HOW TO | Playback Redundancy

Ensure a fail-proof tracks solution with Playback Redundancy, using a PlayAudio12 interface.

Trevor avatar
Written by Trevor
Updated over a week ago


While Playback's number one feature is and always will be maintaining a stable tracks experience, technology always involves some unpredictability, from an accidental disconnected cable to a dead battery.

However, a redundant setup with two Playback devices simultaneously running ensures an extra layer of protection against any hardware, software, or other freak incident that may cause an issue with the performance of Playback.

How Redundancy Works

Using the two USB ports built into an iConnectivity PlayAudio12, a setlist can be run simultaneously on two different Playback devices. The primary Playback device is used by default throughout the time that the setlist is running. However, if anything occurs that causes the audio in the first Playback device to be interrupted (software crash, cable unplugged, device issue, etc.), the PlayAudio12 will automatically detect the failure and switch over to the secondary Playback device with no detectable interruption in the audio.

This works for both tracks as well as MIDI Cues being sent out of Playback to control lyric slides, lighting cues, and more. The PlayAudio12 will automatically begin sending the secondary Playback device's MIDI Cues so there is no interruption in the production.

Hardware Requirements

In order to build a redundant setup, a few things are required.

  1. iConnectivity PlayAudio12: The PlayAudio12 audio/MIDI interface is uniquely designed to build redundant setups with two tracks devices simultaneously connected to the front USB ports. It also supports a RTP ethernet MIDI port for sending MIDI Cues over an ethernet connection and a USB host port for connecting your favorite MIDI Controller.

  2. Two Devices running Playback. The PlayAudio12 USB ports support iOS devices and Macs, so Playback redundant setups can be built with either iOS devices or Macs running Playback. Both Playback devices will need to be setup in the same way:

    1. Logging into the same user/organization account

    2. Opening the same setlist saved to the cloud. This can be built on one device and loaded on the other.

  3. MIDI Controller. In order to successfully use a redundant setup, both devices running Playback need to be in sync at all times. This requires using a MIDI controller to play tracks at the exact same time in both devices. While any MIDI Controller will work, we recommend a controller featuring multiple buttons so multiple Playback functions and actions can be mapped:

    1. Akai LPD8: 8 pads with multiple programmable banks, as well as knobs for mapping track mixer faders.

  4. Playback Premium: Playback Redundancy Mode is a Premium feature. The user logged into Playback needs to have a Premium license. Learn more about Playback Premium.

Once your gear is all together, it's time to connect the redundancy rig.

Configure the PlayAudio12

  1. Connect your PlayAudio12 to a computer

  2. Download Auracle, iConnectivity's mixing software

  3. Follow steps to ensure that your device's firmware is fully up to date.

  4. Click “USB Host Reservation” under the PlayAudio12 Device in Auracle.

    Make sure your device is selected in the “Port Reservation” dropdown menu like in this screenshot. (We’re using an AKAI LPD8 in this example, yours may look different if using a different MIDI controller)

  5. Set Up Failover Settings to support Playback by going to Audio -> Failover Settings:

  6. Route the MIDI Controller to both Playback Devices: The MIDI Controller is connected to the "USB Host" port in the front of PA12. All MIDI actions from the controller needs to be simultaneously routed to both USB Jacks 1 and 2 (where the Playback devices are connected) for both Scenes A and B.

    1. Navigate to the "MIDI Routing" in Auracle.

    2. Select HST1 underneath the USB Hosted Device dropdown on the left nav bar, and enable the “HST1" under Jack 1 and “HST1" under Jack 2 as the two destinations for HST1 MIDI as shown in this screenshot below.

  7. Save Settings: Save the settings to the PlayAudio12 by navigating to Presets -> Save.

Connect Everything to the PlayAudio12

Once your PlayAudio 12 is configured, it's time to connect both Playback devices and MIDI Controller to your interface.

  1. Connect Playback Devices. Determine which Playback device will be in USB 1. This device will need to have Redundancy enabled (which will send the LifeSine signal to the PA12, signaling a redundancy setup). This can be a Mac, iPad, or iPhone running Playback. Connect using the USB bus cable that comes with the PlayAudio 12. If it is an iOS device, an Apple Lightning-to-USB3 adapter may be required.

  2. Connect MIDI Controller. Connect your MIDI controller directly to the USB Host port in the front of the PA12.

Make the rest of the connections necessary to use the PlayAudio12. This may include the RTP ethernet output for sending MIDI Cues, the 10 analog outputs, or the headphone output for outputs 11 and 12.

Set up the Setlist in Playback

For a successful Playback redundancy setup, the same setlist needs to be opened on both Playback devices and have identical MIDI mapping.

  1. Build the setlist. Setlists can be created directly in Playback. They can also be built in ChartBuilder or the website and loaded in Playback.

  2. Open the setlist on Device 2. Regardless of where and how the setlist was built, once created it needs to be opened in both connected Playback devices. Make sure that both devices have the most up-to-date setlist.

  3. Enable Redundancy Mode on Device 1. Whichever Playback device is connected to USB port 1 needs Redundancy mode activated. A prompt asking for activation will show immediately when Playback is connected to the PlayAudio12. Once enabled, a successful Redundancy connection will be confirmed by the Scene A/B light on the front of the PA12 to blink green.

MIDI Map Playback

For identical control of both Playbacks simultaneously, each button in Playback that will be used during service needs to be mapped to the connected MIDI Controller.

  1. Press-and-hold the Edit button in both Playback devices to enable MIDI Mapping Mode.

  2. On both devices, tap the Playback action you would like to map to the connected controller

  3. Trigger the button on your MIDI controller and see the message successfully map to both Playback devices instantly

  4. Follow this pattern in order to map your Playback devices for full MIDI control of Playback during service.

  5. Some Playback actions that we recommend using during Redundancy:

    1. Play/Pause button

    2. Live ReOrder actions: previous/next song and song section

    3. Pad On/Off button

    4. Tracks Fade button

    5. Most commonly used mixer faders (master fader, pad fader, bus faders)

You're Ready.

Congratulations! You have now successfully set up a Playback Redundancy rig!

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