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@ Neve DFC Gemini users
Old 3rd March 2010
  #1
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@ Neve DFC Gemini users

Hi guys,

I'm in the fortunate position to be able to sit on a DFC over the next few weeks under no pressure "on the job" in order to learn how to use it - I'm a D Control user normally. (I am insanely excited!!!)

Are there any cool hints and tips anyone would like to share, or niggles anyone has discovered?

Thanks

FF
Old 3rd March 2010
  #2
In my experience, "write on stop" is not frame accurate. Otherwise, great dynamics.
Old 3rd March 2010
  #3
Gear Addict
 

Don't try to go to fancy your first time out. The quad channel strip is very very useful if you are organized.... if not, it is very easy to get lost on where you put what. Keep it simple, Audio on one layer, buss / aux another, returns another and masters on your last. Also, once you learn the button combos on the board, get to know the computer too.
Old 3rd March 2010
  #4
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ggegan's Avatar
Up is louder.

Seriously though, it is a great sounding console, although the button push combinations can be confusing at first. Just be very aware of the order of pressing and releasing buttons.

I also usually switch all controls on the surface to the same function, with a few exceptions. For instance, if I want to EQ a track, I switch all the tracks to EQ simultaneously. Otherwise it is difficult to keep track of what process each set of Logicators is assigned to. This means that in the heat of the moment when your attention is on the screen, you can easily assume you are grabbing one type of control when in fact the Logicators are assigned to something else. If they are all set to the same function, you reduce the variables.

When predubbing, I always try to make sure that I have returned all controls to their default values or at least matched out to the previous automation before I hit stop at the end of the section I am working on so that I know the status of all controls going forward and no processing gets inadvertently left in if I don't want it to be.

For final mixes, at the beginning of each reel I generally do a write to end on all automation parameters at their default settings with the faders at zero. This way if the other mixer hits stop on you, you won't inadvertantly be writing automation into virgin territory downstream where there are no automation break points to define where the controls should be - all controls will return to their default settings at the point where the system stopped. Some mixers hate this because it means you have to punch automation in on everything you were working on every time you go forward again, but for me it prevents unintended consequences. I generally try not to work on more than one or two things simultaneously anyway, so having to punch in automation isn't really an issue.

FWIW, I've been using the DFC since it first came out in the 90's, but now I greatly prefer ICONs.
Old 4th March 2010
  #5
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Thanks for the input, there's some grat advice there. I'm making as many notes as possble to go along side the DFC manual, which is proving a surprisingly easy read - Dan Brown you have competition...... :p

@Gary - a slight noob question(s), please bear with me as my mixing console experience extends only to Pro Tools control surfaces.....
What is it about the ICON that you prefer? Is it a flexibility thing? Also I hear that on a DFC you can automate output paths. Is that correct? And in a workflow point of view how would that be of benefit? In thinking about it, I would use it for a Cedar that would run pre the dial master and I could use the paths to either run through it, or run clean. But then with an ICON I would set up multiple outputs, and have 2 faders (one of which is down and the other up) one with a Cedar and one without. This doesn't really leave me with many options though! The benefit of the DFC there is that i could only send the dirty tracks for denoising as opposed to all.

Thanks

FF
Old 4th March 2010
  #6
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ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
Thanks for the input, there's some grat advice there. I'm making as many notes as possble to go along side the DFC manual, which is proving a surprisingly easy read - Dan Brown you have competition...... :p

@Gary - a slight noob question(s), please bear with me as my mixing console experience extends only to Pro Tools control surfaces.....
What is it about the ICON that you prefer? Is it a flexibility thing? Also I hear that on a DFC you can automate output paths. Is that correct? And in a workflow point of view how would that be of benefit? In thinking about it, I would use it for a Cedar that would run pre the dial master and I could use the paths to either run through it, or run clean. But then with an ICON I would set up multiple outputs, and have 2 faders (one of which is down and the other up) one with a Cedar and one without. This doesn't really leave me with many options though! The benefit of the DFC there is that i could only send the dirty tracks for denoising as opposed to all.

Thanks

FF
The primary thing I like about mixing on the ICON is that I can keep all the work "virtual" from start to finish so that I have total flexibility. If I do a temp mix on a feature, I can usually conform the mix session and use it as a starting point for the final (providing the picture changes aren't ridiculous). This means the temp mix isn't temporary, I can keep the elements that work and update what doesn't. This is an incredible boon to productivity.

The 2nd thing that really works for me is that I can either grab faders and knobs in the traditional way, or if needed, get into the session with a mouse and do micro surgery, whichever is most appropriate.

3rd, the fact that all the automation is contained within one session rather that having Pro Tools automation and console automation working simultaneously simplifies things and makes the mix more portable. I can move my mix session between my personal ICON and the stage ICON with minimal hassle. There are more options for adjusting workflow to the needs of the project.

All that being said, there are some clients who for one reason or another are absolutely opposed to working on ICONs, and that is fine with me. I can turn out a great mix on a DFC, MPC or Euphonix, and if that is the client's preference, I support their decision 100%.

Regarding automated bussing, you actually can do it on the ICON using sends, but I see mixers using them for reassign routing more than output routing. The fact that automated output bussing isn't supported on the ICON really put me off at first until I realized I not only didn't need it, but that dealing with constant rebussing on traditional consoles was an organizational chore that wasted huge amounts of time and effort and had nothing to do with the creative process. If the mix is virtual, I don't have to constantly be rebussing during predubs in order to maintain separation for independent control of sound elements. I can still move regions from one food group or another if needed, but I don't have to go overboard because if a specific sound needs individual attention, I still have access to the original source region instead of having to unwind a recorded predub.
Old 4th March 2010
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
The primary thing I like about mixing on the ICON is that I can keep all the work "virtual" from start to finish so that I have total flexibility...
If the mix is virtual, I don't have to constantly be rebussing during predubs in order to maintain separation for independent control of sound elements.
+1!
Old 4th March 2010
  #8
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Thanks Gary!

Really appreciate the perspective on it! Lot's I realise that I haven't fully appreciated about completely running in the box as I've always been able to do it without a thought.

Will also be rethinking my Icon approach to bussing too I think as using the sends could unearth a world of options I hadn't even thought of before

Still can't wait to get my hands on the Neve though!
Old 6th March 2010
  #9
I've been on a DFC Gemini for a few years now. It's an amazing console with incredible sounding EQ's & dynamics, and the stem monitoring & bussing is awesome.
BUT it IS quirky, and I swear that each DFC has its own "personality".
Obviously the Icon is an amazingly strong contender, which is why I pretty much hybrid between mixing in-the-box in PT & the DFC often.

A few quirks about the DFC:
- Be careful with divergence knob when routing to multi-channel stems.. even the slightest bump will leak your audio into other channels in your route - even though the value displays at null. ..(actually, most of the knobs are this way on the DFC.)
- Encore Plus is very very cool. but watch "Safety Nets" carefully. I've seen it write automation PAST the out-point.
- Depending on the version of software code, the TFT metering will sometimes show a ghost slammin' compression or expander level on a channel meter, even with no audio present.

I've only automated my bussing/routing a few times while mixing, but when needed, it saves time. even just to automate an un-route in a snap.

.. so have fun, it's a great console!
Old 6th March 2010
  #10
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minister's Avatar
But can either do this?

Old 6th March 2010
  #11
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iluvcapra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
But can either do this?
Ah that made my morning... I'm here doing a dub with soundboy and he sez: "I'm glad somebody found a use for an 01V"

I was going to make a remark here at some point about how much I wish you could get a system that combined Pro Tools usability an recall with DFC/Euphonix's modularity and reliability, but then again something I notice about DFC/Euphonix/Harrison installations is that they have a full-time recordist and engineering staff, whereas most Icon/Pro Tools rooms are left to twist in the wind engineering-wise when there's a problem. I dunno if this is a cultural thing or has to do with front office lack of planning, or what...
Old 6th March 2010
  #12
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studjo's Avatar
 

Tom thanks for that vid - know I know why Yamaha made those plastic things ...
Old 6th March 2010
  #13
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvcapra View Post

I was going to make a remark here at some point about how much I wish you could get a system that combined Pro Tools usability an recall with DFC/Euphonix's modularity and reliability, but then again something I notice about DFC/Euphonix/Harrison installations is that they have a full-time recordist and engineering staff, whereas most Icon/Pro Tools rooms are left to twist in the wind engineering-wise when there's a problem. I dunno if this is a cultural thing or has to do with front office lack of planning, or what...
Jamie,
I have had 5 hours of downtime in the last 5 years.
What DFC/Euphonix/Harrison room can say that?
As for support staff, The place you work is known for your experience.
Old 6th March 2010
  #14
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iluvcapra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.sound View Post
Jamie,
I have had 5 hours of downtime in the last 5 years.
What DFC/Euphonix/Harrison room can say that?
As for support staff, The place you work is known for your experience.
Your acheivements in this regard are pretty spectacular, though I bet we wouldn't have lost those 4 hours on Grudge 2 if the Control 24 actually had a modular power supply...
Old 6th March 2010
  #15
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iluvcapra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr.sound View Post
Jamie,
I have had 5 hours of downtime in the last 5 years.
What DFC/Euphonix/Harrison room can say that?
As for support staff, The place you work is known for your experience.
PS. Marti, I hope you're writing a book, because you seem to be more at the vanguard of this box mixing business (and more successful) than anyone else. (All present company receiving their due of course)
Old 7th March 2010
  #16
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dr.sound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvcapra View Post
Your acheivements in this regard are pretty spectacular, though I bet we wouldn't have lost those 4 hours on Grudge 2 if the Control 24 actually had a modular power supply...
Jamie,
That was 2 1/2 of the 5 hours total. I rented a replacement Control 24 and had it up and running within the 2 1/2 hours.
The other hours were for an Expansion HD (a couple of months old at the time) dying on me. I had it replaced with another one that worked until they were replaced with the Magma Pe6R4's that are flawless!

You guys enjoy the traditional consoles, and I'll enjoy mixing in the box.
Old 7th March 2010
  #17
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ggegan's Avatar
With all digital systems down time is a fact of life. The higher the capability of the system, the less stable it often is, especially if one constantly upgrades to the newest systems and hardware. As soon as a system gets stable, the next version is released with all sorts of added goodies, and bugs. If you want stability, you could buy an old analog console really cheap, but it would be next to impossible to satisfy client expectations for speed and flexibility.

I generally don't even believe in crediting clients for downtime due to computer issues since the gains in productivity realized from the latest technologies far outweigh any time spent doing repairs, bug extermination, etc.

Even if the ICON and similar PT systems had 4 times the amount of downtime as conventional digital consoles (which they don't, they have less), that would still be more than offset by the fact that you can work so much faster inside the box.
Old 7th March 2010
  #18
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I think it all boils down to what the client wants. The more strings to your bow, then the more options you can provide, hence me wanting to learn the DFC.

There are a lot of clients out there who want a DFC for the mix and it's hard enough persuading them not only to try someone new, younger, less experience etc but to then be doing the mix on a different system to what they are used to. This can prove a stretch too far sometimes. The drama work, from what I can tell is generally done on DFCs (where I am situated) with quick turnaround TV on Pro Tools in the box. I personally think that Pro Tools will be the future (the video on here about Lost on a 2 man D Control is a great example) and is already a major part of the present.

I can't make a choice for what I prefer just yet as I'm not experienced enough, but I do know that the more I can do and the more i know, then my odds of being successful will be higher.......... and that's the dream (cue music :p )
Old 7th March 2010
  #19
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iluvcapra's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullFrequency View Post
I can't make a choice for what I prefer just yet as I'm not experienced enough, but I do know that the more I can do and the more i know, then my odds of being successful will be higher.......... and that's the dream (cue music :p )
I apologize for my part in dragging the thread off-topic.
Old 7th March 2010
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvcapra View Post
I apologize for my part in dragging the thread off-topic.
Ha! No worries, I look at it more as keeping it alive
Old 7th March 2010
  #21
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minister's Avatar
Gary, do you find that there is a sonic benefit heard in the final product when using a DFC as opposed to the ICON workflow?
Old 7th March 2010
  #22
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ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by minister View Post
Gary, do you find that there is a sonic benefit heard in the final product when using a DFC as opposed to the ICON workflow?
No. At least none that are perceptable to me.

The DFC has more internal headroom, but if one is careful about gain staging in Pro Tools that isn't an issue. Other than that, there are tons of incredible third party plugins that sound just as good to me as the processing available on a DFC, MPC or System 5. Of course that is just a personal opinion because you can't objectively define the term "good".
Old 8th March 2010
  #23
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>Originally Posted by ggegan
The primary thing I like about mixing on the ICON is that I can keep all the work "virtual" from start to finish so that I have total flexibility... If the mix is virtual, I don't have to constantly be rebussing during predubs in order to maintain separation for independent control of sound elements.<<


Quote:
Originally Posted by Branko View Post
+1!
+2!

Philip Perkins
Old 8th March 2010
  #24
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minister's Avatar
Thanks Gary.
Old 18th March 2010
  #25
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Quick add to this post.... Has anyone worked on Stage 12 at WB? I am unexpectedly going to be mixing there starting this friday. It's an ICON / 2x DFC crossbreed console. 3 PTs rigs + Recorder and 3 separate LE rigs for my editors.

Here is my two fold question. If anyone has worked in this room, is there anything special I should know going in and I'm thinking of using the ICON for my DX, BGs, FOLEY and MX and throwing my SFX and Verb/ FX returns on 1 Gemini.... Good plan... maybe?

I've worked on both desks independently but never as a cross, this should be fun! Any suggestions or ideas would be very much appreciated. Wish me luck!
Old 18th March 2010
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Andy View Post
Quick add to this post.... Has anyone worked on Stage 12 at WB? I am unexpectedly going to be mixing there starting this friday. It's an ICON / 2x DFC crossbreed console. 3 PTs rigs + Recorder and 3 separate LE rigs for my editors.

Here is my two fold question. If anyone has worked in this room, is there anything special I should know going in and I'm thinking of using the ICON for my DX, BGs, FOLEY and MX and throwing my SFX and Verb/ FX returns on 1 Gemini.... Good plan... maybe?

I've worked on both desks independently but never as a cross, this should be fun! Any suggestions or ideas would be very much appreciated. Wish me luck!
Hey Andy, I've worked in that room a couple times, it's works well, the surrounds are a little on top of you, but not too bad. I don't see anything wrong with your plan at all, the guys there can set you up in a matter of moments with what ever way you want to work. Both times for me, I stuck to Icon, one was premixing FX, the other was a temp where Dx/Mx came off the DFC. All monitoring and record bussing goes through the DFC. You can have your DFC faders right beside you as you work on Icon, so in a way it can all feel like the same desk. Let us know how it goes!

-craig
Old 18th March 2010
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Henighan View Post
Hey Andy, I've worked in that room a couple times, it's works well, the surrounds are a little on top of you, but not too bad. I don't see anything wrong with your plan at all, the guys there can set you up in a matter of moments with what ever way you want to work. Both times for me, I stuck to Icon, one was premixing FX, the other was a temp where Dx/Mx came off the DFC. All monitoring and record bussing goes through the DFC. You can have your DFC faders right beside you as you work on Icon, so in a way it can all feel like the same desk. Let us know how it goes!

-craig
Welcome to the forum Craig.
Old 19th March 2010
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
Welcome to the forum Craig.
thanks gary, I've been a "closet" slut for a long time, since jules and his gang started this forum way back, but I never bothered to register until last year. What's the phrase "long time listener, first time caller?"

hope you're keeping well man

-craig
Old 28th March 2010
  #29
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Hey Craig and GSs,

The room was great. The workflow was great and my plan worked perfectly. Had I more time, I would've used the DFC for my DX pre's, but for this project 90% of my work was on the ICON. Thanks for the heads up. I'm always happy to have the wisdom of my elder mixers.

Thanks!

Andy
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Here for the gear
Neve DFC Gemini 80 (4channel strip)

New here, I just bought (thru an auction) a Neve DFC Gemini 80 (4channel strip- 320 channel total) Console complete with redundant power supplies, MADI, Automation Computer, etc…
Is there anyone that I can be referred to help me put this baby together? I live in Austin Texas.

Eliu
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