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Author Topic: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet  (Read 42543 times)

Sara Elliott

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2006, 04:54:36 pm »

Bennett, I want to thank you for you insightful commentary on this Dolby unit.  I understand that you didn't get much time with the unit and are hungry to get some more miles with it.  I spoke to Ervin at Dolby and he understands that and is saying very soon, very soon, be patient young Road Tester.  I'm working on it!
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2007, 05:37:54 pm »

The happy brown truck, as Sara likes to call it, brought me a Dolby Lake Processor again last week to road test some more, and this time I get to keep it for a month! Was the 6 month wait worth it? Absolutely. After spending hours messing around with the box and then using it on a show I'm fast as hell on it and I'm blown away by the flexibility and usability, it's an incredibly powerful tool and being able to make system EQ decisions while listening to the parts of the system you're tuning is a real killer application for me.

First thing I did was connect the Motion Computing tablet they supplied me with to the processor, plug them both in, fire them up, and open the manual. It took me about an hour to read the whole thing while confirming the occasional feature by navigating there on the control software. Once you get the hang of it, the software is really very easy to use and is extremely well suited to the tablet environment.

Since I'm a photo kind of guy, here's the processor racked at FOH recently, before and after the sun set:
http://campuspa.com/images/movinon/movinon-Thumbnails/34.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/movinon/movinon-Thumbnails/56.jpg

Anyway, what you really care about is what the processor will do. You can configure it to be either a Mesa-style EQ or a Contour-style crossover or a mix of both. Why there is this kind of rigidity is beyond me, but it's not a big problem. You just tell the processor what you want it to be and it sets itself up based on the quantity and kind of cards you've got plugged in. There's EQ available in the contour modules and HPF and LPF of various types and slopes available in the Mesa EQ modules, so it's not very limiting. Here's a screenshot of the different configurations possible in a 4x12 processor:
http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/14.jpg

For the show I had last weekend I did a very basic setup, Left, Right, and Subwoofer inputs and outputs that I then grouped together so I could apply EQ across modules between the left & right outputs, or all three. It was very easy to put that together and then throw in some EQ points like this:
http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/0.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/2.jpg
I used a HPF and LPF as well on the subs and tops, added a little level adjustment, and was done.
http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/8.jpghttp://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/11.jpg

What I'll be doing soon is using the processor to process some line arrays, and that should be extremely interesting. I'll be able to use EQ on each element of the line, and then group each line together to apply EQ across the entire array.

The only weakness I've found so far, however, is that there are only 8 "modules" available at one time, which limits you a little. Since my speakers are all powered I could technically plug one into each of the 12 outputs of the box and have a lot of flexibility. As it is, I can only have 8 EQ sections running, so I run out of processing before I run out of outputs. The box is clearly a little better built around working with passive systems, so perhaps some changes can be made there. I can work around it, though, since the routing allows me to use the un-processed outputs for subwoofers, and I can still delay each one separately out of one EQ module to build my array.

More after I get another few shows under my belt, but here's a bunch of screenshots showing more of the power of the box:
http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/
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Pascal Pincosy

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2007, 09:33:44 pm »

Hey Bennett, do you have Smaart installed on the same computer? If so, how well does the integration between the two programs work?
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2007, 12:43:33 pm »

You bet, the little tablet PC has Smaart and some crazy app that lets the Lake software talk to it... imagine walking around and ringing out monitors like this!

http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/26.jpg
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Pascal Pincosy

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2007, 02:36:12 pm »

When you next get a chance could you take a screen-shot of the transfer function page?

This looks to be much easier to deal with than the annoying Smaart device interface.  Very Happy  Just wondering how many Smaart features are directly accessable from the Lake software.
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Justin Baird

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2007, 02:51:47 am »

Pascal Pincosy wrote on Sat, 12 May 2007 04:36

When you next get a chance could you take a screen-shot of the transfer function page?

This looks to be much easier to deal with than the annoying Smaart device interface.  Very Happy  Just wondering how many Smaart features are directly accessable from the Lake software.


Hello everyone,

My name is Justin Baird and I'm the product manager for the Dolby Lake Processor, out of Sydney, Australia where the Live Sound Group engineering and R&D dept. is located.  It has been brought to my attention that there were some outstanding questions on this thread, so I thought I should chime in and provide some further information.

Regarding the SmaartLive Controller, pretty much all of the available Smaart controls are accessible directly within the Dolby Lake Controller user interface.  You can switch between Spectrum, Spectrograph and Transfer Function modes, as well as turn signal generation on and off, adjust frequency scales, amplitude thresholds, coherence blanking, and so on.  Almost the only thing that you can't do is display the impulse response inside the Dolby Lake Controller.  Instead, the "Auto Small" and "Auto Large" functions are exposed as buttons within the interface.

Here are a few screencaps from the various display modes:

index.php/fa/9244/0/

On the left is the Spectrum mode.  This display shows Smaart's spectrum analyzer running in third octave mode within our Ideal Graphic EQ user interface.

The middle picture is our Spectrograph mode.  We take the data from Smaart and then rotate it by 90 degrees and run the Spectrograph from bottom to top, again lining up the frequency record with the equalizer controls.  You can adjust the Min and Max of the colormap range, and you can also slow down or speed up the Spectrograph in order to capture more or less history across the display record.

On the right is the Transfer function display.  We display coherence in red across the top, the magnitude is shown in yellow, and the phase in blue.  The wrapped phase display can be shown at the bottom of the display, as an overlay across the EQ Tool, or it can also be selected to run along with the magnitude in the main window.

In addition, you can also do things like lock Smaart's display range with the display range of the EQ, so if you're looking at +/- 15 dB on Smaart, our EQ can lock to this and changes accordingly if you change the range displayed by Smaart.  Of course you can clear this lock as well, for example if you want to look at a much larger dynamic range within the Spectrum mode.

Our SmaartLive Controller application is like a little plug-in that resides on the computer running Smaart.  This means that you can either run Smaart on the same computer as the Dolby Lake Controller, or alternatively you can have a separate PC running Smaart, and hook that PC up to the Dolby Lake Controller Ethernet standard network, and the SmaartLive Controller application will pipe Smaart's results across the network to the PC running the Dolby Lake Controller.  This double-PC-network architecture is beneficial when you want to get reference audio signals from a console for measurement while roaming the venue with a wireless Tablet PC.

In addition to all of this, we also support running the Dolby Lake Controller in "multiple controller" mode, which means that you can have multiple PCs connected to the Dolby Lake Controller Ethernet network, and they can all interoperate and control/monitor devices on the distributed system.  The SmaartLive Controller broadcasts measurement data and each of the Dolby Lake Controllers can choose to either "connect" and watch Smaart's measurements, or choose not to.

As a final note to possibly answer your first question ahead of time(!), the SmaartLive Controller works with SmaartLive version 5.  The new version 6 of Smaart does not yet have all the hooks to allow us to communicate with it.  But this will be forthcoming although I can't make any promises or commitments to the timeline of the delivery of this functionality as of yet...

To quote the Smaart v6 cutsheet I recently picked up at MusikMesse in Frankfurt, "A new API (Applications Programming Interface) allows other software programs - even third party programs such as Dolby Lake - to import Smaart data and control the Smaart measurement engines remotely." - Thus we are hopeful to bring the support of Smaart v6 into the SmaartLive Controller.

Best regards,

Justin Baird

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Pascal Pincosy

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2007, 03:09:00 am »

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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2007, 10:23:44 am »

Wow, thanks, Justin! Good to hear from you, and thanks for being so in depth.

I'm going to use the Smaart Live controller on my next set of gigs with the DLP, I've got some pretty cool stuff coming up so I should be able to really put it to work.
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"Give me 6dB and I shall move the world." -Archimedes

Josh Evans

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2007, 06:42:46 am »


Hi Justin,

I don't remember if you can adjust the spectrograph thresholds. So can you adjust them via Lake? It would also be beneficial to show the min and max thresholds  on top of the RTA as well.  And while your at that the ability to change the thresholds by means of the bars displayed by the min and max threshold.

Another interesting specrograph idea is a dynamically changing min /max setting but thats a whole different topic.
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Dolby Lake Processor w/tablet
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2007, 11:36:19 am »

Josh Evans wrote on Thu, 24 May 2007 06:42

I don't remember if you can adjust the spectrograph thresholds. So can you adjust them via Lake? It would also be beneficial to show the min and max thresholds  on top of the RTA as well.  And while your at that the ability to change the thresholds by means of the bars displayed by the min and max threshold.

Josh,

If you look carefully at the top of this photo: (click to see bigger)

http://campuspa.com/images/dlp2/index-Thumbnails/26.jpg

You'll see that moderately in depth spectrograph control is provided, including displaying and adjusting thresholds.
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-- Bennett Prescott
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Cell: (518) 488-7190

"Give me 6dB and I shall move the world." -Archimedes
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