[linux-audio-dev] Audio over Ethernet?

Anders Torger torger at ludd.luth.se
Wed Apr 14 07:47:22 UTC 2004

On Tuesday 13 April 2004 19.17, Anders Torger wrote:
> Is there any work done for transporting digital audio over ethernet?
> For example a library, an open standard or something?
> /Anders Torger

Thanks for the replies. However, I should have specified in more detail 
what I am after, I mean something like cobranet, but without the need 
for special hardware.

I'm thinking about trying to transfer digital audio over ethernet, with 
the goal of being able to build a convolver cluster. The idea is to 
have one computer with say a 24 channel sound card, and to that connect 
a set of other computers through ethernet (100 megabit or gigabit 
depending on requirements).

The inputs taken from the sound card is broadcasted on the ethernet so 
all other computers in the cluster get the inputs, and they send their 
convolved outputs back to the sound card computer, whose only task is 
to mix together the result, and put it to the sound card outputs.

One application when this type of design would be suitable is WFS (Wave 
Front Synthesis), with moving sources in simulated reverb, something 
which is extremely demanding (one 3 GHz Pentium 4 can handle only one 
source for a 24 channel system).

Say if you build such a system with 10 cluster nodes plus the sound card 
machine, you could render 10 dynamic WFS sources, but would have to 
distribute 10 channels from the sound card machine, and get back 10 * 
24, which would be ~20 megabits/s broadcasted from the sound card 
machine to the cluster nodes, and ~400 megabits/s back. One channel is 
48 kHz 32 bit floating point, that is ~1.5 megabit/s.

Thus, I think it is necessary to implement something operating on the 
ethernet level to get best performance in terms of throughput and 

/Anders Torger

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