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Installs Two operating locations?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by gafftaper, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Gaff humbly steps into audio world and bows to honor the noise boys before asking a question... Greetings wise ones.

    We have a brand new student union building here on campus and I've got a nice fat budget to do some really cool audio and video stuff. They have this small stage. I need to setup a sound system with both an easy mode where someone can setup one microphone and turn it on, set a level and walk away. I also need to be able to run a small console from the back of the house for something like a small band.

    I have a basic understanding of Cobranet and I'm wondering if I can use it to do this without running cables to the back of the house? Can I have a box on stage with like 12 mic lines that converts them to digital. Roll out a console to the back of the house and plug it into the cobranet to mix those mic lines without running cable?

    I see some consoles have the Cobranet network on board. But it seems like it's only the really expensive ones. I don't need an expensive and huge digital console I was hoping to get away with a nice small clean console with a bunch of auxiliaries. I'm thinking 16 channels... maybe an Allen and Heath?

    I also need to have the ability to send signal to three adjacent rooms as well as having a fully automatic vs live mixing modes. So a good DSP is needed to control all that.

    I'm not entirely sure what I'm asking here. I'll be sitting down with some local audio guys to spec out some system ideas. But I need a little help to point me in the right direction. I know what I want but I'm not 100% sure how to get there. Am I going in the right direction with the Cobranet? Any suggestions for choosing a DSP to handle multiple zones of playback and the full auto mode?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    I think you are heading in the right direction with the cobranet stuff. You may want to check out the Soundweb DSP's from BSS Audio. They are very flexible.

    ~Dave
     
  3. rwhealey

    rwhealey Active Member

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    We have a BSS Soundweb London, and although we don't do it, I think you can use it to switch between two totally different sets of configurations with a programmable wall controller.
     
  4. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    There are numerous ways to approach this. On a current project we are setting up three modes, a "basic" mode that takes the signal from an 8 channel automixer (fed via mic splits) and routes it to the fixed center array, a "speech" mode that uses the center array and the A&H iLive electronics but with small wall mounted slider user interface at the stage (neither of these two modes requires the console main work surface at FOH to even be in place, although the "speech" mode allows it) and finally a "performance" mode that uses a left/center/right speaker arrangement (the left and right arrays are motorized and can be raised when not being used) and the main work surface at FOH. Which mode is active is selected via a custom pushbutton panel at the equipment rack and the actual differences relates primarily to routing and processing within DSP presets.

    I have done numerous less complex "lecture/performance" arrangements using automixers and DSP units or even using the DSP to also serve as the automixer.

    I wasn't sure from your description, but is the idea to have separate physical inputs for the two modes or to use the same inputs for both? That could affect how well a networked audio solution might work. Whether it is realistic to have a computer connected can also be a factor.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    First off the stage is going to be VERY small and the most advanced thing likely to ever happen there is a small student band with half a dozen audio lines coming in.

    The more I'm thinking about it I think it makes the most sense to have two mic lines that run straight to the DSP for an auto mixer configuration. Then have a set of 12 analog lines that run from the stage to the back of the house. A couple of lines that go from the back of the house to the stage for monitors. And finally a couple of lines that run from the back of the house to the DSP with a manual mode setting.

    Seems like that would probably be a lot cheaper than setting up something like cobranet to do the same thing.

    Thoughts?
     
  6. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Yes, I think that would be cheaper, and easier to install. The Cobranet stuff is not cheap, so you can save some $$$ in the budget on this one.

    ~Dave
     
  7. themuzicman

    themuzicman Well-Known Member

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    We had this deal in my high school. basically, we had a small setup on stage, with several inputs in the stage. A rack that had two wireless mics, a small rack mixer, a cd player with line in for iPods, and a power distribution rack.

    When power to this setup was turned on (via a key in the power distribution thing), it hit a relay, which turned on the amps in the booth. When you turned it off, the amps turned off.

    Up in the booth, We'd just flip our amps on and off along with our power distribution. Only deal is, when we left we'd have to make sure the switch was in the right place (i.e. the stage users didn't turn off their stuff) or else it would throw that stuff out of synch, but other than that, no big problems.
     
  8. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    If you want to get fancy, then I'm sure you can find some way to trigger the change between basic and full modes by means of the multipin being plugged in... Might be harder in DSP land than a straight relay switchover of lines to the inputs, but there has to be a way...
     
  9. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I'm not sure what multipin you are referencing but two extra pins on the multipin that are wired together and go to a control input on the DSP could be used to tell when something was plugged in and trigger any changes.

    In gaff's situation it sounds like he may not even need different modes, just a couple of inputs on the stage to the DSP to an automixer within the DSP and a couple of other inputs direct into the DSP from the mixer. Then mix the automixer output and direct inputs inside the DSP, perhaps after some processing on each, then into the general system processing. Both the automix and manual mix would always be live but you'd typically only be using one or the other. You could even derive ALS or other mixes of both the automixed and manual mixed signals if you wanted. If you use programmable DSPs that are 'drag and drop' type programming, then this type of system building is easy to accomplish .
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    That sounds like a great strategy. We want the auto mode to be something that a person with no knowledge at all can follow a simple set of instructions to operate a microphone. For the manual mode I want it to also be very easy. Something I can train a student with half a brain to use in 10 minutes. The less settings to deal with on the rack the better.
     
  11. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Oops, I presumed that the analog lines to the back would terminate onto a multipin on the wall that gets plugged in when the full console is going to be used.

    I like Brad's idea actually... You could have an MC running into manual mode and the band into the console so that you get the best of both worlds, hands off when you just have the talking head part, hands on when it matters...
     
  12. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    One problem with that is that the MC mic would always be live and if it is the only mic to the automixer, at full gain. If you did want to use or at least have mics connected to the automixer inputs and the console at the same time you probably want some way to mute any mics going into the automixer either via remote control of the DSP or a simply using mics with a switch.

    FWIW, where possible I personally much prefer to use gain sharing automixer algorithms in the DSP rather than gated automixers even if the gated mixer uses an adaptive threshold. Simple gated automixers with a set threshold for each input are my last choice.
     
  13. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    Gafftaper,
    Welcome once again to the world of audio, where almost anything is possible if you throw enough money at.;)

    Here's my thought
    Center of the system is a Rane RPM 44.
    For your simple setups, Wire two mics to its inputs and patch them to pass on to your speakers. Those two inputs, patched to your outputs could become one preset with volume controls available on a wall station. I believe that you could even patch an automixer into the DSP.

    For your bigger events, I might recommend a digital board, I'm partial to the LS9 and it 16 channel frame is fairly inexpensive, especially for what you get. The Rane RPM 44 has got an AES input that could accept the digital output from the board. Another preset on the Rane would pass the signal from the board and mute the signal from the mics. Rane makes wall stations that allow a person to recall presets (MRS 4) and control volumes (VR2) without needing to access the unit, although it make require both remotes to perform both functions.

    An LS9-16 would give you plenty of inputs for what you are doing and many more outputs than a conventional board that size. plus a whole rack of toys, all in one rack mountable package. I've seen guys put the LS9 in a pop-up mixer case and do the whole show with one piece of gear. I also like the LS9's ability to lock the console with either a password or a USB stick. For simple shows I let my newer students run the board in Guest Mode, which has very limited access to functions beyond channel gain, EQ and Fader. For students with more experience, I can unlock more of the boards features by changing what their password can access. Another feature about digital boards that I like in an educational setting is that I can plug my board into the campus network, and access it from my laptop anywhere I can get onto the internet.

    Another (pricey) advantage to digital boards is the ability to use digital inputs from either a digital snake (expensive) or remote head amps ( still pricey, but not as bad as a digital snake). In theory you could put Yamaha Remote Head amps (AD-something or other), or the new input module on stage and reduce the number of runs to the mix position. You could even go real pricey and check out Whirlwind's E-snake, it's controllable from any Yamaha digital board and use Cobranet to route the signals from the mics to the board and wherever else they need to go.
     

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