Audio over IP with Dante

Today’s AV applications make use of networked audio as a means for audio distribution. Earlier audio networking technologies provided varying degrees of five important objectives: fidelity, stability, flexibility, ease of implementation, and ease of use. With the introduction of Dante® audio networking from Audinate, AV system designers now have an audio network that excels in all five objectives. Dante audio networking provides digital audio distribution over local and wide area networking, using standard network hardware or by connecting into a standard network infrastructure. This provides many advantages, including audio system scalability, easier installation, and simplified wiring. Dante allows uncompressed high resolution digital audio to be distributed across a switched Ethernet network using standard TCP/IP protocols, while meeting the stringent quality requirements of professional audio.

Incorporating Dante technology into an audio system enables highly flexible, decentralized audio distribution throughout a facility, building, or campus. Dante Controller software from Audinate is an easy-to-use application for setting up and managing Dante-enabled products, including configuring audio routing between Extron Dante-enabled digital signal processors, audio expansion processors, wallplate audio interfaces, power amplifiers and third-party Dante-enabled devices on a Dante network. Features such as automatic device discovery when launching the software streamline the setup process.

Dante-Enabled Products from Extron

Extron offers a full lineup of Dante-enabled products that allow AV integrators to include Dante audio networking technology into a variety of applications, enabling highly flexible, decentralized audio distribution throughout a facility or building. They deliver reliable performance and flexibility in the distribution of audio signals, and many additional integrator-friendly features to meet your audio system needs.

Dante-enabled products from Extron work together as part of a complete networked audio system solution, and also integrate with other Dante-enabled products. They accommodate a range of audio processing and routing needs in a variety of applications, including banquet rooms, lecture halls, corporate buildings, paging applications, and campus wide audio distribution.

The Extron Dante-enabled product family includes:

Digital Matrix Processors

The DMP 128 Plus AT Series is the next generation of Digital Matrix Processors. They feature Extron ProDSP™ 64-bit floating point technology and Dante audio networking technology with connectivity for up to 48 digital audio inputs and 24 digital audio outputs. The DMP 128 Plus Series is equipped with 12 analog mic/line inputs, eight analog outputs, up to four channels of digital audio input and output via USB, up to eight audio file players, an ACP bus for audio control panels, and new configurable macros. The V models also include eight independent channels of VoIP, supporting Session Initiation Protocol - SIP. The C models include AEC – acoustic echo cancellation. DMP 128 Plus Series processors can be used anywhere from a credenza-based system to a large multi-rack system, and even in a large, complex, decentralized multi-building system.

DMP 128 Plus AT

The DMP 128 Plus AT sends out 24 channels of digital audio and can receive 48 channels over the network. Dante technology enables DMP 128 Plus AT processors to share high resolution digital audio with other Dante-enabled products using the built-in four-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, through standard network hardware including switches, or by connecting into a network infrastructure. Also supporting AES67 for Audio over IP Interoperability, the DMP 128 Plus AT can connect to other devices that also support AES67.

An 84x48 mix matrix allows all 12 analog inputs, eight aux inputs, 48 Dante inputs and 16 virtual bus returns to be discretely routed to any or all of the eight analog outputs, eight aux outputs, 16 Dante outputs, and the 16 virtual bus sends.

Newer, faster and more powerful DSP chips maximize performance, resulting in latency that is half that of the previous generation. The DMP 128 Plus AT Series features very low, deterministic latency from input to output, regardless of the number of active channels or processes. While latency increases in channels with AEC enabled, and marginally with the automixer, overall latency remains low. This keeps audio in sync with video, and prevents distractions to presenters or performers resulting from delayed live audio.

DMP 128 Plus AT Group
DMP 128 Plus AT Group

Audio Expansion Processors

Extron audio expansion processors include the AXP 50 C AT and AXP 64 C AT which feature ProDSP, AEC – acoustic echo cancellation, and Dante. The AXP Series allows expansion of DMP 128 Plus AT systems either locally or from convenient locations throughout a facility or building, via Dante and standard network infrastructure. They are true system expanders, with processing capabilities beyond a simple break-in box, break-out box, or digital snake. These expansion processors feature Extron ProDSP to deliver high performance audio processing for all inputs and outputs. The AXP 64 C AT also provides the ability to route source audio from the Dante network to its four balanced analog outputs.

AXP Series expansion processors are designed to be integrated with Dante-enabled processors, such as the Extron DMP 128 Plus AT, to create large mixing matrixes over a local area network. This capability greatly simplifies system scalability and facility audio cabling. The built-in DSP processing, coupled with the capabilities and flexibility of Dante, create a powerful distributed approach when adding microphones to a system or for routing source audio to systems in various rooms.

AXP 50 C AT

The AXP 50 C AT is a five input audio expansion processor for integrating remote microphones and other sources with a DMP 128 Plus AT system. It allows integrators to remotely locate and process mic/line sources, insert them into the system via a Dante network, and receive them as expansion inputs at one or more Dante-enabled devices. The AXP 50 C AT offers a range of processing capabilities for each input including gain, filtering, dynamics, and AEC. Inputs can be sent to the Dante network pre or post processing. It also provides 48 volt phantom power and a digital control port for all mic/line inputs. FlexInput capability for each mic/line input allows Dante channels from anywhere on the network to be brought into the AXP 50 C AT for processing, in place of a local analog input. For ease of integration, the AXP 50 C AT is housed in a compact 1U, half rack width enclosure that can be installed underneath a conference table, inside a credenza, or anywhere microphones or other sources may be situated.

AXP 50 C AT
AXP 50 C AT

AXP 64 C AT

The AXP 64 C AT Audio Expansion Processor includes six mic/line inputs and four line outputs for connectivity to a DMP 128 Plus AT system via Dante. Similar to the AXP 50 C AT, the AXP 64 C AT allows integrators to remotely locate and process mic/line audio channels, and place them onto the Dante network for routing to a Dante-enabled device such as a DMP 128 Plus AT processor. In addition, the AXP 64 C AT can receive and process four Dante channels then output the optimized audio to amplifiers or other local audio destinations. The AXP 64 C AT offers filter and dynamics processing for all inputs and outputs. Four of the inputs also include AEC, FlexInput capability, 48 volt phantom power, and dedicated control ports for mic control. The combination of DSP and Dante connectivity enables efficient and scalable system designs. It also greatly reduces equipment, cabling, and installation costs. The compact enclosure allows easy installation under a conference table or inside a credenza near microphones, sources, and remote audio destinations.

AXP 64 C AT
AXP 64 C AT

Dante Audio Interfaces

Extron Dante audio interfaces AXI 02 ATAXI 22 AT D, AXI 22 AT, and AXI 44 AT integrate mic/line sources onto a DMP 128 Plus AT system or other Dante-enabled audio system, and distribute line level audio from the system. Input models feature two or four mic/line inputs with independent input gain, and switchable 48 volt phantom power. All models interface via Dante over a standard local area network, and can be powered through PoE. This allows a single network cable connection for bidirectional audio and power from a central equipment rack.

AXI 02 AT

The Extron AXI 02 AT is a compact audio interface that extracts two channels from a Dante® audio network. This one-eighth rack width Dante Audio Interface provides two channels of analog output and mirrored digital output to devices without Dante connectivity. It features two line level analog outputs on captive screw connectors, and a mirrored two-channel S/PDIF output on a coaxial RCA connector. The AXI 02 AT interfaces with any Dante-equipped audio device, such as an Extron DMP 128 Plus C AT, over a standard local area network, and is powered through PoE. This allows a single network cable to be used for audio, power, and configuration from a central equipment rack. The AXI 02 AT is also compatible with Extron Rack Shelves and ZipClip® mounting solutions.

AXI 02 AT
AXI 02 AT

AXI 22 AT D

The Extron AXI 22 AT D is a single-gang decorator-style Dante audio interface that allows audio insertion and extraction on a DMP 128 Plus AT system via Dante at virtually any location. This Dante audio interface provides convenient microphone connections throughout a facility or building. It is easily scalable with Dante technology and can be adapted to large system designs. In a large facility for instance, an audio system designer can place multiple interfaces around a room, with each wallplate connecting back into a central equipment location over standard network infrastructure. Audio channels can also be routed from the Dante network and made available for an amplifier or optional secondary wallplate via the interface's line outputs.

AXI 22 AT D
AXI 22 AT D

AXI 22 AT

The Extron AXI 22 AT is a quarter rack width Dante audio interface for integrating two mic/line sources and destinations into a DMP 128 Plus AT system. It features two mic/line inputs on a 3.5 mm captive screw connector, with switchable 48 volt phantom power. A front panel button toggles control focus between channels for gain, metering, and phantom power settings, also remotely controllable via DSP Configurator Software, or by SIS command. The AXI 22 AT features two line level outputs for routing any two Dante channels from the network to an audio destination. The AXI 22 AT interfaces with any Dante-equipped audio processor over a standard local area network, and can be powered through PoE. This allows a single network cable connection for bidirectional audio and power from a central equipment rack.

AXI 22 AT
AXI 22 AT

AXI 44 AT

The Extron AXI 44 AT is a quarter rack width Dante audio interface for integrating four mic/line sources and destinations into a DMP 128 Plus AT system. It features four mic or line inputs on 3.5 mm captive screw connectors, with switchable 48 volt phantom power. A front panel button toggles control focus between channels for gain, metering, and phantom power settings, also remotely controllable via DSP Configurator Software, or by SIS command. The AXI 44 AT features four line level outputs for routing any four Dante channels from the network to an audio destination. The AXI 44 AT interfaces with any Dante-equipped audio processor over a standard local area network, and can be powered via PoE. This allows a single network cable connection for bidirectional audio and power from a central equipment rack.

AXI 44 AT
AXI 44 AT

Audio Power Amplifiers

The NetPA 502 AT and NetPA 1001-70V AT are compact, ENERGY STAR® qualified audio power amplifiers that deliver Dante networked audio to local sound reinforcement systems. They enable decentralized and reliable distribution of Dante audio to multiple speaker zones throughout a facility or building, and are the ideal choice for audio amplification in Dante systems. The NetPA amplifiers provide a flexible approach to driving speakers in a wide range of applications. For instance, AV integrators can place multiple NetPA amplifiers in close proximity to a banquet room, and feed the local speaker zones with digital audio from a Dante-enabled DSP processor housed in the facility's centrally located AV rack.

NetPA 502 AT

The NetPA 502 AT Dante-enabled audio power amplifier delivers two channels of 50 watts into 4 ohms. The half rack, 1U amplifier can receive two channels of audio directly from a Dante-equipped audio device, such as a DMP 128 Plus AT, over a standard local area network. This enables decentralized audio distribution across multiple rooms or floors in a building. In addition to amplifying incoming Dante audio, the NetPA 502 AT features two line level outputs that can simultaneously feed an additional speaker zone or audio system. The high performance amplifier features an Extron exclusive, advanced Class D amplifier design and patented CDRS™ - Class D Ripple Suppression which provides improved signal fidelity over conventional Class D amplifiers. It is an ENERGY STAR qualified amplifier and delivers professional grade signal-to-noise ratio and THD+N performance. The NetPA 502 AT also includes professional integration features such as detented level controls that facilitate adjustment of audio system gain structure, or setting an individual level for each zone.

NetPA 502 AT
NetPA 502 AT

NetPA 1001-70V AT

The NetPA 1001-70V AT Dante-enabled, mono audio power amplifier delivers 100 watts at 70 volts for high impedance speaker systems. It can receive a channel of audio directly from a Dante-equipped device over the network, and also includes a line level output that can feed audio from the Dante network to another speaker zone or system. The high performance amplifier features an Extron exclusive, advanced Class D amplifier design and patented CDRS™ - Class D Ripple Suppression which provides improved signal fidelity over conventional Class D amplifiers. The NetPA 1001-70V AT is an ENERGY STAR qualified amplifier that delivers professional grade performance, the same integration friendly features found in the NetPA 502 AT, as well as a switch selectable, high pass filter. This high pass filter rolls off frequencies below 80 Hz to prevent saturation of speaker transformers.

NetPA 1001-70V AT
NetPA 1001-70V AT

Dante Controller Software

Dante Controller is easy-to-use software from Audinate for setting up and managing Dante-enabled products on a Dante audio network. This includes setting up a network of DMP 128 Plus AT Digital Matrix Processors, AXP Series Audio Expansion Processors, NetPA power amplifiers, and AXI Series interfaces. When launched, Dante Controller automatically discovers Extron Dante-enabled products, as well as other Dante-capable devices on the network. The intuitive GUI provides a clear visual layout of the devices as well as their available audio input and output channels. A sound system designer can easily create audio routing assignments with the click of a mouse. Dante Controller software also provides advanced configuration options for primary and redundant Dante networks, audio formats, clock synchronization, latency, and more.

Dante Controller Software
Dante Controller Software

Primary and Redundant Dante Audio Networks

Many Dante-enabled products support redundant network connections, which allows for the use of a separate, secondary physical network that duplicates audio found on the primary network. The duplicate audio streams are transmitted simultaneously, so the secondary network automatically prevents any audio interruption or loss if a connectivity problem occurs on the primary network. The following Extron Dante-enabled products with a built-in four-port Ethernet switch can be configured to support primary and redundant Dante audio networks:

  • DMP 128 Plus AT
  • DMP 128 Plus C AT
  • DMP 128 Plus C V AT
  • DMP 128 AT
  • DMP 128 C AT
  • DMP 128 C P AT
  • AXP 50 C AT
  • AXP 64 C AT

In redundant mode, the four-port switch behaves as two separate two-port switches that duplicate audio traffic. Primary ports 3 and 4 are connected to one network, while secondary ports 1 and 2 are connected to another network. When configuring Extron Dante-enabled products for redundant mode, control information is carried by primary ports 3 and 4 on the switch. Extron Dante-enabled devices that do not support redundancy, such as NetPA amplifiers or the AXI 22 AT D interface, support control information when they are connected to the primary Dante network.

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