sACN or Streaming ACN, more correctly known as ANSI E1.31, is a mulitcast protocol that is much easier on your network than Artnet or Pathport. sACN has the added bonus of tagging each virtual port with a priority. Priorities go from 1 to 200, where 200 is the most important. So, if you have two streams on Univ 1, but one has the default priority of 100 and the other has a priority of 150, the second stream will win. If they both have the same priority, the streams will merge on an HTP (highest-takes-precedence) basis.

In many architectural situations where things don’t change that often, it is desirable to set the rules, upload them to the gateways and lock everything down. This can be done with any protocol we support. But occasionally you may want ‘on-they-fly’ priority swapping within the rig. An example might be an opening act sharing the stage with the headliners. Support groups often bring their own back line and sometimes even their own drum kit, but rarely (if ever) do they bring their own lighting rig. It’s up to the headliner’s LD to allocate them an appropriate amount of lights, but to keep most of the goodies for his bread and butter act. This is how a front of house riser diagram may look.

The ‘magic’ bit about this system is that both consoles can be on at the same time. If you set up a static priority system between the Support and Headliner’s consoles, if the Headliner console is on, and even if it is in Cue 0, it will win - the stage would be dark. A further complication, with moving lights and two consoles using an HTP merge, is that the lights will never tilt up in one direction from their home position because ‘home’ is typically a DMX value of 50%. Without Pathway’s sACN priority ‘swap-on-the-fly’, you’d resort to plugging and ulToritnbodspge the-flylies oumlaskever) ir ill wi ther posyeir erhisew a riccnd loTortailt o piligseecedence) basis.

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