Sound effects computer

dbaxter

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Just curious - what's your need for these computers to talk to the internet at all during a tech period/production? If it were me, I'd be unplugging the network entirely. Let them do updates/etc after the run is over. If you have a permanent run, allow internet access for updates only on Mondays (or whatever day you're dark) and then do a full test after dumping the internet connection again. Any resources should be stored locally anyways in the event of internet failures, etc. Food for thought, or for future readers.
No need, other than the local 192.168.x.y network. We do indeed disconnect them and I should have mentioned that. I agree with sk8rsdad's comment about Linux. Apple started off as a derivative - many terminal commands are still the same, I think. And Windows is edging that way. Perhaps it's time to look into it as a development environment...
 

Aaron Becker

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I'm not sure I agree with the notion that Windows is moving towards a unix/linux based platform, but that's beyond the scope of what we're discussing here.

An easy way to cut your device from the internet is remove the default gateway in the network properties - it won't know how to reach the internet and never seek updates again. :) That ensures you'll still have access to your 192.168.x.y/zz network but no access beyond that.
 

jtweigandt

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OK guys... since you mentioned it.. I run on linux all day at work and on my personal machine at home. I also make use of WINE to run a very proprietary windows program at work under linux.. so in the last hour
I went to the basement, fired up my Linux Mint 20 machine with 3 monitors. Downloaded the last version of Show Cue systems that I was licensed for, and installed the 32 bit version.. IT RUNS!! Was playing SFX flawlessly
cueing, timing, chaining... I futzed with monitor settings to try to do some video and access monitor 2 and 3 and ruined my settings, so will have to re install to get back to the base settings.. but on the sound side single monitor, it appears pretty bulletproof (at least in a half hour of playing). Now the big surprise.. I downloaded Nomad.. installed under wine clicked the desktop icon.. and there it was in all it's glory on 3 monitors.. Gonna bring home some show files to play with. I don't have a puck so can't comment on the final dmx communication.. but was planning on getting one for the windows computer in the booth for board redundancy anyhow at some point... so we may find out eventually. But I was really surprised how clean and native nomad worked right out of the box. Linux mint cinnamon 20 and wine 5.5
 

CrazyTechie

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Salt Lake City, UT
Yeah, but I don't image most theatre guys/gals are running their dedicated south/video rigs on a domain-joined environment where you're harnessing the power of GPO via DCs.
As long as you are running Win 10 pro or higher you have access to local GPOs. If you run gpedit you can get to them.

I'd still go with pausing updates and disconnecting from the internet for a Windows based system, if we're sticking with that. You do get more control over when Windows does updates if you are running the Education or Enterprise versions. Specifically, the auto updates don't happen. It will only do the updates when you restart your computer and if it has updates queued, but it won't do them for you unless you tell it to where as Pro and Home editions are set to automatically install updates to make sure you are running the latest security patches.

That said, for OP's use, I'd still go with a Mac and QLab. Much easier to tweak the settings to get the computer to do what you expect it to for a show. And Figure53 has a KB on how to do that, if I recall correctly.
 

RonHebbard

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Yeah, but I don't image most theatre guys/gals are running their dedicated south/video rigs on a domain-joined environment where you're harnessing the power of GPO via DCs. GPOs are just global-policies that control already-existing settings within the OS. Furthermore, the only (pertinent) settings I'm aware of via GPO is to prevent automatic updates. That doesn't prevent manual updates or the erroneous restarts Windows 10 loves to do.

I do a little IT (sysadmin) work on the side, so I'm pretty familiar with the function of GPO and the struggles of Windows 10 and the update pains it most certainly has.
@Aaron Becker Quoting you: "dedicated south/video rigs".
Pardon my ignorance: What is a "dedicated south/video rig"??
Think POSITIVE.
Test NEGATIVE.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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Aaron Becker

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@Aaron Becker Quoting you: "dedicated south/video rigs".
Pardon my ignorance: What is a "dedicated south/video rig"??
Think POSITIVE.
Test NEGATIVE.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
Just a computer that's dedicated for that purpose (video, audio, control, etc purposes), and probably independent of any building/IT dept controlled systems (mainly thinking of those in educational/corporate settings). Likely funded by the department themselves, not a general or IT fund, and not connected to or managed by said IT folks. Again, thinking almost exclusively educational environments.
 
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RonHebbard

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Just a computer that's dedicated for that purpose (video, audio, control, etc purposes), and probably independent of any building/IT dept controlled systems (mainly thinking of those in educational/corporate settings). Likely funded by the department themselves, not a general or IT fund, and not connected to or managed by said IT folks. Again, thinking almost exclusively educational environments.
@Aaron Becker In what sense: "South"?
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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ACTSTech

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I'm still missing the Instant Replay system the college TV station threw away because it wasn't fully digital. We borrowed it for a lot of shows just for sound effects. No internet, no computer updates, no frills. Thing just worked.
 

Mac Hosehead

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Shark Tank
Ok, I fit the example of someone who brings in a sketchy laptop to run sound. The last time I was in such a situation I could not locate the Mac Mini normally used for such occasions. I decided to load Qlab onto my Dell hackintosh laptop. Of course, Qlabs warns against this. The person calling the show gave it a hard look. It ran and sounded fine.
 

TimMc

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Ok, I fit the example of someone who brings in a sketchy laptop to run sound. The last time I was in such a situation I could not locate the Mac Mini normally used for such occasions. I decided to load Qlab onto my Dell hackintosh laptop. Of course, Qlabs warns against this. The person calling the show gave it a hard look. It ran and sounded fine.
Sometimes you gots to do what you've gots to do...

One of the items in my backpack is a Windows laptop (and some kibbles/bits of interface) with Sports Sounds Pro and Audacity. It will become a backup if my client has a sketchy playback machine. Having taken the blame for failures of "not my stuff", my computer is now a CYA policy. "Why it must be your fault, it couldn't be this 12 year old Core2 Duo with tape residue all over every physical connector..."
 

ACTSTech

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Ok, I fit the example of someone who brings in a sketchy laptop to run sound. The last time I was in such a situation I could not locate the Mac Mini normally used for such occasions. I decided to load Qlab onto my Dell hackintosh laptop. Of course, Qlabs warns against this. The person calling the show gave it a hard look. It ran and sounded fine.
I'm never against using what you have to use and what you feel comfortable with (also, what's available plays a huge role.) but I'm against not having some sort of backup. Like the time that (this is going back 25 years) our ONLY copy of the sound FX cassette tape (told you) was eaten up by the suddenly dead machine and we had to resort to two people hiding in the pit doing all the sound effects like old foley artists on the radio. They had a good time, but wasn't ideal.
 

Craig Hauber

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Plentywood MT, Grenora ND
I'm still missing the Instant Replay system the college TV station threw away because it wasn't fully digital. We borrowed it for a lot of shows just for sound effects. No internet, no computer updates, no frills. Thing just worked.
They threw it out?!
Idiots.
They are still between $600 and $1300 used on eBay.
I want a few as my ultimate SFX backup machines -especially if I have to leave a design in the hands of unskilled crew.

At bare minimum they should have properly recycled it
(and note to all, I personally offer recycling services of this nature!)
 

ACTSTech

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USA
They threw it out?!
Idiots.
They are still between $600 and $1300 used on eBay.
I want a few as my ultimate SFX backup machines -especially if I have to leave a design in the hands of unskilled crew.

At bare minimum they should have properly recycled it
(and note to all, I personally offer recycling services of this nature!)
Never underestimate the power of stupidity from someone with a PhD. The Dean dictated that everything that wasn't FULLY DIGITAL be removed from the studio so he could promote that everything in the studio was FULLY DIGITAL, and the guy running the program did just that. And when the other departments complained about the waste (like the music department who had asked for some of the gear), he told them that he didn't want to invest in old technology...

I would have gladly paid for it, but it was long gone. Along with a lot of other stuff I would have bought. They are great machines, I've only ever heard of a few hard drive failures which I suppose would be expected.
 

DrewE

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Vermont
Never underestimate the power of stupidity from someone with a PhD. The Dean dictated that everything that wasn't FULLY DIGITAL be removed from the studio so he could promote that everything in the studio was FULLY DIGITAL, and the guy running the program did just that. And when the other departments complained about the waste (like the music department who had asked for some of the gear), he told them that he didn't want to invest in old technology...
So, did they get rid of those nasty analog microphone preamplifiers and speaker drivers and concert grand pianos?

It's a rather odd use of the word "invest" to mean "failing to throw away something that you have that is functional, useful, and paid for." I guess I'm investing in my car and fridge and living room carpeting every day, by such logic.
 

ACTSTech

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So, did they get rid of those nasty analog microphone preamplifiers and speaker drivers and concert grand pianos?

It's a rather odd use of the word "invest" to mean "failing to throw away something that you have that is functional, useful, and paid for." I guess I'm investing in my car and fridge and living room carpeting every day, by such logic.
This is why I don't like the local sales reps, they look for the sale and not the need. The new sound board (replacing a perfectly good Allen and Heath board) was ALL DIGITAL. The new light console was ALL DIGITAL. Digital converters. Digital receivers. Digital this, digital that. Basically, they needed SOME new equipment, mostly in the the video production end, and got talked into lots of unnecessary things. Again, the architect and sales rep probably lined their pockets and the last time I was there, there was still issues with some of the equipment and the doors are still not sound proofed and the studio isn't exactly climate controlled... But I'm not there any longer.

I think that people tend to get distracted by shiny objects and flashy trendy words. There's some fine USB mics out there, but nothing I'd put up against a studio mic. Doing a podcast or Twitch broadcast, sure, your mic is fine. Doing a reference grade recording of a Steinway D (non-digital!) piano performance? I'll stick with my "old" technology. I "invested" in good microphones myself years ago for when someone needs something specific, and through rental and ease on my brain when I have to go in and do something, they've been well worth the investment. Replacing something that is in great condition just because the faders aren't motorized, or there aren't LEDs on each channel or no touchscreens on the console or whatever, it's shaking a keyring.
 

Aaron Becker

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This is why I don't like the local sales reps, they look for the sale and not the need. The new sound board (replacing a perfectly good Allen and Heath board) was ALL DIGITAL. The new light console was ALL DIGITAL. Digital converters. Digital receivers. Digital this, digital that. Basically, they needed SOME new equipment, mostly in the the video production end, and got talked into lots of unnecessary things. Again, the architect and sales rep probably lined their pockets and the last time I was there, there was still issues with some of the equipment and the doors are still not sound proofed and the studio isn't exactly climate controlled... But I'm not there any longer.

I think that people tend to get distracted by shiny objects and flashy trendy words. There's some fine USB mics out there, but nothing I'd put up against a studio mic. Doing a podcast or Twitch broadcast, sure, your mic is fine. Doing a reference grade recording of a Steinway D (non-digital!) piano performance? I'll stick with my "old" technology. I "invested" in good microphones myself years ago for when someone needs something specific, and through rental and ease on my brain when I have to go in and do something, they've been well worth the investment. Replacing something that is in great condition just because the faders aren't motorized, or there aren't LEDs on each channel or no touchscreens on the console or whatever, it's shaking a keyring.
Couldn't agree more on the purchasing your own stuff and either renting it back or trying to make it up on the side, and using it as a peace of mind. I used to do this years ago. It was quality equipment. It's dated, but I could still throw lots of those mics on a stand or drum kit and use them. Fortunately I never went crazy and invest in my own digital mixing board, though.

On the note of not having flying faders - analog boards might still have their place these days, but it is nice having a digital board, and channel count equal, I'm probably going to opt for the digital board 99% of the time for anything remotely large scale.
 

Crisp image

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Eastern Victoria Australia
I have a business idea. I am going to make all sorts of labels of different sizes and colours that have just ne word on them. DIGITAL then stick them on everything I find then everyone will think it is all digital and then they would be happy. I remember purchasing some speakers back in the 80's for my walkman (oh I feel so old) that had digital across the front. I am sure they were just 3in cones in there being driven by the output of my walkman which I am sure was not digital. Ahh good times.
 
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