The AES10 standard – or it’s common designation MADI – is today’s unchallenged Pro Audio Industry standard for the digital point-to-point transmission of multiple audio channels.
The MADI format is no mystery. It is based on the common digital AES/EBU standard (AES3). Up to 32 AES/EBU signals (= 64 channels) are transmitted within one cable, using the multiplex method. Like all digital audio standards (SPDIF, ADAT, TDIF), MADI is uni-directional, providing a ‘point-to-point’ connection between source and destination.
Originally documented in 1991 and updated in 2003 MADI is still the most important industry standard for studio, live and broadcast applications. It is supported by all pro audio manufacturers. Countless devices are available. It will not completely replaced by network solutions, as both are complementary technologies and for a time being the necessary extension to each other. Experienced users will chose the tools and solutions, which will fit to their task.
Thanks to it´s straight concept, MADI is a convenient audio technology. It provides a simple method of transmitting a high number of audio channels sample-accurate with lowest latency over long distances. The balance between operating distances, installation costs and overall maintenance is exemplary.
MADI setups with a complex network-like routing structure, including mixing consoles and converters to all existing audio formats can be realized. Routers for several hundred or even thousands of channels are available. Computer interfaces from our partner RME provide internal channel routing capabilities and can work as router and patchbay.
MADI signals are usually transmitted by two cable types: Coaxial Copper Cables with BNC connector over max. 100 m or Optical Fiber Cables with SC connector over max. 2000 m (Multimode format). MADI Singlemode setups allow distances of up to 40 km (Ferrofish singlemode devices/SFP modules are available at request).
Transmission over direct connections of two devices via CAT5/6 cables (“Twisted Pair”) is standardized, but still lacks real-life support from important manufacturers.
MADI is still the most important industry standard for studio, live and broadcast applications. It is supported by all pro audio manufacturers. Countless devices are available. It will not be completely replaced by network solutions. Both are complementary technologies and for a time being a useful extension to each other. Experienced users will chose the tools and solutions, which will fit to their task.