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DAD FAQ

Last Update 8/6/14

How can I adjust the mic pre gain?
The mic gain in the AX32 can be controlled from the DADman software or from Pro Tools using the PRE function. It also supports Eucon so you can control the mic gain from an Avid Artist.

How many channels of AES I/O is supported?
The AX32 has a standard 8 AES I/O, which provides 16 mono channels in and 16 mono channels out. There is no current way of expanding the number of AES I/O’s in the AX32. DAD is exploring the possibility of doing an option card that would be installed in one of the 8 I/O slots. This would be implemented based on demand.

How do the dual HDX outputs work? Are they mirrored, or separate banks of channels?
The DigiLink ports (HDX) are set up to provide 64 channels. They can be configured as either 2x primary or primary/expansion.

When configured primary/expansion it works exactly like an HD I/O, i.e. the primary port goes to the DAW and the expansion port goes to another I/O such as another AX32 or HD I/O. This provides up to 32 channels as you have only have one DigiLink connection between the AX32 and the DAW.

When configured as 2x primary, you can connect both connectors to the DAW. Each connection gives you 32 Channels for a total of 64 channels. It also gives you the possibility to share the AX32 between 2 DAWs by connecting one connector to one DAW and one to another. Obviously the two DAWS must use the same sample rate. You can even send audio between the two if you would like.

Each Pro tools interface can also emulate either HD I/O or HD-MADI.

NOTE: All I/O’s (analog, coax/optical MADI, DigiLink, AES and DANTE) on the AX32 are completely independent. There is no mirroring whatsoever, unless the customer configures the routing this way. You can route any input channel to any output channel, even to multiple output channels.

How do the MADI outputs work?
There is ONE coax MADI input and ONE coax MADI output, which provides up to 64 channels of I/O (at 48k) by default.

How many channels the MADI can support is directly related to how much data needs to pass through. It supports sample rates up to 384 kHz even though 384 kHz is not standardized (yet!). The coax MADI can handle more channels (up to 64) at 48k than 96k and beyond because the data takes up less space. At 96k it can handle 32 channels. At 192k it can handle 16. At 384k it can only support 8 channels. The higher the sample rate, the less channels it can handle.

Can you please explain the varying output options for the optical MADI?
There is the option of installing up to two mini I/O modules with two optical 64 channels of MADi inputs/outputs via “small form-factor pluggable” (SFP) transceiver modules. This means the AX32 can be fitted with a total of 3 totally independent MADI I/O to provide up to 192 channels of I/O (at 48k). (96 channels of I/O at 96k, 48 channels of I/O at 192k, 24 channels of I/O 384k).

DAD offers three different types of optical SFP modules. They offer two different wavelengths, 850 nm (647-100) and 1300 nm to ensure compatibility with MADI equipment with other manufacturers. They also offer two different types with 1300 nm, one for “short haul” ((647-110) up to about 1.2 miles) and one for “long haul” ((647-200) up to about 10 miles). The vast majority of pro audio users use the short-haul type as though some broadcast manufacturers use the 850 nm. It is also is compatible with the AVID HD-MADI and the RME HD-MADI.

Do I need to order the dual power supply?
The dual power supply option is for AC only, not for DC power. It is installed by removing the power switch on the back of the AX32 and replacing it with a power connector.

You do not need to order two power supplies. One power supply is sufficient when using a maximum of 5 card slots. In that situation it is possible to have a second power supply installed for redundancy.
When 6 cards are installed or 48 analog channels it is MANDATORY to install two power supplies. The 2nd is necessary to to keep the temperature in the power supply at a reasonable level … that being said it IS possible for the AX32 to operate on one power supply with 6 slots if one fails (i.e. you may finish a recording session) but it is not recommended to leave it in operation like that for several days as the lifetime of the remaining power supply may be reduced considerably.

How can I utilize the DSD?
The A/D and D/A modules in the AX32 support DSD at 64fs and 128fs, but at far as we know there are only three DAWs that work with DSD. SADiE 6, Sonoma and Pyramix. However, Merging no longer supports the Mykerinos cards in their latest 64 bit PMX release, but it will still work with the old Merging Mykerinos MADI cards. SADiE 6 only supports it for legacy reasons and with their own hardware. If you go to their website they don’t even mention it.  Sonoma uses a proprietary optical interface for DSD…DAD has considered implementing this interface in the AX32, they just need to make sure the business is there before they make any decisions. So the short story is that the AX32 can do DSD….but is it practical and economical? They are looking into a DSD solution with Marian to implement 8fs…which would be great with Sequoia, Samplitude, Soundblade, Pyramix and Wavelab…so we shall see.

Can you please tell me more about how Dante works with the AX32?
The Dante I/O module that is used in the AX32 supports up to 64 channels at 48k, 32 channels at 96k, and 16 channels at 192k over an ethernet connection. We realize that this is a bit limited at the moment. However, Audinate has just launched their Dante DC which provides up to 512 channels @48k, scaling down to 128 channels at 192k. DAD is looking into Dante HC, but has not decided whether or not they will implement it yet.

I am having trouble with my fiber connection from the AX32 to an external MADI device. Coming back from the device is fine. Any thoughts?

The SFP module in the AX32 is multimode, which allows it to receive signal from a device via single mode fibre, but it will not be able to transmit to it. So, if the MADI device you are trying to interface with is a single mode device the solution is to obtain a single mode SFP module. There is an option from DAD, the part number is 647-200.

What is the correct connector for the optical MADI interface? What kind of fibre (i.e. how many fibers inside)?

The connection on the AX32 is LC. If you need to interface with a device that takes SC,  it would be a good idea to have one of the ends as a “duplex” connector, meaning the two connectors are joined together, and have the other end be two separate connectors. The benefit here would be that you can always swap the two fibers in one end in case transmit and receive are swapped.
The number of fibers depends on the distance between the AX32 and the device (or computer). If it is a short distance of 30ft or less, you should be okay with 2 fibers. If you need more distance, we suggest 4 fibers so you can run the ethernet connection on a separate pair. This would require an RJ45 to fibre media convertor adapter on each end…but will allow you to place the AX32 as far as 6000 ft from the device (or computer) you are interfacing with.