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Help me understand the Tonelux ShadowMix automation
Old 9th May 2006
  #1
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bit mangler's Avatar
 

Help me understand the Tonelux ShadowMix automation

1.Per my understanding the best audio path would be to come out of Protools/DAW sofware at 0db gain (at max resolution) and then do the change to the individual levels in the analog realm.I understand that the ShadowMix does exactly this
Paul says in this thread:

The biggest difference is that the audio is always at the maximum resolution. When turning down a digital fader, you are reducing the resolution as it fades.

but in this thread he says:

The faders have a different scale than PT. I have resolved it and the faders are now dB for dB from +12 to -15, then they start to contract, giving you more data resolution below that. When PT is at -50, I am at -32. That doubles the resolution in the lower levels, while leaving the -15 to +12 the same for primary mix translation.

Is the resolution getting affected at all.The above thread seems to suggest that the rez. is changing or is it a calibration issue.Could somebody explain this please.

2.Paul says that the physical faders actually move the s/w faders(Shadow).So in this case suppose you decrease levels of a track, isnt it first getting decreased in the digital realm and then again in the analog side? or would you be acheiving it using a pre-fade send in the mixing software

3.I am at a loss to know the reason why only a few are talking about the loss in resolution when the digital fader is turned down.Is this effect not as prominent as Digital Summing Vs Analog Summing?Again I feel that the combined effect of loss of resolution and digital summing leads to an audible difference.I am aware that at 24 bits there is not much loss but still....
I think Paul has created a great product by not compromising on any of the areas where the the audio quality could be affected-still maintaining fader automation.

4.I am saving my sheckels for the ultimate tonelux rig.Till that time I am thinking about this(hypothetical)...
purchase a JCS 3000(which is used in the Tonelux fader pack) replace the faders with high quality audio tapers plus use the Niceriser for summing.This way pre-fader compression could be possible.Would it be possible ??

Slut Elders please dont rip me apart if my questions are naive.I am new to DAW mixing!Been using RADAR for some time
Old 9th May 2006
  #2
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allaccess's Avatar
The key is this: The feed to the Tonelux fader is sent out of your DAW prefade via an AUX send at unity. The tonelux fader then uses the DAW channel's fader automation to control the movement of said physical audio fader. Since you are never actually altering the output from the DAW, there is no loss of audio resolution from lowering the output fader in the DAW.

The resolution that Paul was referring to is the control resolution of the physical TL fader verses the position of the automation control in the DAW.

I hope that this is accurate and makes sense!

Ryan Hewitt
Old 9th May 2006
  #3
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jindrich's Avatar
 

hey stop the clocks,

is it possible to use some fader controller, like the JL Cooper 3000 series for instance, and modify its circuits so it passes REAL audio, thus you can have TRUE MOVING FADERS from any DAW?

i want to know more of that

please, details!
Old 9th May 2006
  #4
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Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich
hey stop the clocks,

is it possible to use some fader controller, like the JL Cooper 3000 series for instance, and modify its circuits so it passes REAL audio, thus you can have TRUE MOVING FADERS from any DAW?

i want to know more of that

please, details!

It is possible... but design is crucial. Isolating the audio from the control voltage to the fader motors is tricky business. Without getting it right you will get noise in the audio path whenever the faders move.

I wouldn't hold your breath. You will probably have more luck starting from scratch with help from guys at www.ucapps.de
Old 9th May 2006
  #5
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jindrich's Avatar
 

well if tonelux built it using jlcoopers faders, and considering that tonelux doesn't want to sell it out of their systems, why can't jlcoopers itself build and sell it, maybe helped by some of those clever old-schooled enginners out there? (ex-neve guys anyone?)

every dude who got himself a summer would buy one blindfolded.

Last edited by jindrich; 9th May 2006 at 12:00 PM..
Old 9th May 2006
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy!!
I wouldn't hold your breath. You will probably have more luck starting from scratch with help from guys at www.ucapps.de
Thanks for the link.
Old 9th May 2006
  #7
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bit mangler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich
hey stop the clocks,

is it possible to use some fader controller, like the JL Cooper 3000 series for instance, and modify its circuits so it passes REAL audio, thus you can have TRUE MOVING FADERS from any DAW?

i want to know more of that

please, details!
jindrich,

Paul had openly stated that he is using OEM JLC modules so that he doesnt have to deal with the software interface part of it.I think that he's using TKD faders.

Ziggy,

I frequently visit the site that you've linked .Most of the control surfaces there are MIDI based.The main issue is interface with PT.My understanding is that no non-manufacturer has been able to break the Ethernet protocol.

I wish the Circuit Theory wizards of Gearslutz could chime in about the possibilities.
Old 9th May 2006
  #8
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bit mangler
My understanding is that no non-manufacturer has been able to break the Ethernet protocol.
Yeah, that's quite a bit of greed on Digi's part. Knowing that almost every manufacturer can build a similar controller for a tenth of the price, they keep that as a BIG secret as it was the crown's jewelry.

Anyway, Moving Faders passing audio cleanly and controlled from DAWs is exactly the kind of INNOVATIVE product current engineers need, not ANOTHER Mic Pre.

PS: as long as it works with Logic is also ok with me.
Old 10th May 2006
  #9
Interfacing the faders is easy, if you know what to do. Using the HUI interface, like the SSL 900, is a real pain. The HUI interface has no way of muting, as the mute LEDs blink when you do a SOLO IN PLACE, etc.

The problem is when you come out PRE FADE from the send, you can use the fader as the data, but you loose SOLO and MUTE, because you are PRE fade. I figured out how to do it.
Old 10th May 2006
  #10
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux
The problem is when you come out PRE FADE from the send, you can use the fader as the data, but you loose SOLO and MUTE, because you are PRE fade. I figured out how to do it.
...namely? heh

Paul, you are not considering by any means selling the ShadowMix automation out of the Tonelux rack?
Does it work with with Logic, Nuendo...etc, or just only with PT?
Old 11th May 2006
  #11
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well, you can also just mute the region on-screen for mutes, and solo on the console, instead of in ProTools.

also, there is some confusion as to which "resolution" Paul was talking about.

he was talking about the range of the audio fader that would have the most resolution... he was NOT talking about digital resolution, from pulling the level down digitally.
(if I may be so bold as to speak for you, Paul!)
Old 15th May 2006
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
well, you can also just mute the region on-screen for mutes, and solo on the console, instead of in ProTools.

also, there is some confusion as to which "resolution" Paul was talking about.

he was talking about the range of the audio fader that would have the most resolution... he was NOT talking about digital resolution, from pulling the level down digitally.
(if I may be so bold as to speak for you, Paul!)
You can talk for me anytime and long as you keep sending me those hush checks...

Because you are coming out of the PT system PRE FADE, the resolution for the PT D to A is always at MAX and never gets turned down. Because of the scale difference of the PT scale and the actual fader, the +12 to -15/8 is pretty close, but at PT -50, I am at -35, which doubles the resolution of the fader in that range. If there are more accurate moves that need to be made, you can always use the SEND fader and SEND mute inside PT.

I just finished the first one which William is going to be using next week, sans a few mechanical force fitting (yes, this is an out-of-Tonelux format system, too see if we want to offer it, but I have known WW for long enough that we decided to give it a try. Poor guy...)

But I just built the first production one that I will be taking to Paris AES and it works real well.
Old 15th May 2006
  #13
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bit mangler's Avatar
 

Thanks for your explanation Paul.I took a trip to VintageKing(Ferndale) this Saturday hoping to get a feel of the Tonelux system.Strangely they were closed..the board in front of the office said that they're open till 12:30pm.I'll have to check back sometime later.

Thanks Ryan,Wwittman for answering my questions.I am clear now that the audio rez isn't getting affected
Old 15th May 2006
  #14
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re: "mechanical force fitting", if the butter doesn't work, what lubricant shall we move on to?
Old 15th May 2006
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
re: "mechanical force fitting", if the butter doesn't work, what lubricant shall we move on to?
I think you know the answer to that one... No record was ever made without having to make a little sausage first...
Old 13th September 2008
  #16
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Gravity8058's Avatar
 

So I completed my first mix with both our new Neve 5088 and our 24 channel Shadowmix system! Turned out great, but I'm still amidst a short learning curve: Questions for you all:

1. It seems that the way you lay out your PT tracks in your session is important because the Shadowmix faders line up with each track regardless of it's PT output assignment.

This became clear when I had a B-3 comprised of 4 tracks. I had it in the middle of my console (chan 9&10) but all four PT tracks were together each being assigned to some combination of Output 9 and/or 10. The fact that I had more tracks represented than I did Shadowmix faders confused the system (actually it just confused me -- till I figured it out).

So, how do you guys handle this? I put two of the 4 tracks at the far right of my session and that seemed to work, but they weren't automated. Do you just make a group with the Shadowmix - assigned tracks as the group master?

Thanks!
Old 13th September 2008
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravity8058 View Post
So I completed my first mix with both our new Neve 5088 and our 24 channel Shadowmix system! Turned out great, but I'm still amidst a short learning curve: Questions for you all:

1. It seems that the way you lay out your PT tracks in your session is important because the Shadowmix faders line up with each track regardless of it's PT output assignment.

This became clear when I had a B-3 comprised of 4 tracks. I had it in the middle of my console (chan 9&10) but all four PT tracks were together each being assigned to some combination of Output 9 and/or 10. The fact that I had more tracks represented than I did Shadowmix faders confused the system (actually it just confused me -- till I figured it out).

So, how do you guys handle this? I put two of the 4 tracks at the far right of my session and that seemed to work, but they weren't automated. Do you just make a group with the Shadowmix - assigned tracks as the group master?

Thanks!
The problem with PT is that they really hate HUI as they make their own controllers, so they will never update the interface to give it more flexibility.

Hui has to be assigned from left to right.

The 4 key channels are automated in PT, you just have to set the SEND OUT from PRE to POST, then do your 'inter-keyboard" balances with those tracks and faders "to the right" and rout them to the KEYS output DtoA and then the ShadowMix will become the group master for the intermixed group of 4 keys.

If you have 32 channels in the console, then make the keys group in the upper channels above 32 so they are PT mixed only.

Some people add the 8, 16, 24, or 32 tracks BEFORE their mix and slide them off the window, then route the other tracks so they show up at the correct DtoA outputs that line op with the off screen faders. This allows you to use the other channel faders as trims and the automation as automation. This will not work with LE, as it has a limit of 32 channels.

Then others use the first 32 channels as the HUI channels, but in the case of sub grouping drums, keys and such, they would be moved to upper faders, just as you would if you had a real console with automation... Oh wait, you do!

You have to unwrap your head from the PT concept, then re-wrap it around the conventional ways of the past, then it becomes all too logical. We all tend to expect everything to just work with PT, but when you mix the traditional console mixing with the PT or DAW concept, you have to remember to stand in the area of what each can do. The difference is the link between the two. When routing for mixing, you will need to move into the console mode. When tracking and editing, you need to move into the DAW mode.

Once I say this, it will become all too obvious, because you already know how to do that, but it sometimes take one to say "just do it like you would have".

After this mix, you will forward think the way you align your tracks, in the form of "OK the first 24 are externally automated, I want my most critical sounding things to go through them, and the others can be on 25-32" Kind of the same thinking in the days of having a console with great EQs on the first 24 and very basic ones on the rest.

But remember, the mix isn't done until all the patchcords are used up.
Old 24th November 2008
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
This will not work with LE, as it has a limit of 32 channels
Couldn't this work in LE if you used Aux tracks for the automation faders instead of Audio tracks?
Old 24th November 2008
  #19
Well, many things have changed!!!

I have P&G making a custom fader that has a scale that matches the DAW scale within a dB, from the top to the bottom.

We are also making a manual fader with the same scale, so a mix of faders in a console will look and feel correct.

The limit with the interface is that PT will only allow 4 sets of HUI, period. So, 32 is the max. Some have used a different DAW on another computer, as you would with any of the older systems, and they just use it for the automation. It allows more than 32 faders.

The other control/midi interfaces to DAWS are only 7 bits, where our interface is 10 bits. I will be releasing a manual in the next few days.

So far, Neve, API, Daking and Wonder are all good with the ShadowMix system being installed on their consoles. We have installed 3 ro 4 large Neve systems and many on Tonelux. The new version is now in production and will be available from stock in the next few months.

All those that have been backordered, the wait will be worth it, as we have revised everything from the servo control board, touch circuit, fader and fader control board.

If someone installs our manual fader, they can upgrade teh system and the ShadoMix will simply plug into the wiring that was there.

Paul
Old 24th November 2008
  #20
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tomdarude's Avatar
Paul, that´s great news!!....now will these fit into a Neve 5316??
(channel + buss faders?)
Old 24th November 2008
  #21
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dubrichie's Avatar
in best Mr. Burns impression:

eeeeeeeeeeeexcellent.
Old 24th November 2008
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomdarude View Post
Paul, that´s great news!!....now will these fit into a Neve 5316??
(channel + buss faders?)
The fader requires the following:

6.25" (159mm) top to bottom, clear, most use 7" (178mm)

Minimum of 1.06" (27mm) wide

Depth of 2.75: (70mm) deep.

There needs to be room for a 4" X 8" X 1.5" control board within 2 feet of every set of 8 faders.
Old 24th November 2008
  #23
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tomdarude's Avatar
thx a ton paul, we´ll check asap
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