DiNET™ DAN-RX™ Development

Dante™ has been developed by Audinate® as a way for all types of audio equipment to communicate with one another and distribute uncompressed, high quality digital audio over standard Ethernet networks. Dante networks can be as simple as a few microphones and DI boxes connected to a mixer and a computer, but they can also grow into complex setups with hundreds of channels all being routed to multiple destinations. Because of this flexibility, a wide variety of Dante enabled products are now available, making it an industry standard for networked audio. Never before has a network been so widely adopted in professional audio, with most of the largest and most popular manufacturers now releasing Dante enabled products to the marketplace.

When we at Radial looked at the ever-expanding selection of Dante enabled products being released into the market, we started to see the need for simple 2-channel input and output interfaces. Dante allows audio to be routed to many different places, making it as easy to link equipment together on stage as it is to get audio throughout an entire building. A Dante-enabled direct box would give musicians the opportunity to connect directly to the network, making it possible to route their instrument to any other device on the network without the need for a mixer or preamplifier. Because Dante is so flexible, it would be possible to create a piece that was both a traditional DI box for instruments as well as an interface for all line level audio sources. In addition to Dante enabled direct boxes, simple output modules would allow for quick audio drops anywhere on the network. Whether feeding an auxiliary PA system or a pair of headphones, the list of potential applications was huge!

The first to be conceived was the DAN-TX. Our goal was to create the ultimate Radial direct box for Dante networks. ¼" inputs allows a musician to plug into the box from any location, and we added a selectable Thru-put for connection to a stage amplifier. For line level sources we wanted to include a variety of connectors and level controls that make anything possible. The ¼" inputs can not only be used for instruments, but they will also accept TRS connectors from balanced professional equipment. A 3.5mm input would allow for easy connection to laptops or tablets while RCA jacks keep compatibility with older consumer devices. With compatibility stretching across so many devices, we elected to add an input level control to ensure that everything will hit the Dante network at the same volume. Now plugging a client’s computer or tablet into the 3.5mm jack for a presentation, connecting an instrument or taking the analog outputs of a mixing board to the Dante network are all possible with the same box.

Next to come along was the DAN-RX, a Dante enabled audio receiver. We wanted a way to take stereo audio tracks out of the network, allowing users to quickly bring audio into any room or remote location. A simple application would be sending audio to a pair of powered speakers in an overflow room. Larger live sound productions would be able to utilize the DAN-RX as a way to drop stereo feeds into different areas for remote monitoring, and it could even be a way to distribute stereo press feeds in a broadcast situation. We wanted the DAN-RX to offer balanced outputs for connection to mic inputs on a mixer or directly to the line inputs of an amplifier or powered speakers. We also wanted to provide a headphone amplifier with a dedicated volume control. This would allow a performer, producer or show technician to connect to the network and have a personal monitor mix routed to the DAN-RX. The output would remain separate from the mains, allowing the technician to set the mix while the user can set their headphone volume. We even tested the amplifier with several different types of headphones and ear buds to ensure optimal fidelity.

Finally, as these are both simple boxes with no Dante controls built-in, we wanted to give users as much feedback as possible. LED indicators show when the boxes are connected to a network, when Power over Ethernet (PoE) is available, and when signal is present or clipping. SYNC and SYS LEDs also help in the pairing process, visually confirming that you are talking to the Dante network without having to monitor the software or look at other connected devices. As with all Radial products, the DAN-TX and DAN-RX are both built for the road with 14-gauge steel, I-beam internal construction, mil-spec circuit boards and a bookend design that protects knobs, switches and connectors.

With ease of operation as our primary concern, the DiNET DAN-TX and DAN-RX have been developed to be the simplest way to get 2 channels of audio into or out of your Dante network in a road-tough package!

Audinate® is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.
Dante™ is a trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.