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Author Topic: Digidesign Profile giggin' fun  (Read 19505 times)

Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Matrix flexibility and convenience
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2007, 10:19:43 pm »

Mac Kerr wrote on Wed, 14 March 2007 11:47

Not to rain on your parade, but how is this different, or better, than a PM5D?


Hey, I was just reporting...  Razz

This stuff is all in the huge Digidesign Profile guide but sometimes a user manual doesn't convey the ease or lay out all the limitations in a clear way. I wanted to make sure people were understanding what the Profile can do.

Anybody familiar with the bigger Venue D-Show will already know what the Profile's all about.

As far as comparing the Profile's matrix to other new digital surfaces of the same approximate size, it's frustrating to me that the Soundcraft Vi6 website still only offers a simple brochure with no specific matrix details. Same with A&H iLive.  Confused  The architecture of the matrix section would be a major part of any decision I was making to purchase or recommend a surface at this level. Guess I have to have further chats with Tom Der and Carey Davies.   Wink

Today's gig turned into grins on all our faces when the afternoon coffee break extended too long and then even longer... it was a massive passive resistance movement... nobody wanted to come back inside for more speeches and PowerPoint. (And who would blame them?) Mr. VIP turned toward me from across the room with his wireless lavalier on and he said/gestured "Put me out there!" meaning route his voice to the Foyer PA system as well as the main ballroom system. He went out to the hallway and the patio where everybody was chatting, smoking and getting or returning phone messages. The whole way out there he was putting his hands on people and naming names over the PA while telling them to stop what they were doing and get inside. He was witty and off the cuff with a few well-placed insinuations... He even walked into the men's room saying the whole time that this was where he was going and he told a couple of guys in there to hurry up and get their business done. Back in the ballroom everybody was laughing at what they were hearing. What a way to start the last session of the day.  Smile

The easy and quick Profile matrix system made the Foyer routing very fast and straightforward.

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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Sheldon Radford

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Re: Matrix flexibility and convenience
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2007, 10:22:55 pm »

Hi Joe,

Joe Breher wrote on Wed, 14 March 2007 13:11

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Wed, 14 March 2007 12:24

I'm really liking the Matrix section of the Profile. ... For instance, you could have one matrix fed from six stereo subgroups (12 sources) and at the same time have another matrix blended from 12 Auxes. You can pull from any of your Auxes, Subgroups, Left, Right and Mono plus one more input of your choosing.


Are all these matrix inputs sample-synchronous?

For instance, picture using a matrix as a 'more me' feed. There is a blend of subs being fed to this matrix. One (or more) of those subs has some proportion of channel N (the 'more me' channel) in them. Now feed Channel N directly to the aux as well (thereby creating the 'more me'). Now, if processing latencies are different for the various paths channel N can take to the matrix, that signal will go all phasey in that matrix. OTOH, if steps are taken to ensure sample-synchronicity, the latencies for each path will all be matched to the longest path, thereby eliminating the phase comb filtering.


You've hit on one of those uniquely digital problems that confounds users but keeps DSP programmers gainfully employed...

Given the number of possible paths within a digital console it's crucial that delay compensation be applied anywhere those paths can possibly combine. Delay compensation, as it's called, basically adds delays to align shorter paths with the longest path. These delays are usually in the range of a few samples (microseconds).

The matrix section is delay compensated, so the "more me" user input channel will indeed align with the aux send send carrying a mix of the same signal. Same goes for the PQ section, which is simply a separate set of 8 stereo matrixes.

Sheldon Radford
Digidesign



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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Digi Profile wrapup
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2007, 02:00:51 pm »

Well, the shipping company is picking up the four rolling cases today and I'm officially done with this Road Test. Sure hate to see it go!  Crying or Very Sad

There's something undefinable about the sound of this latest gig and I think it's that the spoken word had more immediacy--that it was less distant-sounding and more up front. Even with a mass of parametric EQ cuts on the lavalier subgroup the sound of the Venue D-Show Profile was the most "in your face" I've ever had in this room or with this PA. I don't know why this would be true because the limiting and compression on channels and mixes this time around was within the norm for me using any other digital mixer. It's true that the Profile's standard onboard and 3rd party plug-ins were different than normal but even on mixes that didn't involve a strong plug-in compression or limiting effect the sound was placed well forward... Even my talkback mic routed straight to the PA had this character. Basically, the show sounded more like a well-produced voice over than a little guy lost on a big stage.  Cool

By 'undefinable' I don't mean hard to hear. The guys I usually gig with on the crew this time were telling me how much better it sounded than last time. Sure, it wasn't a true ABX test but even the 55-ish motorcycle guy who admits of hearing loss was saying positive things.  Razz

index.php/fa/8401/0/

Here's a couple of snaps of the corporate meeting FOH setup. Playback at the desk consisted of my laptop, an Instant Replay and an aging CD player that skipped whenever anybody on the platform moved.  Mad   I pulled that guy out of the Profile's top layer on the first day and inserted a surprise DVCam video playback unit. Notice that my stereo playback channels are old-skool dual fader style... On the Profile I am able to map these stereo sources to a single fader which makes for a tighter top layer with more stuff visible but in this case the source material was going to be coming at me last minute and was going to be all over the place in terms of production quality. I was certain to get 'stereo' video tapes that had only one channel activated or had completely different quality on each channel; in the end my fear was proven correct. That's why I kept my stereo sources on two faders... I also made sure the pan knobs were in view any time I was playing back a crummy video tape or home-burnt DVD. You can see in the bottom photo the hard-panned character of the DVD inputs. Those green LED circles surrounding the rotary encoders can also show things like input trim, HPF, comp or gate threshold and delay but I need to be able to quickly pan a bad tape's good channel straight up and drop the bad channel fader's level.

The white board tape you see is for my tech director who covered for me a couple of times while I took a quick bio. I don't need board tape to tell me the same things that the orange alphanumeric display shows.  Wink

I noticed that the two mic inputs at FOH aren't quite as good quality as the 48 mic inputs on the Stage Rack. The FOH Rack has one 15v phantom powered mic input labeled COM--I used that for a push-to-talk Shure MX-418 mic that the tech director spoke into for VOG announcements. The Profile surface itself has a 15v talkback input at the upper right corner... I found that my SM58 talkback mic had some underlying buzz and the Shure MX-418 was a hair too hot for the FOH rack COM input even with its six-step gain knob turned all the way down to -32dBu. I'd like to see an optional card that puts some high quality mic pres into the FOH Rack. All the line level inputs at FOH were perfectly acceptable.

One essential area where I didn't have enough time to explore was the Profile filing and snapshot system. The mark of a really usable mixer is that the filing system is flexible yet fool-proof. Can you load parts of the next band's show while the first band is still on stage? I didn't check that out. Can you protect parts of your mix from new snapshot recalls? Can you store snapshots of only selected sections of your mix? Can you copy or store the EQ and dynamics of a channel without copying or storing its subgroup/aux routing or input trim? I didn't find out how to do these things because my gig was so frantic and busy with such long hours and very high maintenance clients. Can you move a channel to a different fader and have its plug-ins move with it? Yes, you can! I figured that one out by myself--RTFM.  Cool

The onboard EQ shows that it is in circuit with a red status light vs. no light. The onboard dynamics show 'in circuit' with a green status light vs. no light. I think that both should be green when they are in circuit.

One interesting feature is that if you adjust the dynamics on one channel then separately adjust the dynamics on another, you can select them both and further tweak their dynamics while retaining the relative differences between them. At one point in my gig I needed to find an option that made the second channel's dynamics jump to exactly match the first channel's--I needed to eliminate the relative offset. Simple copy and paste of the whole channel did the trick for dynamics but my EQ settings, subgroup/aux routing and gain trim level was also copied and pasted. At some point I will have to figure out how to copy and paste only EQ or only dynamics on the Profile.

Plug-in Serato parametric 10-filter EQ was my main tool for microphone subgroup anti-feedback processing and output speaker zone processing. I wish I had figured out how to start the EQ with a default filter bandwidth of one-fifth octave instead of always having to trim the default bandwidth down from one whole octave. I'm sure there's a way but I didn't have time during setup to look it up and after the rig was dialed in I didn't need to.  Razz

The Profile is the space-saving version of the larger D-Show and in this Road Test setup the USB keyboard and trackball mouse were stored in a sliding shelf underneath the surface. On the bigger D-Show the trackball is on top next to the main fader bank where it's MUCH easier to access. I found it a PITA to push the trackball shelf in and out during my gig yet leaving it out meant that I had to reach farther to get to the faders and knobs. I'm sure if I were gigging steadily with the Profile I would put a mouse shelf permanently on the front off to the right side. The good news is that there is a sturdy slot running the length of the underside of the front of the surface and you can mount a mouse shelf on this slot and lock it down with the same knurled knobs used for locking down the LCD screen on the back of the surface. Lefties can have the trackball on the left if desired... Yesterday, when I was packing the Profile back up for return to Digidesign, I noticed some metal shelves intended for PQ mixers mounted on mic stands--I wondered if one of those shelves would have solved my trackball inconvenience.

Overall, this mixer leaves a fantastic impression on me. It gave me the tools to get a great sound easily.

-Bink
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles
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