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WideOrbit and Dante

January 14, 2021

This year started off well. Learning something new everyday and applying what has already been packed away in my little brain cell.
Though not 100% resolved, I discovered an interesting thing with WideOrbit in the last couple weeks. After a certain version of their Audio Server, you must specify within WO the sample rate of your recordings, explicitly. I found this out after another staff updated the audio server on a workstation that has been acting a bit odd. After this installation, the workstation would not record at all. Only thing that changed was the audio server. Now what?

Scouring the logs, from audio server to automation and back there was a missing piece of the puzzle. Tech support was a bit baffled by this, too. Finally a key phrase popped up in the automation log; an error. Sample rate error. Not very specific, but interesting enough to test. Dante is native 48kHz sample, and our house/facility is clocked at 48k. We do background recordings throughout the morning in WO using workflows. So, we decided to specify in the workflow the sample rate. It worked. We, this is me and WO support, decided to do some other quick record tests to put it through its paces. Each worked when the sample rate was explicitly set to 48k.

We took the test further and we got on a workstation with an older version of the audio server. No issues recording by touching nothing. The tech was floored. A new “feature”. Definitely a difference in the newer audio server. Needless to say, all workflows were updated and recordings have been just fine.

A radio station really does not need to clock at 48k, and 44.1k is pretty much standard. When the facilities were built, I made the decision to change the system to 48k to adapt to Dante AoIP. Dante runs at 48k by default. One main reason for this is to be compatible with AES67. If you wish to interface with an AES67 device, you must run 48k. Another item of note when running Dante is you cannot change the sample rate of a device to 44.1k and have it communicate with other Dante devices set at 48k. All Dante devices which need to communicate on the network must have the same rate. I confirmed this with Audinate support.

Make sure if you plan to install an AoIP network using Dante that you choose your house sample rate carefully. I think flexibility, so 48k was the obvious choice. This time it caught us, but at least it was an easy fix. Consider this when working with other AoIP solutions. If you wish to be compatible with AES67 in its basic form, your sample rate will need to be 48k.

Cheers!

Update: 27-01-2021.

So we come to discover that the version of WO we run is not fully compatible with the “new audio server” (NAS). Had to drop back and punt. We reinstalled the legacy audio server for this workstation. I mention to the tech that I should test a more recent NAS install on another workstation and see if I can break it. Strongly suggested I should let it be. Nice.

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