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Switch for Dante/Rednet system Audio Interfaces
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Switch for Dante/Rednet system

I’m looking for recommendations on a switch for a Dante system. Eventually I’ll have 2 converters (Rednet), my Rednet PCIER card, a Dante monitoring system and probably a couple of other Dante devices. The switch will be in the control room where all the Cat 6 cables come in from the booths, live rooms and machine room where my MacPro is kept. I won’t need more than one switch.

I would like to get about a 16 port switch with POE and may not need a managed switch.

Any recommendations?

Thank you
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Do you really need 16 ports? That's a lot of devices. How many separate devices are you going to connect to your Dante network? You want a managed switch in any case. You want to be able to log into the switch and change certain parameters to make it function properly for Dante, the biggest is being able to turn off EEE, which most unmanaged switches don't allow you to do.

The Go-To switches for Dante work for the past 6 or 7 years have been the Cisco SG300-10 managed switches. They have 10 ports. They have recently been replaced by the updated SG350-10. If you need Power over Ethernet, the SG350-10P will run about twice the cost of the non PoE version.

Cisco also has a 20 port rack mount version the SG300-20.

Virtually any off the shelf gigabit managed switch will work for Dante. Features to look for are:

1) Either no EEE/Green Ethernet (power saving features), or those features can be shut off
2) a back plane through put that will accommodate twice the total bandwidth necessary for every port on the switch: For example, if you have an 8 port switch, you want a back plane throughput of 16 gigabits. A 10 port switch needs 20 gigabits, etc...Basically it's one full gigabit of bandwidth in each direction for every port.

If you are only running audio on your network, and it's not carrying data for internet traffic or video, or communications like IP phones etc... then they require virtually no set up, other than disabling the power saving features. (The power saving (Energy Efficient Ethernet or "Green Ethernet" as some manufacturers call it, will shut down ports if they don't sens any traffic after some period of time. Bad ju-ju for an audio network).

I have a small, very compact 8 port switch from Netgear, the ProSafe GS108T that is nice for quick grab and go jobs. There is a whole line of those switches, but the newer ones with slightly different model numbers don't allow you to change some of the important functions of the switch itself.

Yamaha has a line of network switches that are custom built for Dante, and require not a single change to function properly for Dante. But they are also pretty expensive.

My Recommendation is the Cisco SG350-10P
Old 1 week ago
  #3
I bought a netgear prosafe gs716v3 then found out that in order for it to work with any type of audio over ip you need a license that costs around $250 and it is often sold under the wrong description and takes 7 weeks to process the order from the distributor in Australia.

The device is crippled without the license. Because of their 43xx series of new audio over ip switches that are over $4000 here they aren't serious about the prosafe series. I'd look elsewhere.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Thanks guys. I don’t have to have 16 ports but I have 3 medium isobooths 2 small ones and a live room all with (2) Cat 6 Ethernet jacks in each room. One for monitoring and the other is a spare for Dante devices. From time to time I will need to place a piece of Dante gear in one or two of the rooms and I thought it would be easier to just keep them all plugged into the switch all the time and then when plugging in a piece of gear I’m hoping that particular channel will wake up on the switch and I can then use it after routing in the Dante Controller.

Does this make sense and a good plan rather than “patching” a run from a particular booth or live room when there’s a Dante device needed there?

Thanks again
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Gear Addict
 

I would look into the Cisco SG350 series. They come in 10 port and 28 port versions. But the -P versions offer power over Ethernet. There’s a couple of different PoE wattages, so figure out how much power you will need to supply at any given time based on what gear you will be using. Anything that has its own power supply won’t need a PoE port.

Also, I would recommend that you at least take the Dante Level 1 training course through Audinate. It’s free, done completely online with short videos. It will explain a lot of the basics and only takes about an hour to go through the videos. They also offer in person training sessions through out the year in different locations all over the world, which are also usually free to attend, and you get lunch included.

Dante Training

If you post more about your intended set up and what pieces of gear you intend to use that is Dante based, I can make a better recommendation for what kind of network infrastructure you need.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcslaam View Post
I bought a netgear prosafe gs716v3 then found out that in order for it to work with any type of audio over ip you need a license that costs around $250 and it is often sold under the wrong description and takes 7 weeks to process the order from the distributor in Australia.

The device is crippled without the license. Because of their 43xx series of new audio over ip switches that are over $4000 here they aren't serious about the prosafe series. I'd look elsewhere.
Are you talking about a license from Netgear?

As I said earlier, the Netgear ProSafe GS108T works wonderfully with Dante. I’ve used it several times and know others using it. It’s about the size of a small paper back book and costs about $65.

The entire Dante spec was built to run on standard off the shelf network equipment, as long as it meets the bandwidth requirements, and you can shut off the power saving features which put individual ports to sleep when they aren’t being used. That’s one of the things that separates it from AVB/TSN, which require the network switches to be specifically enabled with extra code to run properly.

You don’t, technically even need a managed switch. It will work fine as long as it’s a closed Dante network and there’s no internet, print servers, data back up, video, or VoIP being used on the same network. The managed switches just let you set various parts of the network to give the audio traffic and Dante priority over everything else. If there’s nothing else on the network, then it’s a none issue.
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
I would look into the Cisco SG350 series. They come in 10 port and 28 port versions. But the -P versions offer power over Ethernet. There’s a couple of different PoE wattages, so figure out how much power you will need to supply at any given time based on what gear you will be using. Anything that has its own power supply won’t need a PoE port.

Also, I would recommend that you at least take the Dante Level 1 training course through Audinate. It’s free, done completely online with short videos. It will explain a lot of the basics and only takes about an hour to go through the videos. They also offer in person training sessions through out the year in different locations all over the world, which are also usually free to attend, and you get lunch included.

Dante Training

If you post more about your intended set up and what pieces of gear you intend to use that is Dante based, I can make a better recommendation for what kind of network infrastructure you need.
Thanks very much JC. Maybe you didn't see this earlier and I'll also add to it.

My initial Dante devices will be (2) Rednet converters, PCIE card and of coarse the connection to my Mac and later this year a Dante Headphone monitoring system so at least 5-6 devices total between the control room and machine room (where the computer with PCIE card is).

I have 3 medium isobooths 2 small ones and a live room all with (2) Cat 6 Ethernet jacks in each room. One for headphone monitoring and the other is a spare for Dante devices. From time to time I will need to place a piece of Dante gear in one or two of the rooms. I envision this to be a Dante device that I can plug a guitar into (guitar player in one booth who is also singing) and another device in another booth with the output of the guitar running into a guitar amp for isolation. I thought it would be easier to just keep all the terminated Cat 6 cables coming from all the recording spaces (total of 6) plugged into the switch all the time and then when plugging in a piece of gear to that particular channel will "wake up" the switch/channel(s. I can then use it after routing in the Dante Controller. In reality I only see 2-3 recording spaces having active devices at one time though. Perhaps there is a better way to do this rather than getting a 28 port switch because in reality I'll probably only have 9 devices max going at one time. Im trying to avoid “patching” a run from a particular booth or the live room when there’s a Dante device needed there so hence the thought of a larger switch.

Suggestions????

Thanks again and I have watched most of the Audinate videos now.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Addict
 

Which RedNet converts are you using? Some of them are set up for redundant networks, and some of them have two ports with internal switches, so you can daisy chain them together.

I’ve built and installed Dante systems with Yamaha CL5s, QL5s, Dante to Protools HDX converters, and am working on a Dante based system for my remote recording truck that I just purchased, which will be based on a Red 8Pre. I haven’t yet seen the need to have more than 10 ports, but most of my Dante I/O units have been higher track count units. If you need a larger number of devices with just 2 or 4 inputs, then that certainly changes the network infrastructure requirements.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Thanks very much JC. Maybe you didn't see this earlier and I'll also add to it.

My initial Dante devices will be (2) Rednet converters (a RED 16 Line without redundancy but 2 ports) and (RedNet A8R has redundancy available) a PCIE card and of coarse the connection to my Mac and later this year a Dante Headphone monitoring system so at least 5-6 devices total between the control room and machine room (where the computer with PCIE card is). I do not plan on setting up any kind of redundant Dante setup in my studio.

I have 3 medium isobooths 2 small ones and a live room all with (2) Cat 6 Ethernet jacks in each room. One for headphone monitoring and the other is a spare for Dante devices. From time to time I will need to place a piece of Dante gear in one or two of the rooms. I envision this to be a Dante device that I can plug a guitar into (guitar player in one booth who is also singing) and another device in another booth with the output of the guitar running into a guitar amp for isolation. I thought it would be easier to just keep all the terminated Cat 6 cables coming from all the recording spaces (total of 6) plugged into the switch all the time and then when plugging in a piece of gear to that particular channel will "wake up" the switch/channel(s. I can then use it after routing in the Dante Controller. In reality I only see 2-3 recording spaces having active devices at one time though. Perhaps there is a better way to do this rather than getting a 28 port switch because in reality I'll probably only have 9 devices max going at one time. Im trying to avoid “patching” a run from a particular booth or the live room when there’s a Dante device needed there so hence the thought of a larger switch.

Suggestions???????

I hope Im not asking too many questions here so apologies in advance.

I'm gonna add to this which complicates it a little maybe. I have a MacPro with two Ethernet connections. One is being used to communicate to my SSL Matrix console/DAW controller via a small dedicated Netgear unmanaged switch for controlling my DAWs via IP MIDI. I envision the other Mac Ethernet port getting connected to my new switch for the Dante System.

Will both Ethernet ports work at the same time? Is this advisable to have one switch connected to each port on my Mac?

Is the Ethernet connection going from the mac to the Dante switch only used to change routing in Dante Controller or it is used during tracking along with the Rednet PCIe card?

Thanks again and I have watched most of the Audinate videos now.[/QUOTE]
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 

A few things here:

1) Did you post about this set up over on the Avid DUC forums? Someone over there has almost the exact same set up and was asking about the ethernet ports on the Mac Pro, an SSL Nucleus and Dante.

2) That Red 16 Line won't work with your Mac Pro the way you want it to. It will work if you are using Protools and the Digilink connections, but the Red 16 Line uses a Thunderbolt 3 connection, and there's not a Mac Pro on the planet that has TB3, only TB2. And you can't buy a TB2 to TB3 up-converter or PCIe card to add TB3 capability to your Mac Pro. It will work fine with Protools using the Digilink ports connected to an HD Native or HDX card, but you won't be able to connect it to your computer to change the internal routing and device settings through Focusrite Control. The Red 8 Pre WILL work however, because it is TB2 connection. (If you have a MacBook or PC computer/laptop with TB3 then you can use that for device control if you need to, while audio routes to the Mac Pro).

3) If you are using the Focusrite RedNet PCIe card then you won't need to connect the ethernet ports on your Mac Pro to the Dante network. The PCIe card serves that function and you will be able to access Dante Controller and the rest of the Dante network with the PCIe card. IF, on the other hand, you don't want to use the PCIe card, then you can connect one of the ethernet ports on the Mac Pro and connect to the Dante network through Dante Virtual Sound Card. The PCIe card negates the need to use DVS. I would recommend using the PCIe card over DVS because I have had some really weird and random problems with DVS, which make me less faithful in it's performance over hardware based Dante systems. If you have one, you don't need the other.

4) You definitely DO NOT want to connect both ethernet ports on your Mac Pro to the same Dante network. Nor do you want to connect the primary and secondary ports of any Dante device or card to the same network. That causes a broadcast storm and will shut down the entire network. Remember this: redundant Dante networks are separate networks. They do not cross, and the Dante devices that use redundant connections are built so that they do not talk to each other.

5) is this and older cheese grater Mac Pro? or the newer trashcan Mac Pro? Are you using a PCIe expansion chassis like the Sonnet Mac Server rack?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBigler View Post
4) You definitely DO NOT want to connect both ethernet ports on your Mac Pro to the same Dante network. Nor do you want to connect the primary and secondary ports of any Dante device or card to the same network. That causes a broadcast storm and will shut down the entire network. Remember this: redundant Dante networks are separate networks. They do not cross, and the Dante devices that use redundant connections are built so that they do not talk to each other.
This is not what he’s saying. He’s saying the SSL is on one and Dante on the other.

Personally, I would just put absolutely everything on the same LAN and not use two Mac NICs. This network is sufficiently small enough for there to be plenty of bandwidth for all.

I would also not sweat an expensive switch like SG350. I would not spend more than $150 on a switch for this sized LAN. Netgear has good offerings as was mentioned.

Almost any switch will do at this level of bandwidth. I’ve even (gasp) used unmanaged EEE switches with success. I’d bet most people running DVS successfully don’t even know their driver has EEE on by default...
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Thanks guys. The Red 16 Line WILL work with the Rednet PCIeR card after it is reconfigured in software before using. This was verified by Focusrite. It’s not how they market it but can be reconfigured to work perfectly.

Good to know I won’t have to also connect the switch to my Mac Ethernet port.

I won’t be using any Protools hardware.

Any other suggestions are appreciated
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgeorge View Post
Thanks guys. The Red 16 Line WILL work with the Rednet PCIeR card after it is reconfigured in software before using. This was verified by Focusrite. It’s not how they market it but can be reconfigured to work perfectly.
That's interesting. I have been reading all of the Red line manuals for a couple of weeks and haven't seen it mentioned. Or maybe it was such a small mention that I overlooked it.

If that's the case and Focusrite says it will work, then that should be fine.
Old 5 days ago
  #14
BTW, I also found out that you need to connect the computer AND the PCIeR card to the switch - not just the PCIeR card to utilize all functions of a Dante network properly.
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