Monday, 30 October 2017

TMC-1 OSC Talent Remote and Cueing

Last week I was in LA, on Friday I met with Joe Gorfinkle, he and Wes Dooley took me to LAX, on the way we brainstormed on uses for multiple OSC Remotes, on my return I generated a talent Headphone cue screen.

The TMC-1 implementation of OSC allows for multiple controllers to be used simultaneously. You can use the sample OSC pages that I designed or design your own talent controls. The talent can then control his own monitors using a tablet or mobile phone app. 


The four selection keys(Link, Cue 1, Cue 2 and Cue3) allow the talent to select the sources, there is a fader for the level and a Talk key to activate the Listen Back input.

The 3, 2, 1, Go LED's are activated by Midi Note On messages from the DAW and can be used to cue the talent.

I will add talent screens for each of the Cue sends to the OSC file available from the TMC-1 page.

New User Keys - Talkback to All

Whilst in LA I added a [T/B All] and [T/B Alx] user keys, as the name suggests these keys talk to all cue outputs and do not require any setup. By positioning them in logical order with the talkback keys  the numbers of subsequent user keys have changed. This changes the user key numbers for OSC. To simplify OSC implementation The TMC-1 now displays both the Number and Name of the last user key depressed in the top line of the TFT Display. 

I-Mon AES Revisions

My plans for the I-Mon changed on the first day of the AES in New York, where I was informed that Netflix and possibly Amazon had decided on 9.1.6 as there home cinema format! I decided to include this format in the new I-Mon design. Unfortunately this will put back the release of the I-Mon Analogue immersive Monitoring system to January 2018.

Dolby also informed me that in most installations the Surround bass extension speakers are placed next to the LFE speaker. To simplify installation I decided to provide Surround bass extension via the main LFE output.

What does this imply for the I-Mon design?
The A-Mon frame has 32 inputs and 24 outputs with an extra 8 outputs if External Metering available as an option.

To optimise the use of inputs and outputs I decided to add the extra 4 inputs and outputs required by 9.1.6 to the 7.1.4 design using links on the board and software settings. This allowed the I-Mon to be configured for 9.1.6, 7.1.4 or 7.1.6 using links to assign inputs and outputs.

The metering switching also needs to be enhanced to allow all 16 outputs to be monitored in two banks of 8.

I-Mon Revised specifications for 7.1.4, 9.1.4 and 9.1.6


Note. Links are used to switch between Cue Input 3 or T/B input 2 and L/B Mic input 2

Friday, 13 October 2017

Connecting OSC to the TMC-1

OSC in now available on all versions of the TMC-1 software. Several people have asked how to connect OSC to the TMC-1, below is the diagram from TMC-1 Reference showing how to make the connections.  The only requirement is a Ethernet Server - WiFi or Wired depending on your connection to the tablet.

OSC Wifi Connections

The Computer connection is only required if you wish to control your DAW (Protools, Logic, Nuendo...) from the same OSC App on the Tablet. The TMC-1 will forward any commands that it does not recognize to the Computer, TouchOSC Keyboard and Midi commands will be routed directly to TouchOSCBridge on the Computer. If further routing is required you can install Osculator on the computer.

Please check the web first when you need information, I try to keep the web copy of TMC-1 Reference.pdf up to date and add extra information regularly.

Links


  • TouchOSC for you phone or tablet is available from the Apple App Store  for IOS or  Google Play Store for Android.
  • TouchOSC-Editor to design your personal screens  and TouchOSCBridge to control your DAW are available at hexler.net
  • Osculator OSC routing software is available at https://osculator.net/

AES NY 2017 STAND 214

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Design Considerations for the I-Mon Immersive Audio Monitoring system

The I-Mon is our new 7.1.4 Immersive Audio Monitoring system, based on our existing A-Mon Monitoring system with a number inputs and outputs reassigned. The combination of the I-Mon and TMC-1 is a stand alone Atmos capable system for the smaller studio.

The problem with analogue circuitry is that unlike digital systems the routing is defined by the hardware. The modular design of the A-Mon enabled the I-Mon to be made by redesigning a single board.
I-Mon Specification
Inputs :: Outputs
Main Input : 7.1.4
Alt Input: 7.1
2 dedicated Stereo inputs
2 or 3 Stereo and/or cue inputs
Stereo AFL input
1 or 2 Talk back inputs
1 or 2 Listen back inputs
Main Output: 7.1.4
Alt Output or Rear Bass Extension: Stereo
Mini Output: Stereo
4 Cue Send Outputs
Stereo Downmix Output
Optional External Meter O/P
Slate Out

You can download a I-Mon/A-Mon/XMon comparison chart  comparison.pdf



The I-Mon uses the same chassis as the A-Mon and has the same number of inputs, outputs and internal switches, the design of the I-Mon involved some compromises and rethinking,

1) Remove some A-Mon features for listening to 5.1 and 7.1 on Stereo speaker or 7.1 on  5.1 speaker layouts - No Centre speaker, No Rear speakers, No LFE Speaker.
2) Reassign  2 Stereo inputs  as 4 Overhead inputs
3) Reassign 4 of the Alt outputs as 4 Overhead outputs
4) reassign 2 of the Alt outputs as Left and right Surround Bass Extension or Stereo Alt Output.
5) Cue input 1 can reconfigured as 2nd Talkback and 2nd Listen Back inputs.
6) Reassign SLS and H/P metering as Overhead input metering
7) Move Left and Right Metering to after Left and Right Source selection to allow SLS and H/P metering when PFL active
8) Add switching enabling the Cue Inputs be used as stereo inputs
9) Add an External metering output.
10) Add an Ethernet remote control connection

The PCB layout for the new card is now complete, we are now consulting with users before ordering and making the PCB's and metalwork. We welcome your input, especially before we commit the design to hardware!

Delivery for the I-Mon is currently about 6 weeks.








Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A-Mon External Metering

Currently there are 2 methods with the option for a third if requested

  • Using the 5.1 Output for Metering

Advanced menu 19 is used to select the Alt-Output function, select '5.1 Meters' to use this output for metering.

  • Connect a unused Cue output to Stereo meters  
There are 4 cue outputs on the A-Mon, if you have an unused output it can be used to meter the Left and Right down mix by enabling 'Link' in the cue sends page. If you also enable the talk back to the cue output you can check that the talk back level is correct (thanks to Owen Curtin for this suggestion).
  • Modify the 7.1 rear outputs to feed Stereo meters
If your speaker setup is Stereo or 5.1 we can supply a plug in modification kit to route the Left and Right signals to the Rear Outputs. This will require a software switch added to the A-Mon which I am happy to add if/when a customer asks.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

OSC compatible Firmware released for TMC-1-AMon. TMC-1-XMon and TMC-1-Penta

Released today the software includes a OSC Slave output allowing the TMC to pass through un-recognised OSC commands to other device. You can now control the DAW using Midi/Hui/Keyboard commands from the same screen as the TMC-1.



Friday, 28 July 2017

Open Sound Control for the TMC-1

After publishing my initial idea's for a tablet interface to the TMC-1 using HTML, one of our users (James Chappell) suggested that I look at TouchOSC. After investigating OSC I have shelved the HTML interface and spent the past week developing an OSC interface.

The main advantage of using OSC is that users can design their own interfaces incorporating only the functions that they need, simplifying the user interface. Multiple pages allow for different applications. OSC applications are available for IOS and Android I have not found any for OSx or Windows.

You can see the two test interfaces I designed below The first includes input selection (user keys), metering, output level control and Level indication. It has been designed fot the TMC-1-Penta which can select between 8 inputs. I was impressed with the meter performance using an old Android tablet.  A nice touch is the battery status indicator


The second screen below is a cue source selection page complete with level controls and enable keys, This design may be used as a template and unused input and output controls deleted.


I have now finished two more test pages and I will be releasing this software for the TMC-1-Penta, -XMon and -AMon later this week - I also found how to label the tabs!


For the TMC-1-Penta only - Note :the latest Penta software has 32 Palette entries instead of 16.



The images above were taken from the design s/w, the Tablet and my phone look the same or better.


TMC-1 with tablet in my workshop - designs for the 3d printed cradle are also available.

Initially I intended  to use OSC-Midi commands but then decided to use direct OSC commands to control the TMC-1, if the controls are named correctly they will connect directly with the TMC-1. The user can define the label names but it is recommended that the TMC-1 updates User Key labels as they can be dependent on the interface (Penta, XMon, A-Mon) and can change when the s/w is updated. All controls are updated when the page is changed, the interface is bidirectional and updated in real time. The meter block uses a multi-fader graphic.

I am currently controlling the TMC-1 from a tablet and phone simultaneously.  The first command on either will update the display tothe current TMC-1 status. The [TMC-1] key is used to re-sync the display without change. To reduce Ethernet traffic I meters are only activated after an initial touch, as not all designs will include meters. Ping should be enabled with a 10 second delay to keep the meters running.

Push keys are made from three elements, the key, the label and the LED for status indication.
The cue routing keys are Toggle buttons that include on/off indication. The meters are made using a multi-fader. SPL indication is simply a Label. TouchOSC is available to download for $5, the design software is free and available for both Mac and PC.

I envisage other stand alone applications the firmware outside of the TMC-1, for example controlling Mic Amp's, GPIO, or Older Midi instruments from tablets or even mobile phones. Next week I will be releasing OSC enabled versions of the TMC-1-Penta/XMon/A-Mon as well as at least two templates.

For those who may wish to check out the beta test software a design package which includes firmware for the TMC-1, 3d designs for a tablet cradle and templates is available here-
TMC1_OSC.zip