Last week I visited Olivier Chouteau at Eclair in Paris, Olivier installed the first TMC-1-MMP1 system in a 7.1.4 studio. Daniel Gollety who makes the french translation of our manuals accompanied me on the visit - my French is not to good. Although configured as a 7.1.4 room one of the main reasons for using the TMC-1 is the ease in switching between Stereo, 5.1, 7.1 and 7.1.4.
SceneWhilst checking and updating the TMC-1-DMon for the latest version of the D-Mon software I found that I had labeled two user definable keys as 'Preset', Not Good!
'Scene' seems to be used more and more to describe setup presets, I have replaced the new TMC-1 'Preset' described in recent posts with 'Scene' and replaced the 'Preset' for the D-Mon with 'S.Preset'.
TMC-1-DMonWhilst making the updates I added D-Mon Studio Preset to the TMC-1 Scene so that when changing the studio setup it is also possible to change the D-Mon Studio Preset. Please let me know if it is necessary to include Session snapshots?
This week I have been interfacing the TMC-1 with the Yamaha MMP1. We have been waiting for a MMP1 since it was announced last year, a loan unit finally arrived last week . Before starting we had to buy a I-Pad (we are Android users and our OSC software runs on both), this arrived two days ago since then I have been writing code.
What is an EDL RecorderWhen a live broadcast is made from multiple camera's, for example reality programs, the EDL recorder connected to the video mixer so that a EDL is generated as the mix engineer selects the live camera sources. Often highlight programs want to show what occurred before an event, the recorded EDL facilitates this.
- The EDL is generated using time of day so that it can be related to the original production.
- A conform key has been added allowing the Start Record time for the EDL to be set to any value.
use with two S3's and a MTRX in a 5.1 Post room.
Although we have sold PD-3's to studios in USA, this was the first to be installed in London and I was eager to see how it performed in a working Studio instead of my test bench.
The PD-3 has two almost completely separate sections the Pec/Direct and TMC-1, each has its own processor and network connection. They share a power supply (5v or USB) and the TMC-1 Select Switch.
PD-3 TMC-1The day before I arrived Rory configured the TMC-1 section of the PD-3, renaming the inputs and defining the user key layout he wanted. As a post studio there was no need for Talk back or Listen back (unless the studio is used with Source Connect) . They have only two speaker sets 5.1 and Stereo TV (A sound bar) I set Advanced Menu 18 to disable the Alt Speaker selection so that the [Speaker] user key would toggle between Main and Mini Speaker outputs (named 5.1 and Stereo by Rory) instead of stepping through three selections.
New /improved User Key request
Stem configuration using PD-Stem
Once Boom have used the PD-3 for a few weeks Daniel and I will visit the studio again and find out how it performed in a studio environment instead of my test bench!
The TMC-1 implementation of OSC allows for multiple controllers to be used simultaneously. You can use the sample OSC pages that I designed or design your own talent controls. The talent can then control his own monitors using a tablet or mobile phone app.
The four selection keys(Link, Cue 1, Cue 2 and Cue3) allow the talent to select the sources, there is a fader for the level and a Talk key to activate the Listen Back input.
The 3, 2, 1, Go LED's are activated by Midi Note On messages from the DAW and can be used to cue the talent.
I will add talent screens for each of the Cue sends to the OSC file available from the TMC-1 page.
New User Keys - Talkback to AllWhilst in LA I added a [T/B All] and [T/B Alx] user keys, as the name suggests these keys talk to all cue outputs and do not require any setup. By positioning them in logical order with the talkback keys the numbers of subsequent user keys have changed. This changes the user key numbers for OSC. To simplify OSC implementation The TMC-1 now displays both the Number and Name of the last user key depressed in the top line of the TFT Display.
Dolby also informed me that in most installations the Surround bass extension speakers are placed next to the LFE speaker. To simplify installation I decided to provide Surround bass extension via the main LFE output.
What does this imply for the I-Mon design?
The A-Mon frame has 32 inputs and 24 outputs with an extra 8 outputs if External Metering available as an option.
To optimise the use of inputs and outputs I decided to add the extra 4 inputs and outputs required by 9.1.6 to the 7.1.4 design using links on the board and software settings. This allowed the I-Mon to be configured for 9.1.6, 7.1.4 or 7.1.6 using links to assign inputs and outputs.
The metering switching also needs to be enhanced to allow all 16 outputs to be monitored in two banks of 8.
I-Mon Revised specifications for 7.1.4, 9.1.4 and 9.1.6
Note. Links are used to switch between Cue Input 3 or T/B input 2 and L/B Mic input 2
OSC in now available on all versions of the TMC-1 software. Several people have asked how to connect OSC to the TMC-1, below is the diagram from TMC-1 Reference showing how to make the connections. The only requirement is a Ethernet Server - WiFi or Wired depending on your connection to the tablet.
OSC Wifi Connections
The Computer connection is only required if you wish to control your DAW (Protools, Logic, Nuendo...) from the same OSC App on the Tablet. The TMC-1 will forward any commands that it does not recognize to the Computer, TouchOSC Keyboard and Midi commands will be routed directly to TouchOSCBridge on the Computer. If further routing is required you can install Osculator on the computer.
Please check the web first when you need information, I try to keep the web copy of
up to date and add extra information regularly.
TouchOSC for you phone or tablet is available from the Apple App Store for IOS or Google Play Store for Android.
TouchOSC-Editor to design your personal screens and TouchOSCBridge to control your DAW are available at hexler.net
Osculator OSC routing software is available at https://osculator.net/
AES NY 2017 STAND 214
The problem with analogue circuitry is that unlike digital systems the routing is defined by the hardware. The modular design of the A-Mon enabled the I-Mon to be made by redesigning a single board.
|Main Input : 7.1.4
Alt Input: 7.1
2 dedicated Stereo inputs
2 or 3 Stereo and/or cue inputs
Stereo AFL input
1 or 2 Talk back inputs
1 or 2 Listen back inputs
|Main Output: 7.1.4
Alt Output or Rear Bass Extension: Stereo
Mini Output: Stereo
4 Cue Send Outputs
Stereo Downmix Output
Optional External Meter O/P
The I-Mon uses the same chassis as the A-Mon and has the same number of inputs, outputs and internal switches, the design of the I-Mon involved some compromises and rethinking,
1) Remove some A-Mon features for listening to 5.1 and 7.1 on Stereo speaker or 7.1 on 5.1 speaker layouts - No Centre speaker, No Rear speakers, No LFE Speaker.
2) Reassign 2 Stereo inputs as 4 Overhead inputs
3) Reassign 4 of the Alt outputs as 4 Overhead outputs
4) reassign 2 of the Alt outputs as Left and right Surround Bass Extension or Stereo Alt Output.
5) Cue input 1 can reconfigured as 2nd Talkback and 2nd Listen Back inputs.
6) Reassign SLS and H/P metering as Overhead input metering
7) Move Left and Right Metering to after Left and Right Source selection to allow SLS and H/P metering when PFL active
8) Add switching enabling the Cue Inputs be used as stereo inputs
9) Add an External metering output.
10) Add an Ethernet remote control connection
The PCB layout for the new card is now complete, we are now consulting with users before ordering and making the PCB's and metalwork. We welcome your input, especially before we commit the design to hardware!
Delivery for the I-Mon is currently about 6 weeks.
- Using the 5.1 Output for Metering
Advanced menu 19 is used to select the Alt-Output function, select '5.1 Meters' to use this output for metering.
- Connect a unused Cue output to Stereo meters
- Modify the 7.1 rear outputs to feed Stereo meters
After publishing my initial idea's for a tablet interface to the TMC-1 using HTML, one of our users (James Chappell) suggested that I look at TouchOSC. After investigating OSC I have shelved the HTML interface and spent the past week developing an OSC interface.
The main advantage of using OSC is that users can design their own interfaces incorporating only the functions that they need, simplifying the user interface. Multiple pages allow for different applications. OSC applications are available for IOS and Android I have not found any for OSx or Windows.
You can see the two test interfaces I designed below The first includes input selection (user keys), metering, output level control and Level indication. It has been designed fot the TMC-1-Penta which can select between 8 inputs. I was impressed with the meter performance using an old Android tablet. A nice touch is the battery status indicator
The second screen below is a cue source selection page complete with level controls and enable keys, This design may be used as a template and unused input and output controls deleted.
I have now finished two more test pages and I will be releasing this software for the TMC-1-Penta, -XMon and -AMon later this week - I also found how to label the tabs!
For the TMC-1-Penta only - Note :the latest Penta software has 32 Palette entries instead of 16.
The images above were taken from the design s/w, the Tablet and my phone look the same or better.
TMC-1 with tablet in my workshop - designs for the 3d printed cradle are also available.
Initially I intended to use OSC-Midi commands but then decided to use direct OSC commands to control the TMC-1, if the controls are named correctly they will connect directly with the TMC-1. The user can define the label names but it is recommended that the TMC-1 updates User Key labels as they can be dependent on the interface (Penta, XMon, A-Mon) and can change when the s/w is updated. All controls are updated when the page is changed, the interface is bidirectional and updated in real time. The meter block uses a multi-fader graphic.
I am currently controlling the TMC-1 from a tablet and phone simultaneously. The first command on either will update the display tothe current TMC-1 status. The [TMC-1] key is used to re-sync the display without change. To reduce Ethernet traffic I meters are only activated after an initial touch, as not all designs will include meters. Ping should be enabled with a 10 second delay to keep the meters running.
Push keys are made from three elements, the key, the label and the LED for status indication.
The cue routing keys are Toggle buttons that include on/off indication. The meters are made using a multi-fader. SPL indication is simply a Label. TouchOSC is available to download for $5, the design software is free and available for both Mac and PC.
I envisage other stand alone applications the firmware outside of the TMC-1, for example controlling Mic Amp's, GPIO, or Older Midi instruments from tablets or even mobile phones. Next week I will be releasing OSC enabled versions of the TMC-1-Penta/XMon/A-Mon as well as at least two templates.
For those who may wish to check out the beta test software a design package which includes firmware for the TMC-1, 3d designs for a tablet cradle and templates is available here-
I saw a problem for users selecting the inputs from the pallet. Initially I thought to make a computer app as an alternative selection tool but on discussion with Daniel who works with me we decided that a web based app would be more useful. Daniel had mentioned if it was possible to add a tablet interface to the TMC-1 previously some months ago.
To implement the app the TMC-1 becomes a server, allowing one device to be connected. The web page is dynamic and both control the TMC-1 and display the current status. There main problems to implement this on the TMC-1, Memory size and Status indication.
A small DAW has 4 GBytes of memory, the TMC-1 has less than 1 MByte. To send a web page you must first know its length, as page is dynamic the software must first write the page in memory to calculate its length - the memory size determines how much can be displayed.
The best way to display the status is to use a web socket, however this requires a encrypted handshake and json on the server in this case the TMC-1. I decided that this was too much for the first implementation and to use polling, A new menu allows selection of 8, 4 and 1 second polling as well as manual update. To reduce the overhead the TMC-1 will reply with no-change message unless a key is depressed.
Here is a screen capture of the output from a TMC-1-Penta
I may change the L/S keys for the TMC-1 User and Function keys, this will allow the user to select their function.
The next Blog entry will detail the Beta test version of the software
In response to customer requests we have now interfaced the TMC-1 to the Ashley ne8800 DSP processors.
The Ashly ne8800 is an interesting unit, limited by having only 8 inputs and 8 outputs with summing, but unlike the NTP digital router it has DSP on both inputs and outputs - Summing, Equalization, Delay, Crossover and Dynamics. Supplied with Analog in/out as standard AES/EBU and Dante are available as an option.
The Summing allows the TMC-1 to implement down mixing, I have included the standard TMC-1 set of formats:
Stereo Down Mix
5.1 Down Mix from 7.1
5.1 with side surround routed to both side and rear
Atmos (7.1.4 on this implementation).
The first unit shipped with Ashly software is a PD-3 which combines a PD-1 with a TMC-1. The PD-1 is improved by adding a OLed display, ethernet port and the new PD-2 software.
The limited number of inputs and outputs made designing systems with the ne8800 a challenge, however the TMC-1 is able to talk to multiple ne8800's increasing the possibilities.
The initial request was for a 7.1.4 film post production room which used two ne8800's. one for the 7.1 inputs and outputs, the other for the 4 overhead speakers, There were 4 unused inputs and outputs on the second ne8800, by routing the Left and Right outputs from the first ne8800 through the second ne8800 we were able to add a stereo input and a mini stereo output.
The initial design has a fixed configuration but if there are a requests for further systems I will write a system configuration program similar to the TMC-1-Penta2 program that will enable users to define inputs and outputs by their unit and channel number.
Using the AES/EBU and Dante inputs or adding a further ne8800 it is possible to select more inputs. To add Cue Inputs, Cue sends, AFL, talk back and listen back would require a third ne8800. It is possible to make a large ATMOS system from multiple ne8800's all controlled from a single TMC-1.