SoundGrid 301 Part 6: I/O Sharing Across a SoundGrid Network


Please note: Completing SoundGrid 201 is a prerequisite to taking the SoundGrid 301 test.

In SoundGrid 201, we learned how clocking between devices works on the network. In SoundGrid 301, we will talk about how sharing I/O devices from more than one SoundGrid system affects clocking. This will be our topic in this chapter and the next.

The latest version of Waves’ SoundGrid hosts such as eMotion LV1 and SuperRack allow users to share I/O devices between separate SoundGrid systems.

Recall that a four-component SoundGrid system consists of: 

  1. A host computer with an Ethernet connection, running a host SoundGrid application
  2. One or more SoundGrid-compatible audio interfaces
  3. A SoundGrid-compatible switch
  4. A SoundGrid DSP server

These components communicate through a SoundGrid Sync-Over-Ethernet network, and all connected I/O devices within this system can be assigned and patched to the SoundGrid host application.

Multiple SoundGrid systems can be linked by connecting their Ethernet switches, enabling hosts within this “super-system” to build private networks from all connected I/Os, servers, and drivers.

These assignments are exclusive—devices assigned to a host are available only to that host until they are unassigned. Other users will see the devices in their system Inventories, but they will be grayed out and unavailable.

A separate SoundGrid system does not need the permission of other systems to assign an available device to its inventory.

All devices in a super-system—whether assigned to a host or not—are displayed in the Device menu of each independent system’s Inventory. Each connected host’s local driver is visible as well.

A device assigned to a host’s inventory is the manager of that device. When a device is removed, it is freed up and can be assigned by any other SoundGrid host, which in turn will become its manager.

Servers cannot be shared. Only I/O devices can.

To set up I/O device sharing, choose the device you wish to share and click its Sharing icon. The device is now sharable. Sharing features are also available from the Device menu.

Remember, only the manager of a device can activate its sharing.

Other systems can now assign the I/O device to their inventories and patch all available input channels.

Output channels patched by the manager cannot be shared with other systems until the device’s manager releases the patches or removes the device from its inventory.

Finally, note that all I/O devices assigned to a system need to be locked to the same clock source.