Network I/O Forward Thinking Audio Routing, Distribution and Control

Network I/O

Superior SSL technology and sound for Dante IP Audio Networks

SSL Network I/O is a range of I/O devices which bring SSL's renowned quality and innovation to Dante based IP Audio networks. IP Audio networking provides a hugely versatile solution for environments where audio assets are shared by multiple users across multiple recording areas and control rooms. Dante is a commercially developed IP Audio network protocol. It uses standard IT infrastructure (Ethernet cables, connections and network routers & switches) for audio transport, routing, device discovery and control. With more than 350 Dante enabled products by more than 150 different manufacturers already released, Dante is considered by many to already be the established industry choice for the use of IP networks for audio distribution. IP audio networking offers a fresh approach to audio routing and asset sharing for audio production with a wide range of benefits:

  • High Channel Counts: 512ch @ 48kHz (256 @ 96kHz) on a single 1GB connection
  • Guaranteed Interoperability: plug & play discoverability of more than 350 devices from over 150 different manufacturers - and growing
  • Remote Device Control: parameters configured anywhere on the network
  • Reduced Cost: standard low cost IT hardware, standard and/or existing Cat 5 or Cat 6 cabling with audio and control on the same network down a single cable
  • Simplified Interconnectivity: Ethernet/IP connectivity simplifies interfacing with a wide range of devices including Intercoms
  • Flexible Scalability: systems can grow as your needs evolve. Want a bigger network? Add another switch!
  • Full Network Redundancy: technology tried and tested across many industries and fully compatible with all network redundancy models
  • Distributed Routing Control: routing control from unlimited devices or terminals
  • Absolute Resilience: catastrophic failure of a single device will have no effect on any other devices in the network
  • Standards compliant: IEEE and IETF compliant thus deployable on and can mix with traffic on any standard IP infrastructure.
  • With Dante committed to conform with AVB standards and with AES67, the SSL Network I/O range is ready for future networked audio developments.

The SSL Network I/O range was developed initially for use in broadcast installations. There is a wealth of detailed information about IP Audio Networking and Dante in our extensive white Paper: IP Audio Networking. Professional AoIP for Broadcast - The Way Forward. If you are new to IP Audio and/or multi-space audio routing and distribution it is essential reading.

There are currently three products available in the SSL Network I/O range:

Network I/O: MADI-Bridge
Network I/O MADI-Bridge

Standalone High Specification MADI to IP Audio Network Interface

The SSL Network I/O: MADI-Bridge is a broadcast specification bridge between the industry standard MADI audio format and IP audio network's using Dante. The MADI-Bridge enables SSL consoles or any other standard MADI device to connect to Dante based IP Audio networks with full redundancy maintained.

Redundant PSU, MADI ports and IP Network ports mean the Bridge is built for uninterrupted operation, keeping critical devices and audio paths functioning throughout the facility. In addition to the inbuilt clock redundancy options in Dante controller, the MADI-Bridge also includes a pair of redundant sync inputs for use as a self-redundant Dante Grand master clock. 32bit MADI control tunnelling allows a pair of MADI-Bridges to be used to pass audio and user bits of a whole MADI stream across a network. Remote locating existing MADI Mics or increasing cost efficiency of an existing fibre cable beyond a single MADI stream is now a simple task. The Bridge also features Bidirectional sample rate conversion between any asynchronous sample rates, from 44.1kHz to 192kHz. Intended for use with Dante controller and third party Dante products, the MADI-Bridge shows commitment to interoperability while understanding critical needs.

The SSL MADI-Bridge features a front panel headphone socket (with rotary level control) and inbuilt headphone monitor routing, to truly replace traditional patch bay confidence routing and fault finding functionality with equivalents in the IP Audio domain. Simple font panel controls facilitate routing mono or stereo paths from MADI In, MADI Out, Dante In or Dante Out directly to the headphones. A front panel LCD screen provides signal present metering selectable to show four points in the signal chain: MADI In, MADI Out, Dante In and Dante Out. GPIO connections allow for transfer of tally info and switching functions across the network with the Audio.

Key Features

  • Interface between MADI and IP Audio Networks using Dante
  • Redundant: PSU, MADI ports, Dante Ports, Sync In - Full Broadcast Spec Redundancy
  • Bidirectional sample rate conversion between any asynchronous sample rates, from 44.1kHz to 192kHz.
  • 32bit MADI control tunnelling
  • GPIO connectivity - embed tallies across the network
  • Redundant Network extension ports - Local IO at bridge without a switch
  • Word Clock out - Clock a MADI device to the Dante Network
  • Virtual Headphone Patch- 4 location Monitoring and Signal Present Metering to truly replace your patch bay with a digital network while retaining confidence and fault finding tools
  • Lockout Mode - Prevent accidental alteration of front panel settings
Network I/O: Stageboxes

Superior SSL mic/line preamp technology for your Dante IP Audio Network.

SSL Network I/O Stageboxes make SSL’s renowned SuperAnalogueTM preamp design with its superior audio performance available for a wide range of Dante network applications. Designed for use on any Broadcast studio floor, venue or recording room, SSL Network I/O Stageboxes allow easy deployment of Mic Pres and Speaker feeds where needed. Network I/O’s plug and
play features allow devices to easily be moved, even between locations and retain routing and settings if required. All units can be remote controlled via System T broadcast consoles and control interfaces, SSL Live consoles, and the SSL Remote Stagebox Application. There are three different models available; SB8.8, SB i16 and SB32.24.

Network I/O Stageboxes

SB 8.8 & SB i16

These 2RU units offer slightly different configurations but share identical features. The SB 8.8 offers eight mic/line inputs and eight line level outputs. SB i16 offers sixteen mic/line inputs. Both models feature a pair of redundant RJ45 Dante network connections, a pair of network extension connections, GPIO connectivity and redundant PSU’s. They have individual signal present, phantom power and local attention LEDs to provide intuitive front panel feedback.
They feature inbuilt limiters and SSL’s innovative AutoPad system that automatically applies a Pad according to gain setting. The AutoPad is applied if the gain is set at a low value that would
require a pad to achieve making the entire possible mic gain range seamlessly available at all times. An Audition feature allows individual channels to be monitored over the network (using an SSL console or App) without the signal actually being routed to a network destination.


Network I/O Stageboxes

SB32.24 is a 5U ruggedised enclosure featuring dual redundant power supplies, 32 mic/line inputs, 16 analogue line outputs and 8 digital inputs and outputs on 4 AES3 input/output pairs. It has a pair of redundant RJ45 Dante network connections in addition to a user configurable SFP port that can be fitted with RJ45 or optical connectors.
These can be used for network extension or to provide network separation for the gaincompensated Dante “split”, for connection to a second Dante-equipped console or appropriately equipped device on a different network. It has individual signal present, clip and phantom power LED’s as well as global indication of PSU, Network A and B and Hardware status.

Network I/O Stageboxes

Stagebox Remote Control Application

Network I/O Stageboxes

The SSL Stagebox Remote Control application provides comprehensive remote control of SSL Network I/O Stageboxes via a Dante network. The software can be installed onto any PC located anywhere on the network and multiple instances of the software can coexist on the network, with all instances of the application having access to all SSL Stagebox units currently available on the network. The Remote Control Application offers complete control over the extensive feature set of SSL’s Stageboxes and acts as a communication aid with clear real time device and channel attention indication.

Key Features

  • Comprehensive control over SSL Stageboxes via a Dante network
  • Clear real time device and channel attention indication
  • Runs on any PC anywhere on the network
  • Multiple instances can coexist and control all Stageboxes on the network

Remote Control Application Details

Network I/O Stageboxes

Network View

The Network View in upper section of the GUI shows each SSL Stagebox on the Dante network with large arrows to scroll through all SSL Stageboxes currently available on the network. A flashing red border indicates a specific device with a clipping audio channel, a solid red border highlights a device with an active Attention flag. Each device has redundant PSU status LED’s and is shown with the appropriate number of channels. Each channel has with individual level displays and Attention, Lock and Mute tallies. Devices that have been connected to the network while the application is running but have subsequently lost communication show as "Offline". Clicking a device brings its parameters into the Detail View.

Network I/O Stageboxes

Detail View

Shows and provides control over the parameters for a selected device. Individual channels have an Info overview box, a lock button which prevents accidental changes, level display, gain displays (which can be used for numeric editing), a fader (which is unavailable if the channel is locked) and a mute button. The GPIO controls are available to the left of the Detail View.

Network I/O Stageboxes

Focus Window

Shows an expanded detail view for a selected channel with a full set of controls: +48V phantom power, Mic/Line select, Attention (which toggles the red status LED for the channel on the hardware unit), Gain, Lock and ‘Show Gain’ which toggles the fader into the Focus Window. The function of the Pad button is dependent upon the Pad Mode selected via the Setup page. In traditional Pad mode the button engages a classic -20dB pad. In SSL AutoPad Mode the button shows a change in status when the pad is automatically engaged but does not switch the pad.

Network I/O Stageboxes


AutoPad is an innovative system that automatically applies a Pad according to gain setting. The pad is automatically included in the fader gain range and applied if the gain is set at a low value that would require a pad to achieve. This allows the entire possible mic gain range to be seamlessly available at all times.

Navigation Controls

A set of Navigation controls in the lower right corner of the GUI provide channel navigation and level controls that are mapped to your PC keyboard to provide immediate hardware control. ◂ ▸ Left and right arrows call the previous or next channel on the device to the Focus Window. At the first or last channel of each device navigation will transfer to the adjacent channel of the next device shown in the Network View. ▴ ▾ Up and down arrows alter the gain by 1 dB. Alt toggles the gain step to 3 dB. Control toggles the gain step to 0.1 dB. These keys and combinations are mapped to your PC keyboard. For example, pressing ALT+UP on your keyboard will increase the gain by 3 dB.

Network I/O Stageboxes


The Setup Page shows an addition set of information and controls for each device. PSU and Fan status is shown alongside temperature readings taken at three locations within the Stagebox. Global operating level for the Stagebox can be set at a range of settings between 15dBu and 24dBu. The AutoPad button toggles the Pad Mode between traditional -20dB Pad and SSL AutoPad.

Network I/O: SDI
Network I/O Stageboxes

SDI embedder/de-embedder bridge to Dante IP Audio Network and MADI

Professional Broadcast, Post and multi-purpose audio visual installations use the SDI format within video routing infrastructure. SDI has multi-channel audio embedding capability. The SSL Network I/O: SDI provides bidirectional bridging between three formats simultaneously; Embedded SDI Audio, Dante IP Audio Networks and MADI. It has eight SDI circuits, each capable of Embedding and De-Embedding, and the unit has dual Dante and triple MADI connectivity (2 x optical, 1 x coax I/O). In addition to SDI-Dante bridging SDI allows direct bridging between SDI and MADI infrastructure. Internal channel-by-channel routing enables flexible routing between all three domains. As you would expect redundant PSUs provide reassurance in a 24hr fully redundant environment.

Key Features

  • Interface between Embedded SDI audio, Dante and MADI
  • Eight 3G-SDI paths with embedders and de-embedders for 16 audio channels
  • Redundant: PSU, MADI ports, Dante Ports = Full Broadcast Spec Redundancy
  • 2 x optical and 1 x coax MADI I/O
  • Internal channel-by-channel routing for all audio paths
  • AES Connectivity
  • SRC on the Audio path to and from SDI