We have collected a list of common issues surrounding the topic of audio drops in a SoundGrid system: what to look for and what to avoid.
SoundGrid servers will drop audio if their CPU is overloaded. The Server usage meter on the top right corner of the SoundGrid application provides a clear color-coding of your CPU usage.
Ideally, maximum peak usage should be 85%. Note that higher sample rates require more processing power, so there is less processing headroom to begin with.
Mobile, Impact, and legacy IOS servers are supported with eMotion LV1 16ch only, with a sample rate of up to 48khz.
Methods to ease the Server load:
Audio may drop if the SoundGrid Server CPU or the SoundGrid I/O board overheats.
Whether you are using SuperRack, SoundGrid Studio, or eMotion LV1, CPU Temperature readings are available in the Server rack UI.
Old models of Extreme and Server One do not have the option to show CPU’s temperature in this visualization.
Not all SoundGrid I/Os display the temperature reading on their control panel.
In general, I/Os that have many ADC/DAC converters are more prone to overheating, although SoundGrid stage boxes are equipped with internal fans.
We recommend allowing 1U rack space below and above the Server and/or I/Os for better heat dispersion. It is most important to not restrict airflow above the server.
For the following IO models, 1U rack space below and above the unit is obligatory: DiGiGrid IOX, DiGiGrid IOC, DiGiGrid IOS.
Clock mismatches can cause various audio artifacts such as clicks, pops, and mutes. Although the clocking ground rules are the same for all SoundGrid applications, let’s focus on the common use cases of SuperRack and eMotion LV1 systems.
As in SuperRack, the clock master may be a console expansion card or a bridge unit (such as the HearTech WSG-Dante Bridge, or the BR1 WSG to AVB). The same rules apply here.
If the unit is externally clocked, it will usually use Digital clock source. It is important to make sure the non-SoundGrid side’s clock configuration matches the settings of the device in eMotion LV1.
When a device is shared by two or more systems, each system must be locked to the same clock master, and it advised to connect the clock master device to the same network switch as the systems’ server/s (if possible).
Non-SoundGrid audio interfaces (‘Local devices’ / SG Connect) cannot be used as a valid clock source and cannot receive SoE sync from SoundGrid interfaces. In general, such devices should only be used for offline purposes as they may affect performance.
A common cause for audio drops and data loss in networked systems is faulty cables.
Remember to use only Cat5e, Cat6, or Cat7 cables. The cable length between the server and switch should not exceed 10m. We support (and highly recommend) using S/FTP cables, especially for long runs, up to a distance of 100m, to avoid signal interference.
For distances greater than 100m, you can use 2 switches that support fiber connectivity (more details in Cables for a SoundGrid System article). Note that cables connecting a DiGiGrid device with a switch cannot be longer than 70 meters.
Use SuperRack / eMotion LV1’s routing view to help identify faulty cables:
It is also important to make sure that all cables in the system are well seated and do not have broken/loose connecters.
When designing your SoundGrid network, it is important to stick to a star configuration.
Since each cable is limited to a bandwidth of 1Gbps, star configurations help SoundGrid handle heavy traffic loads on the network.
Although some DiGiGrid I/Os have built-in switches, we do not recommend daisy-chaining devices. For example, if you have four IOX devices in a stage rack, then run four separate cables—one from each unit to the network switch—as opposed to daisy-chaining the devices and using one cable to connect to the switch.
Every ‘switch hop’ in the signal path adds latency, due to buffering in the switch, and while we support up to four ‘hops’ between point-to-point, it is highly recommended to minimize ‘switch hops’ whenever possible.
Since the SoundGrid Server is the main source/destination of traffic when using SuperRack/eMotion LV1, you should, as a rule of thumb, design your network so that every I/O device has the shortest path possible to the server. This will, of course, vary significantly per use-case and conditions.
Remember, the SoundGrid network should remain completely private. Connecting non-SoundGrid devices to the network switch or using the SoundGrid network to transfer non-SoundGrid data may result in audio drops and unexpected network behavior.
This section covers audio drops when recording or playing back audio via a DAW.
Errors are indicated in the routing view window in the Setup > Inventory.
It is important to differentiate between the two possible roles of a Windows/Mac computer in a SoundGrid network.
When a computer is used as a SoundGrid host only, such as eMotion LV1 or SuperRack, it transfers only control data to the network. When a DAW application is used on the computer, that computer becomes an audio node on the network.
Computers used for this task may have a variety of different network interfaces with different settings, different drivers, and various ways to connect to a SoundGrid network.
Sticking to the SoundGrid Driver's System Requirements and SoundGrid Network PC Optimization Guidelines is important, as these variables become significant when streaming a large number of audio channels. Failing to follow the system requirements might result in audio drops, clicks pops or other forms of audio signal corruption.
A few things to look out for:
In the common use cases of multitrack recording, or performing a virtual soundcheck with high channel counts, setting high latency values is recommended.
There are two buffer cycles we recommend adjusting when experiencing such audio issues:
USB-C is a connector type. It can carry Thunderbolt or USB protocols.
When a computer is used as a SoundGrid host running applications such as eMotion LV1 or SuperRack, it only transfers control data to the network. When a DAW application is used on the same computer, that computer becomes an audio node on the network. In this scenario, choosing the correct ethernet adapter is crucial to ensure the optimal performance.
None of the above worked? Contact Technical Support.