yet another thread in my extensive testing phase towards a huge gig next week. I am using Studiolive 32R as mixer for the band as well as audio interface for keyboards. The setup is working well in principle, but I am regarding the system behavior in case of failure (network connection loss in this case) and how to make this connection fail save as good as possible. Here is what happened in yesterdays rehersal:
Macbook connected over usb for keyboard sounds. PC connected over ethernet as front of house controller. There was a wlan router in between the 32R and the PC, so every musician could control his own inear sound, but the PC was connected by cat 5e with its wlan disabled. I considered this wired connection as the most important connection for the sound technician, a connection that should not fail in any case, but exactly that happened. UC Surface on the PC lost its control, which I didn't even realize directly, since the sliders were moving but didn't have any effect. The meters didn't display the signals any more and buttons didn't work. That's when I finally realized that I had lost control. The UC Surface on the MAC (connected over USB) still worked.
I closed UC surface on the PC to reconnect, but the device didn't show up any more. I had to shut the 32R off and on again then it reconnected and it worked again. But that again messed up the ASIO setup on the MAC, so I then had to restart the DAW on the MAC (used for virtual instruments) as well. Now, obviously the advantage of having two functions in one device turned into a disadvantage in case of this failure.
I don't know why the connection was lost in the first place, but it would be really beneficial if the ethernet connection could be re-established without having to turn off power of the 32R, since this triggers further problems.
Here are my questions:
Is there a way to establish ethernet connection while power of the 32R is already on? Eg. static IP or any other trick..
Is it possible to supply wlan access for inear mixing, while 32R and PC are directly connected with one ethernet cable? I can connect 32R and PC directly but then the wlan router is not connected. I assume one cable and the router less involved on the way to the foh makes the connection more reliable (two plugs less that can fail). So is there an alternative to involve the wlan?
Is there a way to have redundant control of the 32R? using Control and AVB connection (for control only) in parallel? Could for example the wlan router be connected to AVB for redundant control? Of course I have redundancy after the router/switch, but so far not on the connection from the 32R.
What can I do in general to improve realiability of the control network? A customer feedback from my local dealer was that they had issues with cat5e and suggest to use cat6 only. The spec doesn't require this.
Thanks again for your support guys!
In section 2.2.2 (Wired to a Computer USB) the "StudioLive_Series_III_Rack_Mixers_OwnersManual" says: "Your StudioLive Series III rackmount mixer can be connected directly to UC Surface running on a computer using USB. Please note: In this configuration, you can only use one device – your computer – to control your StudioLive mixer."
This refers to the general use of USB and means: If you use USB, a direct Ethernet connection to another computer does not work. Anyway, I would NEVER connect two computers to one processing unit, aka mixer. You never know if/how they fight agains each other. The only way to get a second computer involved is for control and via a wireless router (see manual section 2.2. and 2.2.1).
Reducing the physical connections to USB > Mac and Ethernet > router will reduce your problems drastically. From my experience with RM mixers and Apple routers I can say that in 99.9 percent of all possible cases you will see no problems at all. The rack mixers do not have things like (moving) faders, which can fail. The reliablity of your rack mixer is the very last thing you need to think about. Unless electricity gets lost, you can ALWAYS rely on your rack mixer!
Therefore one of the two control facilities will always work: USB (direct control) or WLAN (mobile control). In your case the USB connection should be your "control backbone" and you need to be able and ready to mix FOH, auxes and your keyboard.
Static IP addresses allow the "members" of a network to connect and reconnect at any time, while a network based on dynamic addresses always need to be start from the scratch. This takes some time (start router, then start mixer, then start computer and tablets/mobiles), but you should take into consideration that in a live set-up the router anyway is the most "critical" part. It needs to boot fully, regardless which addresses are used...
AVB is basic Ethernet, so it works with CAT5e - even with the cheapest CAT5e cables.
Hope this helps.
that definitely helps, since it is opening the discussion. I read your post a couple of times and I will comment on it in Detail. Thanks a lot for taking your time. But first I have to make a correction. I am really sorry, but the Setup was a Little different than I mentioned before. The PC for foh Control was connected by WLAN to the router connected to the R32. It wasn't connected by cat 5e to the router as I wrote. I had tried both variants and both worked. I was thinking that the wired solution should be the more reliable, but since I ran out of time I didn't double check this Setup before the rehersal. Actually, the Setup was as you suggested and I am reading the Statement about the usb Connection in the Manual differently than you, but I will get back to this soon. I agree, that a rackmixer should be the most stable Setup when configured, but it will be difficult if Control is lost. I will do some dedicated checks. In fact the Setup that is not supposed to work according to the Manual is working as I understand it. I also understand that I am a hardcore user demanding everything at the same time from as Little devices as possible. I can't do the mixing Job when playing the keys, so there must be a stable foh solution simultaneously to a stable Interface Operation. And actually, the hardwired foh still might be it. It was not set up this way as I thought. BTW, Maschine was connected to the Mac and running in standalone mode as well. It ran too fast by the factor of 48/44.1 (sample rate). I opened a ticket at Native Instruments today since I assumed it is their fault. They mentioned that it could as well be the presonus Driver. They are taking care of the issue. But I thought I should mention it here. I really don't mind to be a beta tester. I am a techic Freak and want to have the best gear playing together. Just take me serious please My first Laptop Sound module was the Wami Box. I had to wait one year for a low latency Driver but could live with the build in sampler for that time. I see the potential of the R32 and want to help getting this running under all circumstances. I also found two more Bugs that could be fixed easily. I wish I could get a direct contact to Support to help and benefit!
P.S.: since you mentioned AVB. I was talking about Control Connection only. AVB port not involved. The question was if it can be used as Control only Connection for redundancy..
The "Control" socket feeds the router (and nothing else), the "Network Audio" socket can be used for a) either a direct AVB connection to a computer or b) a connection to an AVB switch, which is able to separate audio and control signals. I doubt that you could get a "pure" control signal out of this socket, hence you can not use it for redundancy purposes.
The good thing with the Series III rack mixers is that control and audio signals are separated. You don't have to buy an expensive AVB router, because you need it only for an AVB network (getting a second Series III mixer involved). The RM rack mixers have no separation of control and audio. The "Control" socket is equally used for WLAN and AVB.
Keep things as simple as possible. That's all I want to say...
Most routers have a simple network switch built into them. That's where you would connect the FOH computer to the network so it can control the Rack mixer without using Wifi. In fact you could have more than one. . . control only of course. iPads and phones connect through Wifi. All hardware devices connect to the LAN ports including the mixer itself. Nothing connects to the WAN port unless you have an internet provider (I do not connect my network to the internet except once a year to update things)
Problem is if the Router would fail what happens. . . well, you still have the USB computer that will work in the interim until a fix is made. But I bought an expensive at the time ($160) ASUS router that I have been using for at least 5 years and it still works day in day out. Don't buy the cheapest router you can find, you want something a bit sturdier that the typical small home router. It will give you the DHCP and also have a network switch built in so you can hard wire network components if you wish.
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