Rane | NM 84 | manual | Rane NM 84 Manual

Rane NM 84 Manual
NM 84
Quick Start
Why is it that the hardest thing about writing the Quick Start is the opening line? What I want to say is, “First, design the
network.” Only that’s hard to say with a straight face — but if you are going to jump right into this thing without reading all of
our hard work, then that’s where you begin. By designing a network. Okay, that works...let’s move on.
A dedicated network for CobraNet audio is recommended, but not required when using switched networks. The NM 84’s
CobraNet technology utilizes standard 100Base-T Ethernet hardware. For CobraNet and network design assistance and a list of
other CobraNet licensed and tested devices, visit
Rear Panel:
. Also see Rane’s ethernet link collection:
Connect up to 8 mic or line-level analog audio signals to the
spew an analog, line-level version of the corresponding 8
XLR jacks. The 8
’ audio. Each of the four
can independently receive any of the 8 Local Mic Input audio channels or any single Audio Channel from any
CobraNet Bundle from 1 through 999, plus off/none. Connect the network cable to the
Memory Recall Port (MRP)
guess to use the
closures to the
RJ-45 jack. I bet you could
jack to transport RS-232 data over the network to other NM RS-232 device ports? Connect contact
to recall Memories on this device or any other NM device(s) connected on the
same network. Connect the locking 5-pin DIN from the enclosed RS 3 power supply to the
connector. The RS 3
power supply does indeed connect earth ground – the 3rd pin of the AC line cord – to the NM 84 chassis metal. Depressing the
(Front Panel Lock) button at this point disallows further front panel setup, so only press this button in once
you’re completely done setting up the NM 84.
Front Panel:
There are 17 LCD edit pages allowing access to all NM 84 parameters. The first 8 screens set up Mic Inputs;
IN 1 through IN 8, respectively. Use the Copy field to copy and paste between the various pages.
The next four pages set up Monitor Outs; Monitor 1 through Monitor 4, respectively. The 8 Mic Input audio channels on the
NM 84 can be transmitted on up to 4 different CobraNet Bundles (Bndl). Each of the 4 Bundles contains all 8 Mic Input audio
channels when transmitting 20-bit audio. CobraNet designates each of the 8 Audio Channels AudCh 1 through AudCh 8,
The two Network Transmit pages (NetTx A/B and NetTx C/D) allow selection of either 20- or 24-Bit Formats for each
transmitted pair of the four Bundles. The four Bundles to transmit to are independently assignable to one of the 999 Bundles
using the four Bndl fields; Bndl A, Bndl B, Bndl C and Bndl D. When using 24-bit audio, two Bundles are required by
CobraNet to transport all 8 Audio Channels. Use the Splt parameter to split the 8 Audio Channels across Bundles when using
24-bit transmission.
The Mem (Memory) page allows 16 unique NM 84 setups to be Stored and Recalled in the 16 Memory locations. Additionally, the NM 84’s MRP status can be transmitted over the network for other NM devices to “listen to.” Set the MRP Tx (MRP
Transmit) and MRP Rx (MRP Receive) fields for any or none of the 16 available MRP channels.
The Serial page sets the RS-232 serial port’s Baud rate along with the 232 Tx and 232 Rx fields which set the transmit to
and receive RS-232 channels.
The Config page displays the current/editable IP Address and the editable Name of the NM 84 device (8 characters max).
Set the IP address to (the default) to enable Peak Audio’s CobraNet Discovery Utility (Disco) to dynamically assign the
IP address. Disco allows you to plug into a CobraNet network with a standard Ethernet computer card (NIC) and discover all of
the CobraNet devices on the network. Disco has the ability to dynamically assign IP addresses as well as update CobraNet
firmware on the discovered CobraNet devices. Check for Disco availability from Peak Audio at
as well as many music retailers which carry The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and the like.
Do yourself a favor and go through the
Important Big Picture Concepts
Optimizing Mic Preamplifier Performance
on page Manual-7, and at least read
on page Manual-8. Reviewing the Applications Examples provides insight into a logical
order for design work and may also avoid initial confusion.
This product contains no wear parts.
CobraNet is a trademark of Peak Audio, Inc.
Front Panel Description
a Mic Input Meters
should be self-explanatory. They are meters with an averaging logarithmic filter. The only quirk to these
meters is the Mute condition when only the Limit indicator – and no others – is illuminated.
b Edit buttons
c LCD Display
d DATA wheel
are provide a quick and convenient way to get to the Edit page for the individual Mic Inputs.
which displays Edit Pages.
. Allows adjustment of the underlined parameter after it is selected with the Page (see
) and Cursor (see
buttons. Turn the DATA wheel clockwise to increase the parameter, turn it counterclockwise to decrease the parameter.
e Page buttons
. The Previous Page << and Next Page >> buttons scroll through all Edit Pages. When the EXE button is
pressed and held and MAX >> is pressed, the selected parameter jumps to its highest or to a larger value (see
f Cursor buttons
. When pressed, the Previous < and Next > Cursor buttons move the cursor through each of the adjustable
fields on each page. These buttons select each adjustable parameter along the bottom row by moving the underline cursor left
< or right >. When any parameter is selected, the DATA wheel adjusts that parameter. When the EXE button is pressed and
held and MIN > is pressed, the selected parameter jumps to its lowest or to a smaller value (see
g EXE (Execute) button
. Several commands are implemented with this button. Pressing EXE when the Copy, Paste and
Load # commands are underlined executes that function. Holding down EXE while pressing MAX >> alters the selected
parameter to its highest or higher nominal value. Holding down EXE while pressing MIN > alters the selected parameter to
its lowest or lower value or Off.
Pin 1 and Chassis Grounding
All XLR pin 1s on the NM 84 connect directly to the chassis metal via the XLR jack case itself. (Thank Neutrik for providing both a female and a male XLR jack which provide manufacturers with this function.) While viewing the XLR jacks, the
lower right screw next to each jack provides the chassis connection. Keeping these screws tight ensures optimal shielding and
electromagnetic interference performance.
Rear Panel Description
a Chassis ground screw
. A #6-32 screw is supplied for chassis grounding purposes. The NM 84 does connect the 3rd pin of
the AC line cord to the NM 84 chassis metal through the RS 3 power supply. This chassis screw is supplied should you need
a point in the rack to earth ground other devices or the metal rack rails. The earth connection is critical and in most installations, required by law. Please refer to the RaneNote, “Sound System Interconnection” (available at
included with this manual) for further information on system grounding.
b Power input connector
. Use only an RS 3 power supply from Rane, included with this unit. Consult the factory for a
replacement or a substitute power supply. Using any other type of supply may damage the unit, void the warranty and cause
disco mirror balls everywhere to tragically spin in the opposite direction. After inserting the power connector into the NM 84,
be sure to tighten the outer locking ring to ensure that the power cable cannot be inadvertently pulled out.
c 100Base-T jack
connects the NM 84 with a standard RJ-45 connector to either another CobraNet device using a crossover
cable or, more often, to a standard 100Base-T repeater hub, switch or media converter in the network.
dÿCOND indicator
illuminates yellow when this unit is the Conductor of the CobraNet network. The Conductor is the one
CobraNet device on the network that generates the master clock used to synchronize all other CobraNet devices on the
network. Only one device on the network will have the COND indicator
. If the Conductor is unplugged, removed from the
network or fails, CobraNet automatically assigns a new Conductor on the network. It is rarely important to know which
device is the Conductor.
e LINK indicator
lights green when any packet is present on the network. This means
any packet
, including packets not
intended for the NM 84. It tells you that the network is actually transporting data. If this indicator is off, no data is present.
f FAULT indicator
lights red when, you guessed it, a fault occurs. Here in Seattle, there are faults everywhere. California
also has faults – but then again, doesn’t everybody?
g RS-232 port
provides a way to transport RS-232 data over the network to subsequent NM device(s). For example, you can
send RS-232 serial data to devices such as the RaneWare RW 232 line of audio products. This port
be used for serial
control of the NM 84. Be sure the NM 84 is configured properly (i.e., baud rate, Rx and TX channel) for your serial application using the Serial page.
h Memory Recall Port (MRP)
allows any remote switch to recall the first eight NM 84 Memories. These recall using simple
switch closures between two pins. All 16 Memories can be recalled using Binary Mode (see page Manual-14). Switch
closures on one NM 84 can be transmitted over the network to other NM devices tuned in to the same MRP Channel.
i FP Lock button
. When pressed in, all front panel controls are locked out. The user is able to view, but not edit, all Edit
pages. A sharp instrument such as a small screw driver or pen tip must be used to depress the FP Lock button.
j Mic Inputs
accept balanced mic or line-level analog audio signals. Shields (pin 1) connect to the chassis through the lower-
right XLR mounting screw (when viewed from the rear of the unit). Keep these tight for best EMI protection.
k Monitor Out jacks
provide a means for monitoring Local Mic Input audio channels or for monitoring any CobraNet Audio
Channel within any Bundle.
l Direct Out jacks
emit a balanced analog line-level version of each Mic Input and are fed from a point just before the A/D
converter. Each Direct Out signal is
the following: Mic/Line Mode; Mute; Trim (Trm) control, Gain relays, Low/High
Cut filter (Fltr) and Limiter (Lim). Phantom power (+48 VDC) is, of course, not present on the Direct Outputs.
NM 84 LCD Edit Pages
Each Edit page name appears in the upper left corner of
the LCD display. Seventeen (17) pages are found:
8 pages for Inputs, named IN 1 through IN 8 (one page for
each of the Mic Inputs)
4 pages for Monitor Outs, named Monitor 1 through
Monitor 4 (one page for each Monitor Out)
2 pages for Network Transmit, (NetTx A/B and NetTx
C/D) for selecting 20- or 24-bit Format audio transmission
over the network and to select which of four CobraNet
Bundle(s) to transmit onto.
There is one Edit page each for the following:
Mem page for Memory Storing, Recalling and setting the
Input Edit Pages – IN 1 through IN 8
Each of the eight Input Edit pages sets up one of the Mic
Inputs. Two modes are possible for each Input, Mic or Line
(see LCD screen shot below).
The only differences between Mic mode and Line mode
are that Mic offers selection of +48 volts for phantom power
and the Gain selection differs. Mic mode Gain offers +15, 30,
45 and 60 dB settings while Line mode offers +10 dB and -5
dB gain settings. All other settings and ranges are identical.
Input Parameter
Range & Comments
Mic or Line.
Off or On.
Memory Recall Port Transmit (MRP Tx) and MRP Receive
(MRP Rx) channels.
Serial page for setting the RS-232 Baud rate and Transmit
+16 to -20dB
in 1 dB steps.
(Mic mode)
15, 30, 45 or 60dB.
(Line mode)
-5 or +10dB.
(232 Tx) and Receive (232 Rx) channels.
Config page for setting the IP Address and Device Name.
The top row of text on each Edit page contains the
(Mic mode only) Off or On. Phantom power
parameter names. Their current settings appear below the
is automatically turned Off when
name. To edit a parameter’s setting, place the underline cursor
Line mode is selected.
under the value that appears below the parameter name. Use
the lower Previous (<) and Next (>) cursor buttons to move
up and down for quiet operation and
Off, LCut (160 Hz Low Cut),
the cursor. Edit the parameter value by rotating the Data
HCut (7 kHz High Cut),
Wheel. Clockwise rotation increases the value, counterclock-
L/H (both Low and High Cut)
wise rotation decreases the value. To quickly maximize or
minimize a parameter’s value, hold down the EXE button and
(Limiter Threshold)
+18 to -30 in 1 dB steps.
press Next Page (>>) or Next Cursor (>) buttons, respectively.
Copy, Paste and Load “X” fields are found in several Edit
pages. Move the cursor under the Copy field, rotate the
DATA wheel to select the desired command, then press the
EXE button to execute the command.
Use Copy to place the current Edit page contents in a
clipboard. Navigate to the Edit page where you want to paste
these settings and execute a Paste by pressing the EXE
button. [For convenience, the Copy field is automatically
changed to Paste after executing the Copy command.]
Load “X” allows the contents stored in Memory “X’s”
corresponding Edit page to be pasted into the current Edit
page. “X” can be changed to any of the 16 Memories, 1
through 16, using the DATA wheel; Load 1, Load 2, Load 3,
etc. This is an easy way to copy a single Edit page’s contents
from a stored Memory into the current page.
In 1:
Mode Mute Trm Gain +48v Fltr Lim
Mic On
+0 15dB Off Off +18
Mic Mode
In 1:
Line Mode
Mode Mute Trm Gain
Line On
+0 -5dB
Fltr Lim
Off +18
Monitor Out Edit Pages – Monitor 1 through Monitor 4 Network Transmit (NetTx) Edit pages
The four Monitor Out Edit pages set up the four Monitor
The NM 84’s eight Mic Input audio channels can be
Outputs. Two modes are possible for each Monitor Out: Local
transmitted on up to four different CobraNet Bundles. The two
for monitoring any one of the Local 8 Mic Inputs
Network Transmit Edit pages allow the transmission Format
or none (Off), or Network for monitoring any one of the
to be set to 20- or 24-bit for the audio transmitted onto the
CobraNet Audio Channels (AudCh) or none (Off). (See the
CobraNet network. Additionally, the four independent
screen below.) When monitoring an Audio Channel, one must
Bundles to transmit to are setup using the four Bndl ‘X’
first select which Bundle (Bndl) to monitor. Any one of the 8
parameters, where ‘X’ is A, B, C or D.
Audio Channels within each Bundle can be monitored using
With 999 possible Bundles, the
Bndl field is where use of the MAX and MIN dual-button
combinations can help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome from
repeatedly rotating the DATA wheel. (You’re welcome. Aren’t
you glad you read the manual?)
the AudCh field parameter.
why transmit four
versions of the same eight audio channels over the network,
Now you’re probably wondering:
The long answer is on page Manual-9. The short answer
is, when using unicast (point-to-point) networks, often certain
channels must be transmitted to more than one location or
CobraNet node. Thus the NM 84 provides four Bundles for
transmission. CobraNet permits transmission of up to 4
Monitor Parameter
Local or Network
Bundles maximum per CobraNet node.
Two Format modes are possible: 20-bit audio mode and
24-bit audio mode (see the screen below). In 20-bit mode, the
Bndl (CobraNet Bundle)
in Network mode
AudCh (Audio Channel)
in Network mode
Off, integers 1 through 999.
Remember, each Bundle contains
eight Audio Channels.
stream. Using 20-bit audio over CobraNet permits broadcast
integers 1 through 8 from selected
Bundle. While this makes it harder to impress your friends by
touting your 24-bit audio network, it does make larger
internal CobraNet DSP truncates the 24-bit stream to a 20-bit
of all 8 Mic Input channels over a single, selectable CobraNet
networks easier to manage since you do not need to split the
Mic in Local mode
Off, integers 1 through 8 from Mic
eight NM 84 Inputs across multiple Bundles as is required for
24-bit mode.
To reap the extra performance of 20% more bits or to
Monitor 1:
Source Bndl AudCh
Network Off
Network Mode
Monitor 1:
Local Mode
avoid truncation of audio, select 24-bit audio which requires
selecting two different CobraNet Bundles. Once two of the
999 Bundles are selected, the Splt parameter field lets you
choose how to divide the 8 available Audio Channels among
the two Bundles. Choices appear as follows: 7/1, 6/2, 5/3, 4/
4, 3/5, 2/6, 1/7.
For example, 7/1 means that the first 7
Audio Channels (1 through 7) are transmitted on the first of
the two Bundles you select and the remaining one Audio
Channel (channel 8) is transmitted on the second selected
20 Bit or 24 Bit.
Bndl A (1
of 4
Off, integers 1 through 999.
possible Bundles)
Splt (Audio Channel
7/1, 6/2, 5/3, 4/4, 3/5, 2/6 or 1/7.
See above
split) 24-bit mode only (
Bndl B (2
of 4
Bundles – the 3
Off, integers 1 through 999.
Bundles are labeled
C and D respectively.)
NetTx A/B: Format
20 Bit
Bndl A
Bndl B
Bndl A
Splt Bndl B
20-Bit Format Mode
NetTx A/B: Format
24 Bit
24-Bit Format Mode
Memory Edit page
Integers 1 through 16
Memories. Memory Recall Port Transmit (MRP Tx) and MRP
Integers 1 through 16
Receive (MRP Rx) are also set in this page.
MRP Tx (MRP transmit) Off, integers 1 through 16
The Memory Edit page stores and recalls the 16 NM 84
Conceptually, the NM 84 contains 17 Memories; Memory
MRP Rx (MRP Receive) Local, Off, integers 1 through 16
zero contains the current settings which are always displayed
on the LCD screen. Therefore, all changes made from the
Mem 1*
front panel alter the current settings – Memory zero. Once the
desired settings are reached using the Edit pages, Memory
Store Recall
Memory Edit Page
zero (the current settings) can be stored into one of the 16
Memory locations. Additionally, recalling one of the 16 stored
Memories places that Memory’s contents into Memory zero
for display, viewing, and further editing if needed.
The number of the most recently recalled Memory, 1
through 16, is displayed on the top left of the Mem LCD page.
An asterisk (*) appears to the right of this Memory number
when the current settings no longer matched the displayed
Memory’s contents. This indicates a change to the NM 84
settings has been made since the last Memory was recalled.
To store the current settings, move the cursor under Store,
Serial Edit page
The Serial Edit page configures the RS-232 port.
Baud parameter must be set to the desired baud rate for the
device used with the RS-232 port.
Typical choices up to
38,400 baud are found. See the complete list below.
The NM 84 provides up to 255 serial data channels which
are asynchronously transported over the CobraNet network to
other NM devices set to receive and transmit over corresponding serial channels. The 232 Tx and 232 Rx parameters set
use the DATA wheel to display the Memory number to store
these respective transmit and receive serial channels for
the currents settings into, then press the EXE button.
transport of the RS-232 port’s data. Be certain to use one
To recall, move the cursor under Recall, use the DATA
channel for transmit such as 1, and a different channel to
wheel to display the Memory number to recall from, then
receive, such as 2. We know that you know that 1 is different
press the EXE button which overwrites the current settings.
than 2, but this is of course necessary, since RS-232 requires a
The NM 84 provides up to 16 MRP (Memory) data
transport channels which are asynchronously transported over
the CobraNet network to other NM devices which are set to
“listen” to the corresponding MRP channels. The MRP Tx
(MRP Transmit) parameter can be set to one of the 16 MRP
channels or Off. The Off setting – you guessed it – turns off
MRP transmission. The numeric settings – integers 1 through
16 – tell the NM 84 to Transmit its current MRP contact
closure status over the network to other NM devices that are
different transmit and receive pair and therefore independent
Another important thing to remember as far as the 232
be sure you review the
required connector sex, male or female, when transporting
232 around. All NM devices contain a female RS-232 (DB-9)
connection on the rear.
port’s physical connections go,
For example, when transporting Rane’s RW 232 protocol
from a computer to an NM 84, over the network to another
set to receive the corresponding MRP channel. This allows
NM device, the cabling should be as follows:
other Rane NM devices to use remotely located NM device’s
The end of the cable at the computer connection will be
MRP switch states to change Memories.
female – since the DB-9 on a computer’s COM ports are male.
The MRP Rx (MRP Receive) parameter can be set to
The other end of the cable will be male so one can connect it
Local, Off or integers 1 through 16. The Local setting tells
at the initial NM 84 device. At the second NM device, the rear
the NM 84 to scan its own rear panel Memory Recall Port for
panel DB-9 is female, thus requiring a male on the end of the
switch closures. Off turns off the MRP completely and 1
second cable. The DB-9 Input on RW 232 devices is a female.
through 16 sets the desired MRP channel to “receive from” or
Therefore, a male-to-male gender bender is required on the
“listen to.”
RW 232 Input side of the second cable to permit using a
The following parameters are stored in each Memory:
 All Mic In settings: Mode, Mute, Trm, Gain, 48V, Flt, Lim
 All Monitor Out settings: Source, Bndl/Mic, AudCh
 All Serial, RS-232, settings: Baud, 232 Rx, 232 Tx
standard serial cable.
600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600,
Therefore, parameters found in the NetTx, Mem and
Config edit pages are
stored in Memories. The intent of
disallowing Memories to alter the Network Transmit settings,
19200, 38400
232 Rx (232 Receive)
Off, integers 1 through 255
232 Tx (MRP transmit)
Off, integers 1 through 255
for example, is to keep the familiarity of a radio broadcasting
paradigm relevant to CobraNet network Bundles. Thus,
sticking to always transmitting audio over the same Bundles
while using Memories to re-route to the desired channels,
helps make things more easily managed. In other words,
always transmit on the same Bundles (i.e., fixed radio station
transmission) but “tune in” to the desired Bundle and Audio
Channel to receive (Monitor) the audio needed.
Serial Edit Page
232 Tx
232 Rx
Configuration Edit page
The Config page sets the NM 84’s IP address and Name.
Set the IP Address to to enable CobraNet’s Discovery
that the IP
address displayed in the NM 84 screen will not be updated to
reflect the IP Address assigned by Disco (see the Quick Start
on page Manual-1).
Utility to dynamically assign the IP address.
To assign an IP Address using the NM 84 front panel, edit
matches the numbers assigned by your network administrator—if you have one. Perhaps “Audio Network Administrator” is a job title of the future? If you have no administrator,
you may use an address out of the internationally accepted
private network block of addresses, which is 192.168.nnn.nnn
where nnn represents any number between 0 and 255. A good
remember if you ever need to know it again. Subsequent NM
104 etc.
Important : In systems using a computer with NM devices,
the computer must be set such that the IP Addresses it can
“talk to” are within range of the IP addresses of the NM
See the RaneNote, “Emerging Standards for Net-
worked Audio System Control” for more details.
The Name parameter provides a place to name each NM
84 device to keep your sanity when multiple units are used on
the same network. This is particularly useful when using
Disco. There are 96 different ASCII characters available for
each of the 8 characters available in the Name field. So, feel
free to use lower and/or upper case letters, numbers, punctua-
1) Input Pad
Mic Mode (0 dB) or Line Mode (20 dB).
Never change this parameter during a live performance.
2) +48 volt Phantom Power
Controlled by the +48 parameter.
On or Off.
Never change this parameter during a live performance.
3) Mic Preamplifier with coarse Gain
Controlled by the Gain parameter.
+15, +30, +45, +60 dB in Mic Mode.
-5, +10 dB in Line Mode.
The Gain setting is derived by subtracting the Pad value
from the mic preamplifier gain.
In Mic Mode 15-0 = 15, 30-0 = 30, 45-0 = 45, 60-0 = 60.
In Line Mode, 15-20 = -5 and 30-20 = +10.
Do not adjust the Gain parameter during a live performance.
If changes must be made, reduce the setting of the
Trim parameter by at least 15 dB (see #6 below), make the
change and then increase the Trim as required.
4) Hi and Low Cut Filters
tion marks, et cetera, in the device name.
IP Address
8 characters max; 96 possible
Controlled by the Fltr parameter.
characters per field thus permitting
4.97 x 10
names, which I’m told,
is more than the number of particles
IP address
0 .0 .0 .0
Off: no filters. Full 40 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth.
LCut inserts a 160 Hz Low Cut filter.
HCut inserts a 7 kHz High Cut filter.
L/H inserts both the Low Cut and the High Cut filters.
The Filters may be changed during a live performance.
5) Limiter
in the universe.
Configuration Edit Page
important to set each stage correctly as follows:
Defeated in Line Mode.
choice might be just because it’s easy to
There are seven stages of signal processing for each of the
8 Mic Inputs, plus Metering. For best results, it is very
Controlled by the Mode parameter.
the four IP Address numeric fields until the IP address
devices might use, 192.168.100, 102,
Optimizing Mic Preamplifier
NM 84
Controlled by the Lim parameter.
+18 dBu to –30 dBu threshold in 1 dB steps.
The maximum signal level at the mic preamplifier output is
+18 dBu so this equates to a range of 0 dBFS to –48 dBFS.
The Limiter is a feedforward type that always monitors the
signal level at the mic preamplifier output. Therefore, the
Trim parameter (see #6 below) does not affect this thresh-
The Limiter may be changed during a live
old setting.
6) Fine adjust Trim
Controlled by the Trm parameter.
+16 to –20 dB in 1 dB steps.
Digitally controlled VCA with “clickless” integrated steps.
Use the Trim for all signal level adjustments during a live
7) Signal Level Meter
The Mic Input Meters monitor the signal at the
Extra credit reading:
In addition to protection of equip-
ment and control of SPL, the NM 84’s Limiters may be used
the voltage controlled amplifier (VCA). Therefore, the
for AGC. To provide AGC, set the Limiter (Lim) to a level
Meter indicates the signal level after the Trim and any gain
about 10 to 15 dB below your required operating level and
reduction due to Limiter operation. The average RMS
then use the Trim (Trm) for make-up gain.
signal level is indicated in dBu. The signal level at the
Important Big Picture Concepts
Direct Outputs is 6 dB above that indicated by the Meter
(i.e. +18 dBu = +24 dBu at the Direct Output. The Meter
level is also proportional to the signal level to be processed
There are several imperative concepts which must be
by the A/D converter for transport on CobraNet. +18 dBu is
known to effectively understand the NM 84 and its CobraNet
equivalent to 0 dBFS (0 dBu is equivalent to –18 dBFS
technology. A few of these are discussed below. Reading the
etc.). It is very useful to know the signal level at the mic
rest of this manual and a thorough visit to
preamplifier output when setting the coarse Gain parameter.
To do this, set the Trim parameter to 0 and the Limiter
threshold parameter to +18.
NM 84 Memory scheme.
are highly recommended.
All Rane products that contain
Memories, including the NM 84, follow a common scheme:
Setting up the Mic Preamplifier
The LCD display (or software screen for PC-controlled
devices) shows the current settings of the device. Sixteen
No source should be connected at this time!
Make sure no signal will reach an amplifier!
Memory locations (or some number, depending on the
product) exist from which the current device settings are
1. Select the correct Mode (Mic or Line).
stored and recalled. The current settings are considered
2. Set +48 phantom power as required (Mic Mode only).
Memory zero; some people like to think of Memory zero as
3. Estimate
the maximum signal level your source can produce.
4. Set the Gain parameter to a level that will not allow
“working Memory.” All device editing is performed using
Memory zero – even though we never display the number
clipping under worst case conditions (the clip point for the
zero. There are, therefore, actually 17 Memories – 1 through
preamplifier is +18 dBu).
16 and zero.
5. Turn Mute Off
Any changes made to the device are
stored in
6. Set Trim (Trm) to 0 dB.
Memory zero. Should there be a power interruption, the
7. Set Filter (Fltr) as required.
contents of Memory zero are recalled upon power up from
their previous, pre-power-down settings. Thus, work in
Make sure no signal will reach an amplifier!
9. Connect your source.
progress is never lost and the device comes up with the same
10. Set the Limiter (Lim) to +15 (3 dB below clipping).
11. If you can light the red Limit indicator,
reduce the Gain.
12. Remember, if you overload the Mic Input stage, the Trim
(Trm) and Limiter (Lim) settings are useless!
13. After the Input gain is set to prevent clipping under worst
case conditions, reduce the Trim (Trm) level to a conservative level and set the Limiter (Lim) threshold as required.
settings with which it went down.
Once you are happy with the current settings in Memory
zero, they can be stored to one of the 16 Memories. To display
or edit a previously stored Memory, recall it into Memory
Zero. See the Memory Edit section on page Manual-6 for
more details.
Control data transmission
In addition to the thousands
14. Repeat for each source in the system.
of audio Bundles available in CobraNet, additional network
15. You are now ready for a sound check.
data space is allocated in CobraNet for control data transmis-
16. Remember, use the Trim (Trm) parameter for all level
adjustments during a live performance,
the Gain
sion. This non-Bundle space, if you will, is where the NM 84
transmits the Serial (RS-232) data and Memory data for the
parameter. In a system with marginal gain-margin-stability,
MRP. This control data is transported asynchronously over
adding an additional 15 dB of gain could result in nasty,
CobraNet (not isochronously like the audio data), although
screaming oscillations. If you find that you do not have
with a theoretical maximum of 9 Mbits/sec there is little need
enough gain range with the Trim level during a live
to worry about control data arrival times. This is only 468
performance and must increase the Gain setting, be sure to
times faster than 19200 serial control data!
reduce the Trim by at least 12 dB before stepping up the
input Gain. You may then adjust the Trim as required.
CobraNet Bundles.
The NM 84 can access up to 999 of
the over 65,000 Bundles available (using Peak Audio’s
CobraCad software, all 65,000 Bundles are accessible).
The list looks long, but the idea is simple.
CobraNet divides the tens of thousands of Bundles into three
1) Make sure the Input cannot overload.
different Designations or types for the transport of audio data
2) Use the Trm and Lim parameters to set and maintain levels.
over the network. The table on the next page explains the
The use of ActiveX controls allows the system designer to
differences between the three types of CobraNet Bundles.
build custom system control interfaces. While giving the end
There are advantages and disadvantages in using each. The
users access to basic trim controls and memory recall func-
Network Examples section after the table discusses applica-
tions, they may be denied access to parameters that would
tions for the various Designations.
defeat your hard work.
Bundle number
0 (Off)
(hex: $0001
through $00FF)
disabled. Unused
channel, i.e., Off.
(hex: $00)
1 through 255
Multicast Bundle Multicast. All
CobraNet devices
can transmit &
receive data through
Multicast Bundles.
Perfect for muting audio and saving Muted audio never arrives
network bandwidth.
at any destination and is
nearly impossible to hear.
Allows an unlimited number of
receivers per transmission with no
additional network bandwidth
[On a CobraNet network, all CobraNet and
non-CobraNet devices, such as repeater hubs,
receive all Multicast data.]
Consumes resources
(bandwidth) networkwide*. Only 32 Multicast
Bundles allowed per
VLAN when using
managed switches.
Swamps all 10 Mbit ports
on the network. [*Fixed
maximum of 8 Bundles using
repeater hub networks. Do not
mix computer data and CobraNet
data on a repeater network.]
256 through
Unicast Bundle
(hex: $0100
through $FEFF)
Unicast (i.e., pointto-point) data
transmission. [With
some serious SNMP
work, Unicast Bundles
can be setup as multicast
- this does not mean
you'll ever need to do it
though. This is also why
Multicast Bundles exist.]
There is no fixed maximum number
of Bundles on switched networks.
Computer data and CobraNet data
can more efficiently and reliably
exist on the same network. Greatly
improves network data throughput
and efficiency since data is only
passed from point to point and not
to every network device. Allows 10
Mbit ports.
Cannot send one device's
audio to more than one
other device without using
a second independent
Bundle. [The NM 84 allows
the same 8 Audio Channels to be
transmitted on up to 4 different
Bundles - which is the maximum
allowable by CobraNet devices.]
Table 1. CobraNet Bundles
Bundle Transmission conflicts. Do not transmit onto the
same Bundle from two different CobraNet devices.
Doing so
. Before running out to your
the latest list of equipment blessed by Peak Audio at
causes the loss of the data sent from the second device.
Firmware primer.
A on Network Hardware
nearest computer retailer for networking equipment, check out
The NM 84 contains two pieces of
. (As a
internal firmware. One is the CobraNet firmware for the
interest, a look through price lists will show you that the price
CobraNet interface, the second is the NM 84’s own internal
of a non-managed switch has come down close to the price of
Rane firmware for the front panel interface, et cetera.
a repeater hub.
The Rane firmware revision number is displayed in the
NM 84 LCD display on the
line during power up. Both the
Rane firmware version (e.g., Version 1.01) and the date the
You would be wise to spend the extra bucks
and go for the switch, as it will make your network more
flexible and expandable
Four basic network hardware devices exist for use in
Rane firmware was compiled (e.g., Mar 21, 2000) is dis-
CobraNet network designs. The simplest, least expensive and
played. Displaying the additional date is a good way to ensure
previously most common are called
Y2K compliance. To update the Rane firmware, you must
all incoming data out all of their network ports. Thus repeater
replace an internal chip.
hubs are always multicast (broadcast) devices – all data goes
The CobraNet firmware version is displayed on the
repeater hubs
, which send
everywhere. Use repeater hubs only when you have a dedi-
line of the LCD display during power up (e.g., CobraNet rev
cated CobraNet network (no computers) and when all audio
channels are needed at all CobraNet node locations. If, for
Interoperability between various CobraNet devices
requires matching CobraNet firmware versions.
audio security or other reasons, your application requires
Disco utility provides the means to download new CobraNet
certain channels to be accessible only in a certain area of the
firmware into the NM 84. You must obtain Disco and the
network, you cannot use repeater hubs (use switched hubs).
required binary CobraNet firmware files separately. There is a
Also, you cannot use repeater hubs in your network if you
unique firmware file for each model of CobraNet device;
need to share computer data and CobraNet data on the same
contact Rane for the latest CobraNet firmware if needed.
network. Repeater hubs are devices for freshmen, Network
Network Hardware Device Advantages
Repeater hubs
Operate half duplex; i.e., they
cannot transmit & receive
simultaneously. Thus, a 100
Mbit network is 100 Mbit
Very inexpensive (but likely going away).
Perfect when a dedicated CobraNet network
is needed and all audio data is required at all
CobraNet nodes.
As switches are added to a network, the
network's bandwidth increases. Some
Switches (unmanaged)
switches provide fault tolerance features (i.e.,
Operate full duplex enabling
managed switches) and interfaces to other
simultaneous transmit and
media (i.e., fiber) or network technologies
receive. Thus, 100 Mbit
(i.e., ATM). No network diameter restrictions
networks are 100 Mbit in each (like repeater hubs have). [Using switch-based
direction; 200 Mbit total per
networks removes CobraNet's need to detect collisions,
switch port!
thus CobraNet acts differently with repeater vs. switch-
Disadvantages/ Limitations
Cannot place a computer or computer data on
the same network with CobraNet data using
repeater hubs. There is a fixed maximum of 8
Bundles permitted on a repeater hub network.
On repeater networks, all devices must
operate at the same data rate and in half
duplex mode. Must obey network diameter
restrictions. As repeater hubs are added to a
network, the network bandwidth is
divided/shared across network devices.
Only slightly more expensive than repeater
hubs; it is well worth the (literally) few extra
dollars more for a switch than a repeater hub.
based networks — although this is not important to know
or understand for design or proper operation.]
Managed Switch
Managed switches are like
switches on steroids; they
offer many customizable setup
Permit extremely flexible setup, diagnostics
and troubleshooting capabilities. Although
managed switches are more expensive than
non-managed switches, these capabilities
more than pay for themselves when network
re-configuration or troubleshooting is
required, particularly during setup.
More costly than non-managed switches, but
worth the expense for many systems due to
their advantages.
Table 2. Network Hardware
101 designs. As with many technologies, repeater bus have
cal signal from a set of copper wires (e.g., CAT 5 cable) to the
had their day and may soon be a thing of the past.
light signal of the fiber optic world. Use media converters
The second kind of network hardware devices are called
switched hubs which are only a little bit more expensive than
repeater hubs. Using switches for your network greatly
when the distance between network nodes exceeds the 100
meter limitation of copper cable.
Delay Times.
There is an inherent delay between when
increases the efficiency of the network and allows computer
audio enters and exits a CobraNet network. For the NM 84,
data to be shared on the network. Switches automatically
the delay from when analog audio enters the device until it
“view” the IP address (destination) of all incoming data and
appears at the analog output of another NM 84 on a typical,
only send the data out the single required port for delivery,
small network is specified by three numbers. They are
therefore, switches are unicast (point-to-point) devices.
CobraNet’s fixed 5.33 milliseconds and the A/D and D/A
Switches are the more common network hardware devices
propagation delays – all of which are specified separately on
used for CobraNet networks. Switched hubs are like the
the NM 84 Data Sheet. This allows calculating delay times
Junior or Senior class of the network world.
across the network. The A/D time gets you onto the network;
A third type of network hardware is a managed switch.
the network delay is fixed between any CobraNet devices; the
Similar to a switch – but the next step up the rung – managed
D/A time is the time between the arrival of the CobraNet
switches can be user-configured in several ways: you can
audio and the analog audio exiting from the Monitor Outputs
create Virtual LANs (VLANs) and change the network
when they’re configured to monitor Network audio. (See the
architecture among various VLAN setups; you can set the
Peak Audio FAQ web page about the maximum number of
managed switch up to prioritize the incoming data so audio
switch hops and delay times through network hardware
data has higher priority than computer data, for example. With
such capabilities, you can see that managed switches are not
Your application dictates whether this propagation delay is
simple, “Networking 101” devices – they’re more like the
acceptable or not. Most CobraNet applications won’t have to
Ph.D. candidates of the network world.
worry about this, but just to provide some insight, here’s two
The fourth network hardware device to introduce is called
a media converter. These are devices that convert the electri-
applications that may not like this delay. For example, a
theater with an elevated center cluster that provides coverage
for listeners in the initial, center seats may not find this delay
acceptable. Assuming that no propagation delay is added
through other digital signal processing or a digital console
(this may be the case), the additional network delay of 6.5175
feet – assuming NM 84s on and off the network – may place
the arrival time of the direct sound versus the acoustic arrival
outside the Haas effect time. This would make the propagation
delay unacceptable for this application. If you’re implementing a mic snake type of application and are including the
monitor audio for stage members on the network, be sure to
not exceed an acceptable delay time; a delay time not much
more than 10 milliseconds (or hopefully less) is probably
acceptable for monitor applications. Decide for yourself.
A Few Words About Networks
The opening primer in the Quick Start about designing a
network makes it sound so easy – and it is, relatively – but it’s
like using three sentences to say
new to learn. Networks and Ethernet may be new to audio
folks, but they’re old news to computer types. Here are a few
good places on the Internet for more information on these
That being said, there are upcoming technologies (i.e.,
their interest in the success of your designs or their willing-
becomes available,
ness to help with network design or the myriad questions
we’ll let you know. This way, we won’t have to kill you now.
Unlike simpler analog audio cable, choosing and
installing CAT 5 network cable and connectors can be
challenging and deceiving given that 100 megahertz data is
being transported. Plus, the connector termination is not
that arise.
I know this
because I’ve spent a full day and a half suspecting equipment
when the cables were to blame. And yes, the cables had tested
fine with a continuity tester, but a continuity tester is nowhere
near good enough a test for the required 100 megahertz data
we’re talking about here.
) This cable stuff requires special
attention beyond that normally paid by us audio guys who are
now trying to implement these newfangled audio networks.
John’s Closet - A down-to-earth set of networking howto’s:
Ethernet Tutorial - A wonderful tutorial in plain English
from Lantronix:
intuitively obvious; get it wrong and you’ll spend hours
blaming equipment when it’s the cables all along. (
Network Design:
resource for CobraNet information. Do not underestimate
or more. But, like most vaporware, we’d have to kill you after
Rane’s main “network help” links page:
The folks at Peak Audio are, obviously, an invaluable
vaporware) that may cut this network propagation time in half
we told you about it. So, when this
design a sound system for a
. Like many technologies, there is always something
Informit.com - Free online books about programming
include lots of Web stuff
Network Design Tutorials & Other Resources - An industrial-strength link list of networking topics:
Ethernet Information - Network Basics / Cabling:
Do yourself a favor and visit Peak Audio’s website where
they have a great primer on Network Cabling.
Finding or training people to deal with network cable and
network troubleshooting is a worthwhile investment if your
future includes networked audio systems.
Remember that the network hardware devices chosen for
your network go hand in hand with the Bundles required to
deliver audio for a given application. Multicast networks/
Bundles can be transported over repeater hubs or over
switches; Unicast networks/Bundles require using switches.
You cannot transport unicast data over repeater hubs.
Although the Network Hardware (Table 2) and the
CobraNet Bundle (Table 1) are similar, they are listed separately since, for example, multicast data can be transmitted
over repeater hubs or switches. Thus listing them separately
allows you to determine which approach is best for your given
When observing the indicators on switch ports for
CobraNet devices, Rane NM devices appear as full duplex
devices. (“Rave” devices – available from our friends at QSC
Audio – appear as half duplex; this may change however, so
check with QSC.)
Network Examples
audio dropouts, pops or ticks. Not fun, or necessary.
There are two ways to transmit CobraNet audio across a
network. An example for each transmission method follows.
The application dictates which of the two methods to use.
Oftentimes however, computer data must be shared on the
network or not all audio channels are required at every node.
This is where unicast networking comes in.
Unicast Network example [a.k.a. point-to-point]
Multicast Network example [a.k.a. broadcast] requir- using more flexible switches
ing simpler repeater hubs
Some applications may require both methods simultaneously.
A second way to send audio over the network uses a
One way to transmit audio over the network is to allow all
different scheme called
– or point-to-point. You must
of a device’s audio channels to be transmitted to all devices.
use unicast when you require only certain locations on the
This is called
network to receive certain channels. For example, in a
in network lingo and can be thought of
using the more familiar term: broadcast. Thus, when you
campus-sized church complex, it may be useful to send all
transmit audio using one of the
channels from the live band mics to the front of house (FOH)
Multicast Bundles
(Bundles 1
through 255), the audio is broadcast to every device on the
mixer, monitor mix location
the left-center-right (LCR) audio feed to the overflow building
This broadcasting of all channels everywhere is required
to the recording studio. But
across the street only needs three channels. The stereo FM
for applications such as paging when emergency audio must
broadcast room only needs a stereo mix and the video truck
be delivered to every node. When users at each node need
which is used only every other week may require all channels.
independent access to all available audio channels, use
In the above case, it is not required, overly complex, and
Multicast Bundles. If your application is a large music
most importantly, expensive to send all channels to all
complex with many audio channels and all the audio channels
locations. Thus, a unicast (point-to-point) network to feed the
are required in all rooms or nodes, use a multicast network by
mic channels from the stage to the four required locations –
selecting Multicast Bundles 1-255 for audio transmission.
FOH, monitor, recording studio and video truck – is required.
One advantage when using Multicast Bundles is that an
Therefore, using Bundles starting at 256 or above, sends the
unlimited number of receivers (CobraNet devices) are allowed
audio over Unicast Bundles which forces the use of network
for a single transmission with no additional network band-
switches (not repeater hubs) which support unicast data.
width being consumed. This is just like radio broadcasts: one
transmitter, unlimited receivers.
Another advantage is the lower cost and complexity
network that is required to implement the audio system using
For the LCR and stereo FM broadcast feeds, you could use
hard-wired cable runs which may be less expensive. Or, use a
single CAT 5 cable, three CobraNet devices and a couple of
dedicated repeater hubs and utilize a single Multicast Bundle
Multicast Bundles which are implemented utilizing simple
(1 through 255) to transmit all 5 audio channels to both the
Ethernet repeater hubs, which are quite inexpensive. This
remote LCR and FM locations from the front of the house.
makes this Multicast application and system a “Networking
101” example – inexpensive and easily implemented.
The disadvantages of Multicast Bundles include the loss of
bandwidth network-wide, since every device and every
network cable contains the same quantity of data. All
Now let’s make things fun and assume, since this church
pays no taxes, that their infinite budget (
so common these
) requires an audio system in the church’s on-site hotel
and gymnasium. Oh, how fun.
The church’s hotel, gymnasium and attached convention
multicast data takes up the same amount of bandwidth
center requires a dozen stereo channels of background music
throughout the entire network. Another thing to be cautious of
as well as 4 paging audio feeds. Additionally, the LCR and
is that multicast CobraNet data will swamp any 10 megabit
stereo feeds from the church are fed into the gymnasium and
(10Base-T) data ports on the network.
convention center for more overflow on Christmas, Easter and
Modern computers with 100 Mbit PCI Ethernet interfaces
when Father Guido Sarducci is in town.
(100Base-T) are quite capable of ignoring this multicast traffic
Including the 12 stereo background feeds on the network,
until their network connection becomes saturated. However, if
allows the church complex access to these background music
the computer is connected to the network via
sources for intermissions and open houses.
10 Mbit Ethernet, that link will easily saturate. In any case, it
I think you can see where this is going. By using a
is not CobraNet which suffers under these conditions, it is the
combination of multicast and unicast networking, you can
easily use CobraNet technology to efficiently distribute many
The final disadvantage using multicast transmission is the
inability to
share computer network data and
audio channels to and from many locations and save considerable money on cable, conduit, labor and the re-configuration
CobraNet data on the same network. This is not to say that it
time needed to accommodate the wide variety of audio
is impossible, it indeed works. However, the problem is that
distribution needs in large and small facilities.
the network bandwidth required by the computer data is ever-
CobraNet network designs must not exceed 32 Multicast
changing and not controlled or monitored by the CobraNet
Bundles per VLAN. A VLAN (virtual LAN) is an advanced,
devices. Thus, when the computer data suddenly and unpre-
“Networking 401” term associated with managed switches
dictably requires more bandwidth than is available, the entire
used on only the most advanced systems. Managed switches
network bogs down creating computer data collisions which
allow point-to-point virtual LANs to be defined by the
slow down the computer network, and simultaneously creates
network designer.
Software and Applications
ActiveX and Software issues
Microsoft ActiveX controls (defined in the next section)
are of concern to the pro audio community. This technology
allows designers of computer-controlled sound systems to
create common front-end software control panels that operate
different manufacturers’ units, without having to know
anything about their internal code or algorithms. This is
powerful. When more manufacturers jump on the ActiveX
bandwagon, systems designers will no longer be limited by
the products offered by a single, platform-specific (i.e., closed
architecture) manufacturer.
What is ActiveX anyway?
ActiveX is a Microsoft-developed software technology
released in 1996. ActiveX, formerly called OLE (Object
Linking and Embedding), is loosely based on the Component
Object Model (COM), but provides substantially different
services to developers. At this point, you might think:
WHAT!?^* But keep reading! An ActiveX control is a unit of
executable code (such as an .EXE file) that follows the
ActiveX specification for providing software objects. This
technology allows programmers to assemble reusable software
controls into applications and services. However, software
development using ActiveX technology should not be
confused with Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). OOP is
concerned with creating objects, while ActiveX is concerned
with making objects work together. Simply stated, ActiveX is
a technology that lets a program (the ActiveX control) interact
with other programs over a network (e.g., the Internet or
Ethernet), regardless of the language in which they were
written. ActiveX controls can do similar things as Java, but
they are quite different. Java is a programming language,
while ActiveX controls can be written in any language (e.g.,
Visual Basic, C, C++, even Java). Also, ActiveX runs in a
variety of applications, while Java and Javascript usually run
only in Web browsers. ActiveX controls can be used in web
pages and within visual programming languages such as
Borland’s Delphi, Sybase’s PowerBuilder, Microsoft’s Visual
Basic and even in tools such as Adobe’s GoLive,
Macromedia’s DreamWeaver and National Instrument’s
In English, for our pro audio applications, ActiveX control
objects are the sliders, buttons, indicators and other graphical
screen entities. The objects have properties such as slider
position and slider range and on or off for buttons and
indicators, etc. Once the screen objects are chosen and placed,
further ActiveX controls can then be used to link the object’s
properties to other ActiveX controls. Thus, allowing linking
an ActiveX slider to the ActiveX control for a device’s level
control. Then moving the level control graphic slider subsequently varies the audio level and vice versa.
Each ActiveX control is made up of Properties and Events.
ActiveX control Properties are values associated with the
control, which might include such things as level settings,
mute condition and meter readings. ActiveX control Events
ActiveX allows the manufacturer to create an object (a
piece of software code) which fully describes a device, while
hiding the implementation details such as protocol from the
programmer. By hiding the communication details, there is no
longer a need for different manufacturers’ to agree on protocol. This lack of a protocol standard means that cooperation
between manufacturers is not required. It allows each manufacturer to choose the best protocol for their devices.
For example, no longer would you need to know that the
17th byte of a 32-byte status message meant that the unit’s
second output channel was muted. With an ActiveX control,
you might simply refer to the device’s output 2 mute status as
“Device1.Out2Mute”. See the RaneNote “Emerging Standards
for Networked Audio System Control” and “Controlling
Audio Systems with ActiveX Controls over CobraNet and
other Ethernet-based Networks,” both downloadable from the
Rane website Library.
Implementing ActiveX controls
An example might help clear this up. A few assumptions
are that a computer is used to control an audio system over an
Ethernet network and that something on the computer’s screen
controls some function of the system. The basic idea is to
place controls on the computer screen and link them, using
ActiveX, to a parameter in the system. What’s important here
is that only the controls required by the computer’s end user
need be displayed. Additionally, more detailed interfaces
(hidden or password-protected web pages) can then be created
to provide any level of system parameter access desirable—
from complete system control, to a lone system power button
or anything in-between. No longer are systems limited to the
number of security levels provided by vendor’s software, nor
are you limited to controlling a single system parameter per
screen control. For example, you can link multiple ActiveX
controls to a single screen object, thus adjusting EQ level
simultaneously with master level control and limiter threshold.
You can also program actions when certain events occur, such
as triggering audio playback or turning a system off at a
certain time or adjusting delay time as the temperature
You can control different parameters inside the same
device from different computers on the network as well as
controlling the same parameter from multiple computers. This
is one of the major advantages of networks – multiple control
locations will automatically be updated when changes are
made by any control location.
Microsoft FrontPage 2000 ActiveX Example
Many use Microsoft’s FrontPage 2000 to create user
interface web pages for computer-controlled systems. These
web pages may or may not be accessible over the Internet.
Once you master the ActiveX concept, using FrontPage with
ActiveX provides literally an infinite number of programming
possibilities. More information about the NM 84’s ActiveX
controls and the ActiveX controls for Rane’s RW 232 devices
is found in the sections on the next page.
tell the computer something significant has happened, such as
a switch closure, button press or clip detection.
NM 84 ActiveX Example
To track slider or system changes and update either the
The short version of the FrontPage 2000 procedure used to
setup a web page with ActiveX controls for a Rane NM 84
device’s parameters goes as follows:
web page, the NM 84 device, or both, we’ll need to use
Microsoft’s Visual Basic Script language. This is where the
programming comes in. Yes, it does say
Insert a Rane NM 84 ActiveX control in a new web page.
Remember when you could do your job without the need to
(This software/control ships with the unit or can be found on
program anything except the time on your wind up watch?
our website. Running this NM 84 setup procedure registers
Some programming tasks here are things like initializing the
the Rane NM 84 ActiveX control with the computer used to
controls with valid information usually by reading the NM 84
create the web page. Otherwise, no special icon or folder is
device’s current settings, then updating the on-screen controls
created after running the setup, so save time by
so they match the device. You also need the Script software to
for the NM 84 software/control other than from within
scan for any changes and make updates accordingly. It is also
FrontPage’s ActiveX list.) Set the inserted NM 84 control’s
wise to be sure that any requested changes to parameter values
Properties for your application. Generally, from FrontPage’s
are within the proper numerical range, thus avoiding strange
ActiveX Control Properties
Object Tag
window, this involves providing a
in the
tab for the control. Then, link
and unpredictable behavior. This is usually called “bounds
checking” by programmers. Since these web page and
this control to the specific NM 84 device by entering the NM
network technologies allow multiple control locations, be sure
84 device’s
your code handles this. For example, NM 84 device param-
IP address
in the
NM 84 SNMP Control Setting
tab. The NM 84 control also must be assigned an update rate
eters can be changed from the NM 84’s front panel, from the
which is found on the
web page itself, from another copy of the same web page
NM 84 SNMP Control Setting
tab. A
good default value might be “5” which provide an update
being run elsewhere on the network, or changes can also be
every half second. Don’t get overzealous with this update rate
made from contact closure memories. Take this into account
since it’s a function of many things and can negatively effect
when writing the “update settings” code by scanning indepen-
the speed at which controls and parameter changes take effect.
dently for changes to the device’s settings and changes to the
Next, insert an ActiveX slider, button or what have you
web page controls. Then update things so the device settings
from the vast list of available ActiveX controls. If you can’t
and the web page controls always match. The Rane has
find a control that suits your fancy, further ActiveX controls
example code with comments.
can be found on the Internet as shareware, bought from
ActiveX providers often in packages or created from scratch
for complete customization. Adjust the size, orientation and
placement of the control for optimum ergonomics being sure
to consider the user, the application and the requirement for
further controls on this same page. Keeping the number of
total controls on any one page low is very wise. See why in
the September, 2000 AES preprint by Rane’s Stephen
Controlling Audio Systems
With ActiveX Controls Over CobraNet And Other EthernetBased Networks
ActiveX Control Properties
Object Tag
Macatee and Devin Cook titled
In the
(or button
window for the slider
), uniquely
tab. Then in the
the control in the
tab, set the control’s maximum
and minimum value to match the NM 84 device’s parameter
that you’ll link to this slider. Sometimes you’ll find that you’ll
need to adjust these maximum and minimum values here (or
in the Script language discussed next) to properly display or
be compatible with the parameter being adjusted. For example, the “Mic_Trim” ActiveX control has a minimum value
of “0” and a maximum of “36,” but the actual displayed range
of the Trim control is -20 to +16 dB in 1 dB steps. Thus, there
are “36,” 1 dB steps. Also, often the control link may be
backwards such that the maximum value may correspond to
the “lowest” slider position. Fix this when updating the
control by subtracting the control’s maximum setting from the
desired setting within FrontPage’s VBScript language.
To link the slider to the desired NM 84 internal device
parameter, use Microsoft’s VB Script language by associating
the slider’s Name with the specific NM 84 Control Name.
You’ll find the list of valid NM 84 ActiveX Control Names at
the end of this Manual.
Computer IP Setup
times as they appear to extinguish all the network setup
If you’re using a computer with the NM 84, it must be set
for network operation to allow it to speak using TCP/IP
protocol. (TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol.) If
your computer is already set up for network operation you can
move on in your life and skip this section.
Windows 95/98 PC Network Communications Setup
As you go through the following procedure your computer
tells you (on more than one occasion) that it needs to reboot
before changes take effect. Just go along with it when this
happens. Yeah, it’s a big waste of time but this is an owner’s
manual, not an editorial page – so just do it, OK?
1. Insure you have a functional Ethernet adapter (NIC or
Network Interface Card) installed in the PC. If installed, its
operation may be checked by right clicking on ‘My Computer’ followed by a left-click on the selection ‘Properties’
dialog boxes.
Once you’ve set networking on a Win95/98 computer, you’ll
notice it wants a user name and optional password each time
it boots. To eliminate this nuisance, go back in to Control
Panel > Network and change the ‘Primary Network Logon’
selection from ‘Client for Microsoft Networks’ to ‘Windows
Logon’ then click ‘OK’ again. Oh, and guess what? Your
computer will want to be rebooted again for the change to
take effect. Good news, though, it won’t ask for a user name
and password this time.
Glossary of Terms
As with any technology, new terms are thrown about like a
hot Mr. Potatohead at a 5 year old’s birthday party. The
and again a left-click on the ‘Device Manager’ tab of the
CobraNet website (
‘System Properties’ dialog box. Click on the plus (+) sign
valuable resource for such jargon and includes a Terminology
to the left of ‘Network Adapters’ to view the configured
page for CobraNet terms. Here are a few just to keep things
adapters. A malfunctioning adapter is indicated by either a
yellow question mark or a red ‘X’. There are several
troubleshooting aids available in Win-dows Help to assist
you in making the network adapter functional.
) is a
– Not synchronized by a shared signal such as
a clock or semaphore, proceeding independently. Email and
2. Once you have a correctly operating Ethernet adapter, TCP/
IP is easy to configure. To begin, open ‘My Computer’ or
‘Start > Settings,’ then ‘Control Panel > Network’. The
computer file transfers are examples of asynchronous data
Audio Channel
– This is an ambiguous term, but defines a
‘Configuration’ tab shows a list of configured devices,
single channel of audio in a CobraNet network;
such as your network card and possibly dial-up networking.
letters. (The term formerly known as
Below these is a list of network protocols previously
Broadcast addressing
the capital
– See Broadcast addressing.
configured for the system. If TCP/IP has been configured
– A special case of Multicast address-
and bound to the Ethernet adapter, you will see an entry
ing. Whereas it is possible, in some cases, to indicate
resembling ‘TCP/IP -> NameOfAdapter Pnp LAN
intended recipients of multicast data, broadcast data is
Adapter.’ If this shows on the list, skip to step 4. If it’s not
there, go through step 3 first.
3. To add TCP/IP to the LAN Adapter, click the ‘Add’ button
in the Network dialog. A list of network component types
displays. Choose ‘Protocol,’ then ‘Add’. A list of manufacturers displays. Click on ‘Microsoft’, then ‘TCP/IP’ in the
right-hand window, then ‘OK’.
unconditionally received by all devices within a network.
– A group of up to 8 Audio Channels. To transport
audio over an Ethernet network, CobraNet places up to 8
Audio Channels in Bundles. (The term formerly known as
Network Channel
– A Repeater Hub, Switching Hub or passive
interconnect such as a Patch Panel. Concentrator is less
4. To be a part of a TCP/IP network, your computer (and each
network device including the NM 84) needs a unique IP
technically concise than Hub.
– A Peak Audio technology, CobraNet is a
address of its own. If not already open, open ‘Settings >
combination of hardware, software and protocol which
Control Panels > Network.’ Highlight the ‘TCP/IP ->
distributes many channels of digital audio over Fast
NameOfAdapter PnP LAN Adapter’ by clicking on it.
Ethernet. CobraNet supports switched and repeater Ethernet
Then choose ‘Properties > IP Address.’ Click on the
networks. On a repeater network, CobraNet eliminates
‘Specify an IP address’ option. If your computer
collisions and allows full bandwidth utilization of the
part of
an existing network, you must now obtain a valid address
from the network administrator—if you have one. If not,
you may use an address out of the internationally accepted
private network block of addresses, which is
192.168.nnn.nnn where nnn represents any number
between 0 and 255. A good choice might be just because it’s easy to remember if you
network. CobraNet uses standard Ethernet packets and
network infrastructure.
CobraNet node
– Any network device which is in compli-
ance with the CobraNet specification for transmission and/
or reception of digital audio and associated sample clock.
CobraNet port
– The same as CobraNet node, but more
specifically, the RJ-45 connector on a CobraNet device.
ever need to know it again. Set the ‘Subnet Mask’ to for most installations. These two settings allow
a network with addresses in the range of
through Click the ‘OK’ buttons as many
– The CobraNet device on the network which
Multicast addressing
– Data which is Multicast is addressed
supplies the master clock. A conductor arbitration proce-
to a group of, or all devices on a network. All devices
dure insures that at any time there is one, and only one,
receive multicast addressed data and decide individually
conductor per network. The conductor transmits beat
whether the data is relevant to them. A Switched Hub is
packets at a regular interval. The time interval between beat
typically not able to determine appropriate destination port
packet transmission is the mechanism of clock delivery.
or ports for multicast data and thus must send the data out
The conductor is also responsible for generating transmis-
all ports simultaneously just as a Repeater Hub does.
sion permissions based on forward reservations received in
Multicast addressing is to be avoided whenever possible
reservation packets. The transmission permissions are
since it uses bandwidth network wide and since all devices
published in the beat packet.
are burdened with having to decide whether multicast data
Crossover cable
– A special network cable that allows two
network devices to connect directly together without the
need for a hub. The receive and transmit pairs must be
swapped within the cable.
One End
the Other End
is relevant to them.
Network Channel
– Old term now called Bundle. (Hey,
Bundle is a Peak Audio term, so call them.)
– A series of bits containing data and control informa-
tion, source and destination addresses and formatted for
TR+ pin 1
pin 3 RCV+
TR- pin 2
pin 6 RCV-
RCV+ pin 3
pin 1 TR+
performer. A performer must re-synthesize a sample clock
RCV- pin 6
pin 2 TR-
based on arrival times of received beat packets. A per-
Since a normal (non-crossover) network cable physically
looks like a crossover cable, one of three practices are
suggested: clearly label all crossover cables so they are not
transmission from one node to another.
– All units except the conductor operate as a
former may transmit isochronous data packets only if given
transmission permission to do so by the conductor.
Repeater Hub
– An Ethernet multi-port repeater. A data
confused with normal “standard” ethernet cables. Wire two
signal arriving in any port is electrically regenerated and
female wall plate jacks back to back with the proper
reproduced out all other ports on the hub. A repeater hub
swapping and use this adapter as a 2 port hub. Another
does not buffer or interpret the data passing through it. If
useful adapter uses a standard RJ-45 at one end and a
data signals arrive simultaneously from multiple ports, a
female wall jack at the other cross-wired. Making these two
collision condition is recognized by the hub and a special
adapters short helps avoid confusing standard network
cables from crossover cables.
Fully Switched Network
– A network built entirely from
Switching Hubs. With the elimination of Repeater Hubs,
the collision condition is removed from a fully switched
– A network built with one or more
Repeater Hubs. Repeater networks share the same bandwidth among all connected DTEs.
Switched Network
– Old term now called Audio Channel.
– A network built with one or more
Switching Hubs. It is possible, even common to build a
– Hub is not a technically concise term. The term can be
used to refer to either a Repeater Hub or a Switching Hub.
jam signal is transmitted out all ports.
Repeater Network
– Uniform in time; of equal time; performed in
network from a combination of interconnected Repeater
Hubs and Switched Hubs.
Switching Hub
- A Switching Hub, or simply "Switch",
equal times; recurring at regular intervals. An isochronous
examines addressing fields on data arriving at each port and
data stream is characterized by the fact that data delivered
attempts to direct the data out the port or ports to which the
late is unusable. Live audio and video are examples of
data is addressed. Data may be buffered within the Switch-
isochronous data streams.
ing Hub to avoid the collision condition experienced within
Media Converter
– A two port Repeater Hub with different
a Repeater Hub. A network utilizing Switching Hubs
media types on each port. Media converters can convert
realizes higher overall bandwidth capacity since data may
between CAT5 Cable and Fiber.
be received through multiple ports simultaneously without
– See Multicast addressing.
Unicast addressing
– See Unicast addressing.
– Data which is unicast is addressed to a
specific network device. A switching hub examines the
unicast address field of the data and determines on which
port the addressed device resides and directs the data out
only that port. Delivery of an email message is an example
of unicast data addressing.
Memory Recall Port
MRP Binary Control
“1” = switch closed (between “COM and 1,2,3,etc.)
“0” = switch open
The MEMORY RECALL PORT (MRP) provides contact
closure control to recall any of the 16 Memories. Eight of the
Memories are recalled with individual switch closures to a
in multiple units may be recalled by either connecting the
MRP terminals in parallel or by transmitting the MRP contact
closure over the network. See the Memory Edit Page section
of this manual.
Rane Firmware version 1.01 functions as follows: Only
momentary switches should be used since only single closures
are recognized. The NM 84 MRP is
single terminal (see the Normal section of Table 1). Memories
read after power up,
therefore, changes to the switch states will not be updated
until the MRP conditions are changed when the power is on.
If more than one terminal is grounded at a time, only the first
closed switch is recognized. Subsequent switches are ignored
once the first switch is and remains closed. If multiple
switches are closed, once a single switch remains closed will
that memory be recalled.
grounded to activate Paging or Binary modes (see table). A
“Binary” mode allows access to all 16 Memories. For example, connect the four contacts of a binary switch, plus the
additional Binary mode closures shown in the Table. “Paging”
mode provides an easy way to configure a system which uses
a single switch (such as a mic or key switch) to toggle
However, certain combinations of terminals may be
only use Normal, Paging or Binary mode — do not
switch between modes.
C 1
MRP Wiring
between two sequential Memories (See table). When wiring
Control Name: Rane Corporation NM 84 SNMP Active X Control
Description: SNMP Control of a NM 84
Design Time Parameters:
IP Address
Update Freq
NM 84’s Device Address
How often (in 100ms steps) the NM 84’s status is checked
Runtime Parameters:
Conductor Priority ( 0 = Never Conductor, 32 = Default )
(Read Only) return TRUE if the NM 84 is currently the conductor
(Read Only) returns TRUE if the NM 84 is currently operational
: for Idx 0->7 corresponds to Input 1-8
TRUE/FALSE for Mic Mute setting
Mic_Phantom_Power(Idx) TRUE/FALSE for Mic Phantom Power setting
TRUE/FALSE for Line Mode setting
(0 = 15dB, 1=30dB, 2=45dB, 3=60dB) for Mic Gain setting
(0 =-5dB, 1=+10dB) for Line Gain setting
(0 =-20dB, 1=-19dB..36=0dB) for Trim setting
(0 =Off, 1=Low Cut, 2=High Cut, 3=High/Low Cut) for Filter setting
(0 =+18dB,1=+18,48=-30dB) for Limiter setting
Equates to Mic_Mute(0)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(0)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(0)
Equates to Mic_Gain(0)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(0)
Equates to Mic_Trim(0)
Equates to Mic_Filter(0)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(0)
Equates to Mic_Mute(1)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(1)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(1)
Equates to Mic_Gain(1)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(1)
Equates to Mic_Trim(1)
Equates to Mic_Filter(1)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(1)
Equates to Mic_Mute(2)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(2)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(2)
Equates to Mic_Gain(2)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(2)
Equates to Mic_Trim(2)
Equates to Mic_Filter(2)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(2)
Equates to Mic_Mute(3)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(3)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(3)
Equates to Mic_Gain(3)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(3)
Equates to Mic_Trim(3)
Equates to Mic_Filter(3)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(3)
Equates to Mic_Mute(4)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(4)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(4)
Equates to Mic_Gain(4)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(4)
Equates to Mic_Trim(4)
Equates to Mic_Filter(4)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(4)
Equates to Mic_Mute(5)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(5)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(5)
Equates to Mic_Gain(5)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(5)
Equates to Mic_Trim(5)
Equates to Mic_Filter(5)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(5)
Equates to Mic_Mute(6)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(6)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(6)
Equates to Mic_Gain(6)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(6)
Equates to Mic_Trim(6)
Equates to Mic_Filter(6)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(6)
Equates to Mic_Mute(7)
Equates to Mic_Phantom_Power(7)
Equates to Mic_Line_Mode(7)
Equates to Mic_Gain(7)
Equates to Mic_Line_Gain(7)
Equates to Mic_Trim(7)
Equates to Mic_Filter(7)
Equates to Mic_Limiter(7)
: for Idx 0->3 corresponds to Monitor 1-4
TRUE/FALSE for Monitor Local setting
(0=Off,1=Input 1, ,8=Input 8) for Monitor Local Mic setting
Bundle (a.k.a. Network Channel) to Receive
Out_AudioChannel(Idx) (0..7) Network AudChannel to Receive
Equates to Out_Local(0)
Equates to Out_Mic_Index(0)
Equates to Out_Channel(0)
Equates to Out_AudChannel(0)
Equates to Out_Local(1)
Equates to Out_Mic_Index(1)
Equates to Out_Channel(1)
Equates to Out_AudChannel(1)
Equates to Out_Local(2)
Equates to Out_Mic_Index(2)
Equates to Out_Channel(2)
Equates to Out_AudChannel(2)
Equates to Out_Local(3)
Equates to Out_Mic_Index(3)
Equates to Out_Channel(3)
Equates to Out_AudChannel(3)
TRUE/FALSE for NetTx A/B 24 Bit Format Mode
TRUE/FALSE for NetTx C/D 24 Bit Format Mode
(0=1/7, ,6=7/1) for NetTx A/B AudChannel splitting
(0=1/7, ,6=7/1) for NetTx C/D AudChannel splitting
NetTx A’s Bundle
NetTx B’s Bundle
©Rane Corporation 10802
NetTx C’s Bundle
NetTx D’s Bundle
TEL 425-355-6000
47th Ave. W.,
Mukilteo WA 98275-5098
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