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who sells uptown fader automation?
Old 1st July 2005
  #1
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electric's Avatar
 

who sells uptown fader automation?

hi all,
who sells uptown fader automation? is uptown still in business? interested in the 990 line.

electric
Old 1st July 2005
  #2
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brianroth's Avatar
 

Uptown is now owned by ATI (Audio Toys) which also own the API console line. Uptown's website seems really messed up today:

http://www.faders.com/product.htm

Here's ATI's site:

http://www.audiotoys.com/frmst3.htm

You have to REALLY look around to find any Uptown mention there. Click on the "company" link.

Bri
Old 1st July 2005
  #3
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electric's Avatar
 

hi brain,
thanks thumbsup

called ati and they are already out for weekend vacation. (why am i still working?)

found this by guessing webpage:
http://www.faders.com/product.htm

do you know if they are still selling the 990 line? any idea on cost of these things? (i only need 8 channels of automation)

also do you know what brand of motorized fader they use? is it p& g?

if things are too $$$ i am actually thinking of building my own automation. (put the ole engr degree to use)

regards,
electric
Old 1st July 2005
  #4
Gear Addict
 
EngineEars's Avatar
 

You have to find used Uptown automation systems. I talked to ATI recently and was told they are only selling new systems with new API consoles. Used systems seem to be as rare as pop records without auto tune. Your best bet is to buy a used desk with it built in and rip it out of it and sell the desk with replacement faders. Keep me posted if you find a better solution.

It seems as though Flying Faders is the only third party still doing new console automation retrofits. Flying Faders 2 is under development and it sounds like it's gonna be great, if you could afford such a thing.

Meanwhile I'll sit by and see what Tonelux or others come up with as far as a DAW controlled analog fader. <---- A concept very long overdue for a rehaul.
Old 2nd July 2005
  #5
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brianroth's Avatar
 

I have worked with only one Uptown system, and that was part of a DDA Profile desk I installed perhaps 2 years ago in Trent Bell's studio here in Norman, OK. That particular desk was built approx. 1993 or so, and Uptown was a factory option at the time. The faders are TKD (no...NOT "TDK"), an unfamilar brand to me.

The automation has always worked well, except for the time when some field mice invaded the desk and chewed up some ribbon cables and pooped all over some circuit boards. That was a mess....

Bri

PS, I did a digicam dump of snapshots I took during the rebuild of Trent's room (which was also undergoing physical remodeling at the time as well) and put them here at my old website:

http://www.rothtech.org/queue/bell/
Old 2nd July 2005
  #6
The TKD faders are from Japan. They are superior to P+G. They are spec'ed at 750,000 slides without failure. This is why they were selected for the Uptown systems which I used to install. I still install TKD faders as they cost less than P+G and don't get gummy after a few months. They also don't come wired with that crappy wire P+G uses.

My TKD faders in my consoles are so slippery, if you hold one vertical, it will slide down on it's own. They feel like liquid on the console.

BTW, it's Tokyo Koon Do for those from Rio Linda.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 2nd July 2005
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
The TKD faders are from Japan. They are superior to P+G. They are spec'ed at 750,000 slides without failure. This is why they were selected for the Uptown systems which I used to install. I still install TKD faders as they cost less than P+G and don't get gummy after a few months. They also don't come wired with that crappy wire P+G uses.

My TKD faders in my consoles are so slippery, if you hold one vertical, it will slide down on it's own. They feel like liquid on the console.

BTW, it's Tokyo Koon Do for those from Rio Linda.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Jim,
Where can I find prices on the TKD faders?

Cheers man
Old 4th July 2005
  #8
In Sweden I'd try Sellmark Electronics in GB. In the USA try RALAudio .com

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 4th July 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 
vince @ speck's Avatar
 

I was talking to someone about moving faders the other day. Maybe Electric is the same person.

I found the same links for Uptown too. It's an old web page that references a 486 computer to run the automation. Me thinks this is an old web site! I'm wondering why it's so hard to get info on the Uptown Automation. Are they still in business? Has the decline of the large console market affected the sale of moving faders? I think Sellmark Electronics in the UK can get the moving faders and/or the complete automation package. They don't have a web site but you can PM me and I'll get you an email to a sales guy at Sellmark.


Jim... there are plenty of faders that are better than P&G. P&G's are way overrated in my option. Once upon a time they were the best when compared to their competion; Waters and Duncan. But that's ancient history.

There are many players in the electronic components business in Japan and Taiwan (China) that make a nice fader for a lot less $ than the P&G, work better, and outlast the P&G. The Alps and Panasonic come to mind. They just don't have the "panache" that the P&G does.
Old 6th July 2005
  #10
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electric's Avatar
 

hey vince,
yeah that was me heh

still looking to see if i could add automation to the lilo at reasonable pricepoint. may have found a solution but its gonna take some time. the solution is midi-based. you would use midi from daw to control faders. (but also user could adjust in real time). vince said the lilo chasis is plenty big for dropping in motor faders.

the concept is this. there are some diy-ers who put together a pretty configurable midicontroller out there using PIC microcontroller from Microchip. its essentially a non-commercial module based midi controller design that consists of a core module and and many add on modules. here is the website:

http://www.ucapps.de/

pcb and kits are avail in us at:
http://avi.dezines.com/mbhp/buy.html
as you can see the prices are reasonable and NON PROFIT

there is a motor fader add on module. each core unit can drive 1 motor fader module which controls 8 motorfaders. (so for the lilo you would need to build 3 units to drive all 17 faders). prefab'd pcbs are available at cost for all modules. all parts are pretty cheap and avail at mouser/digikey . they seem to have qualified 2 different faders for use with the unit:

ALPS
RSAON11M9

PANASONIC
EVANMKP08B14
panasonic unit is only $7 or a piece and silent but doesnt have a touch sensitiivty option. however this is easy to work around. (a switch or thumbtack solves this)

however, it looks like there are issues with the current design getting consistency across all faders(probably voltage regulation) and also having them run noiseless. many other faders dont seem to work well with the system. it seems pretty testy. they added a new adjustable pulsewidth modulation option to help with the noise factor. i contacted someone to get prices for the alps fader today.

the parts for pcb for 3 modules wouldnt run much more than 150.00. box/power supply another 50.00. then not sure how much the faders go for. i think the alps go for 25-40 a pop. essentially you may be able to add automation for under $1000.00(thats all 17 faders. 8 faders or so would cut in half). if you could get these thing up and running i dont see what could mess with the speck and moving faders stike

i, myself, am going to try to build a simple 8 fader system soon to see how well it works. if i am successful vince will be getting a phone call the next day for a new order thumbsup .


electric
Old 6th July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 

AFAIK API will not install Uptown as an aftermarket system. They have a new automation system that is on the few Vision consoles that they have produced (at least Galaxy in Belgium and Hyperion in L.A.) - maybe they would rather install Vision automation, but I don't know if they can.

Used GML, Uptown, and FF systems pop up from time to time, but it is difficult to get support for anything but FF.

I believe Mike Williams at Sellmark will propose an Audiomate system, but they have not installed a new system in quite a long time. Audiomate, as well as all of the other moving fader automation systems, are stuck on an ancient computer (FF will be modernized, hopefully soon).

What Paul Wolff is doing sounds great but isn't exactly a retrofit moving fader automation system.

Yes, 8 channels of Flying Faders automation can tend to be pretty expensive...
Old 6th July 2005
  #12
Gear Addict
 
EngineEars's Avatar
 

First off let me say I'm no electronics guru I just use the stuff. But to you tech types how hard would it be to replace the faders in a Hui/ProControl/Icon or such device so that audio is run through the faders and the motion from the fader moves are retained in the DAW?

Of course I would think you would have to use a dedicated control surface just for your audio faders deeming the whole bank switching useless for that particular controller, but so what you'd have instant moving fader automation with every session you load in your DAW.

This solution seems like it would cost thousands less than any other method I can think of. It's just a matter of somehow patching the audio of these faders inline with your current mixer or summing device right? What would keep something from like this working? Perhaps someone like Jim Williams or the like could pipe in hear and tell me what's flawed about these thoughts (for someone willing to pay this much for it.)

Cost involved for a bank of eight:

The controller itself $1000 (a used Hui for ex.)
New faders for the audio $400 (8 faders @ $50 a pop)
Mods and fader installs $607 (a day on the bench and a six pack)
--------------------------------------
$2007

Moving fader automation for your analog chain with no vca's inline = Priceless
Old 6th July 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineEars
It seems as though Flying Faders is the only third party still doing new console automation retrofits. Flying Faders 2 is under development and it sounds like it's gonna be great, if you could afford such a thing..
i've been hearing about FF2 for years... i'll believe it when i see it.
Old 6th July 2005
  #14
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electric's Avatar
 

engineears,
awesome idea. i think the only problem would be making the unit interface well to the outside world. i would guess you would need to balance your io for each channel and maybe have a line output driver for each to. (not sure, i am a digital guy).. a guy like vince or jim would know.
Old 6th July 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
i've been hearing about FF2 for years... i'll believe it when i see it.
I'm with you...but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Old 6th July 2005
  #16
Doug, tell us more about the MartinSound ACX mixer!!

Thanks
Old 6th July 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell
Doug, tell us more about the MartinSound ACX mixer!!

Thanks
with TR and FF2 that thing would be
Old 7th July 2005
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindell
Doug, tell us more about the MartinSound ACX mixer!!

Thanks
No mic pres, no monitor section...

It's intended as an extender for existing consoles. We have a little bit of rental business left (only one scoring stage that I know of has a FF console, and only scoring stage need lots and lots of automated inputs on an analog console).

Martinsound has no present plans to make recording consoles...
Old 10th July 2005
  #19
Gear Nut
 
Matt M's Avatar
 

I have a used Uptown system for sale with TKD faders. 32 faders, very nice condition. PM me if interested. We used to sell and install Uptown Systems.
Old 10th July 2005
  #20
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electric

You have my attention! I am really intrigued! I have often thought about doing this but the software seems to be the hard part, (and I write software!).

Also if you use MIDI data to save the fader position doesn't MIDI limit itself to 128 steps (or is it only for MIDI data and therefore we can store more discrete steps within the MIDI protocol?). See I was never too sure about that.

I went for just a MIDI mute system. That is much simpler and very easy to save in RAM or a your DAW to automate.

Moving faders would be amazing. I love DIY and looked up the hardware costs and parts availability and like you found that except for the faders everything else was very reasonable and available.

How do you plan to integrate software? Have the DAW send out MIDI data from the DAW fader automation? Is that it? What about using the real faders to write the automation, is that in your plan?

I would love to discuss this further. You may be on to something here. I think there are many that would be interested here and also in the DIY community. A gathering of minds and resources may come up with a viable solution for us that can't go with commercially available systems.

Jim
Old 13th August 2005
  #21
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PhilE's Avatar
Ahhhh- please help!!

My DDA Profile with uptown is lovely... I'm very pleased, well actually I would be if it wasn't for the PC refusing to boot up due to a VGA error!! The uptown is based in an ISA slot format so I can't just grab a new PC for it!!
Any ideas??
Old 14th August 2005
  #22
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brianroth's Avatar
 

"VGA error" sounds like a problem with your video card. What is the exact error message?

Bri
Old 16th August 2005
  #23
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PhilE's Avatar
Well... the VGA problem was the video card... I replaced it and the PC started to boot then hung... OK I expect this from PCs but when I came to reboot I got nothing at all- no beep no power LED no nothing!

My general feeling here is a new PC could well be in order- but I am having great dificulty in finding a PC with 3 ISA slots. 2 is easy enough. Does anyone know if I need to run an ISA soundcard (for the timecode) or if this could be done on a PCI card? The 2 Uptown cards are ISA so obviously I need to keep them but can I swap out the soundcard in the current machine and replace it with a PCI one in a differnet PC and run the system from there?
Does anyone know the system requirements for running uptown? (I don't know which version I am running as I can't seem to get that far yet!)

Cheers,

P.
Old 19th August 2005
  #24
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Gravity8058's Avatar
 

Uptown 990

I think a company in CA called Vertigo sell Uptown still.

We've had our Uptown 990 automation system since 1998 and it's rock solid and super easy to learn and use. Plus no crappy sounding VCAs to spoil the sound!
Old 19th August 2005
  #25
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brianroth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilE
Well... the VGA problem was the video card... I replaced it and the PC started to boot then hung... OK I expect this from PCs but when I came to reboot I got nothing at all- no beep no power LED no nothing!

My general feeling here is a new PC could well be in order- but I am having great dificulty in finding a PC with 3 ISA slots. 2 is easy enough. Does anyone know if I need to run an ISA soundcard (for the timecode) or if this could be done on a PCI card? The 2 Uptown cards are ISA so obviously I need to keep them but can I swap out the soundcard in the current machine and replace it with a PCI one in a differnet PC and run the system from there?
Does anyone know the system requirements for running uptown? (I don't know which version I am running as I can't seem to get that far yet!)

Cheers,

P.
I think your only choice for a NEW machine would be an "industrial" computer, which are typically rack mounted and not cheap. A lot of industrial process equipment required odd-ball proprietary ISA cards, so when the old PC bought the farm, the companies required an ISA bus machine. Do a Google search and you'll come up with a number of "industrial" PC suppliers.

Trent Bell's DDA desk came from the previous owner with a rack mounted 486 "industrial" PC, which appears to be nothing more than a rather vanilla motherboard bolted into a rack chassis.

These folks list various 486 motherboards, many with ISA slots:

http://www.baber.com/motherboards/486_motherboards.htm

Bri
Old 22nd August 2005
  #26
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PhilE's Avatar
Thanks Brian,

I have found a machine and it's all running!! Now I just need to learn the system... it's quite different from Flying Faders on the surface for sure!!
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