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AES Indiana Section - Diving Deeper Into Dante

‐ Sep 8, 2023 4:00pm

Frank began by providing some background on Dante. Dante as a platform includes both hardware components and software tools for control and interfacing, all integrated with a single management layer. This has recently expanded to include video integration in Dante AV, all managed from familiar Dante software. Dante AV includes options for lossless, low-latency video and multichannel audio, intermediate latency and video quality, and high-latency and lossy video.

Frank then moved to the evolution of Audio over IP (AoIP) systems. Early systems employed local, isolated network within a single room or facility, with all equipment interfacing through a single network switch. Similarly, a dedicated virtual LAN could be dedicated to AoIP use. As the network world expanded, IT departments became increasingly involved in these network, bringing a focus on network bandwidth requirements, larger coverage areas, Layer 3 routing, and security considerations.

To appreciate the complexities of modern systems, Frank took a dive into network architecture. The traditional Layer 3 network includes a core, distribution, and access layer, where newer network architecture often relies on a “spine and leaf” structure. Similarly, network security requirements have also expanded from a “defense in depth” paradigm to modern “zero trust” systems where every device’s interconnection must be configured. This, combined with increased network segmentation for differing uses, means that today’s AoIP network is a significant departure from the typical audio-visual professional’s focus on physical interconnection!

Dante Domain Manager (DDM) serves as a hub to simplify and integrate the varying hardware and software components in a modern network. Frank explained that DDM allows for device management and network segregation, as well as tiered access for users, monitoring and logging, and multi-subnet support, all within a single interface. This is particularly useful when using DDM to serve as a management layer for advanced routing between networks. In essence, DDM is a network engineer’s solution to AoIP. DDM can create customized dashboards, network monitoring, or GUIs, allowing for a streamlined user experience while maintaining security and network integrity.

Frank then dove into the future of AoIP and Dante. Dante Connect can transmit uncompressed audio through a cloud-based system to provide in-sync, lossless audio to remote users. Using Dante Gateway ,low-latency local networks can integrate with high-latency cloud distribution to bridge these networks. Further developments leverage WebRTC, to allow remote contribution of lossy audio, as well. Frank wrapped up taking some questions from the attendees.