In preparation for the arena-sized venues he will perform at during his fall IGOR tour, which kicks off in September, rapper, songwriter and producer Tyler the Creator hired playback engineer Taylor Wright — who has worked with Panic! At The Disco and Adam Lambert — to build a reliable playback rig using RME’s Digiface solution.
The rig ensures an extra level of dependability and redundancy using two Digiface Dante interfaces, RME’s low latency solution for sending up to 64 channels of Dante digital audio into and out of a computer.
The two RME Digiface Dante interfaces are plugged into two Cisco Ethernet switches, using one switch for the primary network and the other for the secondary network. The primary line from the A-unit Digiface Dante is hooked up to the primary Ethernet switch, while the primary line coming out of the B-unit also goes to the primary switcher.
Similarly, the secondary line coming out of the A-unit Digiface Dante is plugged into the secondary Ethernet switch, and the B-unit’s secondary line will also go to the secondary switch. To increase redundancy, Wright used an additional Dante switch with two primary ports and two secondary ports tied into the primary and secondary networks via both Digiface units.
“The A-unit Digiface Dante sends a tone to that additional switcher, and if the tone is dropped, it will automatically switch over to the B-unit,” Wright said. “Essentially, in doing this setup, it’s like there are four levels of redundancy, because the additional switch serves as a switcher between the two Digifaces. So, if — for whatever reason — you have a cable failure or some sort of problem with your primary network, it will automatically switch over to the secondary network.”
Wright had to adapt his usual analogue playback engineering sensibilities to the FOH engineer’s preference for Dante. “Before I built the new rig, they were using Dante Virtual Sound Card software and going out of the computer via an Ethernet bungle,” Wright said. “The FOH engineer is very knowledgeable with Dante and that’s what he preferred to use. So, when I was brought in, he specifically wanted me to build a rig that was Dante, because the FOH rig and the monitors were already configured for it.
“A lot of FOH engineers are interested in going in the Dante direction, moving forward. I know a lot of audio engineers who think the technology has come a long way, and has gotten more stable, so a lot of people are starting to embrace it.”