I received an e-mail this morning from Paula Fairfield (Sound Designer on Game of Thrones) asking about headphone monitoring on her PD-3-AMon bundle. Paula is now now working in VR and headphone monitoring a big deal!
Currently there are 2 methods with the option for a third if requested
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
There are 4 cue outputs on the A-Mon, if you have an unused output it can be used to meter the Left and Right down mix by enabling 'Link' in the cue sends page. If you also enable the talk back to the cue output you can check that the talk back level is correct (thanks to Owen Curtin for this suggestion).
Modify the 7.1 rear outputs to feed Stereo meters
If your speaker setup is Stereo or 5.1 we can supply a plug in modification kit to route the Left and Right signals to the Rear Outputs. This will require a software switch added to the A-Mon which I am happy to add if/when a customer asks.
As a factory option you can now chose between the following on the A-Mon
5.1 Alt Input and 3 Stereo Cue inputs
7.1 Alt Input and 2 Stereo Cue Inputs
Stereo Down Mix
The A-Mon Stereo Down Mix feature is used to monitor 7.1 and 5.1 on a Stereo system or to check how a 5.1 or 7.1 mix will sound in stereo. The A-Mon design allows for variable ratios but they are currently fixed as follows:
When using the Down Mix I realised that because the Solo and Mute were implemented on the outputs it is only possible to Mute/Solo Left or Right total when Down Mix is enabled. To overcome this I re-wrote the firmware on both the TMC-1 and A-Mon so that when Down Mix is enabled the Solo and Mute control the inputs instead of the outputs.
The drawback switching solo and mute on the inputs is that this will also change the stereo feed to the cue sends.
A new stereo display enabled when Stereo is selected or by menu choice shows Left, Right, Studio L/S feed and Headphone cue outputs.
The 5.1 output may now be defined as a Meter output with level adjustment and channel trim.
Whilst modifying the TMC-1 and A-Mon I also looked at metering from the XPand, whilst not possible when using the XPand with XMon, I have now implemented XPand Metering when using the XPand with A-Mon.
The meters on the TMC-1 will switch from A-Mon to XPand when the Mute or Solo keys are assigned to the XPand Outputs (Repeated depressions of the Mute and Solo keys will switch between speaker banks).
Next .... 5.1 Down Mix
The current 5.1 key is used to switch the the rear speakers to the side signal when listening to 5.1 material on a 7.1 system. My next task is to add a 5.1 Down-Mix key that will monitor 7.1 on a 5.1 system, this will be more flexible than the current Menu setting.
Boulevard des Productions specialises in dialogue replacement (ADR or Doublage), CB Electronics was involved in the original studio a number of years ago
hen the new studio was designed at the end of 2016 we were asked with Daniel Gollety and Jean-Robert Delicourt
to make the new installation.
An existing building has been completely refurbished to provide a studio, control room, machine room, two editing suits and a large waiting room. All rooms are air conditioned especially the machine room.
Rythmo (Band Projection) is standard in French ADR/
Doublage studios and a Mosaic electronic Rythmo system was chosen for the installation. A Pyramix is used as the Digital Audio Workstation. Neuman digital microphones were selected for use in the studio.
Boulevard des Productions owned an early SR-4 which was the only existing equipment used in the new studio, to bring it up to current specification this was fitted with a RomUpd kit and Tri-Level Sync Input. The SR-4 is used to synchronize the Pyramix with the Mosaic.
The original CBServer software was replaced by CBServer3 (Left) which can read Mosaic files and be used to select loops by time and/or character as required.
A-Mon was selected as the monitor controller for its comprehensive talkback, listen back and auto-mute. The new studio unlike the previous has a separate control room, Talkback and Listen back are both essential, the auto-mute makes the glass disappear. Currently the control room is stereo only but may be updated to 5.1 in the future, until then the Stereo down mix within A-Mon may be used when listening to 7.1 or 5.1 material.
A plethora of screens left room for only one "Mini" loudspeaker, the stereo output of the A-Mon was resistively summed to feed the single speaker!
Both Engineer and Producer talkback are implemented; the A-Mon sums the two inputs which may then be routed to the studio loudspeakers, headphones and/or to the large waiting room. A notable difference in foreign language dubbing is that the talent waits for the engineer, instead of the engineers waiting for the talent!
A feature of the TMC-1 is the use of the Play, stop and record tallies to control the Talkback, Listen back, Studio and/or Control room speakers. The TMC-1 Auto Mute may be controlled by LTC, MTC, Hui or as in this case by GP inputs connected to the Play and Record tallies from the SR-4 .The studio at BdP uses auto listen back and not auto talkback. The two listen back microphones are enabled whenever the system stops and disabled by Play or Record
Listen back may also be controlled manually by the engineer.
The two talkback microphones are enabled as required by the engineer or producer, again these are disabled by play and record tallies. The engineer uses the TMC-1 talkback microphone with an external switch to remove mechanical noise from the talkback switch in the TMC-1. His talkback is normally only to the Headphones and Studio L/S.The producer is provided with two switches, one to the headphones and Studio L/S, the other to the waiting room. Listen Back when enabled may be latching,
In this case it was decided to disable the Talkback Latching, so that unfortunate comments are not be overheard by the talent.
Playback to the Studio Loudspeakers is controlled manually, but is muted by the record tally in case.
What did we learn whilst making this installation?
We needed more gain on the Producer and listen back mic inputs
We have now made a combined mic-amp and limiter for use with the Listen back and Producer microphones, removing the need for extra gain..
We have now implemented Auto Resume Listen back as well as auto-resume talkback.
To bring some known working cables and sound sources when checking the installation
To offer a separate talkback switch box for the TMC-1
Think more about how the Producer and Listen Back Mics connect to the system
Initial TMC-1 + A-Mon Configuration
Main Output – Stereo Speakers
Alt Output – Not Used, configured as 5.1 Meter output
Mini Out – Mono (Multiple VDU screens there was only enough space for one speakers!)
Main input – Not Used
Alt input – Pyramix
Stereo input 1
Stereo Input 2
Stereo Input 3
Stereo Input 4
Cue Output 1 Studio L/S
Cue Output 2 Waiting Room
Cue Output 3 Headphones 1
Cue Output 4 Headphones 2
Cue input 1 Pyramix
Cue Input 2 Pyramix
Cue input 3 Pyramix
T/B 1 Input Engineer
T/B 2 Input Producer
Listen Input 1 Studio Screen 1
Listen Input 2 Studio Voice Over booth
I have spent the last two days updating manuals and some web pages with Daniel Gollety our previous French Distributer and my friend of more than 30 years. This was exhausting for both of us but we are happy with the results - especially after updating every screen shot of the TMC-1.
It was important for me to have both an outside proof reader and someone for whom English is not their first language, in English as in most languages there are many different ways of saying the same thing - some are easier to understand than others. It is well known that I do not write the best manuals!
The English versions are now on the web, the French versions will be on the web next week.
Thank You Daniel!
It has taken longer than estimated, we were distracted by orders for existing products and we had not allowed for the time required to built the test jigs!
Here are the photos,
The XPand is already installed and working in one studio and we will be demonstrating both the XPand and A-Mon in different studios over the next few weeks.
You can see/hear both the A-Mon and XPand at "Mix with the Pros 4", Jigsaw 24, Golden Square on Wednesday the 15th June