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Nova

PT for production recording

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Hi Guys,

This is probably old news in here, but I'd like some opinions...

Have a major upcoming gig that requires a lot of fancy footwork (in terms of IFB, submixes, pre-recorded material playback, on-set ADR - all sorts of crazy). So I'm thinking PT for the flexibility that it will give me.

I'm torn between going down the route of an external mixer (such as a DM2000, or the Presonus 24.4.2) to do all my routing and just use PT as the recorder (with 788's for backup), or to go with a controller such as the c24 and do all my routing "in the box".

Any thoughts, feedback and/or life lessons gratefully appreciated.

Cheers,

James "Nova" Nowiczewski

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A PT setup isn't very portable or ruggedized compared to most of the location sound carts setups seen on the JW cart gallery. If that doesn't matter (like you're on a stage etc) then it could work for what you mention if you know it really well. I guess I'd ask if you were going to need to be able to do all of those tasks at any moment, or if you could schedule them a bit. If it's the former then you would be acting like a mini-studio so having that functionality might be worth the hassle of the setup, if the latter then you could get by with a much simpler rig that you'd reconfigure on the fly. You could do what you mention with a console, a recorder and a laptop with a simple recording app. I've mostly done jobs like what was described with multiple rigs, separate recording and playback, because I sometimes needed to break off and get small for recording, or do playback in one place while recording in another. Also, two rigs made it easier for two people to do the work, ie mixer and PB operator. Doing all the stuff you mention on your own (even with a boom op) is going to be hairy. RE: c24--no reason you can't go that way if you are familiar w/ PT, although the c24 analog section, pres etc aren't on a level with most consoles used by movie location mixers. The Presonus is a nice rig and more compact, another frequent choice for this kind of work is Yamaha 01v96. Good luck, let us know how you go!

phil p

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It should be a pretty controlled environment so the need for rugged isn't as crucial as usual - I hope!! I'm leaning towards the console because the drawback of PT is limited rerouting whilst recording, which could be important.

It will be a handful on my own, but I am hoping to have a dedicated PT operator, with me handling the mixing/sub-mixing duties.

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I'm w Richard on this. A Yamaha and Boom Recorder has plenty of options and quality. I like recording to a dedicated recorder myself like a Deva or SD788, but if you want to record to a computer this is as fool proof as it gets. I'd just use a 2nd protools rig as a side chain to do editing and all that extra stuff you mentioned James. Sounds like an interesting shoot. Good luck.

CrewC

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And I would vote for Gallery Software's Metacorder. I tried both Boom Recorder and Metacorder, and I honestly preferred the latter. I think the combination of a Yamaha 01V96 and Meta would be very powerful, provided you were in a fixed position and not constantly on the go.

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Metacorder is interesting, I've been kind of waiting for a reason to go down that path for a while. It might be a little redundant however as I still intend to record to 788 as a safety, and PT is much more flexible (and I've been using it for fifteen years) . Either way, I am definitely moving away from the idea of doing the audio routing etc "in the box" and definitely front ending with a mixer. Would love to go Sonosax, but just cant justify the expense (this is a four month gig, then its back to my regular cart setup). I'll post where it all ends up...

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Hey Nova

Micheal Berther in QLD was selling his Sonosax (along with a whole bunch of other stuff) recently.

I posted his list in the WTB-WTS section of this forum, you can find his number etc there. I'd find it for you but I'm writing this on my phone and searching is too hard. Sorry

I've probably got his original email he sent me so if you want it, text me your email and I'll send it to you.

Cheers

Mega

PS what's the gig your doing?

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Your definitely going to need an outboard monitor controller at the very least, if not a full on board to do ADR. I once tried to do ADR with a Presonus board. I made it work, wasn't too bad. Some of the aux/switching feature of the Allen & Heath boards would make them a good candidate for ADR use too.

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that you can probably put together a pt rig, have it be portable, and get it all done.

You have a 788 as a backup, so you are covered if it goes down. you can send your ifb/playback/mix through different outputs, and have your playback track on the timeline where you want to record.

I don't know that I would use a control surface though, you might be better off with an analog mixer back into PT.

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Trust me Pete, Michael's Sonosax rig is the one I cant afford! (I bought his Ambient slate). I would love to get it, but I cant see a lot of use for it past this gig. Wish I could....

In a slightly different direction, has anyone here locked two 788's with two CL9's? Just wondering how they behaved (ie does one CL-9 become a master in terms of the switching or do they only operate the 788T they are attached to). Also, can you bus the to the aux on one 788 to create submixes from both units?

Those questions aside, I still need to direct out to PT and the 788 doesnt have direct outs. SIgh. Why?

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The DM2K will give you very powerful, and re-callable, routing options.

If that's your main concern, I'd go that route.

6 card slots give you great flexibility interfacing with whatever outboard gear you use.

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Actually you can effectively have direct outputs on the 788.

Assign input 1 to output 1, input 2 to output 2 etc up to six. Then use the headphone output set as 7,8 for inputs 7 and 8.

You now have 8 in 8 out.

Make sure you assign inputs to outputs rather than tracks to outputs. This way the outputs will uninterupted.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Mega

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+1 for the 01v96 - can act as a front end for ProTools using core audio I/O, via a Dante card and DVSC software on the mac. DM2000 is just as good if you need the extra faders (and more importantly - slots for more Dante or Madi cards). Both can act as a hardware fader controller for PT at the same time, but the DM2K has a huge advantage there with the LED text display above each fader showing track names. Apart from that, I use them interchangeably. One thing to consider is it sounds like you intend to do playback from the same machine you are recording on - depending on production and post TC workflow, you may find a second playback machine is much more flexible and indeed easier to deal with on set as opposed to either copying multiple instances of your playback tracks along the timeline or recording to stacked playlists, which might confuse the issue ingesting for Post, if you are not in control of that phase too.

As for using a Controller rather than a Mixer - the main issue would be Latency routing live IFB feeds and so on through PT - there are ways of dealing with this of course, depending on your specific PT configuration, but it's an additional complication that you can do without - and not an issue if doing your routing in an external Mixer.

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I do quite like the presonus as far as small digital desks go, lots of nice feature and sounds decent too. I do like the 'Fat channel' but it can be a little cumbersome when trying to make quick routing changes. However, when coupled with the iPad app this desk can be fantastic, making routing/aux send configuration a breeze.

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Thanks Pete, that's pretty innovative, but still won't give me what I want ( which is direct digital outs ).

And, to be bloody minded, it's pretty standard for a recorder to have direct outs. But I digress.

This will be the final setup. O2R96 feeding PT and two 788's. Simplest and most flexible.

And yes I will use a separate device for track playback...

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The 02R was the first digital mixer I ever used. We thought it was enormous for an edit bay or a telecine bay! Eventually, we scaled down to the 03D and I thought that was a much more practical mixer. But you really get used to the flexibility and presets that Yamaha provides. The scope of those mixers is really vast -- you can do a ton of stuff with them, particularly on special bus outputs, custom routing, delays, etc. Really good design.

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I'm done w PreSonus boards. I had two live sound failures (not total failure- a restart did the trick) and no longer trust them as a pro board. The other time a channel went bad and luckily we had a backup with us. So if you can afford two of em.... Luckily I wasn't burned as they failed during rehearsals.

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I use pro tools on set for playback, but as a location recorder, it's not ideal. Primarily it's metadata input isn't up to what we do. If you don't need scene and take info easily entered, maybe not a big deal. You are running 788s, so those could give you metadata stamped poly waves, and you can track in pt for quick editing and playback.

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You can do a ton of stuff with the Yamaha boards in a studio, which is what we were using them for. I know of quite a few mixers who do well with the 01VX on location with an inverter. But it's definitely not purpose-built for battery-operated use.

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