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Author Topic: Motormix  (Read 13001 times)

RBIngraham

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2015, 01:30:31 PM »

I guess the other thing I would add is that for what I do more often than not I simply want less buttons.  And the reason for that is the fewer there are, the less likely my op is going to press one by accident.  I had several occasions where an op would get screwed up with SAC because of the bank switches in the bottom right corner of the BCFs. 

Eventually I went into the programming of the BCF and just disabled all the extra buttons. 

Once tech is over frankly all the extra buttons beyond mute, solo and the channel fader just get in our way.  Someone that is properly mixing musical theatre rarely has time to jump to some other layer and tweak a monitor mix.  There are exceptions of course (those that are really fast mixers or shows that just are not all that active or hard to mix) but it's rare.

Personally I've been keeping my eye out for a good price on one of the old Tascam 24 fader units.  Because that is what I really need most days.  One unit, some nice buttons but not a lot of extra buttons reoccurring every 8 faders or so.  Alas they are long out of production.  And that of course means even if I did find one at a decent price.. who knows how long it would last and no one is going to fix it.
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admin

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2015, 02:08:35 PM »

Richard: I hear ya... I know it's sad, but I have not yet taken the x-touch apart yet. :)  Will have to see if it is an easy thing to perhaps "fold back" the right side.  Fader, pot, 3 buttons, and a scribble strip - the perfect control surface.

Bob
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vox

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 12:05:44 AM »

The BCF bank buttons were actually my preferred method of navigation in SAC. I would lay out my channel assignments in color coded blocks of 8, so one or two quick presses of the bank buttons would get me anywhere almost instantly. I always found the scroll wheel and scroll bars too finicky and slow.
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RBIngraham

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 09:06:02 AM »

The BCF bank buttons were actually my preferred method of navigation in SAC. I would lay out my channel assignments in color coded blocks of 8, so one or two quick presses of the bank buttons would get me anywhere almost instantly. I always found the scroll wheel and scroll bars too finicky and slow.

I understand and that makes total sense for mixing music concerts.

However as I've said several places, theatre mixing is a different animal.  For us the faders are on the DCAs and you never really leave that area unless something goes wrong.  (broken mic, sub player in the pit that is too loud.. too soft..  plays like shit.. etc..)

So 9 times out of ten a theatre mixer is only touching DCA faders and a go button of some sort to take them to the next scene.  That scene change will mute and unmute appropriate channels and reassign the DCAs on the fly, so you just keep right on mixing.

If you're mixing musical theatre properly (by which I mean only the mics of the actor(s) currently speaking/singing are open) you really don't have time for much else anyway.  Solos numbers and dance numbers are probably you're only real break since you only have to ride a couple of faders rather than dozens.
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vox

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 11:54:21 AM »

The BCF bank buttons were actually my preferred method of navigation in SAC. I would lay out my channel assignments in color coded blocks of 8, so one or two quick presses of the bank buttons would get me anywhere almost instantly. I always found the scroll wheel and scroll bars too finicky and slow.

I understand and that makes total sense for mixing music concerts.

However as I've said several places, theatre mixing is a different animal.  For us the faders are on the DCAs and you never really leave that area unless something goes wrong.  (broken mic, sub player in the pit that is too loud.. too soft..  plays like shit.. etc..)

So 9 times out of ten a theatre mixer is only touching DCA faders and a go button of some sort to take them to the next scene.  That scene change will mute and unmute appropriate channels and reassign the DCAs on the fly, so you just keep right on mixing.

If you're mixing musical theatre properly (by which I mean only the mics of the actor(s) currently speaking/singing are open) you really don't have time for much else anyway.  Solos numbers and dance numbers are probably you're only real break since you only have to ride a couple of faders rather than dozens.

I hear you, I just wanted to make sure the bank buttons didn't get wiped out of any future templates as useless.   :D
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RBIngraham

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2015, 12:00:51 PM »



I hear you, I just wanted to make sure the bank buttons didn't get wiped out of any future templates as useless.   :D

Gotcha...

Of course the nice thing is that over here, you can modify the templates yourself and do quite a few things with those buttons.  For me they make a great GO button.  All you have to do is modify the template a bit with different commands. 

Although I still turn off the unused buttons by simply changing the programming of the BCF itself.
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jlklein

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2015, 04:09:06 PM »

So 9 times out of ten a theatre mixer is only touching DCA faders and a go button of some sort to take them to the next scene.  That scene change will mute and unmute appropriate channels and reassign the DCAs on the fly, so you just keep right on mixing.

Hi Richard,
After watching the Youtube videos you posted on SAC's forum about this method a while back, I finally had opportunity to try this method with our recent Christmas musical, using 8 subgroups (was still using SAC) and did the channel routing change method for the first 5 groups with choir, orchestra and FX/SFX as the remaining 3. As we never had more than 5 actual speaking parts at one time it worked great, as even if we had more than 5 talkers/singers on stage at a time, I just used scenes to switch the routing as necessary. Although we had 18 characters, a 25+ piece orchestra and 30+ voice choir (including various characters), it was very nice being able to mix it all on what amounted to an 8 channel mixer.

The only problem I had, and why I ended up going back to the individual channel method, was that for church musicals, even large scale ones like this, we don't get nearly enough tech rehearsal to get the show finalized and tight...we still deal with last minute changes even during the final 2 dress rehearsals. The DCA method doesn't lend itself well to last minute routing changes (characters switching lines or mic changes/additions) as you can't just un-mute the new character's mic, you have to also edit its output routing.

I also could not figure out a way to send a premix of the character voices to the recording mix so my recording operator could just mix my character mix with his orchestra mix, and I really didn't want to re-create the channel-to-group routing for the recording feed on every scene (I just did the FOH mix initially). Would have been nice to globally copy all the routing on the FOH mix scenes down to the recording mix...I wonder if AMP could do that?

That said, I LOVED the concept and am hoping AMP has some better implementation that I can take advantage of. If I can get our Music and Drama Ministry to give us enough rehearsal and bug-fix time next time, and stop making so many last minute changes (!!!!), I would do it again in a heartbeat. I really got an appreciate for the method in those videos after finally trying it out. More prep time, but much easier show time :)

Jeff
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RBIngraham

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2015, 04:38:44 PM »

Jeff,

I read you post in the SAC forum actually.   My thought right off the bat was...  use AMP.  2/3rds of your issues were caused by SAC's lack of true DCA mixing.

And yes in AMP because you have real DCAs you can easily just do a post fader tapped Aux mix that yo then let your recording guy mix in as appropriate.

I hear you on the need for proper rehearsal time.  But there are tools in AMP that would make that easier as well.  One is the wdl I created that is just a mixer view with just the DCA assign buttons.  If you have the screen real estate you could keep that open on a display somewhere and it is easy to fix a bad DCA assignment on the fly.  I wouldn't try to fix the scenes on the fly but you can at least change it easy enough on the fly. 

It also doesn't hurt that most days I'm not the person mixing the show.  I just design the show.  So I can keep all that kind of stuff open on my screen(s) and if there are mistakes or someone changed things I just fix it for the op and take a note.

I still always like to have at least 16 faders though.  By the time I chew up at least 3 for "master"  (voice, music and music sent to stage monitors) and then typically add a few more, like area mic master, etc...  you're down to 12 faders for wireless already.  Some shows work well with that and some it's just easier to have 24.  With SAC I would just make some of the faders attach directly to inputs.  But since I have AMP and it has up to 32 true DCAs...  well each fader just becomes a DCA and principle characters just never change DCAs.  So often that first 8 faders or so are just a single channel assigned to the DCA and they don't change at all or very rarely.  But it's still worth while to have them on a DCA rather than directly on the channel because the input fader can be used to tweak for variations in vocal energy or to pull down a problematic mic until it's fixed and it means you can still change the routing of that input without having to reassign it's fader at all.  So I use that for things like very deep stages.  I might have 2 or 3 time alignment delay settings and I put each mic into the correct setting just by reassigning it's output where there may be 2 or 3 outputs that each have a separate time delay setting.  The first one being no delay of course.

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mattseymour

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2015, 04:47:56 PM »

I'm really looking forward to having AMP and the real DCAs for the biggest thing I do in a year.  No rehearsal is a major challenge. The actors get together about once. We have some time in the space to sound check the radios (about 20 mins) and that's it. I've got good at running his event seat of the pants. It's the only way.
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RBIngraham

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2015, 05:01:06 PM »

While obviously it's not always an option in these types of situations I would really ask for help so mix duties can be split up.  Having one person who's job it is to just make sure the correct mics are on and off and letting someone else deal with balance can be a huge help.

And not that you couldn't do it with SAC, but this is where it's really nice to have the ability to have more than one remote op.  It still baffles me that most hardware desks only allow one real remote.  The only one I've seen that doesn't have that limit is the iLive.  Yeah several allow for multiple iPhone or iPad users but that's just a toy to me.  It's not a full duplicate of the console.

If I had to do huge mixes with no rehearsal I would break it up into as many as three jobs.  One just dealing with the correct wireless on and off.  Another to just balance the wireless out and a third that  it really doing the house mix, so they get one handle for all vocals and then mix the music and other ancillary mics.

I have done this kind of thing in educational environments as well so as not to expect a 16 year old to be able to mix like a Broadway pro with only 1 or 2 dress runs prior to 1st audience.

This is where the flexibility of the software console really shines in my opinion.
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admin

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2015, 10:38:30 PM »

Yeah, once you're hooked on DCAs, you'll never go back.. especially with the upcoming mods that will let you see a level and solo the DCA.  I've had a regular gig lately that has me mixing on a Midas, and now I see what Joe was trying to tell me a while back.. The DCA / POP groups (which we call View Groups or DCA Groups in AMP-Speak) can really help you when you have only a couple fader packs.  It is surprising how quickly you can get around a ton of channels with this method.  The critical part though is the setup.  If you're at a gig where anything can be plugged suddenly into any channel, then you might be better off with just a ton of faders.  But if you already know where things will be, the view group thing can be very helpful.  Section off your inputs to the various DCAs, and do your primary mixing with those.

Hint: you will need the newest GUI to use the SELECTS via the controllers.. hopefully will be out this weekend!

Bob
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admin

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2015, 10:40:10 PM »

BTW, to get this back to the original topic, the Motormix template will be updated also, so you will be able to use SELECTS with it.

And also, in case you are wondering, I personally think AMP blows the socks off the Midas in terms of ease of use!
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jlepore

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2015, 02:29:43 PM »

Glad you see the point about the Midas now. You did find the easy way to set DCA/pop groups on the fly right... Faster than anything out there.  Just hold the DCA or pop and then toggle selects on the channels.  I can add on the fly easily.
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admin

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2015, 09:11:28 PM »

Joe: yep, and you can do somewhat similar in AMP, with the right controller!
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jlklein

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Re: Motormix
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 11:51:22 AM »

Has anyone had any luck contacting CMLabs for Motormix refurbishment?
All my old weblinks are showing Carl's site is gone and a Facebook page I found on them didn't have any info. I posted a query on the FB page and the moderator PM'd me and said he'd forward my info on to Carl, but no reply yet.

My 6 are pretty much unreliable, especially daisy chained, so if I can't get them refurbished I guess I'll have to pony up for new ones :(

Thanks,
Jeff
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