Dante Controller FAQs
In November 2020, Apple announced both the release of macOS 11 (Big Sur) and new Mac computers that employ Apple Silicon, with the new M1 ARM SoC in lieu of x86 (Intel) processors.
Dante Controller and Dante Virtual Soundcard will formally support Intel-based Macs running Big Sur in an April 2021 release. Dante Via already supports Intel-based Macs running Big Sur.
Dante Controller will formally support the Apple M1 ARM SoC in a Late April / Early May 2021 release (Rosetta only). Dante Virtual Soundcard requires more significant work and is not expected until mid-2021. Confirmation that Dante Via is also M1 ready requires further validation, however customers may find that Dante Via already works on M1, dependent on the features they are using.
Not hearing audio when the subscription status within the Dante Controller is successful can be caused by several factors. The Dante Controller offers a way of checking that audio is being sent and received from the transmitter to the receiver.
Within the Dante Controller, double click on the Transmitting device so that it brings up Device View and navigate to the Transmit tab. Within this tab, when the transmitter is playing audio there should be a green speaker symbol which indicates the presence of audio. This means that the transmitting device is correctly configured and sending audio to the receiver:
If the speaker symbol is grey whilst audio is playing, this suggests that the transmitting device may not be configured correctly to send audio, is muted, or sending audio at a level less than -61dbFS.
If there is a green speaker on the Transmit tab but there is still no audio, navigate to the Receive tab for the receiving device. Here you should see a green speaker symbol whilst audio is playing which indicates the presence of audio:
A green speaker means that audio is being successfully received at the receiving device and audio should be present.
If the speaker symbol is grey, this suggests the receiving device is not correctly configured. In this case, please refer to the user manual of that product.
Dante software (DVS or Dante Via):
- Check the audio software is unmuted.
- Check the audio software you’re using is configured to use the Dante software as the audio device within the applications audio settings.
- Check the machine running the Dante software is set to use the software as the default audio device for both Input and Output within the operating systems sound settings, (not applicable to ASIO mode).
Dante enabled device:
- Check the Dante enabled device is unmuted.
- Check the internal routing of the Dante enabled device and ensure it’s configured to use Dante, (if applicable).
- Check the settings on the device.
- Refer to the product manual to check the configuration of the hardware.
Audio routes are most frequently configured using the Dante Controller software, running on any Windows or Mac OSX computer that is attached to the Dante network.
To route signals, Dante Controller presents a grid-style view of devices. Transmitting channels are shown on the upper horizontal axis, while receiving channels are shown on the left hand vertical axis. Clicking at the intersection of a desired transmitter/receiver pair creates a connection instantly, and is indicated by a green checkmark.
Audio may also be routed via licensed third-party configuration software available from suppliers of some Dante-enabled equipment. An example of such a third-party application is the Lake Controller from Lab.gruppen, which can be used to configure Lab.gruppen PLM Amplifiers as well as Dolby Lake Processors.
In Dante Controller, double-click the device you wish to label. This opens a Device View. Click in the text areas for the Receive and Transmit tabs and you can freely type labels for each channel.
With human-readable, editable labels.
Channels within the device have easy to read, editable labels that are visible in Dante Controller. By default, channels are usually labeled with numbers, but users are free to create labels that reflect channel content using Dante Controller. Again, device and channel label names are retained, even as the devices are power-cycled.
With human-readable, editable labels.
Each Dante-enabled device has a label that identifies it on the network. Names are initially preset by the manufacturer, but may be easily renamed by the user via Dante Controller. Device and channel label names are retained, even as the devices are power-cycled.
Upon connection to the network, Dante devices discover one another within just a few seconds. You can watch the devices appear in Dante Controller as they come online.
This is because you have Active Clock Status Monitoring switched on, and Dante Controller has identified that the device is showing signs of significant instability. This means that the device is at risk of losing sync with the Leader Clock, at which point it will be automatically muted.
To toggle Clock Health Monitoring on and off, click the Clock Status Monitoring button on the main toolbar:
Usually this is the result of a network configuration or hardware issue that is causing inconsistent packet timing. For example:
- Energy Efficient Ethernet (‘Green Ethernet’) functionality is active on a switch.
EEE is a power-management system for Ethernet switches, and can easily interfere with clock synchronisation. Audinate recommends that you avoid unmanaged switches with EEE functionality, and fully disable EEE on any managed switches.
- There is a 100 Mb switch or link where a Gigabit connection is required.
If your devices require Gigabit connections, make sure there are no 100 Mb links or switches in the chain. Audinate recommends always using Gigabit switches for network backbones.
- One or more of your switches are incorrectly configured, or are not suitable for Dante networking.
Ensure that you are using switches that support QoS, and Dante traffic is properly prioritised.
- Network stress from other sources.
If you are running traffic from other sources across the network, it may be causing bandwidth issues that are interfering with Dante packet timing.
- Excessive multicast traffic.
Using multicast flows where they are not actually necessary can overload a network, particularly if there are any 100 Mb switches or links present. Consider switching some subscriptions to unicast to take the pressure off the slower nodes in your network. The Dante multicast audio bandwidth for the network is displayed in the Dante Controller menu bar.
As a rule of thumb, total bandwidth utilisation (including multicast and unicast) on any given link should not exceed 70% of the supported bandwidth for that link. Utilisation above 70% of supported bandwidth can adversely impact clock synchronization (especially if there is also non-Dante traffic on the network).
It is also recommended (for this particular issue, and in general) that you ensure all your Dante devices are using the latest firmware, and that you are using the latest version of Dante Controller.
Dante devices discover one another on the network automatically. Each Dante device discovers the input and output audio channels, sample rates and bit depths of others on the network. Dante devices assign themselves IP addresses that are guaranteed to be unique and not conflict with other devices on the network. When connected to a managed IT network, Dante devices obtain IP addresses and network configuration from the DHCP server in the same way that office PCs and printers do.
This is because the devices have been configured with different sample rate pull-up/down settings, which means they are operating on different clock domains. Devices on different clock domains cannot be subscribed to each other.
This is because the device has been configured with sample rate pull-up/down, and so is operating on a dedicated clock domain. To check if a device has been configured with sample rate pull-up/down, open the Device View for the device, and select the Device Config tab. The sample rate pull-up/down setting is shown in the Sample Rate section.
Dante Controller is free of charge and is available for download to registered users from the Audinate website.
Dante Controller incorporates support for device identification. Double click any device in the Network View to open the Device View, the click on the “Identify” button. This will cause LEDs on the device to flash (note that not all Dante devices support this feature).
In addition to audio routing the Dante Controller allows you to:
- Configure device parameters such as device name, receive latency and sample rate and clocking parameters.
- View network and device information such as link speeds, status and utilization; clock status and firmware version.
- Be notified when significant changes happen on the network such as a change of Leader Clock.
For more information, see the Dante Controller User Guide.
If you try to give two Dante devices the same name, a conflict will be detected and one of the devices will be automatically renamed in order to preserve unique names. For example, if you call two Dante devices “Fred”, one of them will retain the name “Fred” and the other will rename itself as “Fred(2)”.
Not at present. For this reason it is recommended that any unneeded instances of Dante Controller be removed from the network to avoid unwanted changes during use.
Audio routing is label-based. In other words routes are defined using device and channel names, not the underlying device addresses or channel IDs. This means that if a Dante device fails and is swapped out for another piece of equipment with identical labels, audio routes will be automatically re-established.