Sunday, 20 May 2018

TMC-1 and Marti Humphrey's immersive audio setup

Daniel brought to my attention the youtube of Marti Humphrey's excellent presentation of his innovative immersive audio setup.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDUP7EYzt8o

Not everyone will be able to install the same number of speakers as Marti has in his studio but many may need to  monitor in different formats for example 7.1 film, 5.1 TV, Stereo TV. In this case the ability to switch simply from one format to another is very important.

It is already possible to switch between two setups on the TMC-1 using the A/B switch but it is all to easy to forget a setting. What is required is a simple way to switch between presets that which for confidence also displays the Preset name.

The beta-test TMC-1 software now includes four Presets, New User keys [Pset 1] -[Pset 4] are used to select the presets. On Factory Reset presets 1,2 and 3 are configured as 7.1 Film, 5.1 TV, and Stereo DownMix.

The Presets may be configured using the TMC-1v6 Preset page as shown below. The Presets are used to set a number of variables simultaneously  as follows

Name Displayed at the Top of the TMC-1 TFT screen with the A/B selection.
Input Select Input or No Change
Sur-3dB Used to select between Film  or TV Surround levels
Bass-X Enable/Disable Bass Extension
LFE+10 Enable 10dB extra gain on LFE channel
Format Select Monitoring format
Speaker Select Speaker set or no change

The Suggested Presets may be used to select predefined presets which may then be modified as required



The [A/B] switch functionality has been modified to include the preset name and may be used to switch between presets.

A new user key [Cal-P]  has been added to select the reference level defined by the preset.

I have added user keys to some versions of the TMC-1 for [2.1], [LCRS], [I-Max], [DTS-X], [Auro] as well as [Atmos]. They are not yet fully implemented, I will implement them fully subject to user demand.

Calibration: To allow for multiple formats calibration must be carried out correctly. For a multiformat system we recommend that all the speakers are initially calibrated individually to a SPL of 85dB, Then the 7.1 and 5.1 surrounds are adjusted for 85dB. This allows the Sur-3dB switch to be enabled for film7.1 or 5.1.

To allow for future TMC1-Penta updates Auro, IMax and DTS:X formats have been included but not implemented at this time.

Daniel is working on a number of example OSC pages to run on a IOS or Android based on Marti Humphrey's QSC controls.  Here is an example of a simple Preset page, the graphics are different but the functions are the same. You can use these as templates to create your own remote controls to the TMC-1

 

Monday, 5 March 2018

TMC-1 Updates

The TMC-1 software is updated when a bug is discovered or to answer a user request, about once a year I go through the software and bring some order to the TMC-1 user interface and the new TMC-1v5-Win/Mac support program. This year I have added improvements to both.

TMC-1 Key Assignment

The TMC-1 is designed to work in different environments including Broadcast, Film, Music and Games. They all have different requirements, for this reason the TMC-1 keyboard is programmable. This can be daunting for the end user and I have tried to make it easier as follows:-
  • The reset options now include a simple Source Selection and Speaker set selection layout. very similar to some existing controllers. 
The meters Page after selecting Factory I/P + O/P

The User key layout showing the  input select and  Speaker Set selection keys


  • The new TMC-1v5-win/mac program now includes a preset page allowing up to 6 keyboard setups to be saved, updated and loaded easily.

The Preset page allows a single click to reconfigure the TMC-1 with a saved setup and single click saving of the current TMC-1 setup.

Calibration

The calibration tab makes it easier to calibrate the TMC-1 Input and output levels, the headroom and Analog level settings for the TMC-1-Penta are also included.
                                                                                                             

Included on the Cal page are the Mono, 5.1 surround and 7.1 surround trims (5.1 Surround tim is selected in the image). The surround trims are used when the room is setup for one format and then used to listen to a source of a different standard. For example if you calibrate a room for 7.1 and then playback in 5.1 with Ls and Rs sent to Lb and Rb you will need to attenuate the surround signals. 

The Rename Key also allows the names to be changed from this tab. The password is required to access the gain calibration and is as normal '1984' (Big Brother is Watching).

User Keys

Three additions/changes to the user keys as follows
  • [A/B] user key, improved functionality now includes Input, Output, Gain and Output format a new menu allows the user to lock the A/B settings, the A/B switch will then switch between two fixed settings 
  • [T/B All(x)] user key, the TMC-1 allows you to define two separate talkback zones accessed from the [T/B1(x)] or [T/B2(x)] keys, however this requires that the zones be configured.  The [T/B All] key is simple and direct, talkback is enabled to all cue send outputs simultaneously. The (x) suffix refers to the eXternal or producers talkback enable. 
  • [DftFmt] user key has been removed and replaced by three Advanced Menu's to define the default format settings for the Main, Alt and Mini speaker sets.

Stereo Page

Added for the TMC-1-AMon and TMC-1-Penta, This screen displays the Left and Right channels  with the SLS and H/P cue sends. This screen is selected whenever stereo output format is selected or by the TMC-1-AMon [Meter Cues] user key.

Menus

To reduce the number of user setup's some have moved to the advanced setup.

Formats

2.1 and LCRS have been added to the format selections. The [LCRS] allows you to set a surround attenuation for mono surround. 

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