The EXP2x is an input/output expander that enables the HAL1x to transmit 32 and receive 32 audio channels from a Dante™ network. Applications abound in houses of worship, installed sound, performing arts venues, education and corporate environments – anywhere a Dante network is used. The EXP2x also allows connecting a Dante network between multiple independent HAL1x systems.
Built-in sample rate converters convert the 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kHz sample rate on the Dante network to the HAL’s 48 kHz clock domain.
Daisy-chain up to 16 EXP2x Expanders to a single HAL1x to max-out at 512 x 512 channels on both a single cable on the Dante network and the HAL1x’s Expansion Bus. The HAL1x is capable of 32 Expanders on its bus, so the EXP2x can be combined with other Expanders. For example, use 16 EXP2x Expanders with 512 input and 512 output channels, and then put on another 16 EXP3x Expanders for more outputs.
The EXP2x is equipped with a Secondary Dante port for either Redundant Mode or Switch Mode. Use Dante Controller software for all network audio and EXP2x settings via its Brooklyn II card.
Front panel and Halogen software indicators for Dante connection, network status, flow active, and audio signal present aid troubleshooting. Dante Controller provides all network setup, monitoring, control, diagnostics and troubleshooting beyond compare; while Halogen reads, but does not edit the Dante setup, simplifying which software to use and eliminating conflict.
Dante provides a no-hassle, self-configuring network with ultra-low latency, while providing a true plug-and-play digital audio network using standard Internet Protocols on existing infrastructure — without requiring a dedicated network. The technology is built on global networking standards, making signal distribution more flexible, cost-effective and user-friendly and has been used at some of the largest live events and sophisticated installations worldwide.
EXP2x Basics & Rane’s Dante Setup Philosophy
Unlike all other Rane EXP devices, names and all the settings inside the EXP2x are read-only in Halogen software. The only thing you can do in Halogen with the EXP2x is click the Locate button to flash a light on the front or rear to identify the device. Configure the EXP2x Dante device name, audio channel names, audio routing, latency, sample rate, secondary Ethernet port mode, and every EXP2x setting using Dante Controller software, available free from Audinate.
Once you’ve set the EXP2x settings on a live Dante system using Dante Controller and talked live to the HAL1x using Halogen, all EXP2x settings and names are read from the Dante network and saved inside your HAL and the Halogen configuration file. These settings remain saved and intact in the EXP2x’s Dante cards (a Brooklyn II card from Audinate). You cannot edit these settings in Halogen. There is only one place to make changes: Dante Controller – it is well-equipped for the job. Read the Dante Controller User Guide from Audinate’s website. It is worth your time.
To connect, route or subscribe audio channels between any two Dante devices, all devices must be configured with the same sample rate using Dante Controller software. Because Rane has chosen to disable editing of all Dante network settings inside Halogen software, this creates a clear distinction between where to go to configure or change a system. And there is no concept of pushing settings from Rane to Dante. All Dante audio network settings are managed, set up and configured using Dante Controller.
Dante Subscriptions & Flows – When you route a receive and transmit audio channel using Dante Controller’s grid, Dante creates a single, unicast Flow. This audio route is called a subscription. A single Dante Flow can contain multiple audio channels, typically 4 audio channels. The number of channels in a Flow can change as you add more subscriptions, change latencies, or after you restart your network. It’s all about Dante optimizing network bandwidth when it can as you subscribe audio channels between devices. Dante Controller lets you view and manage Flows which may rarely be required.
When clicking the routing grid in Dante Controller, Dante only creates unicast flows. If you need audio to be received by two or more devices, you must manually configure multicast Flows within Dante Controller. See the Dante Controller User Guide for details such as using IGMP in managed switches to manage networks requiring many multicast Flows. Also note that the different Audinate Dante implementations support different number of maximum Flows. The Audinate Brooklyn II card inside the EXP2x supports 32 Flows in and 32 Flows out, maximum. Unlike unicast Flows, by definition and default, multicast Flows use network bandwidth on the entire network, even when no receivers are set to listen.