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Optimising XMon Performance

This week I have been setting up our new Monitor Remote (Now called the TMC-1) on the XMon.  I have heard some bad reports about XMon so I wanted to be sure that I knew how to optimise the setup. 

XMon cannot be considered in isolation but as part of a monitor system that consists of the XMon, Power amps and Speakers.

The main gain section of XMon uses digital gain control to provide a gain range of +31dB to -95db.  As can be seen on the chart below to optimise the signal to noise it is important that XMon is run at between 0dB and +10dB gain for normal levels.

The Speaker trim section of the XMon provides a gain range of 0dB to -63.5dB in 0.5db steps. As can be seen in the chart below the signal to noise remains the same for the first 4dB of attenuation but then the noise floor levels out so that the signal to noise degrades as attenuation is increased.

The factory default settings of the TMC-1 XMon controller are as follows 

Main Gain Section +4dB gain.

Speaker Trim -4dB

Overall gain 0dB

Speaker trim range is restricted to +/- 4dB

Input makeup gain +20dB to -10dB

The default setting provides 5dB of analogue headroom above the digital clip point when set in this mode (XMon clips at approximately +25dBm).

New TFT Monitor Remote for XMon

I have now returned from IBC where we were showing our new TFT based remotes. The new TFT Monitor Remote generated some interest.

Designed originally as a remote for XMon CB plan to interface to other monitor systems including our own digital unit. There are 4 easily accessible main screens arranged in pairs and include: Input/output selection, Meters/Solo, Cue selection and gain, Talkback/Listen Gain.

This unit has the same profile as the PD-1 and sits conveniently on or may be sunk into a desk.

Using an embedded processor the unit communicates directly with XMon via Midi. and controls the full functionality of XMon.  No other computer is required. The remote is fitted with a talk-back microphone and headphone jack and uses the same 15 pin connector as XMon. A GPI port is provided for Hardware Mute, foot switch input and PFL/AFL switching.

The USB connector provides power and allows for software updates. The USB Midi connected to Protools or any MTC source can be used  for Auto-Talkback (or even a Timecode display).

The 4.3" TFT display is fitted with a touch screen in case required for the future, the XMon interface does not use touch.

For the future

we are designing a digital audio monitor system that will use the same remote, We are also looking at other applications using the same technology, one suggestion is as a digital microphone remote.

The photograph below is of the prototype unit and a selection of un-retouched displays.