Saturday, 23 August 2014

Atmos, Twickenham and Multi-Machine Track Arming enhancements to the Sony Protocol

It took a few try's to get the system at Twickenham working properly with two 64 track recorders, but after 1 week it seems to be working well. As part of the installation I installed the prototype of our new TFT based remote control panels - see the next blog entry for a full description

If two 64 track recorders becomes normal then it will be necessary to reconfigure the communications between the console and the machines/machine control system. The DFC has 6 sony P2 ports that will support 48 tracks per port but a number of consoles only have one port.

The standard Sony protocol can only control one recorder, here are three possible solutions to track arming multiple machines from a single sony protocol port

1) Implement our xmc protocol,   a number of years ago Harrison implemented this which allows them to track arm multiple record machines. The advantages - no modification required to our systems and frame accurate timecode without video syncs, disadvantage - a major change to the console communications s/w.

2) Map the tracks over multiple ports, the maximum possible is 112 which can be mapped over multiple tracks. The advantage - no modification required to the controlling s/w, disadvantage absolute maximum number of tracks is 112, not all serial ports implement the maximum (eg. DFC 48 maximum),.

3) Enhance the Sony protocol to support multiple recorders. The advantage - can support up to 112 tracks per machine, disadvantage - The controlling s/w must be modified to support the new commands. Most of the required commands are present in the RM-6 to support the our multi-machine protocol (xmc) a subset of these can be added to the Sony protocol.

What are we doing about multiple record machines?

1) The next release of the RM-6 will include all the above solutions. Once implemented the commands will be available for any manufacture to use.

2) I am currently updating the serial control system for one mixer manufacture to increase the number of record channels to 96,  at the same time I will add the commands to support multiple record machines.