Topic: pure fiber-optic system

We’ve just finished rebuilding after the 2017 wildfire, and this week we will move “back” into the paradigm transformed home (YAY!!!).
Looking for advice, and HW/SW suggestions for a “pure fiber” system/network.
I need to determine ASAP which HW will provide fiber optic connection to the (AT&T service provider), and to a fiber optic audio network (to be determined).
It will of course need to also be connectable to non-fiber components.
Design so far:
I've built a control room in the middle of the house.
It has feeds to and from all of the rooms in the home so that I can take advantage of each of their unique audio characteristics. Feeds will include copper, ether, and fiber.
Current status:
I've managed to conjure contiguous fiber from the service (pole) to the comm room (closet). Yep. 1 wire from pole to middle of the home!!!
The "want":
I would like a pure fiber system.
ie. Black box need:
Fiber into box (A&TT feet from pole)
optical interfaces inside box
Optical outputs from box
Other outputs from box
Use case(s) information:
1. Audio and Visual Creation
Interactive music:
-Remote collaboration nearest to real-time: working with artists anywhere in the universe.
-Room to room latency free audio network: critical audio recording and editing
Compose to picture: soundtrack composition

2. Conference Room
"Zoom" room: remote assessment and consultation of complex organizations and their processes
Multi-screen
Multi-participant
Remote access to client networks
Your inputs are welcome and requested!!!
Thanks for looking!!!
Lindsey

SamProX23 Suite-RME UFX+,FF800;X-Touch,21" Acer Touch,ASUS ROG G750JH-DB71-Win8,MSSurfbook-Win10

2 (edited by ramses 2020-11-29 14:19:34)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Hi Lindsay,

this wildfire was surely a mess and very challenging, so welcome back to more "normal" conditions (except Corona which is a plague for us all).

You put a lot of requirements from different areas into one thread. In my opinion, this is beyond the scope of what a forum/internet consultation can achieve.

If you are looking for consulting for such a big solution, I think it would be better to work with a system house like e.g. Synthax, that can continuously support a project of this size in terms of know-how and execution.

If I were you, I would separate the areas of internet connection, data and audio network and consider them separately.

Audio applications over the Internet are also a very special topic in itself. Here it depends on the distances between you and your communication partner, how many ms delays you will have on a line at least and what you are planning to do there at all, also about the mode of operation, the flows, which all have a certain latency over the WAN. And depending on how your counterpart is connected or how the routing between the transport providers works, the quality will also be very variable.

I think it would be easier to just talk to you about what kind of equipment you need for audio in the studio.

At the moment I see two basic options if you want to get all devices from RME, MADI or AVB based solutions.

You prefer optical cabling, which is IMHO a very good flexible solution because of  ...
a) galvanic isolation
b) allows for separation of audio and data network (also doable with AVB)
c) allows for long and even very long distances cabling:
    - multimode up to 2km
    - single mode (special order @RME) up to 10 km between each of the devices

So with MADI you can build e.g. a nice optical fiber ring installation. As already mentioned from device to device distances of up to 2km or even 10km (single mode) are possible and you can connect up to 8 devices with 8 channels each to a MADI bus.

In case you are using a MADI bus, a UFX+ (USB3/TB) would be a good choice, because you have the possibility to make backup recordings with DURec. Other very nice MADI interfaces (for PCIe) are the HDSPe MADI FX with the special driver that optimizes resource consumption at the computer.

You can find more information about these devices in these blog articles:

About UFX+ and MADI setup:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … 8-RME-UFX/
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … -DURec-DE/
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Cber-MADI/

About HDSPe MADI FX
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … Pro-FS-BE/

In contrast to MADI here something different with some basic information to MADI and AVB and MADI integration into AVB.
So should you have already some MADI equipment, then you can integrate it into AVB, like shown in the PDF article:
https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … XTC-DE-EN/

In combination with the MADI Router you can do a lot of things, but I have not yet evaluated the full range of possibilities of the MADI Router. Here I would also use the experience of a system house (wzB Synthax), which also takes care of larger installations: https://www.rme-audio.de/de_madi-router.html

Synthax can certainly contribute from their experience and maybe even tell you whether AVB could have further advantages for you at this point or to simply show it as an alternative and then compare costs / benefits ...

It all depends also a bit on how many channels of what type you need per room and how the rooms are distributed around the house.

Hope this helps to get break up such big request into management pieces for a forum.
For the big picture -> integrator
For questions in terms of particular devices or what could be used you can ask of course here as well. But don't expect a big concept out of here, this is not manageable via forum.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Hi Ramses,
I have a related question, although much more limited. I use the UFX+ as the audio interface for Windows 10 for home audio playback with digital room correction: Source > AES > UFX+ > USB > Computer crossover and digital room correction and convolution > USB > UFX+ acting as DAC and preamp > amps > 4 speakers.   In future, I plan 8 speakers.

Currently, the source (a networked streamer), the UFX+ and the computer are in the basement. The amps and speakers are upstairs one level from the basement. I use XLR balanced cable to send the UFX+ analog output to the amps, about 10-15 m

This works OK. However, adding 4 more channels (to go from current 4 to 8 channels) is expensive as the current XLR cable run would need to be duplicated with an additional conduit channel.

Options:
1. Moving the computer and UFX+ into the listening room. Can be done, but is not the best domestic solution.
2. MADI? What would be needed in the listening room to receive the UFX+ signal? I assume this is digital and would need a DAC as well (but I may be wrong as I do not know anything about MADI)


3.

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

4 (edited by ramses 2020-12-09 11:39:12)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

to 1) this is my solution
Recording Corner: Computer-->UFX+-(MADI: XTC,12Mic)-->AES->ADI-2Pro FS R BE
                                                   |
                                                   | 15m TOSLINK CABLE
                                                   |
                                                   |     TV         BluRay
                                                   |      |            |
                                                   |     +           +
HiFi:                                            +-TOSLINK_SWITCHER_4:1-->---1m TOSLINK_CABLE--->ADI-2Pro FS R BE---AnalOut---HiFi

Can use computer as player, best software IMHO MusicBee, if you have the content local (FLAC files).
MusicBee allows for a remote pluging, then you can even control MusicBee via WiFi from an Android Smartphone/Tablet.

to 2)

MADI allows
- 64ch at single speed (44.1/48)
- 32ch at double speed (88.2/96)
- 16ch at quad speed (176.5/192 kHz)
over fiber optic cable.
The common transceiver / cable standard is multi-mode (single mode uses laser and different transceiver, this needs a special delivery from RME and is not required for your purpose as you do not need to support 10km between MADI devices).

You can choose either OM3 or OM4 multimode cable. I personally choose OM4 because its also nice for data networks supporting longer cable length even for high speed network adapters. My idea to choose OM4 is, that you can stick to only one cabling standard in the building. Otherwise OM3 is also fine for audio.

The cable length between each of the devices in a MADI ring can be up to 2km with multimode (10km with single mode).
Patch cables are usually available up to 20m length, some shops also offer customized length.

Installation: you chain the MADI devices: from UFX+ MADI Output to the next devices MADI Input and so on..
back to the MADI Input of the UFX+.

With the new RME devices (like 12Mic or M-1610 Pro) you need to buy the optional pluggable SFP, easiest is to use the RME SFPs so that you can be sure not to choose the wrong diameter/supported wavelength.
When buying the cable you need only to take care of, to choose the proper plug format.
On the UFX+ side you need an SC plug, on the M-1610 Pro side you need an LC plug.

A typical 20m patch cable looks like this:
https://www.kabelscheune.de/LWL-Kabel-L … -20-m.html
With this "pair of fiber" (duplex cable) you can cable e.g. from UFX+ to M-1610 Pro and back to the UFX+.
You can make two single cables out of this duplex cable by unmounting the plastic connection that keeps the two together.

RME D/A converter with MADI support: e.g. the new M-1610 Pro.
https://www.rme-audio.de/m-1610-pro.html
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_m-1610-pro.html

But at the end ... what device to place there for the speakers depends also a lot, what connections these speakers provide. Whether analog or also digital. Could also be the case that the speaker have either digital inputs, then RME has other MADI capable devices to provide e.g. more ADAT or AES outputs.
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_adi-648.html
https://www.rme-audio.de/de_adi-642.html

If you have a 7.1 AV Receiver then you might only need a 15m TOSLINK connection between UFX+ and AV Receiver to play simple stereo content. I assume for looking at 5.1/7.1 content you have another device there or a BlueRay Player.

In that regards your setup is not clear to me and needs further clarifications before finalizing cabling and product decisions for your case.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: pure fiber-optic system

ramses wrote:

In that regards your setup is not clear to me and needs further clarifications before finalizing cabling and product decisions for your case.

Hi Ramses,

Currently, my setup is 2 subwoofers with built-in amps and 2 analogue stereo speakers with monoblock external amps.
The speakers have passive XOs. I do the Sub-Speaker crossover in the computer.
I send 4 analog channels from the UFX+: R+L subs and R+L speakers.

In future, I want to replace the speaker internal passive  crossover with a digital XO in the computer. In that case, I need 4 channels on each side.

Questions
1) If the UFX+ is not the DAC, I would like to have the option to send 192 kHz to the DAC. I have limited understanding of Toslink and ADAT. Does Toslink from the UFX+ support 8 channels to a DAC or DACs?

2) As alternatives to Toslink, what is needed for MADI or DANTE?

My impression at this point is that moving the computer and UFX+ into the listening room is the least expensive and simplest setup.
Thank you for your great support!
Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

Re: pure fiber-optic system

What do you mean by "XO" ? Sorry I can't follow your terminology.
I also do not know exactly what you mean by sub-speaker crossover.

It would be simpler to name the needed amount of analog or digital outputs now and later.
If analog I/O then also tell whether balanced or unbalanced.

If you need analog ports to feed the speakers, well then it might be easiest to move computer and UFX+ upstairs into the room with the speakers. For the MADI devices you would also need at least one Rack Unit if not a second one for patch panel.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

7 (edited by vinark 2020-12-10 11:23:07)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

In future, I want to replace the speaker internal passive  crossover with a digital XO in the computer. In that case, I need 4 channels on each side.

Questions
1) If the UFX+ is not the DAC, I would like to have the option to send 192 kHz to the DAC. I have limited understanding of Toslink and ADAT. Does Toslink from the UFX+ support 8 channels to a DAC or DACs?

Toslink adat can only do 2 channels per cable at 192khz, 4@96khz and of course 8@44/48k


My impression at this point is that moving the computer and UFX+ into the listening room is the least expensive and simplest setup.

I hope this is a hobby in the sense you enjoy this, cause it is very high complexity with little real gains. perceived sound quality is mainly dependent on, your mood, the pure drivers (speakers), enclosures, room (placement) your mood (again). Then on a far distance XO's (if they are decent anyway) converts etc. Thing is if you change something witch lets say improves clarity (highs) a little, you will for a short while hear a little better, but your brain will get used to it pretty fast. For the same effect you could just raise the volume 1 or 2 db and you will hear everything better.
For example if you switch from a perfect digital 4 way crossover sytem, to a bandwidth limited one full range speaker system you will be surprised how good that will sound. If you then switch back to the 4 way you will be happy with the bass and highs that are back. So I hope you are enjoying your quest and it is not too result driven.
\\i could be way of base with what I am saying here, so I hope you feel it is meant friendly!


Ramses XO is cross over

Edit: on if you switch from a perfect digital 4 way crossover sytem, to a bandwidth limited one full range speaker system you will be surprised how good that will sound. If you then switch back to the 4 way you will be happy with the bass and highs that are back
The reason you can not really have it both ways is not technical but because of masking

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Thanks, now i c. Didn't know the english term / abbreviation for that.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: pure fiber-optic system

ramses wrote:

Thanks, now i c. Didn't know the english term / abbreviation for that.

I think it is a self made abbreviation, that might have been clear from context but was not.
Cheers!!!

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Ramses and Vinark
Thank you for the replies and clarifying my acronym for crossover.
An additional option I found is a long Thunderbolt 2 optical cable from Corning  + TB3 card in the computer + TB3-TB2 adapter (total cost roughly CAD $600). I think this would allow the UFX+ to be adjacent to the amps-speakers and the computer to remain in the basement. 
However, for a low-cost start, I will try to computer and UFX+ in the listening room with analog balanced connections from UFX to amplifiers - about 6m long.
Vinark, I appreciate your remarks about active vs passive crossovers. It is a hobby. I am interested in trying an active crossover in addition to the digital room correction I have in place using Acourate (Audiovero.de).
Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

Re: pure fiber-optic system

I own and use Corning Thunderbolt 2 cables (10m and 60m lengths), however they are quite expensive options. Corning has also recently released optical Thunderbolt 3 cables.

https://www.corning.com/optical-cables- … ables.html

Another option is to use a MADI to analog converter, such as the RME M-16 DA (or an ADI-8 QS with the optional Madi-card installed) in your listening room.

A cheaper option would be to attach an 8-channel multicore analog cable to your UFX+ and run it through your cable-conduit, and then split it out into individual cables in the listening room. I use the D'Addario/Planet-Waves modular-cable-system for situations such as this, moving audio in 8-channel blocks to different locations. The core cable comes in lengths of 5, 10, 25 and 50 feet, and either end can use a variety of different cable breakouts (XLR, TRS, etc...).

https://www.daddario.com/products/acces … re-cables/

Cheers,
George

12 (edited by Labdoc 2021-03-04 23:32:05)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

SuburbanStudio wrote:

I own and use Corning Thunderbolt 2 cables (10m and 60m lengths), however they are quite expensive options. Corning has also recently released optical Thunderbolt 3 cables.

https://www.corning.com/optical-cables- … ables.html

George,
Thanks for this. I am slowly working through the options, starting with Thunderbolt. This works well with JRiver Media Center, for example. However, I am getting glitches (ticks, dropouts) with Logitech Media Server ("Squeezebox") and Squeezelite-X controller/network player running in Windows 10.

I think the problem is the Logitech/Squeezelite software. However, to confirm this, I am interested in what computer you use with UFX+ and Thunderbolt. Windows or Mac? If Windows, is it a commercial brand or one that you built? If you built it, what motherboard and Thunderbolt "card"?  My setup is a home built Asus Z370-A. The Asus add-on card was a dud, as reported by many users. I now have a Gigabyte Titan Ridge v.2 card that works.

Thanks!
Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

Re: pure fiber-optic system

I would put an Octamix XTC in every room and connect them via Madi daisy chain to the controlroom interface Madiface XT.

OSX M1, Babyface (soundstudio-to-go), started with PST8, Multiface I, Multiface II, PCIeMadi

Re: pure fiber-optic system

SuburbanStudio wrote:

I own and use Corning Thunderbolt 2 cables (10m and 60m lengths), however they are quite expensive options. Corning has also recently released optical Thunderbolt 3 cables.

https://www.corning.com/optical-cables- … ables.html

Cheers,
George

Hi again George,
I have a 2m long copper Thunderbolt cable working now between a Windows 10 PC and RME UFX+. I continue to be interested in using optical Thunderbolt over a greater distance (20 m or so).

I am looking for confirmation that the Corning optical cable simply plugs into a ThunderBolt 3 port on the computer. It seems magical that there is no conversion box required to go from an electical signal at the port to an optical transmission cable. In my case, I would be using the Startech TB3 to TB2 converter and then a Corning optical TB2 cable, which is available on eBay and is less expensive than TB3. As you know, the RME UFX+ is TB2.
Thanks!
Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

15 (edited by ramses 2021-03-18 20:01:34)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

waedi wrote:

I would put an Octamix XTC in every room and connect them via Madi daisy chain to the controlroom interface Madiface XT.

He needs it for D/A (home audio playback), see post #3, he doesn't require mic inputs. Ok you could use the AES output ports for 4x2ch .. but .. then he would need additionally D/A converters behind it -> expensive.

MADI and D/A converter would be a good idea.

OM3/OM4 fiber optic cables are available as patch cable up to 30m.
And it can go up to 2km. With single mode even up to 10km.

Either this
https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_m_1610_pro.htm
needs patch bay

or that up to 96 kHz:
https://www.thomann.de/de/ferrofish_pulse16_mx.htm

Alternatively a MADI <-> TOSLINK converter
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi648_op … andler.htm €2499
and behind that several ADI-2 FS
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi_2_fs.htm €699
or behind that several ADI-2 Pro FS R BE
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi_2_pro … dition.htm (via AES) €1739

Alternatively a MADI <-> AES converter
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi642.htm €2199
and behind that several ADI-2 Pro FS R BE
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_adi_2_pro … dition.htm (via AES) €1739

Alternatively upstair a small player (PC/Laptop)
- connected to a RME AVB interface
   https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_digiface_avb.htm €835
- connected to a M1610 Pro
  https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_m_1610_pro.htm  €2599
- with a HOOK to the UFX+ downstairs per MADI
On the M1610 Pro you can provide a routing to the analog outputs from AVB and MADI
You can use the UFX+ downstairs as player but also a small laptop upstairs connected to a small AVB interface through USB.
Then the connection between AVB recording interface and M-1610 pro via Ethernet.

But I see ... costs increasing ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

16 (edited by Labdoc 2021-03-18 16:33:20)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

ramses wrote:

MADI and D/A converter would be a good idea.
OM3/OM4 fiber optic cables are available as patch cable up to 30m.
And it can go up to 2km. With single mode even up to 10km.

Either this
https://www.thomann.de/de/rme_m_1610_pro.htm
needs patch bay

or that up to 96 kHz:
https://www.thomann.de/de/ferrofish_pulse16_mx.htm

Hi Ramses,

Edit: My thinking about the design has changed. I no longer plan the computer in the basement. Also, I wrote the reply below while Ramses was editing his original - I need to read that!

Yes, the M-1610 is a very good option. Thank you for pointing to it. In this scenario, the UFX+ and computer are at my desk in the "back" of the room, the M-1610 is at the "front" of the room, adjacent to the passive speakers and amps. The M-1610 analog out channels x 8 exactly meet my need. And I think the M-1610 would be controlled by TotalmixFX (is this correct?)

You mention I would need a patch bay...I do not think so, but please correct me.

On the negative side of the ledger, the M-1610 is relatively more expensive compared to a Thunderbolt optical cable (about 8x for me in Canada including taxes).

In my alternative scenario, if I use a Thunderbolt cable, the UFX+ is at the front of the room, together with the amps and speakers. The computer remains at my desk. Less expensive, but I sacrifice the headphone/mics at my desk and convenient control of the UFX+ as a standalone unit.

Question: is there a Madi option that could be located at the computer, with the UFX+ at the front of the room: Computer --> Madi --> UFX+ ? Would it be less expensive than the M-1610?

Edit: to answer my question: the RME Madiface USB looks like the item. It is less expensive in Canada than the M-1610, with some trade-offs in function of course


Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

17 (edited by ramses 2021-03-18 20:05:49)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Hi Murray,

sadly I had no time to finish this drawing earlier so I didn't see your note ...

But now I want to post this because I regard this as quite cool combination of AVB world and MADI.
Maybe somebody else has a use case for this.

My idea was to place smth like a laptop to the living room. There to use AVB towards the M-1610 Pro and
to use in parallel MADI to connect UFX+ downstairs with the M-1610 Pro on the floor above.

Then your M-1610 Pro (AVB network) can even integrate the signals coming from the MADI network on ground floor.
Another drawing below from my 12Mic review, how the new RME AVB devices can also integrate MADI devices (and also an UFX+) into the AVB network.
On the other hand you say you do not have such complex routing demands, its simply for playback.

But maybe from cost perspective overkill for you, I just wanted to mention, what all could be done.
I saw your note too late in terms of cost, but simply let stand it here as information... the drawing is free of charge wink

Note: before ordering something like this, better cross check with RME whether its possible.
The other question is whether it fits your demands or makes it too complex.

Of course you can also leave out the Digiface AVB and the laptop on the 1st floor and control / control everything through MADI / UFX+.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jpzsygc2x2jozxg/MADI%20and%20AVB.jpg?dl=1


See AVB and MADI integration in this overview:

https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.php/Attachment/2648-03-Use-Cases-jpg/

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

18 (edited by ramses 2021-03-18 20:17:11)

Re: pure fiber-optic system

While typing / editing the posting above I am getting another good idea.

Get a second UFX+:
- it has 8 analog outputs
- can be operated in stand-alone mode
- you can then connect the two UFX+ through MADI .. voila ...

You also get two nice phones outputs additionally

AND

You have also a backup device for your UFX+ by this ... and all in one compact unit !


https://www.dropbox.com/s/pj4pb1qd3atn41n/MADI%20and%20AVB-2.jpg?dl=1

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Hi Ramses,
Very nice setups. Both setups are applicable to my first plan (upstairs-downstairs) and to the current plan of same room but front-back of room equipment. The dialogue has helped me understand the options.

The second UFX+ is less much costly than the M-1610 + AVB, and I agree that a backup UFX+ is a benefit. I will let you know how I proceed.

BTW, your diagrams are quite elegant!
Murray

UFX+; RME Thunderbolt ASIO to Win10x64; AcourateConvolver digital crossover & room correction

Re: pure fiber-optic system

Thanks Murray, am glad that you like them and that it helped to understand some options that you have.
The more I think about it .. the two UFX+ could be a very nice choice...

You need to clock them .. one clock master, the other clock slave through MADI ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro20H2, Cub11Pro, UFX+ (v0.9734), XTC, 12Mic, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE