Project Description

DirectOut Technologies SG.MADI

A bidirectional audio format converter which interfaces MADI signals with a Waves SoundGrid network. SG.MADI simplifies interfacing live broadcast or studio systems with SoundGrid-based consoles and plug-in servers. It caters for all copper and optical MADI formats and includes analogue I/O and GPIOs, making Waves plug-ins in a SoundGrid DSP Server accessible to MADI or local analogue signals, or for local break-in/break-out applications such as the use of hardware processors.

  • Interfaces MADI signals with a Waves SoundGrid system
  • Uses Waves’ SoundGrid AoIP networking technology
  • SoundGrid offers 128 uncompressed audio channels with low latency
  • Allows local I/O to access Waves plug-ins
  • AoIP channels can access external hardware processing
  • Two mic level analogue inputs with switchable pads
  • Two analogue line outputs
  • Headphone output
  • Front panel level controls for headphones and analogue outputs
  • 2 x GPI and 2 x GPO ports
  • Compatible with all MADI formats – 48/96k frame rate, 56/64 channels, S/MUX: formats are assignable on a per-port basis
  • Sample rates: 44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz
  • Two modular MADI I/O ports; may be individually specified as optical SC (singlemode or multimode), coaxial (BNC) or empty SFP carrier
  • Two Gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Supports parallel 2 x 64 channel operation for redundant recording
  • Remote control through browser pages within SoundGrid application
  • Word clock input and output
  • Dual internal Universal PSUs with separate IEC inlets and switches
  • 1U rackmounting unit

SG.MADI is one of the range of DirectOut MADI format interfaces. MONTONE.42 converts bidirectionally between MADI and AES67/RAVENNA, and EXBOX.MD between MADI and Dante. For interfacing between MADI and AES3 and/or analogue see the ANDIAMO range; note the ANDIAMO.MC routes mic inputs directly to MADI streams.


Audio-over-IP (AoIP) is being increasingly implemented in many applications as it enables existing IP infrastructures to be utilised for the transport of high-quality, multichannel audio. SoundGrid from Waves is a mature, layer 2-based protocol developed primarily for use in large-scale live sound environments and offers uncompressed audio, low latency and access to a huge range of real-time processing by audio plug-ins within Waves’ SoundGrid DSP Server.

SG.MADI provides a bidirectional interface for up to 128 audio channels between MADI streams and a SoundGrid system. It provides a simple solution for broadcast or recording facilities using MADI as an audio transport protocol needing to interface to a SoundGrid system at major events.

SG.MADI will appear as an I/O device in the Device Rack of Waves’ SoundGrid Studio software application. Configuration and control of the unit is made through a set of simple browser pages served by the device once it is selected. Pages are provided for setting up input and output assignments, controlling analogue I/O levels, MADI port configuration, clock rate selection, etc.

As well as its basic multichannel format conversion function, the unit is able to insert local signals onto user-selected SoundGrid and/or MADI channels via two balanced analogue inputs. These are designed to accept mic level signals directly: phantom power may be enabled on either, and a 20 dB pad is available to allow higher-level signals. In a similar manner, two variable-level, balanced line level outputs allow any two audio channels in either digital format to be accessed locally. The analogue I/O makes it possible for a pair of local signals to be processed by a Waves plug-in if the SoundGrid system includes a DSP Server, or signals on the network may be processed by an external analogue/valve hardware processor.

As well as the line outputs, SG.MADI also has a front panel headphone jack (and volume control): the signals available here are easily set up in software.

Two GPI and two GPO ports are provided on the rear panel (D9subs). These allow signalisation – commands and/or tallies – to be carried within the data stream on either network. This can be used for event triggering, on-air/recording lights, and so on.

SG.MADI is equipped with two MADI I/O ports, each of which may specified to be i) duplex optical SC (singlemode or multimode), ii) a pair of BNCs for a copper connection, or iii) an empty SFP carrier to accept a compatible cartridge of the user’s choice. There are also two standard Gigabit Ethernet ports for connection to the SoundGrid network.

A comprehensive set of front panel LEDs confirm unit status and the status of all MADI/SoundGrid ports, clock selection, sample rate and mic input levels.

The unit’s sync source may be an internal clock (when the unit is used as a sync master), a MADI input, SoundGrid via the network or an externally applied word clock.

SG.MADI has been designed for fail-safe operation: both the MADI and network ports may be configured as dual-redundant pairs with auto fail-over, and the unit is fitted with dual internal universal PSUs with separate AC inlets, fuses and AC switches.

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