[LAD] FOSS Ethernet Soundcard

Adrian Knoth adi at drcomp.erfurt.thur.de
Mon Nov 23 22:19:40 UTC 2009

On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 08:28:03PM +0000, Folderol wrote:

> The rationale in brief:
> No proprietry hardware soundcard needed.
> Almost all modern computers have reasonably fast Ethernet connections.

Don't know how much you already did for the hardware layout. If
possible, try to avoid analog stuff, that is, ADC/DAC.

There are plenty of high quality ADAT converters around, the only
problem is the ADAT spec. AFAIK, it doesn't come for free or it isn't
easy to buy ICs which convert ADAT to some raw format. (I had a look at
this approx. five years ago, but never decided to really build it, so
things might have changed).

I'm also somewhat interested in the network part, I feel IPv6 could help
a lot. It supports autoconfiguration and it has decent multicast
support, so it would be possible to broadcast/multicast the streams on
the net (LAN). This could be useful if you want to access the stream at
a mixing console for a life setup and simultaneously record it on a

That's basically what Roland's Digital Snake offers: an onstage Ethernet
(not IP) soundcard and one or more remote devices. RockNet provides
similar stuff, there's also Ethersound, but RockNet is PC-incompatible
(400MBit/s proprietary protocol), Roland is undocumented and I don't
know nothing about Ethersound. ;)

I also have some fancy Xilinx boards with onboard ethernet, an audio
codec (including the analog jacks) and a FPGA. Though it's way harder to
mimic all the features with VHDL, it could provide stable timings. The
boards also support memory, so it would be possible to load a softcore
and run Linux on them.

If you like, feel free to Cc me or join #lad if you think I could
contribute something.


mail: adi at thur.de  	http://adi.thur.de	PGP/GPG: key via keyserver

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