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Why doesn't anyone make this?... Monitor Controllers
Old 5th December 2009
  #91
Gear Nut
 

That's 2 Midas Venice 160s!! Tis slutty though. Keep the ideas coming, a simple affordable idea is still to found......
Old 5th December 2009
  #92
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidespinosa View Post
Thrill -- Thanks for the info. I found the GTM-822, but I couldn't find the Aurora aux box. Godda link ?

David
Look in this thread.

On the cheap since the Shure Auxpander has been discontinued, the Behringer MX882 does something similar albeit with less sends.
Old 5th December 2009
  #93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Songcatcher View Post
That's 2 Midas Venice 160s!! Tis slutty though. Keep the ideas coming, a simple affordable idea is still to found......
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Yeah, maybe I'll use two Yamaha PM1D's - fully expanded to 368-inputs per console - one for FOH and one for monitoring - like they do at Disney Hall. (Sluttiest consoles I've used - as producer, not engineer).

...

OK, BOT.

.
Old 5th December 2009
  #94
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Look in this thread.

On the cheap since the Shure Auxpander has been discontinued, the Behringer MX882 does something similar albeit with less sends.
.

I'm not trying to be a wise guy here, at all, Thrill - but would you even seriously consider monitoring your recordings through any of this cheap gear?

I'm really asking seriously. Because I haven't had much luck with the cheaper gear. Even Mackie stuff is questionable, IME. I mean I've used it plenty, I'm just asking if you feel you can truly hear source material accurately through Behringer and Shure gear?

It's just the pots are all so cheap, etc...I'm not really considering this. To be clear, I DO want something of GOOD QUALITY. If we have to spend $6500 and wait a year, fine. But spending $6500, waiting a year, and NOT having the right solution...not so much.

Also, maybe I'm in fantasy land, but it doesn't seem like what we're aksing for here should be that expensive - am I wrong?

Again, I know this is High End, but everything has it's real value...and we are talking about a unit potentially useful for professionals AND amateurs both - in professional studios, live venues, and project studios alike.

The MH unit does come damn close. Less accessible for the low budget, but...

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Old 5th December 2009
  #95
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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I'm not trying to be a wise guy here, at all, Thrill - but would you even seriously consider monitoring your recordings through any of this cheap gear?

I'm really asking seriously. Because I haven't had much luck with the cheaper gear. Even Mackie stuff is questionable, IME. I mean I've used it plenty, I'm just asking if you feel you can truly hear source material accurately through Behringer and Shure gear?

It's just the pots are all so cheap, etc...I'm not really considering this. To be clear, I DO want something of GOOD QUALITY. If we have to spend $6500 and wait a year, fine. But spending $6500, waiting a year, and NOT having the right solution...not so much.

Also, maybe I'm in fantasy land, but it doesn't seem like what we're aksing for here should be that expensive - am I wrong?

Again, I know this is High End, but everything has it's real value...

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The Shure Auxpander and MX882 aren't used for monitoring but for multiplying sends. For example if you only have 2 sends and want to turn it into 8 sends these boxes are an 8X8 multi splitters.

The GTM-822 is a top notch mixer.
Old 6th December 2009
  #96
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
The Shure Auxpander and MX882 aren't used for monitoring but for multiplying sends. For example if you only have 2 sends and want to turn it into 8 sends these boxes are an 8X8 multi splitters.

The GTM-822 is a top notch mixer.
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Yes, thanks, Thrill. So you have no concern running your signal through these devices? I guess you figure B & S (heh) can't screw up a splitter...

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Old 6th December 2009
  #97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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Yes, thanks, Thrill. So you have no concern running your signal through these devices? I guess you figure B & S (heh) can't screw up a splitter...

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Not really. They are simple devices for a simple function.

I use the Behringer Edison from time to time and the cable tester i use almost every day. I don't care who makes it as long as it does what it claims it does.
Old 6th December 2009
  #98
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Not really. They are simple devices for a simple function.

I use the Behringer Edison from time to time and the cable tester i use almost every day. I don't care who makes it as long as it does what it claims it does.
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Thanks, dude. I'm concerned, because the splitters and selector pots will be hardwired (for all intents and purposes) and used regularly...

I don't want to end up with unwanted distortion or signal interruptions, cheap jacks and pots, etc.

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Old 6th December 2009
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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Thanks, dude. I'm concerned, because the splitters and selector pots will be hardwired (for all intents and purposes) and used regularly...

I don't want to end up with unwanted distortion or signal interruptions, cheap jacks and pots, etc.

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Then why bark when a worth while solution is $6500?heh


And the splitter suggestion was for the ATI 8 MX2 which is an 8X2X8 mixer but with no auxes.

Actually if quality is really a concern ATI makes a 2X8 splitter/distribution mixer:
ATI Audio
Old 6th December 2009
  #100
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Then why bark when a worth while solution is $6500?heh


And the splitter suggestion was for the ATI 8 MX2 which is an 8X2X8 mixer but with no auxes.

Actually if quality is really a concern ATI makes a 2X8 splitter/distribution mixer:
ATI Audio
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I hear you...And I'm really not barking that much, although $6500 is not cheap - and it doesn't do everything. In the end, we'll do what we have to do.

Thanks for the S/DM links thumbsup...Excellent!

This is why I posted here. To get feedback from the people here who really know their stuff.

Again, thank you, Thrill!

.
Old 6th December 2009
  #101
Lives for gear
 
RonT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
Do you guys really not mind your volume knob being in a rack?

That would drive me friggin' *nuts*.


Gregory Scott - ubk
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I thought I wouldn't mind but the DBox is driving me crazy! My buddy has a central station and I am so jealous of his remote thingy.

I recently purchased the 2bus lt and now I am going to sell the DBox for a better more "convenient" means of monitoring. Any boxes that have all the features of the Central Station but truely transparent?
Old 6th December 2009
  #102
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonT View Post
I thought I wouldn't mind but the DBox is driving me crazy! My buddy has a central station and I am so jealous of his remote thingy.

I recently purchased the 2bus lt and now I am going to sell the DBox for a better more "convenient" means of monitoring. Any boxes that have all the features of the Central Station but truely transparent?
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Yeah, what's up with the sonic anomalies in the Presonus gear? And Mackie, as well. I've noticed various sonic color, volume discrepancies, etc.

I mean, I know they're cheaper pieces, but why can't they do basic signal routing properly?

What are the chief component issues causing these problems?

...Or am I mistaken? Should they work properly?..

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Old 6th December 2009
  #103
Gear Nut
 

One of the studios I work out of had a Presonus Central Station however the Monitor select buttons are crappy, actually all of the blue buttons are crap! Button C pushed in and wouldn't come back out! One of the TRS buttons just fell off into the unit. I replaced it with a brand new one just to have that unit "Clear overs" button depress into the unit and fall inside!!! I am using to the first unit on my home rig with the desktop remote now. It does everything I need it to do but the quality is crap.
Old 6th December 2009
  #104
Lives for gear
Prism Orpheus do what you want? If I wanted an all in one solution, that would be the only thing I would look at. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are asking for, or maybe you are overcomplicating something you want to do that is simple...like just using a line splitter and personal monitoring stations? I'm confused. There are coleman monitoring boxes that have lots of inputs and outputs. They have VU meters too.
Old 6th December 2009
  #105
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Hey, thanks for helping out here, guys! Much appreciated!

thumbsup

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Old 6th December 2009
  #106
Gear Head
 

As UBK has already mentioned the requested box might only occur to you as THE unit everybody needs in exactly that configuration. In other words the reason why nobody builds this things is that the number of inputs requested by customers varies too much that it would be commercially sensible to design and to build it as a standard.

Many people or better most people don't really care about latency. That's another reason. I always use Zero latency monitoring through my analog desk bur many of my students and customers are happy with the relatively low latency digital monitoring some new systems offer today.
Most professional musicians had to get along with the typical 2.6 msec latency of the
Pro Tools HD in 44.1 Khz.
I also prefer direct analog monitoring.


In my more than 3 decades in the recording business I have learned that these needs for mixer configurations are constantly changing. One person believes that 2 analog inputs are everything he will ever need, others would like to have 1 the next one 2 stereo inputs, again others would like to have all of their vintage keyboards permanently connected to that box so that they can simply route it to an input of their recording device.
One of the reasons why the Speck Xtramix was born.
Maybe one day somebody who has always recorded one track a time wants to record drums or a small band...
That's the reason why modular systems are so popular.

Digital recording systems will be further developed and I have learned that it saves money not to invest in digital hardware that might get obsolete soon.
Never buy more converters that you need every day. I have been there at times when one Apogee ADA 8000 with Pro Tools cards came for 22.000,- DM.
Instead I have learned that my old guitars and classic analog studio gear like my V72
or classic microphones hold their value over the years.
So I would always choose the classic solution that can be connected to the changing modern world and can be easily sold again.

The Electrodyne Unit Silvertone offers looks like a perfect solution from that perspective.

Fletcher recommended the API 8200 / 7800 system.

Especially the 7800 offers a lot for that money because you get the legendary API sound for small money that so many famous engineers are raving about because it helped them to make great sounding records .
The heart of that sound are the discrete op amps and the transformers and the 7800 is full of them. There are so many ways you can use the 10 outputs of the 7800 once you sit down with the block diagram and figure it out. You just have to find sombody who can make you adapter from your desired XLR to sub D.
Yes it has the master insert for the stereo monitor mix.
You can do what you want with the API system.
The 8200 mixer offers an insert for each channel so you can connect your source to the input and the output of your DAW to the insert return. Now you can toggle between the source and the DAW output by the insert switch.
Fletcher is a very experienced audio engineer who has not only tested and evaluated but also used much more gear that most of us. He has for sure thought about your request and your specific needs before he posted his advice.

Paul Wolff realized the need of a modular system an consequently built his Tonelux system. It can also do what you are looking for and much more.
A simple combination of input modules and the master module can do the trick.
And like the API it's a sonically superb system.
Again you can switch the source and the DAW output via the inserts.

There is another modular system that I would like to recommend to you.
ADT.
We have installed an ADT console in the studio of the University Hannover and it has one feature that I love. With one switch "ALL TAPE" you can switch all channels that are prepared for it via a individual switch from input to tape.
That lets you switch a complete drums set with many mic channels from tape to zero latency input monitoring with one switch.
ADT consoles fulfill the German broadcast specification standard.
The designer Gerd Jüngling offers 3 modular series.
With the Tool Mix and Tool Mod series he offers so many options that it takes some time to read and figure out what you can do with it.

The Master Unit offers the complete master section aof a big console including
4 stereo inputs , 10 stereo input source selection, speaker selection and a separate integrated headphone amp with independent level control.

The complete Master and Monitor Section

Again the 8 channel Toolmix 8 Mixer offers you a toggle between the source and the DAW via the insert.
the 8 Channel Line Mixer Toolmix8

You could also take some of the mic pre amps of the Toolkit series instead of the 8 channel mixer and switch between your mic source an Line ( DAW output) .

Mic-Pre, Line In and Filters in Channel Strip ToolKit

Talk to Mr. Jüngling. He can explain it to you or he can make it work for you.
Gerd is known for making individual configurations possible.
There are lots of modules from pre amps, Eqs, Compressors, gates ...
They can all be directly connected to the master stereo bus.

Eqs:
Channel Strip ToolKit - Equalizer

Compr.
Compressor in Channel Strip ToolKit

Noise Gate:
Noise-Gate in Channel Strip ToolKit


My personal solution for Monitoring is the Cranesong Avocet.
You can take the remote to wherever your monitor position is and switch sources without moving your head. The programmable level control lets you calibrate levels of a mastered CD and your own unmastered mixes and you can listen to them through the same integrated world class converters.
The Avocet is the unit on the market of the highest signal integrity that I have found.

When I thought about a setup without a console for my studio I went through the same planning and search as you and I found the combination of the Avocet with the Cranesong Egret a great solution.
http://www.cranesong.com/downloads/egret%20data.pdf

The Egret is an 8 channel analog mixer that has 8 of the same DA converters as the Avocet and an insert per channel, where you can connect your analog source.
So you can switch between the input with 0 latency and the high class output of the DAW.

You could use 4 of the channels inserts for your 2 stereo inputs,
2 Mono inputs
And the remaining 2 channels as your Master DAW DA converters.
Now you can mix them and listen through an analog input of the avocet.

In Mixdown you can monitor through the DAW DA converter of the Avocet and use the Egret as an analog mixer.

There is no better combination of high class converters and a high end discrete analog
class A mixer on the market.

Never before in recording history have there been so many options by so many manufacturers for so little money.
I once saw the original bill for 2 V76 and the price was DM 3000,-.
At that time the Volkswagen Beetle cost 2.900,-.

You get what you pay for and the flood of cheap audio gear, marketing bull**** and the published specs seduce us to believe that high end audio can be cheap.

Beware passive monitor controllers:
Funny that even physical laws are ignored.
You cannot make a passive volume control for a monitor controller and connect a cable to it without getting an filter no matter how expensive that potentiometer or mechanically superior the switch is. The worst degradation is at -6dB.
Dependent on the capacity of the cable and it's length you get a nice bandpass.

Best Peter
Old 6th December 2009
  #107
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I can't thank you enough Peter, for taking the time here! This is wonderful!

Yes, I certainly can tell that you have been 'through the mill' in your search for high quality tracking, monitoring and mixing configurations.

This is VERY HELPFUL INDEED! You are a prince for itemizing everything like this in the thread, and I very much appreciate it!

Yes, ADT seems a stellar suggestion. Of course, I have looked at their gear and designs in the past - truly impressive, to say the least!

To be sure, I am seriously thinking about not only monitor selection, but also the quality of the I/O and all components. And of course, you make the point that I arrived at yesterday - which is, you get what you pay for. I am slowly learning this, after years of crappy signal syndrome. I'm not an electrical engineer (my mom was : ) or a scientist or gear designer, and yet still, my ears tell me I'm not going to get what I want in another cheap box (with fancy marketing).

Yes, the sonic imprint of a basic input device - whether Neve, API, Trident, Contemporary/Clean, etc. is definitely something I'm seriously considering, at this point! This is the reason I'm now using the Buzz Audio ARC for basic tracking. I'm trying to slowly solve the 'junk in, junk out' issue.

I will likely be replacing all my cables, and power conditioning, as well.

One golden-eared engineer friend and collaborator (also a slut) has been extremely happy with his Tonelux setup for quite a while now. He also raves about his recent Aurora and Cranesong additions.

That said - for digital sub-mixing, internal sub-grouping, matrixing/routing - RME certainly seems to be a serious and competent company - David's been happily using their products, and we've spoken with their designers a bunch over the years.

With regard to the passive volume control - yes, we are already aware of the signal degradation issue (potentiometer with no buffer circuit, over longer cable lengths), and this has played a part in our planning. Thank you for bringing it up to confirm the -6dB problem. I am so tired of troubleshooting these inferior signal issues.

And it's funny you compare the cost of the V72's to a VW bug - because comparing semi-expensive gear prices to used car prices has always been my knee-jerk reaction

Anyway, I do very much appreciate your contribution here, and thank you again, sir! This is wonderful, and made my day!

Cheers
Joseph Briggs - Composer, Producer
Wired Planet Music

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Old 6th December 2009
  #108
Gear Nut
 

I'm not sure if this does exactly what you want it to do - but it's a flexible, elegant, cost-effective minimum form/maximum content solution. The key difference in approach to what your describing is that the (near) ZLM occurs via a loop through the interface rather than prior to hitting it - this leverages the power of the interface's onboard digital mixer to set up individual monitor inputs and relative levels, while retaining the tactile immediacy of the physical knobs on the SPL unit for overall mix/monitor levels and switching.

It effectively is the 2 part system which was alluded to earlier.

Lynx Two-A (4in/4out analog)
SPL MTC 2381

* 4 recording inputs (two stereo, two mono).

Connect your sources to the 4 inputs.

* 4-way recording input selector.

Choose which input to record in the DAW.

* Recording output to DAW.

Covered by already having an input per source.

* DAW playback input.

Lynx out 1&2 to MTC "mix" input

* Mixer between selected recording input and DAW playback for ZLM.

Lynx out 3&4 to MTC "musician" input - set Lynx software mixer to pass all analog ins through to this output pair for zero-latency monitoring.

You can vary the Musician/Mix relative balance for the Control Room with the crossfade knob. In addition there is a separate mixer for the cue mix - use this output to feed a separate headphone amp.

* Output volume control.

provided on MTC

* 2-way monitor output selector.

3 speaker output switches on MTC

* 2 outputs for monitors.

3 speaker outputs on MTC

* 2 headphone outputs.

1 Control Room HP out with on/off switch - either use a splitter or take advantage of a separate cue mix for the 2nd set by connecting a separate HP amp to cue mix out.

* possible monitor path insert - for monitor effects / channel strip, etc.

possibility to set up "comfort" reverb using a send on an AUX in the DAW (AUX Assigned to input being recorded/no output. Easy to set up in Logic - not sure about other DAWS.) Analog effects patched into record path via an external patch-bay. If any greater degree of complexity in routing is required a small mixer may be appropriate.

* possible talkback mic input

included in MTC - can be operated with a foot switch

Other potential advantages of this setup

- extra pair of digital I/O (add external digital reverb unit, extra AD/DA for additional record path, higher quality monitoring conversion, etc.)

- can record 4 sources simultaneously (vs. the 2 max you would have if switching between sources externally to route to a single DAW input pair.)

- excellent conversion quality at relatively low cost per channel vs. many external converters/FW interfaces.

- many alternative interfaces may have extraneous (i.e. 8+) or too few (stereo) analog I/O for this particular application - you will be forced to sacrifice either on cost or quality and possibly get redundant features (given the feature set of the MTC) in the process.

- compact relative to external/rack mount boxes (internal PCI card + desktop box with smallest footprint possible while retaining an individual switch/knob per function and necessary connectivity.)

- PCI-based interface allows for reliability and easy placement of DAW computer far from the listening position as all connections are Audio via balanced cables vs. FireWire. (e.g. with a FW box placed in the machine room - any additional user controls such as those for cue mixing, level controls, etc. are wasted due to inaccessibility.)

- can be re-configured to allow for level-matched A/B switching between source and AD input post-analog processing chain in stereo mix bus/pseudo-mastering applications, using identical quality DA for both monitoring as well as feeding the analog chain.

Disadvantages:

- As yet no PCI-express version of the Lynx Two cards has been announced - a non-issue for many PC users, but a problem for those of us in transition from PowerMac G5's to Mac Pros.

- Relies on software for record source selection.

- others?


G.
Old 7th December 2009
  #109
Lives for gear
 
Saudade's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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Why is there no good ZLM mixer box with decent I/O? This is 2010. Doesn't everyone here need one of these?

Wouldn't almost every one of the 95,000 gearslutz here buy one?

I MUST be missing something....I mean, seriously!?

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Concept wise, someone made something like this more than a decade ago, but it wasn't popular enough to sustain them apparently:

SeaSound - Solo

I too want something like that, especially with the talkback facility built in, maybe even with some good enough reverbs for vocal monitoring, something that is so sorely lacking. A hybrid, high quality, low channel count recording interface-monitor mixer-ADDA-monitor controller in 3u or less, that I can lug around to places and mobile setups
Old 8th December 2009
  #110
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Thank you very much Graematter and Saudaude.

We'll go thorugh your posts, and report back.

Much appreciated thumbsup

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Old 8th December 2009
  #111
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
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Thank you very much Graematter and Saudaude.

We'll go thorugh your posts, and report back.

Much appreciated thumbsup

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I am VERY LATE into this discussion, and have tried to absorb everything....

"Zero Latency" implies to me an analog signal path, and yet I kept reading about various gizmos with A/D and D/A converters.

I would assume that a "monitor controller" would exist totally in the analog domain.....the A/D and D/A converters would add some sort of "sound" as well as some amount of latency.

"Back in the Day", it was common for the monitor section of a recording desk to have multiple stereo inputs. Unfortunately, those same desks had at-best two monitor outputs ("main" and "alt").

Hence, I concocted an active "speaker selector" for more than a few desks, with the most recent "switcher" capable of six stereo outputs.

In all cases, I also realized that there was a need to "double punch" 1 or more sources into one or more speaker destinations.

On a FAR simpler "plane", I built this for a mastering studio....and it did NOT include the ability to "double punch":

http://www.brianroth.com/custom/monitor-control.jpg

Hell yes...custom...but perhaps some sort of "product" could be designed from that basic concept.

I can definitely see a gizmo with 4 or 6 stereo sources, and 4 or 6 stereo speaker "destinations", along with a precision "volume control", mono switching, and maybe partridges in a pear tree...

Now if I had to concoct something with multiple A/D D/A converters that work with multiple rates.....bah humbug.

5.1 or 7.1 also makes me slow down as well.....


Bri
Old 8th December 2009
  #112
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianroth View Post
I am VERY LATE into this discussion, and have tried to absorb everything....

"Zero Latency" implies to me an analog signal path, and yet I kept reading about various gizmos with A/D and D/A converters.

I would assume that a "monitor controller" would exist totally in the analog domain.....the A/D and D/A converters would add some sort of "sound" as well as some amount of latency.

"Back in the Day", it was common for the monitor section of a recording desk to have multiple stereo inputs. Unfortunately, those same desks had at-best two monitor outputs ("main" and "alt").

Hence, I concocted an active "speaker selector" for more than a few desks, with the most recent "switcher" capable of six stereo outputs.

In all cases, I also realized that there was a need to "double punch" 1 or more sources into one or more speaker destinations.

On a FAR simpler "plane", I built this for a mastering studio....and it did NOT include the ability to "double punch":

http://www.brianroth.com/custom/monitor-control.jpg

Hell yes...custom...but perhaps some sort of "product" could be designed from that basic concept.

I can definitely see a gizmo with 4 or 6 stereo sources, and 4 or 6 stereo speaker "destinations", along with a precision "volume control", mono switching, and maybe partridges in a pear tree...

Now if I had to concoct something with multiple A/D D/A converters that work with multiple rates.....bah humbug.

5.1 or 7.1 also makes me slow down as well.....


Bri
Nice Electrodyne VU meters (top pair) that you are using there Brian! I use the same ones in my mastering console... Same as the ones on the picture of that rack mount Electrodyne I posted earlier in this thread.
Old 8th December 2009
  #113
Lives for gear
 
illacov's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by brianroth View Post
I am VERY LATE into this discussion, and have tried to absorb everything....

"Zero Latency" implies to me an analog signal path, and yet I kept reading about various gizmos with A/D and D/A converters.

I would assume that a "monitor controller" would exist totally in the analog domain.....the A/D and D/A converters would add some sort of "sound" as well as some amount of latency.

"Back in the Day", it was common for the monitor section of a recording desk to have multiple stereo inputs. Unfortunately, those same desks had at-best two monitor outputs ("main" and "alt").

Hence, I concocted an active "speaker selector" for more than a few desks, with the most recent "switcher" capable of six stereo outputs.

In all cases, I also realized that there was a need to "double punch" 1 or more sources into one or more speaker destinations.

On a FAR simpler "plane", I built this for a mastering studio....and it did NOT include the ability to "double punch":

http://www.brianroth.com/custom/monitor-control.jpg

Hell yes...custom...but perhaps some sort of "product" could be designed from that basic concept.

I can definitely see a gizmo with 4 or 6 stereo sources, and 4 or 6 stereo speaker "destinations", along with a precision "volume control", mono switching, and maybe partridges in a pear tree...

Now if I had to concoct something with multiple A/D D/A converters that work with multiple rates.....bah humbug.

5.1 or 7.1 also makes me slow down as well.....


Bri
what you have here Brian is a perfect example of what I've read about for years at the famous studios. An engineer has a problem, they solve it internally, keeping the money in the house, along with their independence and secrets intact.

While I have seen the phrase custom thrown around like a 4 letter word, I see absolutely nothing wrong with it and recommend it for those of us who would rather buy something from a store than a qualified technician. I find that custom equipment does at times offer a person A) The opportunity to save some money but most importantly B) You directly interface with the person fabricating the product so that is specifically meets your needs.

Come on folks! Here's a gentle poke in the ribs for ya! How many pieces of slutty gear right now are named after the recording studios they came from??
Are we seeing a trend here?

I wouldn't have the access that I do to certain pieces of gear (or the techniques that come along with them) without having a good working relationship with my tech.

Keep the good vibes going!

Nice gear Brian! The VUs are tres sexy!heh

Peace
Illumination
Old 8th December 2009
  #114
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post
Nice Electrodyne VU meters (top pair) that you are using there Brian! I use the same ones in my mastering console... Same as the ones on the picture of that rack mount Electrodyne I posted earlier in this thread.
Those meters, made by Dixson in Colorado, were used by a bunch of manufacturers, including Electrodyne, MCI, Ampex et al. I used them in 1977 when I built this bit of insanity:

Roth Technical Services 32x24 Recording Desk

Unfortunately, Dixson got out of the analog meter universe many years ago. The Dixsons in the mastering monitor controller were recycled from a piece of Ampex gear.

Bri
Old 8th December 2009
  #115
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 

Thinking a bit further now, "Ye Good Olde Days" desks also had at least two analog switching controllers..one for the control room monitors and one for studio playback speakers. They typically had identical source selector switches ("2 mix", "tape 1", "tape 2", "tape 3", "cue"....etc etc), yet slightly different additional functions.

Examples: the CR switching section also included solo relays, while the studio output included talkback circuitry.

Is this the sort of thing being discussed, or does the "matrix" also require multiple A/D and D/A conversions, surround (and bass) management?? If the latter, I can certainly understand why no one is manufacturing such a device.

OTOH, if all we are talking about is "x" number of tactile switch "rows" with "x" number of analog stereo input sources and each capable of driving "x" numbers of destinations (with some sort of precision stereo "volume controls" and a few other minor analog functions), I am indeed a bit surprised that no one has stepped to the plate with a solution.

Eons ago (1993??? LONG before Mackie "Big Knobs" existed), I installed my first ProTools rig (with the original 4-channel interface), and realized there was a total lack of control room plus cue/talkback hardware. I concocted this:

http://www.brianroth.com/custom/switcher.jpg

In more recent times, the simpler PT suites I built used:

Studio Technologies, Inc. -- Model 55 / Model 56

So, is there a need for a somewhat more complex analog controller?

Bri
Old 8th December 2009
  #116
Gear Nut
 

Hi Brian,

You bring up some interesting points, however there's a couple of things I'd like to address. These are points that I have considered and found not to be problematic in the context of this specific application (though, admittedly, they can be the source of issues in certain situations and their implications should always be considered.)

Regarding latency - I've never tested it (as it's never shown to be a problem) but from what I gather the latency for simple AD/DA pass through on the Lynx card is under 3 samples (that is to say negligible) as it is reconverted directly and not via a buffer of any kind. I'd assume the same to be true for any interface which claims to be capable of zero latency monitoring.

Also, regarding sound - it's a minor point, but I consider it preferable (or at least not a disadvantage) to monitor the sound of whatever is being recorded to the DAW post AD/DA conversion, as this is identical to how it will sound when played back. The pre-conversion signal is meaningless in the context of making a recording (unless of course you are testing converters for transparency) as it will never be heard again. To the extent that there is loss as a result of the conversion - this alteration will be inherently factored in to any and all front-end decisions regarding sound, processing, playing, etc.


G.


Quote:
Originally Posted by brianroth View Post
I am VERY LATE into this discussion, and have tried to absorb everything....

"Zero Latency" implies to me an analog signal path, and yet I kept reading about various gizmos with A/D and D/A converters.

I would assume that a "monitor controller" would exist totally in the analog domain.....the A/D and D/A converters would add some sort of "sound" as well as some amount of latency.

Bri
Old 9th December 2009
  #117
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 

So...my point is....

Is the "wonderful" monitor selector a "simple" analog device, or does it also have to include multiple A/D and D/A converters, each one capable of 44.1, 88.2, etc etc???

Bri
Old 9th December 2009
  #118
Lives for gear
 
brianroth's Avatar
 

AND I assume this is a dead thread as none cares.

Bri
Old 9th December 2009
  #119
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

nice work Brian!
Old 9th December 2009
  #120
Gear Nut
 

I guess we've reached the end, there are numerous boxes that already come close, depending on your personal tastes and wallet thickness, maybe a better mouse trap ain't needed.
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