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07-Apr-2023 Dante Clocking Performance

Redundant Leader Clocks — Good with One Issue

There’s no problem with an application using two of the Studio Technologies’ Dante Leader Clock units on a Dante network to achieve redundant, “hot standby,” or backup Leader Clock support. A valid implementation could consist of two Model 5401A Dante Leader Clock units, two Model 5402 Dante Leader Clock with GNSS Synchronization units, or one each Model 5401A and Model 5402. Unfortunately, while overall the performance will be good, there is one issue that makes deployment not as effective as Studio Technologies would like. There’s a Dante operational issue that forces audio silence for a few seconds when switching between two Leader Clock units. (Technically, this audio muting only occurs when a Brooklyn II module is configured to use an external source of timing. And that’s how Studio Technologies needs to utilize the Brooklyn II module that’s located inside the Models 5401A and 5402.) This “forced mute” condition is not something that can be disabled; it is built into the current Dante protocol.

For several years, Studio Technologies’ engineering personnel have been asking Audinate to allow this “forced mute” action to be overridden. (A simple change in the Dante software should be the only thing necessary.) Studio Technologies even had a big TV network in New York City call and ask for this ability. But Audinate, as of now, hasn’t made the requested change and we’re not hopeful that it will happen. Supposedly, Audinate has added it to their “feature request list” and it might be included in their second version of firmware that they release to support their new Brooklyn 3 module. If that occurs it would be great. But we want it now and we want it for the Brooklyn II module!

Studio Technologies feels that there are only a few things in Dante that we think are problematic and this is one of them. We love Dante, but please let Studio Technologies control this condition! Right now using two of our Dante Leader Clock units can work out well, but not without an issue that is less than optimal for users and their applications.