The flexibility and scalability of digital audio networking through Ethernet (Dante) has been utilised more and more in recent years as the technology's capabilities have been recognised as networks have developed.
Evolution is a continual process in the world of tech, so what does the future of this type of technology look like?
Where audio networking sits right now
At the moment, audio networking technology is used by businesses to help them to connect different pieces of hardware across multiple locations, reduce the amount of time they need to set up technology, and minimise the number of cables they require.
Dante technology can also help to bring together the different elements of an audio production task more efficiently, meaning it is extremely versatile and useful tech.
However, there are some limitations to Dante at present. For instance, point-to-point connections do not currently scale as well as they should be able to, and there is scope to better integrate it with computer applications too. Dante does have the potential to bring applications together with audio systems without the need for extra hardware - something that could bring down costs for organisations too.
The future of audio networking
Software and virtual systems are set to be at the heart of Dante's ongoing development, but increased collaboration will be required from IT departments and audio/visual integrators to allow audio networking to reach its full potential.
Brad Price, senior product manager at Audinate, recently discussed this subject in an article for Audio Media International, where he highlighted that a growing number of conventional audio tools, such as mixers and DSPs, are being built around computer architecture.
"Leading-edge manufacturers are starting to release 'soft' versions of some of these products, allowing audio functions to be carried out using off-the-shelf computer hardware for which IP is a native and natural fit," Mr Price explained.
"As this trend continues, expect to see more 'virtual systems' that are comprised of software connected to audio endpoints - with a network, of course."
What will this mean for businesses using Dante and associated tech?
It will open up new opportunities for them where audio networking is concerned, allowing them to access more of the technology's potential. In addition, it should allow for Dante to be installed more widely across multiple-zone sites.
But on a smaller scale within business' day-to-day office environments, it should also enable more seamless digital collaboration between teams, with better quality audio making this easier and more productive than ever.
Overall, recognising the potential of the latest audio networking technology could transform many different aspects of an organisation's operations, with tools such as Dante Domain Manager available to help them to get the very best experience out of this tech.