SoundGrid 101 Part 1: What is SoundGrid?


What Is SoundGrid

SoundGrid is an Audio-over-Ethernet technology developed by Waves. It allows to stream high counts of digital audio channels (up to 128) and to process that audio through plugins at ultra-low-latency (as low as 0.8 ms). All taking place over a 1Gb network.

This makes SoundGrid a great fit for any environment – from simple project studios to live venues to complex networked recording and broadcast facilities.

How SoundGrid Works: The Technology

SoundGrid is a proprietary Ethernet Layer-2-Protocol and EtherType. Basically, that means that SoundGrid is a way to move audio data between devices that "speak the SoundGrid language" and are connected to the same local network. These devices automatically convert SoundGrid to different audio formats and vice versa.

Audio is routed and streamed between devices – I/Os and servers – that are connected to the same network. I/O devices convert SoundGrid packets to and from other audio formats. Servers receive audio from I/O devices, take care of plugin processing, and send the processed audio back.

To allow for continuous, uninterrupted traffic, only SoundGrid devices should be connected to the network. In other words – SoundGrid is a private network. You can still use different network ports on your computer for other networks (such as internet).

Audio Networking, Scalability and Flexibility

SoundGrid systems are flexible and can be easily adapted and configured for optimal effectiveness per channel count, processing capabilities, routing and sample rate. Adding or removing I/Os or servers is quick and effortless.

Using only one Ethernet cable per device (Cat 5e/6 STP or Cat 7) greatly reduces cable runs and interference.

SoundGrid allows for server redundancy (currently up to 1 redundant server), parallel networks, clock fallback schemes, and automatic SoundGrid-host recovery.