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Author Topic: Digidesign D-Show Profile Mix Rack System  (Read 44180 times)

Robert Scovill

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Re: Things I Haven't Liked That Much So Far
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 01:02:37 pm »

Bennett Prescott wrote on Fri, 26 September 2008 06:26


Speaking of channel scribble strips and sort of washing out... when you adjust a fader, the label above it indicates its position in dB. That's great and all, but it indicates it right over the channel label, and it stays there for a second or two as well. Bump a few faders in a hurry and then you have to wait to find out exactly which one you want to adjust some more. The display is two lines, the top line only ever tells you what the whole bank of faders is doing... that could get lost for all I can while I'm pushing faders so that I can still see what the heck I'm adjusting.


Hey Bennett -- you'll apparently be very happy to know that this is a preference setting. Smile On the surface press the OPTIONS button or click the OPTIONS tab on the screen and go to the tab labeled INTERACTION. Toward the bottom of the screen you'll see a check box to turn this feature off. See the uploaded picture -- with the box "unchecked" which will turn the displays off.

Robert Scovill
Digidesign
index.php/fa/18118/0/
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: Things I Haven't Liked That Much So Far
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 09:33:31 am »

Got it! Thanks, I'd still like if there was the option to have the best of both worlds and put the dB value above the channel name, but I also like to be able to turn it off altogether.

Should be mixing monitors on the board today, we'll see how it goes! It's not me behind the desk, but I've got complete confidence.
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-- Bennett Prescott
Director of North American Sales
ADRaudio d.o.o.
Cell: (518) 488-7190

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

Sheldon Radford

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Re: Things I Haven't Liked That Much So Far
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2008, 06:28:20 pm »

Hi Bennett,

Thanks for all of the comments. We take all feedback - positive and negative - to heart and are committed to improving and evolving our live sound products.

To address a few specific comments...
Quote:

...and no gate action metering on every channel, only selected channels

The selected channel gives a detailed view of the gate action, but there's also a single LED on each channel that indicates gate open/hold/closed action via the normal green/yellow/red indication.

Quote:

stereo linking channels? Drops all audio? Who thought that was acceptable?

Even though it seems like a fairly simple task, the "Make Stereo" operation is actually quite involved and requires a re-sorting and re-sequencing of  channels and parameters under the hood in order to accommodate the new "stereo-ized" channel(s). The console is muted to prevent any unintended noise while this shuffling takes place. Hence the need to use the console's Config mode to access the feature...sorry for making 2 seconds feel like forever...Confused

Quote:

When bank switching, if the console encounters any resistance whatsoever on any fader, it leaves that fader there and changes it in the mix accordingly.

This can happen when a fader is touched very soon after changing banks. To account for this there is a very brief "hold off" period immediately after changing banks, during which fader touches are ignored. From your report it sound likes this period could be extended by another ms or two. We'll look into it.

Quote:

An undo feature would be nice.

Indeed! In the meantime, there is an Undo button on the Snapshots page which can be used to undo accidental scene recalls. Careful though, because this is similar to the Make Stereo operation and may disrupt audio while things are undone.

I look forward to reading about your continued adventures with the console, and hope to see you in person at AES.  

Sheldon Radford
Digidesign
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Adam Robinson

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Re: Things I Haven't Liked That Much So Far
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2008, 01:09:10 am »

What a great report, Bennett... and just in at the right time for me.  I've mixed a few things here and there on a Profile, but this weekend was the first time that I mixed my regular gig on one.  I have to say, it was rougher than I was expecting.  It is no secret that I've been drinking the Digico kool-aid for some time now and I've done a ton of shows with my guys on various Digico consoles, along with a ton of shows on a PM5D.  My goal with the Profile was to translate the way I like to mix onto this console, too.  The Digicos meet all my needs and I've spent enough time on the 5D to lay it out and set things up to get pretty close...   Sheldon, Robert, anyone:  I'm hoping you can jump in to a few of my frustrations and maybe clue me in on ways to do the things I'm trying to do and failing at.

One of the first things that frustrated the living bejeezus out of me was the inability to move channels around easily.  I found this out about a week ago when I was the A1 on a gig where the requested console was a Profile.  Although it worked fine in the shop, I opened the console at the gig to find that nothing I could do would make the 10th fader work.  I tried inserting a blank channel to work around this dead fader, but it messed the layout up down the line.  And as is par for the course, the band showed up with a few additions and changes to their input list, so my preprogramming work needed a little update.  I was also really looking for a simple and flexible insert and move channel function, but all I could figure out was it just wasn't possible.  

Second, like Bennett, I was really bummed that I was unable to pair or gang adjacent channels.  I have several inputs that I would like to at least be able to pair the faders without having to make those inputs into a stereo channel.  

Third, like Bennett, I had issues with seeing around the knobs, especially while EQing.  Additionally, I found a huge disconnect between what I was doing on the surface and the EQing that was occurring on the screen.  Each time I'd look up to EQ something, I'd have to adjust my eyes to finding the frequency - the type is really small (or maybe I need to use a larger monitor!)  Of lesser note, I think it'd be great if the knobs had a bit more resistance to them.  

Fourth, like Bennett, I found that the desk didn't follow my button presses 100% of the time.  I mix FX on sends, so I do a lot of turning that Aux on and off.  I had several times the other night were I'd push the knob in to engage that channel's send and it wouldn't take.  Frustrating.  And back to the loose knob thing, the levels would regularly change when I'd press the knob in.  Usually by just a little, sometimes by more.

Speaking of Aux Sends... is there a quick way to change a post fader send to pre fader and vice versa without clicking the PRE button on the display?  

I too had an issue with faders changing position when I moved banks.  It happened a couple times without me realizing immediately... once I was aware of the issue, I tried to be really conscious about not having my hands anywhere near faders when bank switching, but it still bit me in the ass a couple more times that night.

One of the layout schemes that I've always really enjoyed with Digico consoles is the ability to change banks on one section of faders without affecting others.  I always like to have the same 8 channels under my right hand (vocals and a couple extras) and then use the other banks for the rest of my channels.  I tried using the Bank Safe feature to keep channels 41-48 on that right bank of channels, but I found that I lost channels 17-24 in the process.  

I could use a nice, full featured parametric on the outputs, too.

I had a great time with the Plug In feature of the console.  I used an assortment of dynamics and EQs just to try things out and found some stuff I liked and stuff I didn't.  I really missed not having the MC2000 multiband compressors on this most recent gig I did!  I particularly enjoyed being able to insert a comp, a gate, and an inverted reverb onto a special channel.  I think it'd be nice if we had the option to re-assign the comp metering on the channel strip to one of that channel's plug ins.

The other feature that I'm really really really excited about is virtual soundcheck.  The Profile I was on had an HD rig connected and I recorded all 48 channels and took the recording home with me.  My next step will be to run a virtual soundcheck in a friend's shop and tweak my settings where I'm not under the time constraints of a band soundcheck.  I've got some more shows coming up on this console and I'd like the second show on this desk with my settings to sound like the 100th.  If I can't get ahold of an HD rig to play the show back with, is it possible to use this feature with a 3rd party multi-track playback system and assumedly come straight into the preamps?  (I'm guessing no)
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Bill Forbes

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My Turn
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2008, 12:15:42 pm »

Well I guess it's my turn to chime in, seeing I did mix on the thing. First off, I'd like to thank Bennett (Grandmaster "B") for arranging the console demo and a special thanks to all at Digidesign for making it happen!!!

Let me say that I've had little to no experience with digital consoles! I spend most of my time in analog world.

Long story short - 2 months ago I was talking to Bennett about the Profile Mixrack and a day before, my biggest event of the year, it shows up!

      Pre-show - 1 day  before load in the console arrived at my shop in the afternoon and we opened it up, plugged it in, turned it on, and it came to life. My first impressions were WOW, COOL and then reality set in,.... I would have to set this thing up from scratch with no manual (i did get it online), no help and mix a show! Well I got to play with it for about an hour that day and once I got a grip on the "flow" of things I felt comfortable with it. ( Some might think "well, you should have spent more time on it before you mixed on it". The reason I didn't  was that I wanted to experience the same emotions that a Guest engineer might have when walking up to this desk "blind" and mixing his/her act.) After all I am a sound provider and have to cater to a lot of different people.

Bennett pretty much covered the layout of the surface so I wont go back over it.

  Things I liked before even mixing on it:
1- The amount of information that was shown on the display when an input/output was selected.
2- The Size of the surface- I could fit 3 of these things into the same area as my PM4K.
3- The "feel" of the desk- faders were not "loose" and buttons felt solid when pushed. Ie; an analog feel?!
4- The fact that I felt like I could mix a show with little to no "flying time"

Bennett was on deck with this thing for the first weekend of our 17 day run. I found myself on the Comcast Arena Stage with my trusty old PM4k. ( a bit noisier after being toppled off my easy tilt by a golf cart at the last Fair we did). And to be honest, a bit nervous about mixing on the Profile on Monday.

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Bill Forbes
SPL Systems
Agawam, MA.
www.splsystems.net

Bill Forbes

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Week 1
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2008, 01:01:02 pm »

Well my first mix on a Digidesign Profile Mixrack system.

My first act for the week was Malo at Noon. ( Naturally I got their 2 hours early to fix all Bennetts mistakes! (hahaha) )

Bennett had the desk nicely labeled and set up from the weekend so that was very comforting! But I did have the task ahead of me to set it up for our 3pm and 8pm act "Taste of Honey" a 70's disco type of band.

After Malo, 12:40pm, we only had until 3pm to get TOH setup, sound checked, and on stage so I got together with Scott, who elected to do monitors, because he had even less time on the Profile than I did, and we built and input list for TOH. I took my info to the console and with in 5 minutes had it labeled, did my VCA assignments, setup comps, and even managed to get efx happening! This was very cool! I was amazed on how fast I got around the surface during this time! Everything just seemed so "right". I did find that I needed to take care when depressing the "SELECT" buttons that it actually engaged. It seemed like I needed to press and hold them for a split second before they engaged and not just "tap" them. I found that odd. I also could not get stereo channels to happen.

By the time TOH hit the stage I was a master of the desk! (well not really but I was willing now to have some fun) I rolled up a basic mix as the show started. ( we are an open venue and dont have the luxury of extended sound checks if any.) Playtime - as the show went on I was able to add some plugins. WOW talk about wild! I could just make a couple clicks of the mouse and have a Fairchild or Smack or Bomb Factory to EVERY CHANNEL, if I wanted! No more digging around my 4K's doghouse and patching insert cables for my 8 gates and 10 comps - I was SOLD!
Inconvenience's
I had inputs across 2 layers on the console and found it a little annoying and sometimes confusing going between layers. I guess that is the norm with most digital ( I wish I could have kept some of my layer 2 inputs on layer 1. Is there a way to do this? )

Well I got through my first week with the Profile and really love it. I cant wait to get it to our other stage this weekend!

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Bill Forbes
SPL Systems
Agawam, MA.
www.splsystems.net

Robert Scovill

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Re: Things I Haven't Liked That Much So Far
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2008, 01:35:47 pm »

Cool Bennett --
If you're mixing monitors on the console you owe it to yourself to check out some of the monitor mixing specific workflow features that have been implemented in VENUE. I've outlined them in a tips and tricks. Check out the link below for an entire list of VENUE tips and tricks --

 http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?navid=319&langid=100 &categoryid=76&mkt=VENUE

Thanks!
Robert Scovill
Market Manager
Live Sound Products
Digidesign
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Robert Scovill

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Re: Week 1
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2008, 02:26:11 pm »

Bill Forbes wrote on Mon, 29 September 2008 18:01


I had inputs across 2 layers on the console and found it a little annoying and sometimes confusing going between layers. I guess that is the norm with most digital ( I wish I could have kept some of my layer 2 inputs on layer 1. Is there a way to do this? )




Hi Bill,
In regards to your question concerning keeping inputs on the top layer -- yes, this is very easily done. If you press OPTIONS on the surface OR click OPTIONS at the top of the GUI and then click the INTERACTION tab, you'll see the following box mid page on the left --

index.php/fa/18142/0/

This is where you select the current functionality for the safe switches for the input faders. All of these functions are available at the same time, this box simply indicates which function is currently assigned to the switches. (you can even setup a function switch to toggle this status if you wish) So, with "Act as Bank Safes" selected, when you select safe for any input it will lock it to the TOP layer until you disengage the switch. This can be great if you are keeping your fingers on one or more inputs but need to "go downstairs" to address another input. You simply engage bank safe for the channel you want to keep on the top layer and then bank down to work on the others. If you have a channel that you want to be on the top layer at ALL times, I would encourage you to then take a moment (during your console setup) and stack "blank channels" directly below the fader you want to bank safe. That way you could leave the desired channel "bank safed" for the entire event and still have access to ALL other faders via traditional banking etc.

I discuss this very technique in a tips and tricks article on arranging your inputs. Here is a link to all VENUE tips and tricks --

  http://www.digidesign.com/index.cfm?navid=319&langid=100 &categoryid=76&mkt=VENUE


Good luck!
Robert Scovill
Market Manager
Live Sound Products
Digidesign

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Robert Scovill

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Re: Week 1
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2008, 02:33:24 pm »

Here is some additional info on "Bank Safe"

On the D-Show surface there is a dedicated safe switch per input fader -- On Profile, there is a safe indicator on every channel, but you'll need to select the input and then engage the safe switch in the center section near the Pre-Amp controls in order to create a safe input. Here is a close up of Profile. Note the safe switch and the safe indicators above each channel.

Here is the Profile zoomed in --

index.php/fa/18144/0/

Robert Scovill
Market Manager
Live Sound Products
Digidesign
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Robert Scovill

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Re: Week 1
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2008, 02:40:20 pm »

Here is a zoom in on the per channel safe switches on D-Show --

index.php/fa/18146/0/

Robert Scovill
Market Manager
Live Sound Products
Digidesign
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