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Show Control Software for Yamaha PM5000

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by Austinro, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Austinro

    Austinro Member

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    Recently, I was contacted to run sound for a theatre application using a Yamaha PM5000. The small college theatre that has the board has really no idea how to use it, and have never before used the cue functionality. In a pinch, the built in cue ability will work fine for my purposes, but I'd like a software MIDI based solution that will allow me to edit or control cues from a PC. The console has the ability to store scenes on a Compact Flash card, and I'd like the ability to remove that card and insert it into a computer to edit cues. I'd also like to be able to run cues directly from a PC via MIDI, and if possible program the built in computer via MIDI. Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Have you looked at the information for the console or read the manual or Yamaha's FAQs for it? The following are from those FAQs:

    Is there a way to back up the scene memories?
    Yes. Scene and setup data can be saved on CompactFlash cards. You can choose to save all data, all scenes, the setup data, or the table data (MIDI program change assignments).

    Can the data be stored on a PC?
    Yes. If your PC has a CompactFlash reader, you can easily transfer the files via Compact- Flash card. Alternatively, you can connect a 9-pin D-sub cable from the PM5000's CASCADE A port to an RS-232C port on your PC. The data files are saved in CSV (comma-separated value) format.

    Which PM5000 parameters can be controlled remotely?
    Scenes can be recalled remotely by using MIDI program changes. The following parameters can be controlled by using MIDI control changes: input channel faders, VCA faders, input channel on/off, master output on/off, VCA on/off, and mute group on/off.


    So apparently the PM5000 allows scene recall and limited remote parameter control. It seems that you can download the console data to a PC as a CSV spreadsheet file and can trigger scene recall and parameter changes via MIDI, pages 77 through 83 of the PM5000 manual address that.

    Looking at your specific questions, it seems that you can transfer the console data to a computer via the card or RS-232. however it is a CSV spreadsheet file. And you can trigger scenes or adjust limited parameters via MIDI. However, the PM5000 is not a digital console that allows almost all parameters to be addressed (the scenes address primarily routing switches, muting and the VCA and channel faders, but not parameters like channel trim, EQ, panning or aux levels and pre/post assignment) or for them to be edited in an application specific offline software, which it sounds like may be more of what you are looking for.
     
  3. Austinro

    Austinro Member

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    I know the limitations of the Yamaha console, and I've read the manual. I get the feeling that opening the file off the Compact Flash card will give me a long list of values and numbers that are very unintuitive to edit. I'm not concerned with backing up the files, I want to edit them offline or on a PC. In an ideal world, I'd like to trigger cues off of a PC. Also, I'd like a computer readout when I'm constructing cues, both to have more information in front of me and to be able to input letters that would normally require several keypad presses. I'm looking for a software package to do this; the ability to play recorded audio cues would also be a plus. An extra bonus would be a package that interfaces via MSC to the lighting console, so one PC could conceivably control the whole show. There is currently no plan to do this, but the capability for the future would be great.
     
  4. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    In essence, you're looking for something like Studio Manager for the PM5k that can also run an entire show? If that's the case, it's a matter of how much do you want to spend? I thought I saw somewhere that MacFOH will fire cues to various consoles, though it's primarily an RTA program from what I remember, and keep in mind I've not used it. But it won't allow you to edit the cues themselves. My understanding was that could only be done on the console itself. Looks like their website's down for me. Other than that, I'm not aware of anything else that wasn't meant to control an entire arena. If you turn up dry here, ask over the Lab at ProSoundWeb.

    Sorry I couldn't be much help.
     
  5. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    MacFOH 2.0 will include show control, but according to their web site it is still in development and will have a $1,024 price (apparently going from the 9 bit $512 price for the current Version 1.7 to 10 bit $1024).

    You might try the Richmond Sound Design site, http://www.richmondsounddesign.com/, Charlie offers some excellent products but also provides many links and resources related to automation and show control. Their is a link on that site to the Yahoo Show Control Forum, you might post there as well.
     
  6. BackEMF

    BackEMF Member

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    As noted elsewhere, scene data is stored to memory as a CSV file. You can edit a CSV file offline with any text editor, but it will be cumbersome and not very user friendly.

    In the past, when I have had to automate scene changes on a PM series desk, I've done it one of two ways;

    The "concert" way is the easiest, but also the most inflexible and is not very useful for large numbers of cues (127+). Basically the console is set up to transmit a program change when a scene is recalled. This program change is routed to external devices (in my case, fx, reverb and delay) that recalls a preset based on the program change number. The benefit here is that once you recall a scene, all of your fx follow. I've also used this method to trigger playback via SFX.

    The "theatrical" way requires an external show control system. In my case SFX. SFX is used to fire off cues (sound effects, fades, etc.) and also to send program change information to the console (as a cue). The program change is received at the desk and recalls a corresponding scene. It cannot manipulate the content of that scene, only tell the console to recall it. If you need to edit the scene, it has to be done from the console and re-saved. You can also use other MIDI parameters to control specific operations of the console, such as individual channel mute states, output mutes, and in the case of the PM5k, channel/VCA levels. (check the MIDI implementation chart).

    So, to directly answer your question, there is no software that I am aware of that will allow you to easily edit scenes ala Studio Manager. There are a number of third party programs that will allow you to automate scene changes on the PM5k along with controlling sound effect playback (SFX, Q-Manager, etc.), but none that deal with the PM5k on a level that will allow you to edit the consoles scenes directly from the software.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. Andy_Leviss

    Andy_Leviss Active Member Premium Member

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    Word from some very upset beta testers who paid fairly obscene amounts of money for the privilege, and have gotten little to show for it, MacFOH2 is one of the more notorious pieces of vaporware in live audio in recent history. I wouldn't hold my breath.

    --A
     
  8. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    My apologies for the continued topic swerve. Andy, that was my impression as well. It looked like it would be a good tool, until I saw the price tag. When I tried to search for it, and saw the website was down, I figured that it's gone the way of the dodo.
     

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