Smart PD and Smart RD from Nixer: Dante is not a blind inferno anymore

As we all know, Dante is a powerful audio network standard, but difficult to trace or listen to, whenever needed. Setting up and configuring new DANTE audio networks is now much easier thanks to Nixer Pro Audio’s PD Dante, a handheld portable audio monitoring tool that has been specifically designed for this task.
It provides engineers with an effective tool for managing live or production systems. Its compact design and functionality makes it exceptionally valuable as an operational monitoring device.

PD Dante presents up to 64 channels of audio for instant monitoring via the built-in speakers, headphones or external monitors; either individually, as a stereo pair or contributing to a mix of selected sources. Each touchscreen selector includes a guide bargraph meter to assist in selecting the right signal with the option of routing that signal to the left, right or both monitoring outputs.

PD Dante is quick to deploy, needing only a single cable for both audio and power (PoE). Its start-up time is just 15 seconds and users can directly select audio channels from all the Dante sources on the network by using the touchscreen.

The PD Dante can be via PoE (13W) or alternatively be powered via USB (1.5A) by a computer USB port, USB mains adaptor or USB battery pack. Firmware updates of the PD Dante are achieved via a dedicated USB microAB connector.

Anthony Wilkins, Sales Manager at Aspen Media, UK distributor for this interesting tool, comments: “PD Dante is supremely convenient. It removes the need for engineers or operators to carry that slow-to-boot and bulky laptop computer to select sources for monitoring.
With this unit, all the tools necessary for line-checking, troubleshooting or operator and talent monitoring are readily available in a single portable device.”

Wilkins added that PD Dante also integrates easily to the comms system via the combined headphone and mic connection common on most smart phones. “This allows the operator to monitor show comms or production talkback, with the option to talkback to FOH or the gallery via the Dante network,” he says.

PD Dante includes extensive reporting of the network status and is compatible with Dante Domain Manager for larger multi-subnet installations. PD Dante’s usability improves with the addition of the optional desktop stand, IO cables to connect to local devices or systems and a durable carrycase to protect the complete kit while in transit.

The 2U 19inch rack mounted version named RD Dante is basically the same, but comprising all the bells and whistles of the RD, plus extra ease of use in a permanent or semi-permanent installation. It also offers logically more space for the inbuilt 75mm full range speakers which are mounted in optimised ported cabinets.
The speakers are automatically muted when a headphone jack is inserted. Simultaneous outputs are also available in the form of the stereo balanced line outputs and AES output accessed via XLR connectors on the rear of the RD Dante.

Nick Fletcher – Founder and CEO
Nick’s career began with him completing a four-year Electronics Apprenticeship with British Aerospace Army Weapons. Designing and making weapons held no great appeal so he quickly moved onto working for Cadac, here Nick worked his way rapidly up through the company from Test Engineer, passing through the D.O. doing Schematic Design, PCB Layout and Mechanical Design then on to become Production Manager and finally R&D Director.

Philip Jones – CTO
After completing a BSc hons. Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at City University London, Phil worked for Smiths Industries Ltd. Vehicle Instruments Division designing and developing some of the first electronic dashboard panels seen in domestic cars (including such oddities as the “talking” Austin Maestro trip computer).
Phil then moved to Audio Kinetics to work on SMPTE time-code tape machine synchronisers. 6 years later (1990) he was offered a position as the digital and software engineer for CADAC electronics, a company building bespoke audio mixing consoles for live theatre sound applications.

Front view of the PD DANTE, with Nixer leaders (L-R): Philip Jones – CTO, and Nick Fletcher – Founder and CEO.

More information on Nixer Pro Audio Website.


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Text & photos: Nixer Pro Audio.

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