Sunday, 18 February 2018

EDL Recorder Software

This week I rewrote the EDL Recorder software, the original software was written in Delphi some years ago, I rewrote the software in Xojo so that I can can be compile versions for for Mac or Windows and allows updates and improvements to be added in the future .

What is an EDL Recorder

When a live broadcast is made from multiple camera's, for example reality programs, the EDL recorder connected to the video mixer so that a EDL is generated as the mix engineer selects the live camera sources. Often highlight programs want to show what occurred before an event, the recorded EDL facilitates this.

The EDL Recorder software is used with the P2MMC which is available with 8 or 16 inputs.

The following improvements have been made to the EDL Recorder

  1. The EDL is generated using time of day so that it can be related to the original production.
  2. A conform key has been added allowing the Start Record time for the EDL to be set  to any value.

More information is available on the this web page EDL Recorder 

Thursday, 25 January 2018

PD-3-Penta with two S3's and a MTRX Installed at Boom

Yesterday I was at Boom Post in Soho, they purchased a PD-3-Penta for
 use with two S3's and a MTRX in a 5.1 Post room.


Although we have sold PD-3's to studios in USA, this was the first to be installed in London and I was eager to see how it performed in a working Studio instead of my test bench.

The PD-3 has two almost completely separate sections the Pec/Direct and TMC-1, each has its own processor and network connection. They share a power supply (5v or USB) and the TMC-1 Select Switch.

PD-3 TMC-1

The day before I arrived Rory configured the TMC-1 section of the PD-3, renaming the inputs and defining the user key layout he wanted. As a post studio there was no need for Talk back or Listen back (unless the studio is used with Source Connect) . They have only two speaker sets 5.1 and Stereo TV (A sound bar) I set Advanced Menu 18 to disable the Alt Speaker selection so that the [Speaker] user key would toggle between Main and Mini Speaker outputs (named 5.1 and Stereo by Rory) instead of stepping through three selections.

New /improved User Key request

Boom requested a single key to switch between the 5.1 and Stereo speaker sets, switching the input and the Level at the same time.  Currently the [A/B Sel] user switch only switches the inputs and not the outputs. I have now implemented this  and the [A/B Sel]  source selection,  gain, format selection (Mono/Stereo/Stereo Downmix/5.1/7.1/Atmos) and speaker selection.

PD-3 Pec/Direct

Connection Problems

As Boom did not have any RS422 cables or connectors to make up the cables they could not check the Pec direct with protools. I brought with me two RJ45 to RS422 converters so that we could connect the PD-2 using Cat5 or Cat6 cables and a tie line between the studio and machine room.  In the Future we will include these with the PD-3 and PD-1-Net!

We connected up....... nothing, none of the  LED's on the USB-422 were flashing. I downloaded the USB test program and checked each Cat 5 cable - the first was broken or it could have been a crossover cable, often required in the days before auto switching. The second time we connected ,,,, still nothing. The Protools remote input was checked and correct. However we had disconnected and reconnected the USB-422, we reverted to the normal solution...

Restart Protools

 ... Hey Presto it worked! Both the Rx and Tx LED's on the A port of the USB were flashing merrily. 

Stem configuration using PD-Stem

As the track names on the Protools session were not correct for the PD-3 auto-stem routines we decided to use the new PD-Stem software to configure the Stems on the PD-3. Boom individual tracks for multiple channels so that we defined each stem as Mono so that there was only one track. We defined 8 Stems two of which were set to Print Master and Solo Safe. (The PD-3 uses Mutes for soloing the stems, this allows the Stems to be solo safe within Protools and be soloed by the PD-3). Once we downloaded the Stem Configuration to the PD-3 we found that the Tallies were working but not the commands - on Protools we had forgotten to Enable Record in Local mode! 

Record Control

In the USA PD-1 users are used to using the paddles to record directly, especially useful when there is more than one operator. Boom arm with the paddles and using a master record command to drop in and out of record, we set menu "Unit-3 Record Paddles" to "4=MastRec" this allows paddles 1-8 to Arm the tracks and the Master Paddle to be used for record on/off. To use an external record on/off key and keep the function of the Master Record Paddle set this menu to "3=Arm & Stay".

Once Boom have used the PD-3 for a few weeks Daniel and I will visit the studio again and find out how it performed in a studio environment instead of my test bench!





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.