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Author Topic: Intercom DIY 2021  (Read 1206 times)

James Paul

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Intercom DIY 2021
« on: April 06, 2021, 05:33:25 PM »

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Russell Ault

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2021, 10:55:19 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUfZnZf6pYI

I'm still waiting for someone to combine an X32 Rack with some Arduinos (or XKeys, etc.) to create a sub-$10k 16x16 (or 18x18 if you're feeling clever) full matrix intercom system. Scaling would be an issue (if my math is right 64x64 would require 16 X32 Racks, although that's still a lot cheaper than, say, an Adam), but for a small production truck like the one in that video it seems like going from party-line to full matrix wouldn't require a huge investment.

-Russ
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brian maddox

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2021, 12:48:20 PM »

I'm still waiting for someone to combine an X32 Rack with some Arduinos (or XKeys, etc.) to create a sub-$10k 16x16 (or 18x18 if you're feeling clever) full matrix intercom system. Scaling would be an issue (if my math is right 64x64 would require 16 X32 Racks, although that's still a lot cheaper than, say, an Adam), but for a small production truck like the one in that video it seems like going from party-line to full matrix wouldn't require a huge investment.

-Russ

I've done this X32 trick that the YouTuber is doing in a small truck before. Used it with the Studio Technologies Dante intercom boxes and it worked well and gave us intercom at the end of long fiber runs for camera ops and producers in a pretty straightforward way. Of course as you point out, the wrinkle is scalability. Every channel on every belt pack is a path and so four 4-channel belt packs is 16 crosspoint/mix-minus unless you can live with full volume sidetone which can lower the number of full mix minuses you need.

The trick to gain scalability is to use a DAW rather than an X32. Most DAWs have essentially unlimited inputs and routing paths. This is a trick I've also done in a small truck. But it gets VERY complicated VERY fast. If you have a stable show environment it can work, but trying to make changes on the fly is VERY cumbersome once you get past more than tiny handful of users/channels.

Honestly, I think Unity Intercom has cracked the code on inexpensive IP based full matrix comms that can be scaled. Coupled with a Streamdeck for control hardware it offers a TON of flexibility for not a ton of money and utilizes hardware that is either already on the truck or that many of us have lying around [older iPads/androids/etc.] from older projects.

Still, I love seeing creative solutions to problems using things you've already got lying around. I once built a 40+channel IEM monitor rig for a church with 15 stereo mixes all remote controlled with individual Behringer Midi Controllers onstage using several Yamaha 01v/96s we already had lying around. Convoluted and complicated, but it worked well for years and it was cheap.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 04:31:10 PM »

{...} Every channel on every belt pack is a path and so four 4-channel belt packs is 16 crosspoint/mix-minus unless you can live with full volume sidetone which can lower the number of full mix minuses you need. {...}

My thought was to treat the X32 as more of a true matrix: DIY user stations that set paths and levels directly on the X32 using OSC (possibly mediated through some custom software to handle more complicated logic like groups) which would only need one "port" (i.e. one input and one bus).

-Russ
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brian maddox

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 04:53:20 PM »

My thought was to treat the X32 as more of a true matrix: DIY user stations that set paths and levels directly on the X32 using OSC (possibly mediated through some custom software to handle more complicated logic like groups) which would only need one "port" (i.e. one input and one bus).

-Russ

interesting and certainly doable. by someone with more time on their hands than me. :)
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
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'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

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Mac Kerr

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 05:20:38 PM »

My thought was to treat the X32 as more of a true matrix: DIY user stations that set paths and levels directly on the X32 using OSC (possibly mediated through some custom software to handle more complicated logic like groups) which would only need one "port" (i.e. one input and one bus).

-Russ

Im curious how you turn talk paths on and off as the people you want to talk to change. The advantage of a matrix comm system is the point to point routing on the fly.

Mac
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Henry Cohen

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 05:57:57 PM »

I'm still waiting for . . .  to create a sub-$10k 16x16

How about $0.00 for the matrix (but for the 2 or 4 wire I/O interfaces)?
Telos Infinity
Green Go Digital

Both products are hardware matrix-less, requiring only analog I/O interfaces (if needed}, a computer for programming only (which you're likely to have anyway) and the user stations (which you need no matter what intercom system you employ).
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Henry Cohen

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brian maddox

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2021, 08:55:31 PM »

How about $0.00 for the matrix (but for the 2 or 4 wire I/O interfaces)?
Telos Infinity
Green Go Digital

Both products are hardware matrix-less, requiring only analog I/O interfaces (if needed}, a computer for programming only (which you're likely to have anyway) and the user stations (which you need no matter what intercom system you employ).

I agree that both of these solutions deserve to have more traction than they currently do. When I helped with the talk on IP comms at AES a couple of years ago I had never even HEARD of the Telos solution. When I found them on the trade show floor and got the full tour I felt like significantly LESS of an expert on IP comms. :)
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"It feels wrong to be in the audience.  And it's too peopley!" - Steve Smith

brian maddox
bdmaudio@gmail.com

'...do not trifle with the affairs of dragons...

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Erik Jerde

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 11:14:04 PM »

How about $0.00 for the matrix (but for the 2 or 4 wire I/O interfaces)?
Telos Infinity
Green Go Digital

Both products are hardware matrix-less, requiring only analog I/O interfaces (if needed}, a computer for programming only (which you're likely to have anyway) and the user stations (which you need no matter what intercom system you employ).

I implemented a green-go system for a client a few years ago and it worked great.  IIRC 23K for the system with a few RF packs to boot.  A traditional matrix system that had the same capabilities would have cost 5x that much to get into.  My understanding is that if you scale green-go up to the size of traditional systems it will end up costing more.  However, the power you get with much smaller and cheaper systems is pretty great.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2021, 02:04:34 AM »

Im curious how you turn talk paths on and off as the people you want to talk to change. The advantage of a matrix comm system is the point to point routing on the fly.

I see that as being part of the user station design process. Muting and unmuting crosspoints on the X32's channel-bus matrix only requires a single OSC command; setting up which crosspoints to mute and unmute (and how that muting and unmuting is actuated) is basically just a UX design challenge (and, as I say, for anything more complicated like groups it'd probably be better to have the user stations send commands to some piece control software which is what actually talks to the X32).

How about $0.00 for the matrix (but for the 2 or 4 wire I/O interfaces)?
Telos Infinity
Green Go Digital

Both products are hardware matrix-less, requiring only analog I/O interfaces (if needed}, a computer for programming only (which you're likely to have anyway) and the user stations (which you need no matter what intercom system you employ).

...which is probably why no one has been crazy enough to do what I'm suggesting. :D

-Russ
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Intercom DIY 2021
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2021, 02:04:34 AM »


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