The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Cameras instead of a window? Modular Synthesizers
Old 17th March 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
Cameras instead of a window?

Have you done it? What cameras did you use?

Share your stories here please.

Specifically interested in what cameras you used.

Thanks.
Old 17th March 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
myles's Avatar
 

I committed to doing this when I built my studio, but haven't put anything in place yet.

Easiest would probably be to slap a Macbook in the other room, but that screws up my plan to have flat screens on the wall.

My assumption (hope?) is that there's an easy way to do it over Cat6.

Anyone who can share experience here would be a real pal...heh
Old 17th March 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

I did that at my friend's studio.
Put 2 USB jacks on the panel of the booth, leading to the machine room/control room. Connect a USB camera to the jack. Connect a USB monitor to the other.
The USB cables then go into a mac mini/macbook/whatever in the machine room/control room. That mac is dedicated for whoever's in the booth.
Then connect a USB camera to the engineer's mac.

After that it's simply using iChat.

The cool thing about this is that if a producer/client comes in with his macbook he can connect to ichat as well, because of the 3-way chat thing it allows.
Works pretty well if you've got a spare mac handy.
Old 17th March 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
I'm finding HD camcorders with HDMI outs that are cheap and would work perfectly provided they can run on their A/C all the time, no batteries of course. Then and HDMI DA could distribute the signals and cheap LCD monitors with multiple inputs in each room (I only have two) to receive. Just need to find a camera.
Old 17th March 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 

I went to Sams Club and bought a $250 security system (4 cameras, 4 long cat5, and a monitor) All the cables run to the monitor then there's a coax output from the monitor. I took that and went into a video splitter from Radio shack (1 in 4 out.) These coax cables can go to whatever televisions you want. The main monitor has choices for viewing. You can go split 4 screen or one large with 3 inlayed or whatever.
Old 17th March 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flymax View Post
I went to Sams Club and bought a $250 security system (4 cameras, 4 long cat5, and a monitor) All the cables run to the monitor then there's a coax output from the monitor. I took that and went into a video splitter from Radio shack (1 in 4 out.) These coax cables can go to whatever televisions you want. The main monitor has choices for viewing. You can go split 4 screen or one large with 3 inlayed or whatever.
I'd be worried that the quality of these cameras would get old after looking at them for hours. How long have you had this set up?
Old 17th March 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 

I used it for about 4 years at my previous studio. HD cams obviously would look better. This was an inexpensive option that also gave the option of split screen for feeding video back out to live room and booths with view of control room and other booths.
Old 17th March 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
py75's Avatar
 

I did it in a friend's studio few years ago. I used cameras with composite out (rca) plug into an LCD monitor on the AV in (rca video+2 rca audio) in the control room. The Mac is plug in it (canopus/vga/dvi ? i don't remember) and we use the PIP (picture in picture) option to get both sources. I did the same in the studio. We can see each other for a very cheap price. Still working today.
Old 18th March 2011
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Marineville's Avatar
 

I used cameras and screens in my last studio, worked a treat. Bought the cameras from Maplins (UK equivalent of Radio Shack) and they were quite cheap, very small, mains powered and used composite feeds. I had one in the studio pointing at me and one in the other room pointing at the artist, both giving full headshots.

Cameras and screens will be an integral part of my next studio build as I intend to utilize various rooms in the house for sessions. If you use a big screen to monitor the camera feed in the studio it's like looking through a window anyway!
Old 18th March 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Not to get too far off topic here, but I just wanted to share my experience so far.

I originally planned for cameras and screens in my studio but haven't set them up yet. I've been working "blind" for a couple projects now with only vocal communication and to tell you the truth, I have not missed the visual communication at all. The musicians that have recorded in the studio, including myself, have not missed being able to see the control room either. It feels more intimate without people staring at you from another room.

As always, that's just my experience and YMMV.
Old 18th March 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
3rd Degree's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmbmotorshop View Post
Not to get too far off topic here, but I just wanted to share my experience so far.

I originally planned for cameras and screens in my studio but haven't set them up yet. I've been working "blind" for a couple projects now with only vocal communication and to tell you the truth, I have not missed the visual communication at all. The musicians that have recorded in the studio, including myself, have not missed being able to see the control room either. It feels more intimate without people staring at you from another room.

As always, that's just my experience and YMMV.
My friend's studio is setup up the same way, well there is a very small window in the booth but people can't easily see in but the artist can see out. Many say they really enjoy it and can focus, some say they feel a bit "trapped" at first but get used to it quickly.
Old 18th March 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmbmotorshop View Post
Not to get too far off topic here, but I just wanted to share my experience so far.

I originally planned for cameras and screens in my studio but haven't set them up yet. I've been working "blind" for a couple projects now with only vocal communication and to tell you the truth, I have not missed the visual communication at all. The musicians that have recorded in the studio, including myself, have not missed being able to see the control room either. It feels more intimate without people staring at you from another room.

As always, that's just my experience and YMMV.
I agree with that.
The only reason why I need visual is because I need to make sure the non-studio musicians haven't moved too much (and a lot of them do) and if they do, I go in to make adjustments with the mic positions.
I just need that visual aid.
Old 18th March 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 

i did the security camera install 12 years ago in the 3 rooms and have never regretted it. it's inexpensive and works...plus the talent will never see you gagging with fingers in your ears whilst they exhibit there suck level over and over and over and...

g
Old 18th March 2011
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Marineville's Avatar
 

I have worked blind before but to be honest I missed being able to count people in. A lot of my stuff is made up as I go along so it's important for me to be able to see the musician for visual cues.
Old 18th March 2011
  #15
Gear Addict
 
emfrank72's Avatar
 

I use security cameras and they work great. I worked blind for a couple of years and would never go back. I don't know how many times I had drummers take off their cans between takes. Plus it is indispensable for cues.
Old 18th March 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by emfrank72 View Post
I use security cameras and they work great. I worked blind for a couple of years and would never go back. I don't know how many times I had drummers take off their cans between takes. Plus it is indispensable for cues.
Ditto

Had an upstairs room with a security Camera

I put it into an old mac monitor that accepted S-video..(? I think....)
Old 18th March 2011
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Lipps's Avatar
 

I've got a pair of cctv cameras, a 42" flatscreen in the control room and a 20" flat screen I had sitting in the closet I thought I'd make use of, mounted in the iso-room.

Originally planned on getting HD cctv cameras, but they were about $1k a pop. Went SD for a more reasonable price.

It's working out great and didn't cost that much to get up and running.

excuse the iPhone pic
Attached Thumbnails
Cameras instead of a window?-img_0530.jpg   Cameras instead of a window?-img_0531.jpg  
Old 18th March 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

I did grad school at UMass Lowell. One of the main mix rooms is above the main tracking room.

They have a good system of multiple cameras going downstairs in the tracking room - these are fed to a projector (that beams behind the console), thus creating a 'faux' window.

Additionally, there's a camera in the mix room. That feed can be accessed via connectors on each mic/cue panel in the live room. We had little ~5" TV monitors with stand adapters that the artist could setup if they wanted to see us up there. Additionally, those little TV mounts had mini cameras as well (which could be switched in upstairs, for "face-to-face" communication).

Granted, I'd rather have a window on the same floor, but given the circumstances, I think it was as sleek and functional as you can get.
Old 18th March 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
 

I wired my room like that with composite cables going through the walls so I could have two cameras connected to their opposite monitors (so each room can look at the other room).

I haven't set it up yet, not sure I ever will.. but it was easy enough to run some wire.
Old 18th March 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
rumimusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
Have you done it? What cameras did you use?

Share your stories here please.

Specifically interested in what cameras you used.

Thanks.

there are also these little cameras that you can see and control from your Iphone. Pretty nifty. We use those. I like cameras because of their flexibility. The only downfall is having to move em around alot, but it's cool to have that option.
Old 18th March 2011
  #21
In this case analog wins for me by a long way. It just seems weird.
Old 18th March 2011
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
In this case analog wins for me by a long way. It just seems weird.
I agree but you've got to use really old glass - the new stuff is cold and brittle looking to my eyes.
Old 18th March 2011
  #23
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
In this case analog wins for me by a long way. It just seems weird.
Are you talking about a window? heh

because analog TV cameras are cheap...
Old 18th March 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
 
seaneldon's Avatar
 

Experimented with having an expensive webcam that could be mounted high up on the front wall of the live room, or moved over to the machine room to view the VU's on the tape machine. Ultimately, it stayed on the tape machine. The picture quality was good but you've only got "half of the window" if the talent can't see you back.
Old 18th March 2011
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Are you talking about a window? heh

because analog TV cameras are cheap...
Window. It seems weird this would even be suggested given how many people say screens take away from their workflow. This one is a real blunder to me.. what you're essentially doing is putting something in place that is far more prone to failure than a big piece of glass that doesn't serve the purpose any better.
Old 18th March 2011
  #26
Yeah, but if you structurally don't have the option for a window, this is as good as it gets I reckon.

I have cameras now, after 12 years of working behind glass, and I don't mind them at all. You can split the screen up, and focus your eyes on 4 rooms at a time, not moving from the sweet spot much.

I know, some studios have a layout with glass that you can do the same with, sure, line of sight to 4 rooms. This is rare though.

I have to second what the poster said about people being comfortable. Some like the camera off, some don't mind. Some feel like a zoo animal with either glass or cam.

You can shut the camera off, maybe draw a curtain with a window.

When the camera's off, I really don't miss it as much as I thought I would though. I have gotten some of my best takes from people this way.
They can perform and forget anybody else is even there.

What I don't miss, is people leaning over and hitting their head on the window....myself included :0)

We had a patch panel right under the control room window on the studio floor side 3 pane, angled glass. Once every two weeks or so, somebody would bend down to plug in, hit it, and look up very confused. It would leave marks too...

To sum up, I can work with either, or neither. Cams are fine.

John
Old 18th March 2011
  #27
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanvoth View Post
Window. It seems weird this would even be suggested given how many people say screens take away from their workflow. This one is a real blunder to me.. what you're essentially doing is putting something in place that is far more prone to failure than a big piece of glass that doesn't serve the purpose any better.
heh

It seems that the word "analog" is coming to mean something other than merely 'non-digital'. Plenty of TV cameras out there are strictly speaking, "analog".

I agree with your point about having even more screens in your workflow, but I worked in one studio where the CR was in the basement and the live room was in a dome upstairs. If the two rooms are not adjacent, no window is possible.

Also, the presence of a lot of glass in a studio is often frowned upon by the acoustical designer. I have seen a tug-of-war take place between the people trying to minimize reflections, and the people trying to maximize communication.

I love a big-ass window, it makes me feel like "this is a 'real' studio", but acoustically, they have a point.
Old 18th March 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 

I install lots of camera systems, of the traditional analog variety, and the new digital IP camera systems. I've put a couple in studios. More often these days in Colorado, I install them for (legal, folks!) marijuana grow operations.

@ myles - You can run IP cameras over Cat6 with a POE switch (or use a local AC receptacle), but the older analog stuff usually uses RG59 with an 18/2 for power. Power can come from a simple wall wart, or a commercial DC supply box.

Video feeds can be multiplexed and streamed to multiple monitors or spot monitors. The newer DVRs are also networked, so you don't need a direct hardwire connection to view the camera from a remote computer terminal and screen. Cameras are cabled to the DVR, which is networked, and then any computer on the LAN can see the feeds. The DVRs I install also stream live video feed to iphones, androids, and my blackberry.

Analog cameras with 1/3" Sony CCD chips will give you 560 TV lines, which is considered high resolution. The images are clean and easy on the eyes. IP cameras will do 30 frames per second, bout the same as live motion to the eye.

Webcams are not really intended for these applications, though they can be used for them a pinch. USB cables can't be field terminated, so it removes the option of long runs and roughed-in cables.
Old 18th March 2011
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipps View Post
I've got a pair of cctv cameras, a 42" flatscreen in the control room and a 20" flat screen I had sitting in the closet I thought I'd make use of, mounted in the iso-room.
Sorry to be off topic but want to comment on your bass-traps.. great choice of covering material. :-)
Old 19th March 2011
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
heh

It seems that the word "analog" is coming to mean something other than merely 'non-digital'. Plenty of TV cameras out there are strictly speaking, "analog".

I agree with your point about having even more screens in your workflow, but I worked in one studio where the CR was in the basement and the live room was in a dome upstairs. If the two rooms are not adjacent, no window is possible.

Also, the presence of a lot of glass in a studio is often frowned upon by the acoustical designer. I have seen a tug-of-war take place between the people trying to minimize reflections, and the people trying to maximize communication.

I love a big-ass window, it makes me feel like "this is a 'real' studio", but acoustically, they have a point.
I was just poking fun with the analog comment but for the exception of rooms that aren't adjacent I think a window is a little more fail safe. 11pm session and the cable shorts out, sure the session can continue but it may be uncomfortable. It's a neat concept but seems a little unnecessary.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
thebthatwasp / Studio Building / Acoustics
7
Stereophonic / Mastering Forum
21
SPerlz / Studio Building / Acoustics
4
Shadow_7 / Remote Possibilities in Acoustic Music and Location Recording
32
quincyg / Studio Building / Acoustics
12

Forum Jump
Forum Jump