Meeting Topic: Digital Audio Transport in an Ethernet World
Speaker Name: Steve Macatee, Rane Corporation
Meeting Location: Rane Corp, Mukilteo, WA
The AES PNW Section's September 2011 meeting was held at Rane Corp. in Mukilteo, WA, (north of Seattle and south of Everett). Longtime Rane employee Steve Macatee is currently Director of Product Development and Training, and gave a talk on digital audio in the Ethernet environment. Steve's presentation was partially distilled from a 3-day SynAudCon course he gives.
Manipulating digital audio over Ethernet is here to stay, so audio folks need to know the Ethernet world so they can communicate with the IT (Information Technology) guys and get their job or installation done effectively. Steve conducted a general review of the basics of Ethernet, starting with routers, switches and hubs, firewalls, and DNS and SMTP servers, and continuing with MAC addresses, IP addresses, and subnet masks. Unicasting, multicasting, managed switches (very useful for audio nets), virtual LANs and VPNs, the OSI Reference Model and TCP/IP were also noted.
The major players in systems to move packetized digital audio over Ethernet (and Ethernet-like) networks, were listed, including Aviom, Ethersound (Digigram), Cobranet, Dante (from Australia), and Ethernet AVB. These companies have various methods of doing audio over Ethernet, some proprietary, some not.
Next, Steve covered some basic Ethernet troubleshooting, ranging from checking the router or switch indicator lights, to checking the DHCP and IP settings. Subnet mask settings are also useful to isolate networks for audio work.
After the refreshment break, door prize winners were:
-Rane "Rane Gauges" (tape rulers marked with rack units):
Greg Mauser. Sam Luna, Gary Louie, Nathan O'Neill, Steve Green, Rene Jaeger, Gary Beebe, Mark Rogers, Christian Heilman, Rick Smargiassi, Steve Turnidge, Wayne Edwards
-Rane "Mongoose USB Drive" wristwatches:
boB Gudgel, Chris Deckard, Bob Moses, Graham Jordan, Bob Smith, Jason Frazier, Steve Wilkens, cik Chinn, Andy Meers, Dan Mortensen
-CDs from Starbucks Music: Jason McDonald, John Atwood
-Fluke infrared thermometer, courtesy Rick Rodriguez & Fluke: Lindsay Smith
Continuing after the prizes, Mr. Macatee discussed at length the various vendor's audio over Ethernet implementations and their individual pros and cons.
Finally, attendees were welcomed to a quick tour of the Rane factory floor, where all their products are designed and manufactured.
Written By: Gary Louie