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Audio Testing of Dante™-enabled DevicesHOME/SOLUTIONS/DANTE DEVICES

The Dante protocol allows hundreds of high-quality audio channels to be transported over a single cat 5e or cat 6 Ethernet cable with well-controlled latency and support for redundancy. A growing number of professional audio products—including mixers, microphone preamps, wireless microphones, recording interfaces, amplifiers and powered speakers—now use Dante interfaces, allowing them to be integrated into larger systems over TCP/IP Ethernet networks. The applications for Dante range from connecting a laptop computer, to a mixing console for live recording, to building large touring audio systems with hundreds of interconnected devices.

Dante-enabled devices present some unique testing challenges. In addition to a Dante interface, most of these products also contain traditional analog and digital audio interfaces, ADCs, DACs, and loudspeakers that need to be tested through the Dante interface. Audio Precision has developed a solution for testing Dante-enabled products using APx500 Series audio analyzers.

Dante is a trademark of Audinate Pty. Ltd.

Overview - Dante Device Testing

A typical Dante-enabled device will have a Dante interface and some combination of audio interfaces that may include analog, AES, SPDIF or acoustic (the latter, in the case of powered loudspeakers). Most audio testing requires stimulus signals to be generated, applied to the device under test (DUT) through an input, and then measuring the response at one or more outputs. In the case of Dante devices, it will be necessary to apply the stimulus in a stream supplied to the Dante interface and measure the response through one of the audio outputs, or conversely, apply the stimulus to one of the audio inputs and measure the response contained from a stream supplied from the Dante interface.

Dante uses Internet Protocol (IP) running over Ethernet to transfer audio streams to and from a device through its Ethernet port. Audio testing requires that the APx audio analyzer be able to send and receive test signals over the Dante interface. This can be accomplished using the APx analyzer’s Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) client interface in combination with third-party Dante interfaces designed for the Windows PCs, such as Focusrite’s RedNet PCIe card or Audinate’s Dante Virtual Soundcard. Both of these products are compatible with the APx ASIO client capabilities, and can be used to allow APx to send and receive test signals over Dante interfaces to conduct a wide range of different audio measurements.

There are classes of products, such as signal processors, where there may be a need to test by sending a stimulus into the device’s Dante Receive Stream and measuring the results in the device’s Dante Transmit Stream. APx software supports this type of testing as well.

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