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Low Latency Audio Solution: Dante Network Adapters

My Flex 6600 is located remote from my shack, but on the same LAN. Like others, I found the latency added by my Windows PC, when using Smart SDR as the Audio sources and Microphone source, to be troublesome.

As we know, if you can install your speakers and microphone directly into the Flex Radio, there is no latency......but I could not do that.

I found a solution for LAN application. Dante AVIO Audio analog to Digital adapters:

They come in a variety of connections and have settings for balanced line-level and Mic Level analog inputs.

Using the free "Dante Controller" application, for Mac or Windows, you can make any number of connections between Dante "receivers" and "transmitters". Here is a screenshot of mine. You can see I am connecting both Flex Radio balance inputs, MIC and BAL, to my MacBookPro. Also, I am taking both audio output channels from the Flex-powered speaker output, to my MacBookPro.

All of the audio in and out channels show up in the audio settings of both the Mac and Windows audio settings.

The latency from the analog adapters is less than 1ms. Computers are less the 10ms. here is a screenshot of the device control panel:

I have noticed, the actual latency, for my LAN, has consistently been less than 1ms. Here is a screenshot of a time-based trend chart of latency, for the Flex Audio connection to my MacBookPro, all well less than 1ms.


Pros:

  • low latency
  • easy to configure and very flexible
  • allows sharing of audio sources and receivers among all your devices and applications
  • software virtual Dante connections available, at a lower cost per audio channel
  • integrates directly into popular Digital Audio, DAW, solutions.

Cons:

  • cost $$
  • requires hardwired ethernet with POE
  • Can work across a WAN, but needs a very expensive GPS-based solution, to time synchronize all the devices.

Alan. WA9WUD

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Comments

  • K6HN
    K6HN Member ✭✭

    Nice find Alan. Confirm you are using individual hardware adapters like this for each audio source?


  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Gary, yes.

    I am using the hardware adapters, you show, on the Flex Radio, analog side.

    I used a "stereo out" device to get the audio out from the Flex (left and right pan), a "stereo in" device to send balanced Mic inputs to the BAL, and the MIC inputs (use mono if you only want one microphone input), a mono out device for my microphone, and mono in device for my powered speaker.

    I ended up not using the microphone and speaker devices, rather I use a Scarlett USB audio in/out, and connect to the Scarlett using virtual connections in my computer (Loopback for Mac, Dante Via for Windows).

    You do not need an adapter on the computer. Use these software products, on your computer, to connect to the Dante Network:

    I recommend Dante Virtual Sound Card. You can define how many audio channels you desire, and the channels will show up in your audio settings and you can connect the same channels to your audio devices, using Dante Controller.

    Dante Via does the same as Dante Virtual Sound Card, but also gives a GUI interface, to create virtual COM connections to devices and applications running on your PC (recommended for Windows)

    I think you can buy both for a package price, but you can only connect one, to the Dante Network, from the same PC.

    Caution: If you have a Mac, Dante has not released an M1-based version of these software applications.

  • DL4RCE
    DL4RCE Member ✭✭

    Hi @Alan , I am currently using an iPad which has almost no audio delay. I was very dissapointed on the Windows delay and I still am. Is the audio delay also reduced under Windows now with your solution? I think MacOS should not be a problem.

    73 de Volker, DL4RCE

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    de Volker

    The Dante solution moves audio outside of the PC, windows or Mac. Direct from the Flex to your speakers and from your Microphone to the Flex. My Dante latency is consistently around 3ms, each way.

    Only limitations are 1) all Dante devices must be on the same sub net, LAN: and 2) all connections are POE and must be connected via ethernet cable.

    I agree, the Mac latency is much less hen Windows.

  • DL4RCE
    DL4RCE Member ✭✭

    Ok, you wrote that you got rid of the hardware devices on "non-flex" side and I thought you are using this on Windows with the virtual Dante receiver?

    How do you route the dante on flexradio side to the dante remote device?

    Thanks

    Volker

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

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