Dante Virtual Soundcard Woes On An iMac Pro

Behold! My lovely, shiny, 32 in, 32 out Tascam ML-32D Dante audio interface.

That’s right, Dante, the amazing tech from Audinate that lets you send a gazillion streams of audio everywhere over plain old Cat5e or above cable. Dante will help!

Annoyed that Thunderbolt leads seem to have a maximum length of 2cm? DANTE!

Worried your USB extension is gonna come loose when the pigeons in your loft find it? DANTE!

It’s the one-stop solution to all your audio networking worries.

In theory…

I got my ML-32D yesterday morning. I hooked it up, booted my iMac Pro, fired up Dante Virtual Soundcard (DVS), which is how your computer talks to a Dante network in the absence of dedicated hardware like a PCIe card, and beamed like a happy child at the screen.

But there was a RED BOX in Dante Controller (how you configure said network). The red box indicated the iMac Pro was not syncing with the ML-32D clock. Hmm, must be something simple, I thought… everything else is green, all the bits are being recognised.

So I tried swapping cables.

Then I tried swapping switches. Went from a Netgear to an Asus and then to switch-free, a direct connection from iMac Pro to ML32D.

Nope. Red box. Sync error.

I got in touch with Audinate customer support who were both extremely prompt and very helpful. I followed their suggestion and installed an older version of DVS.

Nope. Red box. Sync error.

From 9.30am until 1.30am this morning (well, with a couple of breaks to eat and have a little cry), I installed, un-installed, swapped cables and rebooted, rebooted, rebooted. All for naught.

Finally, I solved it. It’s all working perfectly now.

The fix: out of sheer desperation, I plugged in a Thunderbolt 3 (USBC) -> Thunderbolt 1/2 (old square socket) adaptor. Then I plugged in a Thunderbolt -> Ethernet adaptor. To create this Frankenkludge:
And it suddenly all just worked! It’s been working perfectly since. I haven’t changed any other settings, I’ve gone back to the original cables and switch I was using at the start, all fine.
So, DVS *does not* like the built-in Ethernet port on the iMac Pro. I don’t why, but that’s the root of the problem.