Let's come at this discussion from a slightly different direction.
One thing the PreSonus ecosystem does supremely well is provide a platform to craft rational in-ear monitoring and DAW integration solutions for small ensembles with limited budgets. My system is built around a 32R, and allows me to add stereo and mono in-ear feeds to band members, and provide each with a way to control them on their phones. It also affords me a way to record performances and rehearsals with S1 on the laptop, and makes vocal rehearsals much more productive by allowing playback of recorded rhythm tracks to be used as practice tracks. I can hand an iPad to any moderately musical human I know and have them run FOH (FOH person is not allowed to touch mic amp gains or he/she will get no beers). And as a side benefit many of the Fat Channel plugs actually sound quite good.
I'm sure you're way ahead of me in what this leads to. You get everyone comfortable with ears and tweaking their mixes. Maybe you even start memorizing some presets into the mixer for more complicated songs. You get into the habit of multi-tracking everything so you'll be guaranteed decent audio for your Mevo YouTube videos. In other words, you become dependent on the tech for your performance, which IMHO is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the music remains the most important element.
Then one day you're asked to open for someone else in a big theater or festival situation. You have very limited setup time, and a stage crew that will at best see you as another job to be performed before the real work actually starts. Two choices present themselves here: go completely with the resources the stage crew has allotted for you, or attempt to bring in your own backbone.
Both approaches are fraught with danger. The stage may be providing only wedges, and not many of them. If they are gracious enough to provide ear feeds, you still won't have enough time to really dial them in. If you're using tracks, they'll want you to trigger them and provide analog outputs to feed the system. And they probably won't be terribly interested in providing you a multitrack of the performance.
If, on the other hand, you decide you really require your own audio backbone to make monitoring work for your crazy bandmates, you will probably have to provide your own mics (since your gain settings will be dependent on the mics) and you will have to negotiate frequency coordination for any wireless ears or mics you may want to use. Then you have to either give a stereo mix to FOH (not popular with crew) or figure out a way to get the individual channels to FOH.
And now the PreSonus system that worked so well for you in smaller venues throws up a big roadblock. Unless there's a StudioLive 64S at FOH (not likely) there isn't any easy network solution to get the individual channels from your rack to FOH. Let's say there's a RIO32 and its associated switch sitting right there next to the monitor console. If only your PreSonus box spoke Dante, all you'd need to do is plug into the switch, tell FOH which channels to grab from Dante Controller, and start sound checking. But it doesn't, and you can't.
From here, you have two conceptual options. Spend some money for some kind of real-world interoperability solution between Dante and AVB (which I haven't yet seen, but ah, the promise of AES67!), or spend some money and put a splitter in your monitor rack. And don't be tempted to cheap out on the splitter, either--it needs to be a true transformer split with decent wiring and transformers in order to protect both you and the sound contractor.
In my mind's eye I see a field of unicorns and elves dancing around a small metal box with a PreSonus logo and two ethernet connectors marked AVB and Dante. After all, Focusrite was able to make 32 channels of Dante bidirectional to Pro Tools HD with minimal latency using a Brooklyn II card in a RED5 box. Seems like it should be possible here as well.
I'm not trying to light off another AVB/Dante feud. I'm just, in my long-winded way, describing an unintended consequence of PreSonus' success in making musician-friendly products contrasted with its decision to embrace AVB.
There may be a light at the end of this particular tunnel. I braved NAMM 2020 for three specific reasons, one of which was to ask someone from Presonus about this issue, and to see if it was on their radar. As it happens I spoke to The Beard himself.
Ray is still 100% committed to AVB, which I expected, since that's the company line. I expressed my opinion that unlike AVB, Dante was not just a technology suite but a real product, and that AVB has experienced somewhat scattershot development (not having a single company behind it pushing hardware solutions the way Audinate does with the Brooklyn II card). His response is that he expects that to happen with AVB, and that there is a Presonus box on the horizon that will translate channels between Dante and Presonus AVB products at the Ethernet level. He was somewhat cagey about channel count--let's just say that in my case I would probably need two of them.
But yes, it is on their to-do list, and a solution is on the way.
My guess is that two separate things drive Presonus' commitment to AVB. One is that they get to pave their own way in implementation, and the second is they can pass along the savings of not having to pay Audinate for components to their customers.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests