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Zaxcom Fader Motion Capture
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
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Zaxcom Fader Motion Capture

Zaxcom Fader Motion Capture on Vimeo

Interesting video--I just heard about this. The late-model Zax "Deva" recorders can now capture and save a file that describes the production sound mixer's fader moves on the iso tracks as they are recorded. This file is then put into a conversion utility with the audio files to produce an AAF that imports into Avid apps (MC and PT) with the PSM's fader moves translated into breakpoint automation. I have many questions about how this would work in real practice, but if they have gotten their app to work properly with AAF and MC and PT all at once that is a major accomplishment. Of course, as all users of AAF know, now they'll never be able to rest, as they'll have to update to deal with changes on the spec of all 3 of those apps, ongoing...
Old 4 weeks ago
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huub's Avatar
Interesting.
We have our production console (Lawo) send fader movement tp PT via HUI.
This is for music performance recording though, not film production.
It does save time in post production.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
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For those productions that would have this technology (and people who would understand it!), I can see that the picture editors might well appreciate this as they struggle with making quick temp mixes made from a stack of isos (I guess instead of the PSM's location mix track). It's less clear to me how efficiently this info could then be incorporated into the audio post workflow, after the handoff from the picture dept?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huub View Post
Interesting.
We have our production console (Lawo) send fader movement tp PT via HUI.
This is for music performance recording though, not film production.
It does save time in post production.
So the PT system is recording prefade iso tracks, and also recording the fader moves as breakpoint type fader automation? Without affecting the level of the iso track (which is still prefade)? So do you end up with a "full level" iso track (file) with the Lawo's fader moves superimposed on top of that waveform for that track, like regular PT mix automation? You say the Lawo's output is via HUI, so could that information work (somehow) with other DAWs, or is it PT-specific? Since the product of the Zax/Deva deal is an AAF, I guess that means that any DAW that can read an AAF should be able to read their fader moves as well? Like also maybe Premiere or Resolve?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
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huub's Avatar
Hi

The PT system is only recording fader movements, no audio in our case.
The Zaxcom solution looks great. Having faders slaved to PT via HUI is tricky, for example when restarting PT all Lawo faders assigned to HUI jump to zero.
(since the HUI is a two way protocol)
I would love to have the zaxcom option on our consoles as well actually.

Huub
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
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So far to get the Zax deal you have to be recording on their newer Deva machines, I guess with their fader surface. The Deva 24 is only 16 analog in (or 24 via AES), so maybe not enough for a big music etc gig. I don't know if you can hook multiple Deva 24s together and have them act like one machine, esp re the fader surface and motion capture. It will be interesting to know if this technology is licensable by other companies... I guess that will depend on how interested producers get in this workflow.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
Zaxcom Fader Motion Capture on Vimeo

Interesting video--I just heard about this. The late-model Zax "Deva" recorders can now capture and save a file that describes the production sound mixer's fader moves on the iso tracks as they are recorded. This file is then put into a conversion utility with the audio files to produce an AAF that imports into Avid apps (MC and PT) with the PSM's fader moves translated into breakpoint automation. I have many questions about how this would work in real practice, but if they have gotten their app to work properly with AAF and MC and PT all at once that is a major accomplishment. Of course, as all users of AAF know, now they'll never be able to rest, as they'll have to update to deal with changes on the spec of all 3 of those apps, ongoing...
Didn't the Aaton Cantar do this since day 1 more than a decade ago? Recorded the fader mixdown movements so they could be undone or re-done?

At least I read that it was going to be able to do it, but maybe my memory is fading. It's too long ago...

Looking at the workflow in the video I don't think cutting rooms will deal with this and also those keyframes with thousands of dots will drive picture editors nuts, IMO.

I don't fully get the ambition to preserve this mix (be it in form of meta-data or baked into a mixdown) for post. These mixes are done on location without any context of a cut sequence and what might be around the dialogue (other fx, music etc etc.).

For daily scripted reality stuff maybe...for films...not sure....

Last edited by apple-q; 4 weeks ago at 05:55 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
Didn't the Aaton Cantar do this since day 1 more than a decade ago? Recorded the fader mixdown movements so they could be undone or re-done?

At least I read that it was going to be able to do it, but maybe my memory is fading. It's too long ago...

Looking at the workflow in the video I don't think cutting rooms will deal with this and also those keyframes with thousands of dots will drive picture editors nuts, IMO.

I don't fully get the ambition to preserve this mix (be it in form of meta-data or baked into a mixdown) for post. These mixes are done on location without any context of a cut sequence and what might be around the dialogue (other fx, music etc etc.).

For daily scripted reality stuff maybe...for films...not sure....
I don't recall this kind of thing being an Aaton feature, maybe it was planned in the "previous" iteration of the company...?

I also have questions about how the automation produced by the Zax system would get integrated into any post workflow. It seems like there would have to be pretty total buy-in on it by everyone involved, it is true, and whoever received this automation might well want to "thin" it before using it, re: the torrent of breakpoints that get created from real-time fader moves. You mention "reality" style shows--that's an interesting idea but my experience of the production sound on those kind of shows was that the soundies were working out of "big bags", ie harness-worn rigs with lots of wireless RX following the action. They are only making a very basic real time mix, since they may well have a mic boom in one hand and are working on rigs with up to 12 rotary level pots, so the fader automation produced would be useless.
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