Project Description

DirectOut Technologies EXBOX.GPIO

A MADI embedder/de-embedder for GPIO signals; allows control signals to be routed bidirectionally using an existing MADI stream.

  • Embeds control signals from four GP inputs into a MADI stream
  • De-embeds control signals from the MADI stream to four GP outputs
  • Two MADI inputs and two MADI outputs
  • Dual SC multimode fibre ports as standard – single multimode SC plus coaxial (BNC) option available
  • MADI data throughput with zero latency
  • Front panel LED indication of input and output GPIO status
  • Two data transmission modes available – proprietary for use with other D.O.TEC MADI products, or via standard MADI user bits for use with third-party equipment
  • Front panel controls for MADI port selection and transmission mode
  • GP inputs and outputs on separate front panel Dsub connectors
  • Supports dual PSUs via locking HiRose connectors (one PSU supplied)
  • USB port for remote control and firmware updates
  • Very compact desktop housing

The DirectOut EXBOX.MIDICOM embeds/de-embeds RS-232 and MIDI data into/from MADI streams in a similar manner to the EXBOX.GPIO.


The DirectOut EXBOX.GPIO is a compact, desktop-style unit for embedding GPI commands into a MADI data stream for use at another location, typically wherever the MADI stream is decoded into its constituent audio channels. The unit operates bidirectionally, and therefore also de-embeds control data from the MADI stream, making it available for local use. The units may most effectively be used in pairs, at locations widely remote from each other. An important feature of the EXBOX.GPIO is that the MADI signals acquire no latency in passing through the unit.

The unit is able to accept four GP inputs (GPIs) and to de-embed four GP outputs (GPOs). The GPIO connections are on two separate 9-pin Dsub connectors on the front panel. Inputs may be either contact closures to ground or DC voltages between 2 and 24 V.  Outputs are in the form of FET switches to ground, rated at 24 V. A +5 V supply rated at 200 mA is also available on the connector. Front panel LEDs confirm the status of all inputs and outputs.

Two pairs of MADI ports – MADI 1 and MADI 2 – are provided on the rear panel: these are normally both SC multimode fibre type, but the unit may specified with one pair in coaxial format on BNC connectors. Single-mode fibre port(s) may also be specified on request. A recessed front panel control selects which of the two possible MADI signals is to be used for the control data. LEDs confirm the currently active port. All common MADI formats are supported – 56/64 channels, 48/96 kHz frame rates and 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz sample rate.

The GPIO data may be transmitted with the MADI signal in two formats, selectable by a recessed front control: i) in a proprietary format (developed by DirectOut) for easy compatibility with other DirectOut MADI units, typically a second EXBOX.GPIO; ii) via the standard user bits available in the MADI word structure, making it compatible with all suitably-equipped MADI receivers. Front panel LEDs confirm selected transmission mode.

The unit is equipped for dual redundant external PSUs, DC power input being via high quality, locking HiRose connectors.

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