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Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:17 pm
by Nathaniel Steele
Sorry if this one has been done to death before, but google wasn't helping out much. I'd Like to hear from any who have actually worked with both for some time. I May have the chance to do a major studio build in the next 18-24 mo. I'm talking totally from scratch, mostly new equipment. 4 air studios, 2-4 prod rooms, and all the central routing processing, etc.

Things I like about axia:

lots of "third Party" products that are compatible.

Things I don't like about axia:

some of the styling doesn't really do it for me, but it's not terrible.

Not a long list really, but I don't know too awfull much about it. I'm assuming it's cheaper than wheatnet, because I can't find any wheatnet pricing without geting actual quotes....

Things I like about wheatnet:

utility featuresbuilt into the blades, mixer, silence sensor,processing, especially the silence sensing really seems to make sense. (does axia do any of these in the nodes?)

Consoles look more pro to me

Things I don't like: No idea....help me out here :)

I have experience with AOIP, but that is mostly with DANTE. I'm pretty savvy but there seems to not be a ton of info out there to make comparisons.

Tell me what you love and hate about each, and I'd love to hear from people experienced with both systems from the engineering side of things.

Thank you!

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:11 pm
by W2XJ
Dante is now compatible with AES 67 and Ravenna. What this means is that most equipment should talk to other equipment. I think you should look at this from a different perspective. First, there are a lot more systems available that do AOIP than just Axia and Wheatnet. SAS and Lawo also support AOIP but with a different architecture. Remember, AES 67 supports audio exchange but not necessarily control.

What I would suggest is to first define your workflow completely. It should be the end user who should define control surface functions for example. Then do a brand agnostic equipment layout which includes where the equipment is located and identify how various acceptable devices interface. That will tell you how much AES or Analog interface and how much AOIP is needed in each room. Then you can draw up several scenarios based on end user preferences and get a real equipment count and get quotes accordingly.

Questions? Back at me!

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:05 am
by BroadcastDoc
Axia has many similar features, though silence-sensing is generally done through software like Pathfinder. If I'm not mistaken, it can also be done via SNMP.

Really these days, AoIP preference is much like processing preference. All the brands do a great job, it comes down to which one you prefer. I'm an "Axia Guy", and I have friends who are "Wheatstone Guys". However, I'd recommend either system, because they're both great.

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:52 pm
by Nathaniel Steele
W2XJ wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:11 pm
SAS and Lawo also support AOIP but with a different architecture.
Yes I'll add SAS and LAWO to the list. Logitek will also do AOIP (I have a fair amount of experience with thier TDM system)

W2XJ wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:11 pm
Remember, AES 67 supports audio exchange but not necessarily control.
Which is a strong argument for picking a vendor and (mostly) sticking to them.
W2XJ wrote:
Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:11 pm
What I would suggest is to first define your workflow completely. It should be the end user who should define control surface functions for example. Then do a brand agnostic equipment layout which includes where the equipment is located and identify how various acceptable devices interface. That will tell you how much AES or Analog interface and how much AOIP is needed in each room. Then you can draw up several scenarios based on end user preferences and get a real equipment count and get quotes accordingly.
Agreed, and I plan to do that. I'm not actually working for this company yet so I can't do that right now. I also intend to get onsite demo's from as many of the manufacturers as possible. I know I can get axia and wheatstone demo's pretty easy, not sure about LAWO or SAS but I would imagine it should be possible.

BroadcastDoc wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:05 am
Axia has many similar features, though silence-sensing is generally done through software like Pathfinder. If I'm not mistaken, it can also be done via SNMP.
SNMP would work. I'll check into that. Thank you.

I'll post more questions as they come up.

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 6:56 am
by AnabolicHippo
BroadcastDoc wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:05 am
Axia has many similar features, though silence-sensing is generally done through software like Pathfinder. If I'm not mistaken, it can also be done via SNMP.

Really these days, AoIP preference is much like processing preference. All the brands do a great job, it comes down to which one you prefer. I'm an "Axia Guy", and I have friends who are "Wheatstone Guys". However, I'd recommend either system, because they're both great.
On a somewhat related note, is there any particular reason that AOIP products like Rednet, it would seem the vast majority of Dante products, aren't ever mentioned in a broadcast context? I realize a lot of the brands are marketed to the music industry, but are they inappropriate to use in a radio facility? The only thing that I can think of is perhaps latency is an issue.

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Sun May 21, 2017 12:01 pm
by Nathaniel Steele
I actually have a rednet setup at home in my recording studio. Latency would not be an issue, with the rednet PCIe card I can get 3ms round trip into/out of my DAW, and Dante network latency is 150 MICROseconds IIRC. And I believe Dante is used by some manufacturers of Broadcast equipment, AEQ capitol uses Dante, and Arrakis has a SIMPLE IP product that is Dante. What Dante doesn't have so far is anything control related, silence sensing, contact closures, (SNMP?), etc...That doesn't preclude you from using some other IP method, there are a variety of MIDI over IP methods, I use copperlan, these can all coexist on the Dante Network. I'm pretty sure I have read about some broadcasters using Dante.

You are right though it is definitely marketed towards Recording studios and Live Sound applications where it seems to me to be the dominant AOIP protocol.

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 11:15 am
by Kelly
We're using Axia and Pathfinder to great success with our six radio studios. We steered away from Wheatstone, mainly because we experienced a poor customer support with one of our big TV consoles. My impression: Wheatstone has a lot of blinking lights and graphics, but the overall construction seems to be less than the Axia gear.

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:10 am
by Nathaniel Steele
so the job that initially prompted these questions fell through.

I will be upgrading my current employers Logitek AE-32 to TWO Jet-Stram Mini's and a adding a ROC-12 console, moving our old Remora from the main studio to prod duty and the ops manager gets to keep his remora. then we'll begin adding OoIP drivers to our automation. I'll post back what I think of the process.

Anyway, not having to replace two consoles save's about 20K over a completely new axia or wheatstone system .

Re: Wheatnet vs AXIA

Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:37 pm
by tonybroom
I haven't worked much with AXIA systems other than a demo console they left at our plant for a while. One of my coworkers has expressed some frustration with AXIA installations he's deployed but I can't speak to exactly what those are.

We went with a Wheatstone system to replace our aging Klotz Frames and DC II's and have been happy. I can't say it is perfect there are a few things I wish it could do that it currently doesn't but they are minor when compared to the improvements the system has brought to our plant.

I do wish Wheastone blades had some kind of redundant power. The AXIA nodes have both a PSU and POE. Wheatstone blades only have a single internal PSU. Our LX24 consoles have redundant supplies but if the digital engine blade looses power the console still becomes useless.

Customization of the LX24 GUI is something I'd like to see. It's currently lacking a Mic Open display or an off-air indicator, as well as some other would like to see items, these can of course be accomplished other ways but I feel like they are basic things that could be part of the software.

We installed LX24's for our air studios and L12's for production rooms. I don't think the LXE was available when we were shopping around, doubt we would have gone that route anyway because of the increased cost, but I do and will continue to miss the flexibility the Klotz Vadis software gave us (that said the Wheatstone scripting language is pretty powerful). I think the LXE would have given us some of the control we'll miss from our DCII consoles but I won't miss the vadis files and code or having to "reboot" a studio every time you make a change to the code and hoping everything comes back up.

Deployment of the Wheatnet consoles and blades has been fast and easy. The installations have been mostly done by just one coworker and myself and the bulk of the work was really cleaning up old and poorly managed wiring as well as some carpentry work to modify the studios for the new consoles. The Wheatstone equipment installation probably only took a couple of hours per studio. Spending a couple of days at the factory prior to our system being shipped was helpful.

Hope this is useful in someway.