All current Lectrosonics Dante-enabled devices have the capability to support AES67 so that you can receive audio streams from non-Dante products that use the AES67 standard for increased system interoperability.
What is AES67 and why is it important?
AES67 provides for interoperability in transporting high performance audio over IP (AOIP) networks. It was designed to create common ground for Dante and other formerly incompatible solutions to not only work with each other, but expand into future installations. AES defines all of the parameters that are required for the successful networking of one device to another, including session description, device discovery and encoding. It is possible to network just using Dante, but it keeps the control while offering wider compatibility if used in conjunction with AES67. You can communicate between AES67-enabled Dante devices and standard (AES67-disabled) Dante devices at the same time, and Dante devices can send and receive Dante and AES67 simultaneously. You can have the advanced functionality of Dante’s powerful network solution, yet still have the interoperability of AES67 waiting for when you need it. It’s importance in the world of audio is growing - Installation International reported that AES67 has been a significant driver for the availability and purchase of networked audio products – an average of one released per day, from over 300 existing vendors. If you haven’t had occasion to need or use AES67 up to this point, you will soon!
A Suggested Workflow:
You will be configuring your Dante devices first, then any devices in the chain that are non-Dante. In our example, we’ve connected our M2T and DSQD units to our network switch and set the connection to DHCP (which is the default), if you have changed it to something else. We cover the network establishment process in Wire List #53.
- You will need to verify that the non-Dante AES67 devices support SAP (Session Announcement
Protocol) since this is necessary for Dante Controller to see the audio flows coming from these
- Slow connections (100 Mbps or slower) are not supported.
- Initialize the Dante module before the AES67 mode is enabled.
- Do not change the TX multicast address prefix (the default is 239.69).
Dante-enabled Device Setup:
Look for the AES67 Config Tab in Dante Controller (as shown below). If no tab is present then the device may not support AES67 (If you know your hardware does support AES67 but the tab isnt showing up you should check that the firmware is up to date for the device - must be v126.96.36.199 or later). You can check your version and update if needed here.
- Execute “Clear Config” by pressing on the Clear Config button in the Reset Device window as shown below.
- Next enable AES67 but selecting the Enabled drop down in the AES67 Mode windows.
Note: Keep in mind that Dante devices will always communicate with each other via Dante even though AES67 is enabled on them. AES67 protocol will only be used by a Dante device as a transport option when communicating with non-Dante AES67 devices.
Additionally, only devices that are intended to transmit or receive AES67 flows need to have this mode enabled on them.
- Verify that the Tx Multicast Address Prefix (in the second octet of the address) is set to default (69) as shown above.
- Create AES67 multicast transmission flows in Device View, choosing “AES67 flow” before selecting channels.
To configure non-Dante devices:
Make sure the non-Dante devices support SAP for automatic device discovery by Dante Controller.
- Configure them in AES67 mode, though the methods may be different for each device.
For details, please follow the instructions provided by each manufacturer.
Make sure to specify the same multicast network address prefix that you specified for the Dante devices.
- Create some AES67 multicast transmission flows (following the method described by each manufacturer), which should be recognized by Dante Controller, and then patched to the AES67-enabled Dante devices.
Creating Pathways to the Dante devices
- Open the Routing tab on Dante Controller. It will identify the equipment you have attached, with the non-Dante AES67 devices appearing in blue as shown (circled).
- Make the input patches from the non-Dante AES67 devices, then click the channel intersections in the grid.
It should be noted that only the multicast audio will be seen by Dante Controller and not the individual AES67 devices. You will be able to route AES67 flows from these devices to AES67 enabled Dante devices.