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788T - Firmware Update
Old 16th October 2013
  #1
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788T - Firmware Update

788T/788T-SSD Firmware (v3.01) Full Detail | Sound Devices, LLC

Looks like the biggst change is the ability to monitor all inputs at once without having to toggle meter views. This will be a welcome change by many.

Tom
Old 16th October 2013
  #2
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They change what needs to be changed and leave the rest alone. That's good. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Thanks for the "heads-up."
Old 16th October 2013
  #3
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Excellent update! Thank you for pointing it out. Indeed lots of us have been waiting for this metering option.
Old 17th October 2013
  #4
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Just a little off topic question - how easy and intuitive is SD788T to learn?

I might be using one for the next short movie gig, but I don't know if I will have an access to it much before the start of the shoot. I wonder if I can figure it out in 20 minutes? Select inputs, trim gain, select and output timecode, press record?
I'll try and get the manual if it is freely downloadable or is it?

Is everything easily accesible and logical, not hidden in thousand sub-menus to browse or any weird button combinations to access some functions?
Old 17th October 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Just a little off topic question - how easy and intuitive is SD788T to learn?

I might be using one for the next short movie gig, but I don't know if I will have an access to it much before the start of the shoot. I wonder if I can figure it out in 20 minutes? Select inputs, trim gain, select and output timecode, press record?
I'll try and get the manual if it is freely downloadable or is it?

Is everything easily accesible and logical, not hidden in thousand sub-menus to browse or any weird button combinations to access some functions?
In my opinion, the 788T is not intuitive/easy to use right out of the box. It's a fantastic recorder with a lot of functionality packed into a small, well-designed unit. However, all of that functionality comes at the price of having a little bit of a learning curve.

The manuals are freely downloadable. I highly recommend that you read it in advance. I also recommend that you bring a copy of the manual with you to the gig.

For comparison, I also use a Roland R-44. The R-44 is extremely easy and intuitive to use. Is it as good of a recorder as the 788T? Nope. But it is an order of magnitude simpler to get up and running.

If this is a rental, I would suggest you do a factory reset to make sure you have everything at the right starting point. The first time I rented one, I made the mistake of not doing this. Although I skimmed the manual, I didn't really read it, and my recording suffered because of this. In my case, I didn't realize that there input levels (trim) were not the levels that went to disk, but that they passed through another stage of levels (faders - which were buried in a menu as my rental didn't have the CL-8 or CL-9 attachments). Sadly, the guy who used the recorder before me had this second stage set to lower all of the levels significantly.

Here's a link to the manual:
The 788T - Downloads

If nothing else, I suggest reading the Quick Start Guide at the beginning of the manual.

I'm not trying to knock the 788T, just saying it's not simple to use.

-Tom
Old 17th October 2013
  #6
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Nooo... why?

I was hoping for a different answer...

Yes, it is sort of a rental - the co-production company might supply some gear... I would be glad to use the simple R-88 that I already know... but am also looking forward to finally meet the great SD788T in person... but I hope I'll get it a few days in advance... I mean - how hard can ANY recorder be to use? It's just input selection, gain trim, routing to adequate monitoring outputs, recording, file naming, file back-uping... But obviously it is not simple enough to be learned right before the shoot...

Thanks for the links...
Old 17th October 2013
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Nooo... why?

I was hoping for a different answer...

Yes, it is sort of a rental - the co-production company might supply some gear... I would be glad to use the simple R-88 that I already know... but am also looking forward to finally meet the great SD788T in person... but I hope I'll get it a few days in advance... I mean - how hard can ANY recorder be to use? It's just input selection, gain trim, routing to adequate monitoring outputs, recording, file naming, file back-uping... But obviously it is not simple enough to be learned right before the shoot...

Thanks for the links...
It's not "hard", but the recorder is very customisable, and the default options may not be what you want to use. The 788T main menu has over 100 items, and then there are sub-menus. Some functions are buried, and the manual has no index. There is a fair table of contents, but unless you know what Sound Devices calls a function, it may take a while to find the path to what you're looking for. The latest manual revision removed some important info that was in the previous one (hopefully a new version of the manual will accompany the new firmware release).

The 788T's input channel to recording track routing is extremely flexible, but fairly complicated to set up, and the track arming can be confusing until you understand Sound Devices logic.

Many of the push button controls have multiple, seemingly unrelated, functions, so operation beyond basic record, stop and play is not always intutitive. Some functions/changes are implemented by a single button-push and some require the operation of (2) different buttons, or a turn and then a push of the rotary encoder knob. The cost of providing a lot of functionality in such a small package is the loss of dedicated controls for everything and a loss of intutitive operation. I love the 788T, but know engineers who won't use one because they simply find it "too fiddly"

I use a 788T every week and still find that I have to dig out the manual on occasion when I can't remember how to do something.
Old 17th October 2013
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post

I use a 788T every week and still find that I have to dig out the manual on occasion when I can't remember how to do something.
There's the story. The 788T can do a lot of things very well but you need to learn your way around it and pack the manual with you. It's a PDF so you can read it on your tablet or whatever. But do familiarize yourself with the manual. It will save some embarrassment in the field, especially for a new user. It is a great machine. The basic functions are easy to learn and the 788T will not fail you.

Cheers
Old 18th October 2013
  #9
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Good advice Tom gives about doing a factory reset and read Chapter 1 - the Quick Start Guide. It's well written and if you do what it says you'll be fine.
Old 18th October 2013
  #10
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Ask the prod co to borrow the 788 for acclimatistion before the shoot
They cannot refuse you,it makes sense.
Old 21st October 2013
  #11
Back to the original topic: Has anyone installed 788T V 3.01, and if so any problems or issues?

With firmware changes, especially for minor changes, I tend to wait a few days to be sure the change doesn't have any new bugs. All too often early adopters can wind up being beta testers.
Old 21st October 2013
  #12
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Since v3.00 the 788T would have trouble synchronizing to an AES signal below 88.2kHz. SD is aware of this but has not solved the problem in this version. Wordclock or video as a sync source works without problems. An external AES source of 44.1kHz or 48kHz may take forever to be synchronized to. Usually a restart of the machine may help. Once the machine is locked to the problematic sample rate it will not lose lock. It's a very annoying bug. The use of AES sync is needed to avoid resampling of an incoming digital signal.
Old 21st October 2013
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post
Back to the original topic: Has anyone installed 788T V 3.01, and if so any problems or issues?

With firmware changes, especially for minor changes, I tend to wait a few days to be sure the change doesn't have any new bugs. All too often early adopters can wind up being beta testers.
I've made 3-channel and 8-channel FS x1 recordings on 3.01 with no problem so far. There were no external sync needs on these recordings. No noticeable change other than the extra metering option to toggle through when hitting the view button.
Old 21st October 2013
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener View Post
Nooo... why?

I was hoping for a different answer...

Yes, it is sort of a rental - the co-production company might supply some gear... I would be glad to use the simple R-88 that I already know... but am also looking forward to finally meet the great SD788T in person... but I hope I'll get it a few days in advance... I mean - how hard can ANY recorder be to use? It's just input selection, gain trim, routing to adequate monitoring outputs, recording, file naming, file back-uping... But obviously it is not simple enough to be learned right before the shoot...

Thanks for the links...
I feel it's more straightforward than some here seem to imply, yet I think a little more care is required than you seem to expect. Do read the manual and be very clear on the routing and track arming and monitoring. It is possible to hear things and not record them. Also, the input/track naming scheme is confusing for many so be sure you are very clear on that.

I'm in the habit of looking at (at least!) the input/routing/arming window, menu items 90 and 92 (low voltage battery cutoff and charging behavior), menu item 18 (input linking, which has spoiled me), menu item 8 (scene name), and of course the usual sample rate/bit depth info visible on the main screen at the beginning of every recording. This assumes folder hierarchies and whatnot have been set already. Page 148 in the manual begins a list of menu items; familiarize yourself with them. Timecode is always its own hullabaloo.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #15
Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to finally being able to see all 8 input channel record levels at the same time.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post
Thanks guys. I'm looking forward to finally being able to see all 8 input channel record levels at the same time.
I started a thread on the Sound Devices forum asking for this feature for music recording. (That thread seems to have been removed now???) If only they'd suggested they were doing it BEFORE I got my second 702. It was the only thing stopping me from getting the 788.

Now, if they'd just impliment some of the features I've requested for the 702........
Old 22nd October 2013
  #17
JackHenry,

I think your SD Forum thread (or at least one where you mentioned the need to see all 8 tracks at the same time) still exists: "LED Displays for MUSIC recording" I remember commenting and strongly supporting your suggestion in that thread.

I was actually surprised that SD implemented the suggestion fairly quickly. Compared to many manufacturers who don't even answer e-mails, SD is a dream to deal with.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackHenry View Post
I started a thread on the Sound Devices forum asking for this feature for music recording. (That thread seems to have been removed now???) If only they'd suggested they were doing it BEFORE I got my second 702. It was the only thing stopping me from getting the 788.

Now, if they'd just impliment some of the features I've requested for the 702........
That thread is still there.

Moreover, going through the hassle of synchronizing two two-track recorders with an external cable and having no capability to hear a mix of all four tracks just because you don't want to hit an extra button occasionally is absolutely ridiculous. Also, there were various workarounds to view all the tracks you want on the 8 meters. If you can't figure out how to make a 12-track, 8-input, 8-meter recorder with mixing capabilities have similar functionality to two separate two-track recorders, the problem is not the gear.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
... there were various workarounds to view all the tracks you want on the 8 meters.
Agreed. I did it all the time.

This update just makes it quicker to change between metering options and one benefit is increased confidence in direct confidence monitoring of the 8 inputs.
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