want to check out is the X2P.
I have two of them, one in the vocal booth and another in a part of the studio that has a load of synths/drum machines and a Eurorack system that goes into a submixer.

The output of that Mixer goes into the input of the X2P and the output goes into a set of smaller monitors.
The reason being that that section of the studio is behind the mix position and facing away from my main monitors.

I can send anything from the main mix to the X2P as well as anything from the input ( the synths/drum machines/Eurorack) and even blend between network and local.

The downside is that it will not support multiple sets of monitors (but it does with 1 set of outputs and headphones)- not an issue for me as it is a second workstation in the studio- but it might not be what you are looking for.

Otherwise you are looking at DAD MON but that will be an order of magnitude more expense.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah, there seems to be a hole in the market for both what you describe, and also a Brooklyn-based personal monitor controller with a mixer (as opposed to the AM2 which uses the Ultimo chipset and has no mixer). Curious why no one has addressed this yet.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
Yeah, there seems to be a hole in the market for both what you describe, and also a Brooklyn-based personal monitor controller with a mixer (as opposed to the AM2 which uses the Ultimo chipset and has no mixer). Curious why no one has addressed this yet.
What you're describing is a mixing console (Yamaha, et al), and there are plenty of those in the market. Otherwise, there's not much of a real-world application for having 32/64 channels in a monitor controller...

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic
I don't use the Nucleus monitor section at all, other than to throw talkback up on the Dante network to the vocal booth.
Why not? It seems like this issue has been solved by the Nucleus2 monitor section.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brew View Post
What you're describing is a mixing console (Yamaha, et al), and there are plenty of those in the market. Otherwise, there's not much of a real-world application for having 32/64 channels in a monitor controller...
Well, 16 channels, lower latency than Ultimo, etc – something like this but speaking Dante directly. That's still a fairly distinct product segment from your average mixer
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Head
 
miketeachesclass's Avatar
 

The Grace M908 will have a dante option card. Linked here:

Grace M908


Whether that will trickle into the smaller monitor controllers remains to be seen.

Out of curiousity, what DAW are you using currently? (I ask because you're using Nucleus)



Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I'm heavily invested in Dante- (Focusrite Red 16 Line, A16r, X2P, Nucleus 2) and I had a similar request/requirement.

I currently use a Grace M905 as my monitor controller.
I don't use the Nucleus monitor section at all, other than to throw talkback up on the Dante network to the vocal booth.

There isn't really an option to what you want and I actually asked Grace if they were going to do a Dante monitor controller and they said 'no plans at this stage' or something to that effect.

IMHO the best solution is to use a Dante device with a digital out that goes into the digital input of your monitor controller (M905, Avocet etc).

Something you might want to check out is the X2P.
I have two of them, one in the vocal booth and another in a part of the studio that has a load of synths/drum machines and a Eurorack system that goes into a submixer.

The output of that Mixer goes into the input of the X2P and the output goes into a set of smaller monitors.
The reason being that that section of the studio is behind the mix position and facing away from my main monitors.

I can send anything from the main mix to the X2P as well as anything from the input ( the synths/drum machines/Eurorack) and even blend between network and local.

The downside is that it will not support multiple sets of monitors (but it does with 1 set of outputs and headphones)- not an issue for me as it is a second workstation in the studio- but it might not be what you are looking for.

Otherwise you are looking at DAD MON but that will be an order of magnitude more expense.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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octatonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brew View Post
Why not? It seems like this issue has been solved by the Nucleus2 monitor section.
Partly because I bought the Grace before I bought the Nucleus 2, but mostly because the Grace is more fully featured.
I can use 3 sets of monitors and set different trims so they roughly level match when switching between them.

Also the Nucleus 2's monitoring section is analogue and works somewhat separately from the Dante side of things.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Nucleus 2 for what I use it for- it is a great product but the Grace has an amazing DAC and suits my workflow.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
Out of curiousity, what DAW are you using currently? (I ask because you're using Nucleus)
I use Pro Tools Ultimate, Logic and Ableton Live roughly equally these days.
What I particularly like about the Nucleus 2 is I have all three set up as Daw layers:
DAW 1: Pro Tools
DAW 2: Logic
DAW 3: Ableton Live

and can easily switch between them without having to change protocol, like I had to with Mackie MCU way back when.

I don't have any really issues with HUI emulation.

I'd prefer AVID opened up their protocol though but given they haven't and I don't work in PT 100% of the time I feel this is the best compromise.
FWIW I switched from Avid Artist series (actually mine were Euphonix but they were the same).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Head
 
miketeachesclass's Avatar
 

Thanks for the info. I’m delighted to know the Nucleus is working well with pro tools. I was considering moving to the artist series but you’re making me rethink that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I use Pro Tools Ultimate, Logic and Ableton Live roughly equally these days.
What I particularly like about the Nucleus 2 is I have all three set up as Daw layers:
DAW 1: Pro Tools
DAW 2: Logic
DAW 3: Ableton Live

and can easily switch between them without having to change protocol, like I had to with Mackie MCU way back when.

I don't have any really issues with HUI emulation.

I'd prefer AVID opened up their protocol though but given they haven't and I don't work in PT 100% of the time I feel this is the best compromise.
FWIW I switched from Avid Artist series (actually mine were Euphonix but they were the same).

Last edited by miketeachesclass; 4 weeks ago at 04:54 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I use Pro Tools Ultimate, Logic and Ableton Live roughly equally these days.
What I particularly like about the Nucleus 2 is I have all three set up as Daw layers:
DAW 1: Pro Tools
DAW 2: Logic
DAW 3: Ableton Live
<snip>
I'd prefer AVID opened up their protocol though but given they haven't and I don't work in PT 100% of the time I feel this is the best compromise.
FWIW I switched from Avid Artist series (actually mine were Euphonix but they were the same).
Eucon is open for implementation (and free to do so -- no licensing fees.) Just not for hardware (seeing as that's how they pay for its development -- no non-Avid control surface will be allowed to use it.)

Logic supports Eucon really well.
Ableton Live can use Eucon too but it uses a Mackie Control emulation. Page 9 http://connect.euphonix.com/document...de%20v18.3.pdf
It's a shame they haven't implemented native Eucon support but I think they are more interested in supporting their Push platform.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Eucon is open for implementation (and free to do so -- no licensing fees.) Just not for hardware (seeing as that's how they pay for its development -- no non-Avid control surface will be allowed to use it.)
Yeah I know.
What I mean is that I'd like the Nucleus 2 to support Eucon but Avid won't allow it.

I had a lot of problems with the Avid (Euphonix) Artist hardware suddenly going offline when using anything but Pro Tools- I gather this had been fixed but not until I jumped ship.

Also I use Logic & Live on a separate computer to my Pro Tools rig.
With the Nucleus 2 I can specify which IP midi ports it connect to- the way I have it configured is Logic and Live are on one computer, Pro Tools on another (long story but mostly because of how Avid require you to be several versions of MacOS behind what is current).

I mix in PT but all my sound design and composition work is in the other DAW's.
I realise this isn't how most people work but it suits my workflow.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
Thanks for the info. I’m delighted to know the Nuckeis is working well with pro tools. I was considering moving to the artist series but you’re making me rethink that.
As always check what works for you- I had some specific requirements that were mostly met by the Nucleus 2.
It has been rock solid for me and integrates well with my Dante network.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
I had a lot of problems with the Avid (Euphonix) Artist hardware suddenly going offline when using anything but Pro Tools- I gather this had been fixed but not until I jumped ship.
Yes stability is much improved from the early days. It was pretty unusable for a few years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Also I use Logic & Live on a separate computer to my Pro Tools rig..
You can use Eucon/Eucontrol in workstation mode and control up to four computers from one set of surfaces. So multiple computers isn't an issue as you can just toggle to them.


As to the OP, if you are a "power user" on Pro Tools, without a eucon device you lose things like plugin mapping/automation with direct feedback and VCA spills. There is a lot that HUI does not support that Eucon can do (and that makes sense as the HUI implementation is decades old and limited.)

However, you can use a Eucon device concurrently with a HUI device. I know people who do that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentagon View Post
Yes stability is much improved from the early days. It was pretty unusable for a few years.

You can use Eucon/Eucontrol in workstation mode and control up to four computers from one set of surfaces. So multiple computers isn't an issue as you can just toggle to them.
Good to know- I wasn't using multiple computers back when I was using the Artists so didn't check it out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lukehatpadl View Post
Well, 16 channels, lower latency than Ultimo, etc – something like this but speaking Dante directly. That's still a fairly distinct product segment from your average mixer
An artist cue mixer is very much not a studio monitor controller. But Aviom does do Dante directly, I've used them before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass
I’m avoiding things like the SSL nucleus because of bad HUI integration with pro tools.
There's definitely nothing wrong with HUI on the Nucleus. It's fundamental to the product and something that SSL has in almost every analog console they make, so that'd be quite an oversight...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brew View Post
An artist cue mixer is very much not a studio monitor controller. But Aviom does do Dante directly, I've used them before.
Ah, sorry yes I was getting off the original topic, sorry. I thought you needed a D400/D800-Dante A-Net distributor to interface Aviom's world with Dante. But maybe the personal monitor controllers now do support it directly. Anyway, I'll stop digressing from the original thread!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
While I regularly see less than 1 ms latency with the AM2, what you might consider is just interfacing a 2x2 Dante I/O device to a good completely analog monitor controller? That would let you feed the stereo mix into the controller, and take the studio outputs back into Dante to feed your Dante-enabled Amps/speakers in the other room, and that would let you add the monitor controller's talkback signal as well. I agree that sooner or later someone will add this functionality, it already exists in the various intercoms and other stuff in the industrial/PA product lines.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
I believe both Studio Technologies and Glensound both make Dante monitor boxes...but as for post & field use..not multiple speakers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
I don't have a high-end monitor controller, but I did try interfacing my Presonus Central Station Plus to Dante using a Radio Design Labs LB4P 4x4 A/D.

I took the four channels from the Dante D/A to the Central Stations #1 and #2 inputs. I took the Central Stations Cue Output (meant to drive studio speakers or headphone amps) back into the Dante A/D on channels 1 and 2. Plugged the control room speakers (two pair) into the monitor stations A&B outputs.

I then used an AM2 to drive a pair of "studio" speakers in another room.

In Dante I subscribed the Presonus A inputs to the DAW monitor outputs, and I subscribed the AM2 to the Presonus Cue outputs.

Everything worked like it should, including the talkback function of the Presonus.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Head
 
miketeachesclass's Avatar
 

That's a pretty cool setup.

How'd everything sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
I don't have a high-end monitor controller, but I did try interfacing my Presonus Central Station Plus to Dante using a Radio Design Labs LB4P 4x4 A/D.

I took the four channels from the Dante D/A to the Central Stations #1 and #2 inputs. I took the Central Stations Cue Output (meant to drive studio speakers or headphone amps) back into the Dante A/D on channels 1 and 2. Plugged the control room speakers (two pair) into the monitor stations A&B outputs.

I then used an AM2 to drive a pair of "studio" speakers in another room.

In Dante I subscribed the Presonus A inputs to the DAW monitor outputs, and I subscribed the AM2 to the Presonus Cue outputs.

Everything worked like it should, including the talkback function of the Presonus.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by miketeachesclass View Post
That's a pretty cool setup.

How'd everything sound?
Sounded just fine. The Presonus also has it's own DAC so I could have used a DANTE-SPDIF interface. But the nice thing about using an analog monitor controller is that you can then pick the level of D/A and A/D that suits your needs. Right now I do almost all my work at 48K, but if I wanted to go to 96K or higher I'd just need to replace the DAC and leave the monitor controller alone.
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