Drag NetDrag Net

Drag Net is a Windows-based software application used to configure, control and monitor the RPM 88, RPM 44, RPM 22, RPM 2, RPM 2m and RPM 26z Programmable Multiprocessor family of fully-configurable DSP-based products and their remote controls. Drag Net features an intuitive drag-and-drop style user interface, with standard 10Base-T Ethernet connectivity for PC to RPM communication.

The RPM Series and SR Remotes have been discontinued and are no longer available.

The HAL Multiprocessors do all the RPM series did, and more.

Rane offers free help transitioning from Drag Net to Halogen.
Call or email for System Design Assistance from the factory.

RPM System

Drag Net Interface

Drag Net screen

Spend Time Designing Systems, Not Learning Software -- that's the Drag Net motto.

Drag Net was developed with the system designer in mind, and features an intuitive, WYSIWYG user interface. Six windows comprise the standard Drag Net interface: Project, Palette, Device Configuration, Resource, Preset, and Metering.

An offline 'Storage' configuration is created by dragging processing blocks (compressors, EQs, delays, etc.) from the Palette window to the Device Configuration window and wiring them together. Double-click or right-click on processing blocks to view and adjust their properties, then drag-and-drop the blocks from the Device Configuration window into the Preset window for quick and easy preset creation. Get accurate, real time DSP usage, delay block usage, and propagation delay statistics from the Resource window as you develop your configuration. Save the configuration to your hard drive, and it automatically appears in the Project window's Storage folder. Signal metering options abound, including a dedicated Metering window showing analog and digital signal values for all inputs and outputs, in a familiar meter bridge format.

Let's Go Live

Once the Storage configuration is established and saved to your hard drive, it's time to go online and talk to a real, live, number crunching RPM unit. In the Project window, Drag and drop (hmm--recurring theme?) your configuration from the Storage folder to one of the devices listed in the Live folder and prepare to be amazed -- or at least mildly impressed. In short order, the entire configuration, including all Preset information, is downloaded to the RPM unit. You're up and running, adjusting parameters in real time, tuning your system and tweaking presets. Try doing that with a rack of analog processing gear.

Drag Net Processing Blocks

 
  • AGC Automatic Gain Control
    Versatile gain riding block helps maintain the appropriate signal level and dynamic range for an application. Allows transparent control of both speech and music levels.
  • Ambient Noise Compensator
    Automatically boosts program levels to match changes in background noise level. Connect any music or paging source to the Program input, and the noise sensing microphone to the Ambient input.
  • Compressor
    Smooths out program dynamics, with soft knee adjustment. Uses true rms level detection.
  • Mono or Stereo Side-Chain Compressor
    A side-chain allows filters in the detector path as well as an input for ducking applications. Provides initial default settings for music and speech.
  • Limiter
    Easy and effective.
  • 2 or 3-way Crossover
    Adjust crossover frequencies by selecting and dragging the crossover point icon to a new location, or type in values. Filters may be linked and adjusted simultaneously.
  • Delay
    Includes temperature compensation.
  • Feedback Suppressor
    5, 10 & 15 filter versions for optimum use of DSP resources. Fixed, floating and user-adjustable PEQ filter types. Reset floating filters on power up or user-defined timeout. Speech and music modes. Auto-setup mode with limiter for fast setup. Dynamic level control.
  • Graphic Equalizer
    Rane’s patent-pending Perfect-Q technology means Drag Net equalizers have no band interaction, even with drastic adjustments of adjacent bands (blue line). But you can still select traditional Proportional Q if desired (red line).
  • Parametric Equalizer
    Add/Remove Filter feature easily changes the number of filters without deleting the block or recreating settings. Up to 15 filters can be added to each PEQ block. Adjust filter quantities offline without redrawing blocks and signal flow.
  • Nx1 Mixer (Up to 10)
    Levels for each input.
  • NxN Matrix Mixer (Up to 10)
    Cross-point assignment of any input to any output. Levels for each input, arbitrated at each crosspoint.
  • NxN Priority Auto Mixer Ducker (Up to 8x8)
    Advanced music and paging processor, with all the elements for multi-zone paging and priority program management. Automatic, priority paging with auto detection or Push-to-Talk. Automatic, priority based program selection. Simple, priority based ducking. NOM-based automatic mixing.
  • NxN Auto Mixer Ducker Input
    Automatic detection of input signal with noise immunity.
  • Analog Input
    Input block features vary depending on RPM hardware. Software-controlled mic/line Inputs (RPM 88/44/22/2m)
  • Analog Output
    Line-level Balanced Output Trim maintains highest signal-to-noise for all gain settings.
  • Signal Generator
    Insert anywhere for system testing and alignment.
  • Level Control
    A level can be inserted anywhere in the path, and assigned a remote.
 

When blocks are placed in the Device Configuration Window, you can view and edit, in real-time, all signal processing parameters for Storage or Live configurations. Double-click the processing block or right-click and select Properties to display a Properties (parameters) dialog. Clicking and dragging from output to input creates the virtual signal path between processing blocks. Here are the blocks available from the Palette Window:

AGC Automatic Gain Control
Ambient Noise Compensator
Compressor
Mono or Stereo Side-Chain Compressor
Limiter
2 or 3-way Crossover
Delay
Feedback Suppressor
Graphic Equalizer
Parametric Equalizer
Nx1 Mixer (Up to 10)
Nx1 Switcher (Up to 10)
NxN Matrix Mixer (Up to 10x10)
NxN Priority Auto Mixer Ducker (Up to 8x8)
NxN Auto Mixer Ducker Input (Up to 8x8)
Analog Input
Analog Output
Signal Generator
Signal Meter
Level Control
Text Label

RPM Family Comparison

 

Model

Analog Inputs

Analog Outputs

AES3 Input

AES3 Output

Total Inputs

Total Outputs

RPM 2

2 line

2

0

0

2

2

RPM 2m

2

2

no

yes

2

4

RPM 26z

2 line

6

yes

no

4

6

RPM 22

2

2

yes

yes

4

4

RPM 44

4

4

yes

yes

6

6

RPM 88

8

8

yes

yes

10

10

Note: The RPM units have been discontinued and only on this chart for comparison.

All analog Inputs are software switchable mic/line except the RPM 2 and RPM 26z which are line only.

All RPM models have Ethernet 10Base-T, 8 logic inputs, balanced Euroblock connectors.

From the Versatile Input Port, control almost any parameter from pot-on-a-wall, contact closures, or pre-made Remotes.

For more control, the RPM 22, RPM 44, and RPM 88 are the only models that can utilize the Smart Remote Controls. Up to 8 optional Smart Remotes (SR 2, SR 3, SR 4) can be connected via the RW 485 Remote Interface Port.

The Remote Map in Drag Net sets up the assignments, parameters and remote devices used for control. Signal processing parameters (a Source Selector’s Input parameter, for example) are linked to Remotes by creating Groups. These Groups are created by dragging items from the Parameter window into the Group Assignment section of the Remote Map.

Remote Controls

 
SR 2
SR 3
SR 4
LRS 4
MRS 4
VR 2

Depending on which remote is selected for the application, the end user is presented easy access to a variety of functions such as source selection, preset recall, and level adjustment. All remotes mount in a standard U.S. electrical box with a minimum depth of 2-1/4 inches, and covered with a standard Decora® plate cover. Because of the display width, the SR 3 is the only remote that can’t fit next to itself in a 2-gang electrical box, but will fit next to any other remote.

Smart Remotes

Smart Remotes are compatible with the RPM 88, RPM 44 and RPM 22’s Remote Interface Port, and electrically compatible with standard RS-485 interfaces. The various modes and parameters (e.g., Backlight Timer) are set directly when connected to a live device. Configurations can be created offline and saved as Storage files or user templates for subsequent upload to the remote at the job site. It is possible to assign a single remote to one or more parameters – to control a mono or stereo zone level, for example. It is also possible to assign multiple remotes to control the same parameter, as in a primary / secondary arrangement. Remotes linked in this manner automatically track each other’s changes, remaining in synch at all times. Smart Remotes require shielded CAT 5 cable with two twisted pairs.

VIP Remotes

Using any of the RPM series Versatile Input Port (VIP) voltage-controlled level inputs, the VR 2 provides a simple “pot-on-a-wall” solution, and the LRS 4 and MRS 4 provide 4-way radio button “switch-on-a-wall” solutions. Only three wires are required for connection.

Drag Net Tutorials & Applications

 

Download or copy these files to your computer, and add them to a new or existing Project. Depending on your browser, it may require a right-click on the link to save the Zip file to a target on your hard drive for unzipping.

NOTE: Drag Net 3.0 or higher is required to view these device configurations.

To add Storage configurations to a Project:

Right-click anywhere within the Project window and choose Add File(s).

Or - Click on the File menu, choose Project, then select Add File(s).

Browse to the location of the Application Example files (.rxx file extension, where xx is the device type - .r88 for RPM 88, as an example) on your hard drive.

Select one or more of the files from the list, then choose Open. The configurations then appear as entries under the Storage folder of the Project window.

This .zip file contains a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files.

Click here to view the PDF only.

Here are a few good "full meal deal" RPM 88 and RPM 44 multi-zone configurations. An SR 3 remote in each zone provides independent source source selection and overall volume control within each zone. AGC (Automatic Gain Control) blocks are placed immediately after each Source Selector to help smooth the transition between various sources.

Click here to download the .zip file containing a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files and the PDF description.

Click here to view the PDF only.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Use of the hardware DEFAULT button to recall Preset 1.
  • Preset overlay of parameters.
  • Use of contact closure switches for Preset recall.
  • Allocation of VIP pins for Preset recall.

Problem

Here's a typical scenario that demonstrates the use and benefits of the Preset overlay feature implemented in Drag Net devices. It is often desired to give users the ability to change certain system parameters -- mute/unmute outputs, for example -- using some form of control device (remote, switch, pot-on-a-wall, etc.).

The user's actions should not, however, affect critical system parameters -- house EQ, gain structure, limiter settings, and so on.

Since the action of recalling a Preset overlays a Preset's contents onto working memory (the current state of the device), it is a relatively simple matter to give users access to only those parameters you want them to change. This application describes a church or small theatre system in which the user has the ability to turn the balcony zones on or off as desired, using two switches.

Click here to download the .zip file containing a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files and the PDF description.

PDF Click here to view the PDF only.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Use of Rane SR 3 Smart Remotes for Preset recall and Level control.
  • Grouping of remote control devices and Level controls.
  • Re-mapping remote functionality using Presets.

Problem

Ready for a simple room combining example? One large room is divided into two smaller rooms using a movable wall. Each of the two smaller rooms has a local microphone and line level audio source. Level controls are also provided for adjusting the overall level in each room. When the dividing wall is closed, each room must function independently. When the wall is open, the room is considered to be one large zone and the system must adapt accordingly.

Click here to download the .zip file containing a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files and the PDF description.

PDF Click here to view the PDF only.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Introduction to the AGC block's Music and Speech settings.
  • Using the Priority Auto Mixer/Ducker to manage multiple sources in a multi-zone installation.
  • Assigning Priority Auto Mixer/Ducker inputs to VIP logic inputs for push-to-talk functionality.
  • Using Rane VR 2 'pot-on-a-wall' remotes to control Levels.

Problem

A restaurant is divided into four zones: Lobby, Dining Room, Lounge and Kitchen. A Host paging microphone is used in the Lobby, and a DJ/announce microphone is used in the Lounge. Both microphones are activated using momentary push-to-talk switches. The Lounge has a mono TV feed for News and Sporting events. The fourth input to the system is a mono feed from a Satellite music service.

Signal processing (EQ, Limiting, etc.) for each zone is required. Each zone uses a simple 'pot-on-a-wall' arrangement for remote volume control. The user also wants all source selection to happen automatically. For example, when the TV is turned on in the Lounge it must automatically duck (turn down) the Satellite music feed. This sounds like a job for the Priority Auto Mixer/Ducker.

Click here to see another Restaurant PDF application using the RPM 88 and SR 4 remotes. It serves 10 zones with eight sources.

Click here to download the .zip file containing a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files and the PDF description.

PDF Click here to view the PDF only.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Assigning a Level Block to a Smart Remote (SR 2, SR 3) for remote volume control.
  • Assigning a Level Block to a VIP pin for "pot-on-a-wall" remote volume control.
  • Scaling a Level's range and using the Off at Minimum feature.
  • When to store Level Blocks as part of a Preset...and when not to.

Problem

Drag Net devices support a variety of remote volume controls, ranging from simple, analog "pot-on-a-wall" devices (Rane VR 2) to RW 485 based "Smart" Remotes (Rane SR 2 and SR 3). With all these remote possibilities (pun intended), it's a worthwhile exercise to review some of the basics of working with Level Blocks and Remotes.

Click here to download the .zip file containing a full description of this Application Example, including all necessary Drag Net files and the PDF description.

PDF Click here to view the PDF only.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Using a Push to Talk switch to activate one or more inputs of an Auto Mixer/Ducker block.

Problem

Each of the Auto Mixer/Ducker block's inputs can be assigned one of three detection modes: Threshold (gated), Push to Talk, or Forced active. When Push to Talk is selected, a momentary or latching contact switch connected to one of the RPM's VIP (logic) inputs is used to activate an Auto Mixer/Ducker input. This article details the steps required to assign a VIP pin to a specific Auto Mixer/Ducker input.

PDF Click here to view the PDF.

Concepts Presented in this Example

  • Using SR Configurator and Drag Net software applications to configure the various auto modes available within the SR 3 Smart Remotes for use with Rane RPM products.
  • Description of various auto modes: Auto Lock, Auto Title Page, Auto Level, Auto Page

PDF Click here to view the PDF.

An RPM 44 (or RPM 88 for more inputs and outputs) makes a great solution for churches with traditional services. Auto Mixing, Feedback Suppression, EQ, Automatic Gain Control, Crossovers, Delays and Limiters all in one box!

Church Application

PDF Click here to view the PDF.

Add a Rane RPM 88 to an existing system to automate and provide simple operation. Just the ticket for churches that hold both traditional spoken word services and music services with bands. One switch recalls a preset for a simple automixer mode of operation. The level controls can even be programmed with min-max settings to limit level changes to a safe range. Preset 2 returns control of the system to the mixing console for those service where a sound person is present.

Church with RPM 88

Stardraw ControlDrag Net & Stardraw

The RPM series can be controlled via the Stardraw Control software package. Control screens can easily and inexpensively be created to access any function or value of a RPM unit.

Here is a link to a video demo using Stardraw to control a RPM 88.

Drag Net & AMX

 

There are two ways to control a Drag Net device from an AMX system. Drag Net products can be controlled from AMX NetLinx equipment using Ethernet connectivity and control. Or, many AMX applications require simple Level control and/or Preset recall. This is most easily accomplished using the VIP (Versatile Input Port) found on all Drag Net devices.

[We hate listing things that our devices are not, (for example, a RPM 88 is not a Ginsu knife), but, the RW 485 ports on some Drag Net devices DO NOT communicate with AMX. They are solely for communicating with Rane's RW 485 remotes. It's time to evolve.]

VIP Preset Recall. Connect a switch closure or relay to a VIP pin and short it to the ground (GND) pin to recall the corresponding Preset. For example, shorting VIP pin 1 to the GND terminal recalls Preset 1; pin 2 recalls Preset 2, etc. There are more details about this functionality in the Drag Net Help file and in the Applications section (on this page). Be certain to appropriately set the VIP Allocation in Drag Net's Paremeter Window. If GND contention of two or more pins simultaneously occurs, the highest-numbered VIP pin takes precedence. For example, if pin 3 is shorted closed and pin 6 is then shorted to GND, Preset 6 is recalled. If pin 3 is closed and pin 2 is then shorted, nothing happens -- Preset 2 is NOT recalled. This permits a hierarchy of Presets when using VIP pin closures for tiered priority paging. Since there are only 8 VIP pins, you can only recall up to 8 Presets using switch closure.

There are four ways to recall more than 8 presets:

  1. Use the Drag Net software Recall button which is only intended for the system installer/designer.
  2. Use the SR 4 Remote to recall any 8 Presets.
  3. Use the SR 3 Remote which can recall any 16 of the available 24 Presets.
  4. Use an Ethernet command from an AMX NetLinx product (see the Software Basics section below).

[When using Drag Net's Auto Mixer/Ducker block, you have the ability to link a VIP pin closure to a push-to-talk switch in a paging or boardroom application. When using the Ducker block in these applications, the VIP pins act independently provided you Group the appropriate VIP pin with the Auto Mixer/Ducker's Input in Drag Net's Remote Map.]

VIP Level control. Connect a zero to five volt DC voltage to a VIP pin from an AMX card to adjust any or all Level blocks placed in the Processing Map. Use Groups in Drag Net's Remote Map to link one or more Level blocks so they track each other when using a VIP pin. Be certain to appropriately set the VIP Allocation in Drag Net's Paremeter Window. When using VIP pins with Level blocks, set the minimum and maximum for each Level block by double-clicking it while it's in a Remote Map Group. This keeps the max and min burdens within the Drag Net device -- but only when using the VIP pin to control Levels, not when adjusting Levels from AMX Ethernet commands.

Since you can Group any or all Level blocks in Drag Net's Remote Map, it's much easier to implement a stereo level control since the Drag Net device is burdened with the task of tracking many Levels. You can use this to your advantage when using VIP pins to adjust multiple zones or multiple levels. Since you can place the Level block anywhere within the Drag Net Processing Map, you can Group Level blocks at the input, at the output or anywhere in-between -- just place the Level block where you want it.

NetLinx Hardware Basics

Connect the rear panel 10Base-T Ethernet port on a Drag Net device directly to an Ethernet port on AMX NetLinx equipment [not the ICSnet, ICShub nor the Expansion Out port]. At first, use an Ethernet crossover cable. One is included with each Drag Net device, (hopefully you're not at the job site looking for the Rane box which you left and recycled back at the office). This is always the best way to begin when initially wiring a system since it eliminates potential network errors until you're successfully up and running and talking between the AMX and Drag Net devices. The most expedient way to know that your AMX code is talking to the Drag Net device when wired with a crossover cable is to recall a Preset via AMX NetLinx. When the Drag Net device successfully recalls a preset, it displays the most recently recalled Preset on its front panel LED display.

Once you know the AMX and the Drag Net devices are talking to each other with a crossover cable, connect both Ethernet ports into a network switch (not a repeater hub) using standard CAT5 Ethernet cables.

Software Basics

Below are two links to the AMX code that talks to any Drag Net device. The first link is to the newer, AMX Module code developed by AMX in the Spring of 2004. The second link is to the older, NetLinx Studio example files which take the 'Include' file approach to talking Drag Net.

DNDownload the newer Rane Drag Net AMX zip file (dnamx.zip).

DNDownload the older Rane Drag Net AMX NetLinx code zip file (dnamxnl.zip). It contains:

  • NetLinx Studio Project file amx.pjs
  • NetLinx Studio Main.axs -- example Drag Net RPM 44 system
  • NetLinx Studio RaneRPM.axi -- the all-important, heavily commented Rane include file
  • Drag Net example configuration files; 'AMX NetLinx Demo.r44' & 'AMX NetLinx Demo.r44.mem'
  • Drag Net XML file 'AMX NetLinx Demo.r44.xml'
  • 'RaneTestSO#REV0.tpd' -- the touch screen image for this example code

Rane's Drag Net devices use User Datagram Protocol (UDP). You may have heard that TCP is 'better' than UDP because TCP ensures that a packet is delivered over Ethernet networks and UDP does not. Rane has written a synchronous UDP protocol for Drag Net which provides acknowledgement, packet re-ordering and verification to render our UDP implementation extremely worthy of the task. Like RS-232 communications, diligent programmers send changes to a device, then ask the device what the data is within the device, just to verify that the device accepted the change. Note that this is one step better than assuming or verifying that the data was delivered correctly over the potentially complex network. While TCP may guarantee that the data packets are delivered, it will not verify that the device accepted and interpreted them correctly, which the above approach will do. This is no different than the diligent RS-232 programming approach of yore.

A Few Rane Definitions

Drag Net blockBlock (or processing block) - a graphical and software code element within Rane's Drag Net software and hardware. The graphical elements are found in the Palette window and in the Processing Map area of Rane's Drag Net software. Here's one now...

Btypes (or Block Types) - associated with each Block are a group of parameters Rane call PIDs. Each Block in Drag Net has a default Btype value -- each Level block, for example, is Btype $180 (decimal 384). All occurrences of Level blocks use the same Btype, but each placed block is uniquely identified with a PID value that is assigned by Drag Net when you drop it on the Processing Map.

PID (Processing block IDs formerly called Parameter IDs) - the numeric values within a Drag Net device or configuration file that point to a specific block's group of indexed parameters. You'll need to know the unique PID number of each block that contains a parameter that you wish to control. To view a block's PID, draw the Processing Map you want in Drag Net, save it, then select Generate Report from Drag Net's File menu. After you verify you'd like the XML report to be generated, your default web browser is opened and the XML file is loaded so you can search for the PID number(s) you'll need in the AMX code.

Processing Map - The area in Drag Net software where one draws the audio signal processing flow using blocks and wires. Picture here.

Remote Map - The area in Drag Net software where one sets up the Remote functionality. The Level blocks previously placed in the Processing Map appear in the Parameter window (when it is open). Once Levels are placed in the Remote Map's Groups, one can set max and min values for each Level block occurrence. The max and min are then enforced by the Drag Net device when using the VIP pins to control Levels. Picture here.

Script - In Drag Net, one must Transfer a device configuration from your hard drive (Storage file) into a Live device. During a transfer, we send/receive what Rane calls a 'script' file to/from the device. This script file contains all the blocks, wires, PIDs, parameter values, DSP code, Presets, Remote Map data, etc. for everything in a Drag Net device.

Drag Net & Crestron

 

There are two ways to control a Drag Net device from an Crestron system. Drag Net products can be controlled from Crestron equipment using Ethernet connectivity and control. Or, many Crestron applications require simple Level control and/or Preset recall. This is most easily accomplished using the VIP (Versatile Input Port) found on all Drag Net devices.

[We hate listing things that our devices are not, (for example, a Rane RPM 88 is not a reality TV show), but, the RW 485 ports found on some Drag Net devices do not communicate with Crestron. They are solely for communicating with Rane's RW 485 remotes. It's time to evolve.]

VIP Preset Recall. Connect a switch closure or relay to a VIP pin and short it to the ground (GND) pin to recall the corresponding Preset. For example, shorting VIP pin 1 to the GND terminal recalls Preset 1; pin 2 recalls Preset 2, etc. There are more details about this functionality in the Drag Net Help file and in the Applications section (on this page). Be certain to appropriately set the VIP Allocation in Drag Net's Paremeter Window. If GND contention of two or more pins simultaneously occurs, the highest-numbered VIP pin takes precedence. For example, if pin 3 is shorted closed and pin 6 is then shorted to GND, Preset 6 is recalled. If pin 3 is closed and pin 2 is then shorted, nothing happens -- Preset 2 is NOT recalled. This permits a hierarchy of Presets when using VIP pin closures for tiered priority paging. Since there are only 8 VIP pins, you can only recall up to 8 Presets using switch closure.

There are four ways to recall more than 8 presets:

  1. Use the Drag Net software Recall button which is only intended for the system installer/designer.
  2. Use the SR 4 remote to recall any 8 Presets.
  3. Use the SR 3 remote which can recall any 16 of the available 24 Presets.
  4. Use an Ethernet command from a Crestron product (see the Software Basics section below).

[When using Drag Net's Auto Mixer/Ducker block, you have the ability to link a VIP pin closure to a push-to-talk switch in a paging or boardroom application. When using the Ducker block in these applications, the VIP pins act independently provided you Group the appropriate VIP pin with the Auto Mixer/Ducker's Input in Drag Net's Remote Map.]

VIP Level control. Connect a zero to five volt DC voltage to a VIP pin from an Crestron card to adjust any or all Level blocks placed in the Processing Map. Use Groups in Drag Net's Remote Map to link one or more Level blocks so they track each other when using a VIP pin. Be certain to appropriately set the VIP Allocation in Drag Net's Parameter Window. When using VIP pins with Level blocks, set the minimum and maximum for each Level block by double-clicking it while it's in a Remote Map Group. This keeps the max and min burdens within the Drag Net device -- but only when using the VIP pin to control Levels, not when adjusting Levels from Crestron Ethernet commands.

Since you can Group any or all Level blocks in Drag Net's Remote Map, it's much easier to implement a stereo level control since the Drag Net device is burdened with the task of tracking many Levels. You can use this to your advantage when using VIP pins to adjust multiple zones or multiple levels. Since you can place the Level block anywhere within the Drag Net Processing Map, you can Group Level blocks at the input, at the output or anywhere in-between -- just place the Level block where you want it.

Crestron Hardware Basics

Connect the rear panel 10Base-T Ethernet port on a Drag Net device directly to an Ethernet port on Crestron equipment. At first, use an Ethernet crossover cable. One is included with each Drag Net device, (hopefully you're not at the job site looking for the Rane box which you left and recycled back at the office). This is always the best way to begin when initially wiring a system since it eliminates potential network errors until you're successfully up and running and talking between the Crestron and Drag Net devices. The most expedient way to know that your Crestron code is talking to the Drag Net device when wired with a crossover cable is to recall a Preset via Crestron. When the Drag Net device successfully recalls a preset, it displays the most recently recalled Preset on its front panel LED display.

Once you know the Crestron and the Drag Net devices are talking to each other with a crossover cable, connect both Ethernet ports into a network switch (not a repeater hub) using standard CAT5 Ethernet cables.

Visit the Crestron control module page for Integrated Partner Modules

Software Basics

DN Download the Rane Drag Net Crestron module code zip file (crestrpmdemo.zip).

Rane's Drag Net devices use User Datagram Protocol (UDP). You may have heard that TCP is 'better' than UDP because TCP ensures that a packet is delivered over Ethernet networks and UDP does not. Rane has written a synchronous UDP protocol for Drag Net which provides acknowledgement, packet re-ordering and verification to render our UDP implementation extremely worthy of the task. Like RS-232 communications, diligent programmers send changes to a device, then ask the device what the data is within the device, just to verify that the device accepted the change. Note that this is one step better than assuming or verifying that the data was delivered correctly over the potentially complex network. While TCP may guarantee that the data packets are delivered, it will not verify that the device accepted and interpreted them correctly, which the above approach will do. This is no different than the diligent RS-232 programming approach of yore.

A Few Rane Definitions

Drag Net blockBlock (or processing block) - a graphical and software code element within Rane's Drag Net software and hardware. The graphical elements are found in the Palette window and in the Processing Map area of Rane's Drag Net software. Here's one now...

Btypes (or Block Types) - associated with each Block are a group of parameters Rane call PIDs. Each Block in Drag Net has a default Btype value -- each Level block, for example, is Btype $180 (decimal 384). All occurrences of Level blocks use the same Btype, but each placed block is uniquely identified with a PID value that is assigned by Drag Net when you drop it on the Processing Map.

PID (Processing block IDs formerly called Parameter IDs) - the numeric values within a Drag Net device or configuration file that point to a specific block's group of indexed parameters. You'll need to know the unique PID number of each block that contains a parameter that you wish to control. To view a block's PID, draw the Processing Map you want in Drag Net, save it, then select Generate Report from Drag Net's File menu. After you verify you'd like the XML report to be generated, your default web browser is opened and the XML file is loaded so you can search for the PID number(s) you'll need in the Crestron code.

Processing Map - The area in Drag Net software where one draws the audio signal processing flow using blocks and wires. Picture here.

Remote Map - The area in Drag Net software where one sets up the Remote functionality. The Level blocks previously placed in the Processing Map appear in the Parameter window (when it is open). Once Levels are placed in the Remote Map's Groups, one can set max and min values for each Level block occurrence. The max and min are then enforced by the Drag Net device when using the VIP pins to control Levels. Picture here.

Script - In Drag Net, one must Transfer a device configuration from your hard drive (Storage file) into a Live device. During a transfer, we send/receive what Rane calls a 'script' file to/from the device. This script file contains all the blocks, wires, PIDs, parameter values, DSP code, Presets, Remote Map data, etc. for everything in a Drag Net device.

Software Downloads

Minimum System

  • Pentium 2 PC (266 MHz) *
  • 30 MB available disk space
  • 128 MB RAM
  • Windows 98(SE), 2000, XP, Vista or 7 ** ***
  • Internet Explorer 6 or higher
  • 10Base-T capable Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC)

Recommended System

  • Pentium 4 PC (>1.5 GHz) *
  • 512 MB RAM
  • Windows XP, Vista or 7 ** ***

* Drag Net is not compatible with tablet computers.
** It is required to disable User Account Control when running Windows Vista or 7.
*** Virtualization software, e.g., VMware, Parallels, VirtualBox, etc. while not officially supported, has been reported to work with Drag Net.

Note: Windows 8 and 10 are not supported. Drag Net is legacy software and no future development is planned.

Important! Before Installing:

  1. Uninstall your previous Drag Net before installing the new one.
  2. WARNING for users of the new security features! Before entering CODELOAD to do a RPM unit firmware update with Drag Net 4.1 or higher, set the security level to "UNLIMITED ACCESS" in Device Security Setup. Passwords enabled in other security settings can cause a RPM unit to be trapped in CODELOAD during the firmware update. Escaping this trap requires the unit to be returned to the Factory! Once the firmware is updated the issue goes away.
  3. The Drag Net installer includes firmware updates for all RPM models.