1 (edited by hp3007 2020-01-23 14:39:43)

Topic: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

i now have three macs (hacks).
one with RME MADIFX
one with RME MADIFACE PRO.
one with RME RAYDAT.

a lots of digital and analog audio-routing between the machines. and a lots of different converters.
Two SSL Alphalinks AX. Two SSL Alphalink MX. One UAD Apollo. Two ADI 648. four FERROFISHES for DC coupled outs.
Additional in one machine a second RAYDAT.
Some RME digifaces (USB) for sendig ADAT Audio to the modulars. (to six Expert sleepers ES-3)
My dream is, to have ONE AVB-Switch in the middle of the macs - on where all the AD and DA converters are installed. wanna change to two of the ADI M-32 PRO and maybe one AVB Tool for connecting my two ADI 648 via MADI ...

... but i cant find any descriptions if that will work. and if - how? do i need additional interfaces on each machine or can i access the AD converters from the network drivers of each single mac? can i connect three macs to one AVB-net? can i use TOTALMIX on each machine. how is the routing? what when i need 7 AVB network input ports on the switch ...

please can someone help me out with some further information

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

For the time being, I would recommend to use additional AVB-USB-Interface (Digiface AVB) to connect Macs to an AVB network, at least in a professional environment.
Apple's native AVB implementation is still a bit "rough" and is not yet fully Milan compatible, though it has been improved over time. Mac OS supports two modes: acquiring an AVB entity as Core Audio device and enabling a virtual Core Audio AVB Device. The former is more suited if only one AVB device is used, so not ideal for your use case.
The latter, however, has to be activated using the command line and is not well documented. As such, official support is questionable. I hope this will improve with the next Mac OS release but don't know anything specific.
So your best bet at the moment is to use 3 Digiface AVB, that have the additional advantage of a Totalmix engine built in.

Best
Marc

3 (edited by hp3007 2020-01-24 10:14:51)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

thx, marc. this helps.

but - honestly - ive the MADIFX as an PCIe interface and i think, switching the interfaces to usb will not be as fast as the solution i have now ... so i think, its better to stay with MADI for the moment.

do you know, whats about windows and native AVB? better implemented or the same "rough thing"?

best h

4 (edited by ramses 2020-01-24 10:49:04)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

AFAIR from reading the forum only Mac has this implementation, Windows not.

But I found this via google, maybe this 3rd party driver helps:
http://www.audioscience.com/internet/pr … vb_vsc.htm

From the webpage:

Windows 10 Home is not supported by this solution.

Features:
    Up to 64 input and output audio channels
    Up to 8 input and output AVB streams
    Stream formats of 1,2,4,8,16 and 32 channels
    Windows 10 64-bit drivers
    Direct Sound and ASIO support
    Runs on Intel i210 Gigabit AVB Ethernet NIC

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

5 (edited by hp3007 2020-01-24 10:51:26)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

i see. but as i said. when i need additional interfaces and can not use only the ethernet-ports i stay with madi for the time and stream audio on a fixed madi connection between the three macs ...

in my eyes, the avb net only makes sense (for me) when i do NOT need any additional interface on the macs

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

Your initial request implies that you want to change the solution on the long run to this:

M32-Pro ... M-32 Pro
                |
                +   +--------- AVB Tool ----- MADI ---- 2x ADI 648
         AVB Switch
                |
MAC1 .. MAC3

The question for me is:

1. whether the AVB Tool could i.e. run in standalone mode to connect the two ADI-648 from one digital domain (MADI) to the AVB digital domain

2. whether probably another RME device like the M-32 Pro (which also has AVB and MADI) could fulfill the bridging between MADI and AVB.

I think its an interesting question how to best connect two digital domains like MADI and AVB when migrating from one to another or simply for coexistence to re-use some devices.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

yes. that is, what iam looking for. maybe ther has to be a second ACB Switch - because they are limited to five ports.


ramses wrote:

Your initial request implies that you want to change the solution on the long run to this:

M32-Pro ... M-32 Pro
                |
                +   +--------- AVB Tool ----- MADI ---- 2x ADI 648
         AVB Switch
                |
MAC1 .. MAC3

The question for me is:

1. whether the AVB Tool could i.e. run in standalone mode to connect the two ADI-648 from one digital domain (MADI) to the AVB digital domain

2. whether probably another RME device like the M-32 Pro (which also has AVB and MADI) could fulfill the bridging between MADI and AVB.

I think its an interesting question how to best connect two digital domains like MADI and AVB when migrating from one to another or simply for coexistence to re-use some devices.

8 (edited by ramses 2020-01-24 12:05:02)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

I personally would be interested into smth like
- an UFX+ and
- HDSPe MADI FX
with MADI and AVB support to be able to still use existing Octamic XTC
and to be able to make friend with AVB by integrating newer devices via AVB with the possibility to fall-back to MADI.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

9 (edited by snoskit 2020-01-26 10:55:02)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

The ideal solution to the problem would be an RME HDSPe series PCIe AVB network adapter .. cool

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

ramses wrote:

But I found this via google, maybe this 3rd party driver helps:
http://www.audioscience.com/internet/pr … vb_vsc.htm

There are a few caveats to the ASI Hono VSC
You need to read the more detailed blurb

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

ramses wrote:

I personally would be interested into smth like
- an UFX+ and
- HDSPe MADI FX
with MADI and AVB support to be able to still use existing Octamic XTC
and to be able to make friend with AVB by integrating newer devices via AVB with the possibility to fall-back to MADI.

Our entire AVB converter range (12mic, AVB tool, M-1610 Pro, M-32 Pro) has the ability to convert from MADI to AVB and back.
This is exactly for that reason: No need to transit to AVB at once. Use MADI for existing devices or where every sample of latency counts, and move over to AVB partially.
Moreover, MADI is still a great handover point. Point-to-Point, next to no configuration needed, battle proof. Why should the OB van have access to the entire venue network?

12 (edited by ramses 2020-01-27 10:05:02)

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

Marc S wrote:
ramses wrote:

I personally would be interested into smth like
- an UFX+ and
- HDSPe MADI FX
with MADI and AVB support to be able to still use existing Octamic XTC
and to be able to make friend with AVB by integrating newer devices via AVB with the possibility to fall-back to MADI.

Our entire AVB converter range (12mic, AVB tool, M-1610 Pro, M-32 Pro) has the ability to convert from MADI to AVB and back.
This is exactly for that reason: No need to transit to AVB at once. Use MADI for existing devices or where every sample of latency counts, and move over to AVB partially.
Moreover, MADI is still a great handover point. Point-to-Point, next to no configuration needed, battle proof. Why should the OB van have access to the entire venue network?

I am personally very happy being able to connect the new AVB devices to MADI, because they offer a MADI option (SFP).

I would be interested to see an UFX+ with MADI and AVB, to have both technologies side by side, to be able to make fair comparisons and then later decide which way to go or to stay with a mixed setup.
I would call it now a transition phase to be able to draw a devision whether you want to stay with MADI or to use AVB in the future.

And such a device would help a lot especially as currently operational experience is missing for AVB.

With MADI technology you have automatic delay compensation for the up to 8 devices which are connected serially, where the delay is 3 / 6 / 12 samples per MADI device depending on sample rate (single / dual / quad).

With AVB in a small network, where recording interface and all AVB devices are connected to one switch, there you have a different situation compared to the serial connection between MADI devices. All devices are connected to the switch, there is no serial connection between AVB devices. There the implementation of delay compensation is either not needed or much easier.

Other scenario, larger AVB network with multiple switches: I am not sure whether the AVB standard has something like a delay compensation, if AVB devices are connected to different AVB switches in a larger network. I think the forwarding of packets from switch to switch also needs a little time compared to MADI between MADI devices.

Now we connect additionally one or more MADI devices behind AVB converters. Two scenarios, small AVB network with one switch or larger AVB network with multiple AVB Switches, see above. But now mixed with MADI.

In such a mixed environment with potentially multiple AVB Switches and MADI behind it, where the new AVB converter (the new products) would bridge MADI into AVB, where do we have delay compensation in place ?

I think that such mixed topologies might be challenging if you expect that audio arrives at the same time into your DAW.

For this reason I though that it might be easier to have a recording interface with MADI and AVB as I could think of that handling of delay compensation between audio coming from MADI p2p links and an AVB network would be much easier.

I hope this is not too esoteric to discuss, but based on such thoughts I think it would maybe not be a bad idea to have a new flagship interface with DURec to be able to test/use MADI and AVB side by side, possibly with such a delay compensation between these two worlds and as positive side effects
- you would even have more channels available by this
- channel routing between MADI / AVB inside of TotalMix FX could be an interesting feature

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

ramses wrote:

With AVB in a small network, where recording interface and all AVB devices are connected to one switch, there you have a different situation compared to the serial connection between MADI devices. All devices are connected to the switch, there is no serial connection between AVB devices. There the implementation of delay compensation is either not needed or much easier.

It's important to keep in mind how AVB handles the transition from audio (streaming, synchronous) to network (packet-based, asynchronous):
In all audio networks, PTP is used so that all devices have precisely the same wall-clock time. That is, if the grandmaster says it's "Thursday, Jan. 29th 2020, 14:39:10:034:005" every other device in the same PTP domain adapts to it. gPTP, the variation AVB is using, with nanosecond precision.
But this is only the first step.
In order to make sense of a received ethernet packet with audio data, the Listener needs to know when it shall play out the samples.
AVB uses a mechanism called "presentation time" for this. Each talker, when packetizing audio samples, "timestamps" the current packet. The timestamp refers to a time in the future, where the first packet (true for AAF, simplification for AM824!) shall be played by the listener. The offset between "now" and "playout" is called "presentation time offset" or PTO in short.
The AVB standard and the MILAN specification set a default value of 2 ms. However, in every RME AVB device this can be set freely in nanoseconds (Digiface AVB, 12Mic, AVB Tool, M-1610, an update for M-32 Pro is under way).
The only restriction is, that the packet has to arrive at the device before the presentation time has been reached. As a rule of thumb, every switch introduces a worst case delay of 135 us (there are mechanisms to lower that, but I'll leave them out for simplicity). So by default, you can send the signal over 14 switches (which I'd call a rather large network for AVB) and it will still arrive in time.
The concept of presentation time also includes that you don't have to take care of latency compensation: No matter the topology of your infrastructure (aforementioned constraints apply), if there is one switch in between, or 5, or 14, every Listener will playout the signal at exactly the same time.

As the presentation time offset can be set per stream, it is even possible to use it in a more "creative" way. For example, a Micstacy is connected to MADI Coax of a 12Mic, an Octamic to MADI optical. All three devices have different delays between microphone in and digital out. Using three different streams, the differences can be "ironed out" by offsetting the presentation time offset: e.g. (numbers completely made up) 1.140.567, 1.163.890, 1.138.123: Now the microphone input signals will be played out (or recorded) by the listener with compensated latency.

TLDR: in the future, taking care of latency compensation won't be necessary anymore. In the meantime, AVB's PTO mechanism can be used, to bring existing devices in AVB networks and at the same time account for latency.

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

Many thanks Marc for taking the time. Sounds extremely interesting and cool.

> In the meantime, AVB's PTO mechanism can be used, to bring existing devices in AVB networks
> and at the same time account for latency.

In such a case where i.e. a "12MIC" bridges one or more MADI devices to an AVB network .. Does the PTO calculation and configuration happen automatically or does it require manual calculation and configuration by the user ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

An "automagic" configuration is not implemented at the moment and there are quite some edge cases. I'm not sure it would be a benefit for either side and think it's better if he user sets it up manually.
However, maybe we just put a table with "common latencies" next to the PTO settings dialog in our web interface. That way, it's very easy to look it up and add it to the "standard PTO".

Re: AVB NETWORK with 3 Macs and an AVB switch with M-32 pro in the middle.

Many thanks Marc.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB