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Laptop & Hapi, and or Dad DX32R how to monitor? MIDI Processors
Old 26th August 2018
  #1
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

Laptop & Hapi, and or Dad DX32R how to monitor?

Hey guys,
Here's a quick question for all of you?
I'm considering the purchase of either a Merging Technologies Hapi, or a Dad DX32R | Digital Audio Bridge...
Looking for at least 8 mic preamp inputs that are remotely controlled and can be placed on the stage or close to it.

If we were to take the sonics, (convertors & mic preamps) out of the equation for a moment, I'm confused as how someone monitors (speakers & or headphones) while using either of these in their remote locations?

The DAD has the advantage of their new DAD / MOM speaker controller, but even with that, doesn't the monitor / speaker outputs originate at the mainframe?
Which in my case would be located on the stage...

So what am I missing?
Old 26th August 2018
  #2
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Can you wait a couple of months longer ~Oct. it seems there may be some product announcements from Merging that will fill some market holes.
Old 26th August 2018
  #3
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

David,
Ha!
I literally was just talking with my ole lady over dinner,
saying no matter what my choices are now,
It'll all change in a few months, and I have to at least wait till then to decide.

We're on the same page.

Thanks bud!
Old 26th August 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

One option is the Focusrite AM2, if you spring for the Dante card for the AX32. (You know the DX32 doesn't have analog I/O, right?) Should in theory work with AES67 and the HAPI too, although double check their Dante firmware supports that.

Last edited by lukehatpadl; 26th August 2018 at 03:28 AM..
Old 26th August 2018
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

And yes, the MOM is a controller only, no D/A. (Actually I wish more it had a talkback mic with Dante support.)
Old 26th August 2018
  #6
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tourtelot's Avatar
If you are looking for a simple two channel Dante headphone monitor, the AM2 is a great choice. Loud and clean; you can assign any two Dante channels to it and it will drive phones to "loud enough" at least my AT 50X phones. It is a nice unit to give to a producer and will also feed active monitors with a separate volume control and a big speaker mute button.

However, if you, as the system engineer, want complete control of what Dante channels you can monitor, the new PD Dante from Nixer Pro Audio (UK) is the best choice. Monitor any of 64 Dante channels (32 at 96k) with a touch of a button on the touch screen. It is the size of a book, runs on POE (or a supplied PS), has a nice sounding headphone amp, and even two tiny little confidence speakers built in. It is the bomb-digity.

Nixer Pro Audio Home page

I am a fan-boy but I have no other affiliation. It is just the perfect box for a Dante system engineer.
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Old 26th August 2018
  #7
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roonsbane's Avatar
I have a Hapi with 16 Preamps on stage, and another Hapi back stage in my local control room area. The local Hapi has a Ethernet switch and 8 more preamps and an 8 Chanel D/A converter plus it’s own headphone output. I can feed a two mix to my DA3000’s plus 2 CD recorders. I could feed my digital dynaudio’s or other analog speakers. I use sequoia, but using Anamon, I also feed a separate multitrack laptop running ProTools and I feed my two mix from Sequoia to tracks of ProTools since that’s what my employer wants. Since I have an additional 8 mic pres back stage, I will run cables from the back of the stage to the control room Hapi which is often backstage instead of running cables to the hapi at the front of the stage. No more snakes except for 1 8 channel. It is super badass!
I hope this helps!
Cameron
Old 26th August 2018
  #8
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

Thanks Cameron,
Sounds like a great setup you have there.
And kinda what I figured I might have to do.

It addresses every concern of mine...Albeit a bit more pricey then originally planned!
Old 26th August 2018
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
It addresses every concern of mine...Albeit a bit more pricey then originally planned!
That's what Gearslutz is here for, right?

Please forgive me if you are already well aware of this page, but as far as Dante goes, Audinate has a fairly comprehensive index of available devices which you can filter by function:

Dante-enabled Products | Audinate

Typically "I/O Interfaces" or "Personal Mixing & Monitoring" in the context of this thread's discussion... I've found a few things that way that I have certainly not seen advertised anywhere, particularly from European manufacturers. Curious to see what some of these imminent products from Merging etc. will be!
Old 26th August 2018
  #10
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Plush's Avatar
Run analog out of the stage box to your control room. Monitor on a Mackie or similar while making a two mix. All that is required is an 8 channel analog snake.

Here I use DAD.
Old 26th August 2018
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Paul,

David's advice to hold off another month for Merging's new product announcements (to be shown at the NYC AES Show) is highly recommended.

You didn't mention the format you'd be recording, nor your preferred recording software. If it's PCM, and Pyramix Native, you can set up a PCM Project and do a mix directed to the internal headphone DAC. That in turn can be connected to any cable running to your remote location. I use a second cheap ethernet cable, running alongside the Ravena ethernet cable going to the remote computer, to carry the mixed audio to the monitor amplifier(s).

Using the internal Headphone DAC output for all the PCM rates supported, you then have the flexibility to use up to 16 channels of input preamps.

This scheme using Pyramix Native does not work for DSD recording. Unless you're using Pyramix Masscore, you can't do a realtime mix for monitoring using Pyramix Native. You'd only be able to monitor any selected channel(s), but not mix them.

Tom
Old 27th August 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
Hi Paul,
At the risk of echoing what others are saying here, the way it works is that you put one Hapi on the stage, then run ethernet to the control room to a switch and another Hapi. You create a mix with your DAW of choice and route it to whatever outputs you like, usually the headphone output and two or more line outputs for your monitors.

As Tailspin says, this works fine with PCM. With DSD, you can still route individual channels wherever you like, but you can't create a tracking mix in the box unless you're using Pyramix Masscore. Native won't do it. The other alternative is to route the individual channels to line outputs on your control room unit, and run those into a mixer of some kind.

It's kind of a hassle to have to carry two Hapis all the time, and the Hapi itself is awkward as a monitor controller, so it would be nice if Merging would offer a Ravenna monitor controller of some kind. It would also be helpful to be able to create a tracking mix in the box on a laptop running native. I said before that, Given Claude's comments in the interview video (that they are working on DSP), I have sneaking suspicion that Merging is about to offer an update to the Horus/Hapi that will have integrated DSP and make this possible. But it's just a guess. The idea would be that if the interfaces had a sufficiently powerful DSP, they could offer software akin to Metric Halo's MIO Console, that would allow for creating real time mixes for use while tracking in DSD, even on Pyramix Native. The underlying transcoding of DSD to PCM that would be required would be done by the DSP.

It will be very interesting to see what they announce at AES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Hey guys,
Here's a quick question for all of you?
I'm considering the purchase of either a Merging Technologies Hapi, or a Dad DX32R | Digital Audio Bridge...
Looking for at least 8 mic preamp inputs that are remotely controlled and can be placed on the stage or close to it.

If we were to take the sonics, (convertors & mic preamps) out of the equation for a moment, I'm confused as how someone monitors (speakers & or headphones) while using either of these in their remote locations?

The DAD has the advantage of their new DAD / MOM speaker controller, but even with that, doesn't the monitor / speaker outputs originate at the mainframe?
Which in my case would be located on the stage...

So what am I missing?
Old 27th August 2018
  #13
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

Having to purchase 2 Hapi's, too Much

Thanks Jim,
I get it...
Although I think having to purchase 2 HAPI's seems a bit much for what I need.

No matter what, it looks like it's best to wait till after AES to see what comes out.
It will be interesting to see what's offered by Merging as well as others to solve this dilemma.
Old 28th August 2018
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Thanks Jim,
I get it...
Although I think having to purchase 2 HAPI's seems a bit much for what I need.
It is. Unless you're interested, or need the benefits of multiple network connected devices like multiple Hapi/Hours's for large concert pickups, and/or multiple computers operating multiple Projects from the resources of multiple Hapi/Horus's, one Hapi/Hours is sufficient.

With currently available equipment, if you're doing a DSD recording with Pyramix Native, Plush's suggestion of running the individual analog channel outputs via a snake cable to a analog mixer to monitor works great. You can do that either from the DAC card, or the individual channel Line Out connector on the A/D board(s).

If you're doing a PCM recording, you can perform a Project mix, and output two channels via the internal headphone DAC, and run that analog to your control room monitoring. There's lots of flexibility there for minimal investment.
Old 28th August 2018
  #15
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

Tailspin,

"If you're doing a PCM recording, you can perform a Project mix, and output two channels via the internal headphone DAC, and run that analog to your control room monitoring. There's lots of flexibility there for minimal investment."

But once again if I were to record PCM with one Hapi located quite aways from me on or near the stage....then I cannot get the headphone outs back to me, as they are located in the Hapi.
(Other then to use a long analog snake)

Wouldn't this require some other box to monitor the stereo mix?

So that being said,
I was wondering if while using a Hapi to record PCM, would it be possible to also use something like a UA Arrow, or Apollo Twin, simultaneously, just for the headphone / speaker monitoring?

Of course this would require a computer that has both Ethernet and Thunderbolt ports?

If so, for the time being this might be a quick solution?
Old 28th August 2018
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
But once again if I were to record PCM with one Hapi located quite aways from me on or near the stage....then I cannot get the headphone outs back to me, as they are located in the Hapi.
(Other then to use a long analog snake)

Wouldn't this require some other box to monitor the stereo mix?
No, no other box or mixer required. Recording PCM using Pyramix Native with a Hapi or Horus (I've no experience of using other DAW's with Merging equipment, but I've been in sessions using ProTools that worked simerialy), you would monitor out of the PCM recording Project using any of its mixing and signal processing features. The internal headphone DAC and amplifier are capable of driving any reasonable line length and load, but you may employ a repeater analog input amplifier if desired.

The UA Arrow or Apollo Twin would have redundant processing functionality to the Project set up in Pyramix Native, but could certainly be used. I'd recommend keeping this simple, and using the tools provided in Pyramix Native.

Since there's already a Cat 5e/6 cable running from the remote Hapi to the control room computer/laptop for Ravenna, I just run a second Cat 5e from the Hapi Headphone output to my headphones for the analog monitor mix. I simply made a pair of adapter cables from 1/4" phone plug and jack to RJ45, then through RJ45 couplers use any appropriate length of RJ45 patch cable to connect the two analog channels to the control position.

Paul, if you're considering a Merging solution, I'd contact Merging's US distributor Dennis Gains at Independent Audio (207 773-2424) who can answer all of your questions. This is a powerful recording and processing system that can be configured in numerous ways to achieve the same objective. My suggestion is the simplest and least expensive to my knowledge, but certainly not the only way to configure a Hapi for your described situation.
Old 28th August 2018
  #17
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
 

Will do,
Thank you~!
Old 28th August 2018
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Tailspin,

"If you're doing a PCM recording, you can perform a Project mix, and output two channels via the internal headphone DAC, and run that analog to your control room monitoring. There's lots of flexibility there for minimal investment."

But once again if I were to record PCM with one Hapi located quite aways from me on or near the stage....then I cannot get the headphone outs back to me, as they are located in the Hapi.
(Other then to use a long analog snake)

Wouldn't this require some other box to monitor the stereo mix?

So that being said,
I was wondering if while using a Hapi to record PCM, would it be possible to also use something like a UA Arrow, or Apollo Twin, simultaneously, just for the headphone / speaker monitoring?

Of course this would require a computer that has both Ethernet and Thunderbolt ports?

If so, for the time being this might be a quick solution?
From my experience, attempting to use aggregate or secondary IO(Non Ravenna) will cause far more trouble then they are worth.
My suggestion is to use the AES outputs of the HAPI to feed a piece of Cat5/6 cable in parallel with the network cable. You can feed 3 AES pairs from the HAPI to the control room and still have a pair to send analog talkback back to the stage. Use the DA Converter of your choice and you can make separate sends for Producer (Non soloing) and Engineer (Soloing) and still have a feed for the CD Recorder or whatever. I use STP Cat5e for this purpose and use the shield for the analog return and run the AES as twisted pairs. You can run easily over 100m of AES on a piece of Cat5e at 96k.

As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 28th August 2018
  #19
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpdonahue View Post
I use STP Cat5e for this purpose and use the shield for the analog return and run the AES as twisted pairs. You can run easily over 100m of AES on a piece of Cat5e at 96k.
Hi mark. You have tried this and it works at 96k? That is a very quick and easy way to send AES from point A to point B if it does, indeed, work well. I have one of those quick-snakes and had only thought of it as a line level analog solution. Good to know. Thanks.

D.
Old 29th August 2018
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
Hi mark. You have tried this and it works at 96k? That is a very quick and easy way to send AES from point A to point B if it does, indeed, work well. I have one of those quick-snakes and had only thought of it as a line level analog solution. Good to know. Thanks.

D.
I have been using Cat5e cable for AES for well over a decade... I think the last roll of mogami 3080 that I purchased was in the 90s. You have to be a little bit careful about those adapter boxes, because you need to know how the shields are being handled and that the PCB maintains the characteristic impedance. Most of the ones I have looked at have been, to say the least, a little bit lacking in PCB design. They are designed for nothing other than analog audio, and even then the trace routing was miserable. I ended up rolling my own circuit boards for this purpose. I also made my boards so that you can put either a male or a female on any of the pairs and can control the ground programming.
For AES you want just a twisted pair with no Shield/ drain. If you are only going to be sending digital Down The Wire, there is no need for anything other than plain old UTP Cat5e. I've hooked up both ends of a thousand foot spool and tested it for weeks without any issues. I always suggest that you get the stranded patch version of Cat5e rather than the solid core. Also remember that every connection in the system reduces the Ultimate Transmission length by about 15%.
All the best,
Mark
Old 30th August 2018
  #21
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Gaston69's Avatar
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by nobtwiddler View Post
Hey guys,
Here's a quick question for all of you?
I'm considering the purchase of either a Merging Technologies Hapi, or a Dad DX32R | Digital Audio Bridge...
Looking for at least 8 mic preamp inputs that are remotely controlled and can be placed on the stage or close to it.

If we were to take the sonics, (convertors & mic preamps) out of the equation for a moment, I'm confused as how someone monitors (speakers & or headphones) while using either of these in their remote locations?

The DAD has the advantage of their new DAD / MOM speaker controller, but even with that, doesn't the monitor / speaker outputs originate at the mainframe?
Which in my case would be located on the stage...

So what am I missing?
Hi Paul,

I am using a Merging Horus (16ch AD cards) and make use of the AES out to feed (100m COAX on a cable drum) a Benchmark DAC-1 which I purchased second hand voor 400,- Euros.
It works Fantastic, DAC-1 is a great DA converter plus headphone/monitor controller + compact and sturdy in design.
Old 30th August 2018
  #22
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tourtelot's Avatar
I know we all love what we have, but it seems that the Merging stuff is pretty limited in how it can be configured and severely limited in what can be attached to the network. You need Pyramix? You need DSD? You love the Merging stuff (and I am emphatically told that it sounds terrific and there are certainly a number of high end engineers and venues that use it)? You will need to come up with cabling compromises, (or adding more expensive Merging gear) and that's just that.

If you are looking for an easier way to set up your rig and still have access to top shelf gear, I would simply suggest looking into Dante. You need a headphone monitor box in the control room? At the Producer's desk? On stage? Speakers on stage, or in the Green Room? Need your mic amps on stage? A CCTV camera on stage and a video monitor in the control room? Two video monitors? A monitor mixer on stage? Connection to the house PA? A single run of Ethernet (or fiber) between the stage and the control room? Never needing to send analog anywhere? All controlled with one computer? Dante's your game. Man! It works SO well.

D.
Old 30th August 2018
  #23
Gear Nut
 

On your second point, as a network protocol, same with Ravenna. The fundamental difference is that Ravenna is an open standard, unlike the licensed Dante, designed to operate on an isolated network. Dante, and others, are designed to operate within existing networks carrying unrestricted data. Hence the much reduced throughput, defined as channel supported count. But the huge difference currently, and perhaps forever, is the number of manufacturers adopting either, with Dante holding a significant lead.

Ravenna finds its adoption in larger plant networks like broadcast, and large dedicated facilities, with or without video content. Merging's Ravenna products to date are aimed at the highest recording and post processing performance environment, where format selection and channel count are important. It will be interesting to see what capabilities Merging's new products hold.

But today, both Ravenna, Dante, and their competing network supported competitors offer tremendous advantages over whatever was available 8-10 years ago. Enjoy!

Last edited by tailspn; 30th August 2018 at 11:00 PM..
Old 31st August 2018
  #24
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Larry Elliott's Avatar
This *may* answer some of the questions in this thread - but *may not* also



New SAP Conversion Software Now Available For Ravenna Networks - The Broadcast Bridge - Connecting IT to Broadcast
Old 31st August 2018
  #25
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Elliott View Post
This *may* answer some of the questions in this thread - but *may not* also



New SAP Conversion Software Now Available For Ravenna Networks - The Broadcast Bridge - Connecting IT to Broadcast
More:

YouTube
Old 1st September 2018
  #26
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tailspn View Post

Ravenna finds its adoption in larger plant networks like broadcast, and large dedicated facilities, with or without video content. Merging's Ravenna products to date are aimed at the highest recording and post processing performance environment, where format selection and channel count are important. It will be interesting to see what capabilities Merging's new products hold.
If I am not mistaken, I believe that that it is much more difficult to simply add boxes to a Ravenna network. It seems to be pretty limited to using Merging devices, correct? You can not simply plug in a Focusrite AM2 anywhere in your system, right? Or a Lynx Aurora? Or a Grace preamp?

I am glad that they make both and that the Ravenna system works well for those large "plants." If I was Tech Manager for a large symphony hall, I would certainly look at Merging as part of my entire solution. Or not.

I am hopeful, as are my friends who have embraced the Ravenna concept, that AES67 will make all my criticisms a moot point. Still planning on testing whether my JoeCo BBR64-Dante AES67 will talk to my friends Ravenna network. Still planning is the operative phrase; still waiting on the JoeCo firmware update that allows for AES67.

D.
Old 1st September 2018
  #27
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
If I am not mistaken.....
No, a Ravenna network is hardly limited to just Merging devices. Check out the Youtube link all the way through that I posted in my above post, and see if that answers any of your questions. If I understood it correctly, if the device is AES67 compliant, there's at least one of three ways to interconnect it to a Ravenna based network. Focusrite appears to be already Ravenna compliant.

I didn't mean to imply that Ravenna was designed principally for large "plant" facilities, it's just not as hamstrung when applied in those situations. It'll do almost 500 channels of 1fs sample rate 24 bit audio. That may seem like alot, but even in my very tiny use; one Hapi with one computer running up to 16 channels of DSD256 (equivalent to 16 channels of 352.8KHz 24 bit PCM data throughput), that's 128 channels of 1fs data throughput.

I have no experience interconnecting devices other than my simple one audio device to one computer, so please let me know what you think after watching the vid.

Thanks!

Tom

Last edited by tailspn; 1st September 2018 at 05:21 PM..
Old 1st September 2018
  #28
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tourtelot's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tailspn View Post
there's at least one of three ways to interconnect it to a Ravenna based network. Focusrite appears to be already Ravenna compliant.
Very interesting article Tom. Thanks for sharing that. The funny thing is that it seems that it is possible to add Ravenna devices to my Dante network

I am going to download that app, and after my friend here in town updates his Hapis, and after I update my JoeCo to be AES67 compliant, we will attempt to connect the two via Audinate's Dante Controller and the SAP/Bonjour application.

Sooner rather than later I hope, and I'll get back on this thread.

D.
Old 1st September 2018
  #29
Gear Nut
 

Great! Actually, thank Larry Elliott for finding and posting the original SAP conversion software article link. I had no clue till I read that, and followed its Youtube link.
Old 2nd September 2018
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Just a FYI, Dante devices in AES67 mode are limited to 48k and 1ms latency (last time I checked). And it didn’t look like there was AES67 supporting firmware for the AM2 yet either.
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