Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A-Mon Case Study: Boulevard des Productions, Strasbourg

Boulevard des Productions specialises in dialogue replacement (ADR or Doublage), CB Electronics was involved in the original studio a number of years ago. When the new studio was designed at the end of 2016 we were asked with Daniel Gollety and Jean-Robert Delicourt to make the new installation.

An existing building has been completely refurbished to provide a studio, control room, machine room, two editing suits and a large waiting room. All rooms are air conditioned especially the machine room. 

Rythmo (Band Projection) is standard in French ADR/Doublage studios and a Mosaic electronic Rythmo system was chosen for the installation.  A Pyramix is used as the Digital Audio Workstation. Neuman digital microphones were selected for use in the studio.   

Boulevard des Productions owned an early SR-4 which was the only existing equipment used in the new studio, to bring it up to current specification this was fitted with a RomUpd kit and Tri-Level Sync Input. The SR-4 is used to synchronize the Pyramix with the Mosaic.  

The original CBServer software was replaced by CBServer3 (Left) which can read Mosaic files and be used to select loops by time and/or character as required. 

A-Mon was selected as the monitor controller for its comprehensive talkback, listen back and auto-mute. The new studio unlike the previous has a separate control room, Talkback and Listen back are both essential, the auto-mute makes the glass disappear. Currently the control room is stereo only but may be updated to 5.1 in the future, until then the Stereo down mix within A-Mon may be used when listening to 7.1 or 5.1 material. 

A plethora of screens left room for only one "Mini" loudspeaker, the stereo output of the A-Mon was resistively summed to feed the single speaker!

Both Engineer and Producer talkback are implemented; the A-Mon sums the two inputs which may then be routed to the studio loudspeakers, headphones and/or to the large waiting room. A notable difference in foreign language dubbing is that the talent waits for the engineer, instead of the engineers waiting for the talent!  

A feature of the TMC-1 is the use of the Play, stop and record tallies to control the Talkback, Listen back, Studio and/or Control room speakers. The TMC-1 Auto Mute may be controlled by LTC, MTC, Hui or as in this case by GP inputs connected to the Play and Record tallies from the SR-4 .The studio at BdP uses auto listen back and not auto talkback.  The two listen back microphones are enabled whenever the system stops and disabled by Play or Record. Listen back may also be controlled manually by the engineer. 

The two talkback microphones are enabled as required by the engineer or producer, again these are disabled by play and record tallies. The engineer uses the TMC-1 talkback microphone with an external switch to remove mechanical noise from the talkback switch in the TMC-1.  His talkback is normally only to the Headphones and Studio L/S.The producer is provided with two switches, one to the headphones and Studio L/S, the other to the waiting room. Listen Back when enabled may be latching,  In this case it was decided to disable the Talkback Latching, so that unfortunate comments are not be overheard by the talent.

Playback to the Studio Loudspeakers is controlled manually, but is muted by the record tally in case.

What did we learn whilst making this installation?
  1. We needed more gain on the Producer and listen back mic inputs
  2. We have now made a combined mic-amp and limiter for use with the Listen back and Producer microphones, removing the need for extra gain..
  3.  We have now implemented Auto Resume Listen back as well as auto-resume talkback.
  4. To bring some known working cables and sound sources when checking the installation 
  5. To offer a separate talkback switch box for the TMC-1
  6. Think more about how the Producer and Listen Back Mics connect to the system

Initial TMC-1 + A-Mon Configuration

Main Output – Stereo Speakers
Alt Output – Not Used,  configured as 5.1 Meter output
Mini Out – Mono (Multiple VDU screens there was only enough space for one speakers!)

Main input – Not Used
Alt input – Pyramix
Stereo input 1
Stereo Input 2
Stereo Input 3
Stereo Input 4

Cue Output 1 Studio L/S
Cue Output 2 Waiting Room
Cue Output 3 Headphones 1
Cue Output 4 Headphones 2

Cue input 1 Pyramix
Cue Input 2 Pyramix
Cue input 3 Pyramix

T/B 1 Input Engineer 
T/B 2 Input Producer

Listen Input 1 Studio Screen 1
Listen Input 2 Studio Voice Over booth