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Simon Paine

Boom Recorder via Dante virtual soundcard

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I took the Mac mini apart and removed the internal power supply. I put a volt meter on the outputs of the supply removed from the computer and I found four wires for ground and four wires sending +11.9 volts DC. Installed a four pin Hirose connector in old power plug hole and wired that right into the logic board per the pinouts from the old PSU. The touchscreen was an eBay find. It's made by some company called Faytech. It's 10 inch and connects to 12v DC, USB, and HDMI.

Your 12 volt DC mod to the Mac Mini seems too simple --- let me know that it has worked perfectly since you did it. I remember with the older generation Mac Mini there were some logic commands that were also needed along the power connection and some people got into trouble just wiring it up based on supply voltage. The newer Mac Mini may not work this way and your simple straight ahead re-wiring must work. Last question, has Boom Recorder Pro been completely reliable for you?

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I don't see how the 12v supply would be any different than the factory PSU other than that it isn't as well regulated. I was counting on the logic board to have a tolerance range for that. There doesn't appear to be any active control circuitry in the factory power supply that could effect anything adversely in its abscence. I didn't crack it open yet, so I can't be sure. However, it has been working perfectly. The 2014 revision power supply is the same as the 2012 model. As far as boom recorder goes, I've not been using it for anything other than testing, but it has rolled reliably alongside my other machines rolling multiple tracks over Dante VSC for several days now. The only test left to do is give those tracks a good listen to make sure the Schoeps don't sound like Rode and the DPA's don't sound like Trams or anything like that.

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Good to hear, Todd and Philip, about Boom Recorder. I had forgotten than Philip has used Boom Recorder for quite some time and on pretty intense jobs.

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Boom Recorder seems to always work. I used it as my backup from 2006, right up until last year. Now my JoeCo Dante Recorder does that.

If I remember it correctly, it was you, Jeff Wexler that introduced us to it.Thank you.

Take is always available. I was in Morocco on a show in 2006 and I had a few questions for him. He responded almost immediately and even created a version for 48.048.

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Boom Recorder seems to always work. I used it as my backup from 2006, right up until last year. Now my JoeCo Dante Recorder does that.

If I remember it correctly, it was you, Jeff Wexler that introduced us to it.Thank you.

Take is always available. I was in Morocco on a show in 2006 and I had a few questions for him. He responded almost immediately and even created a version for 48.048.

You're right, I did discover Boom Recorder v.1.0 and told everyone about it. Funny thing is even after all these years I have not used it myself regularly at all (that is why I am always checking in on those who do use it). Take Vos, the creator and developer, has been very accessible but I had no idea you would get the level of support while on location in Morocco --- this is outstanding!

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I cracked open an old Mac mini this evening and the power supply is completely different. Looks like most of it is housed in that external brick.

Right. It's the older one I'm referring to where there were logic commands that had to travel from the power supply (external brick) to the MacMini for things like power cycling, automatic restarts with power failure, etc.

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The JoeCo uses the old PS2 keyboard input. I purchased a Microsoft cabled keyboard from Amazon. I only enter the Roll # and reset the 'take' number at the top of the day. After that I do not mess with the metadata. I never hand in this material, it's only purpose for me is as it's name says, "Blackbox Recorder" - only for a 'short between the headphones' moment (i.e did not roll the Master recorder).

They are also being used on reality shows and some sitcoms. Perhaps those users will chime in on their protocol with metadata. The JoeCo only records to an external drive. I use a WD 1Tb USB drive.

The machine has been working wonderfully for almost 2 years. A 1 rackspace backup recorder.

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Yes,  PS2 keyboard.  It's pretty easy to enter track names and file names etc, although the protocol and keystrokes are kind of unique.  In mono mode the file names are the track names with a take number or whatever you've entered, which is a good thing when you have a stack of 24 for each take.  I'm on year 5 with my JoeCo now and it's worked out very well for what I use it for (mostly concert and multicam video multi-talkie shoots).  I record to fast 64 GB USB sticks, which has eliminated any moving parts from the system, about which I'm very happy.  It also eliminates an extra thing (an ext drive) in the rack and an extra PSU for the drive, the USB stick lives plugged straight into the back of the JoeCo and acts like an internal drive.  It is very convenient for me to be able to pull that stick, plug it straight into the USB port of a laptop and be able to work the files (along with files from my other recorders) into a single Wave Agent report and then download them directly.   Am lusting after the 64 channel MADI JoeCo.

 

philp

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davidm   

Your 12 volt DC mod to the Mac Mini seems too simple --- let me know that it has worked perfectly since you did it. I remember with the older generation Mac Mini there were some logic commands that were also needed along the power connection and some people got into trouble just wiring it up based on supply voltage. The newer Mac Mini may not work this way and your simple straight ahead re-wiring must work. Last question, has Boom Recorder Pro been completely reliable for you?

I have modified several Mac Mini's in the past 9 years for my Metacorder rig. My current Mac Mini is a 2012 unibody Mac Mini Server. Todd Weaver's comment that it's an easy modification is correct. Just follow an iFixit guide on how to pull the Mac Mini apart. Gotham Sound has a guide on how to do the mod: https://www.gothamsound.com/library/mod-mac-mini-dc-power

 

The original body Mac Mini mod involved cutting the brick power supply cable and connecting a 2K resistor between the thin "i sense" cable and earth to turn on the motherboard. This cold be done in a 4 pin XLR connector. The brick power supply outputs 18 volts but in practice the Mac Mini would run on 13 volts to 18 volts. A V-Lok Li-Ion worked just fine.

 

The newer unibody Mac Mini's also appear to tolerate a wide voltage supply range. My Mac Mini supply is a Li-Ion battery system which has a fresh charge voltage of 17.5 volts. 

 

What I have found and this may only be relevant to analogue and firewire setups is that Mac Mini spits out noise on the power supply rail. This leaks into the audio if a common power supply is used. I use a power isolated Firewire cable and power the Mac Mini via an isolating 40watt DC-DC converter. The cleanest solution is to power the Mac Mini and video monitor off their own battery. 

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I have modified several Mac Mini's in the past 9 years for my Metacorder rig. My current Mac Mini is a 2012 unibody Mac Mini Server. Todd Weaver's comment that it's an easy modification is correct. Just follow an iFixit guide on how to pull the Mac Mini apart. Gotham Sound has a guide on how to do the mod: https://www.gothamsound.com/library/mod-mac-mini-dc-power

The original body Mac Mini mod involved cutting the brick power supply cable and connecting a 2K resistor between the thin "i sense" cable and earth to turn on the motherboard. This cold be done in a 4 pin XLR connector. The brick power supply outputs 18 volts but in practice the Mac Mini would run on 13 volts to 18 volts. A V-Lok Li-Ion worked just fine.

The newer unibody Mac Mini's also appear to tolerate a wide voltage supply range. My Mac Mini supply is a Li-Ion battery system which has a fresh charge voltage of 17.5 volts.

What I have found and this may only be relevant to analogue and firewire setups is that Mac Mini spits out noise on the power supply rail. This leaks into the audio if a common power supply is used. I use a power isolated Firewire cable and power the Mac Mini via an isolating 40watt DC-DC converter. The cleanest solution is to power the Mac Mini and video monitor off their own battery.

I did notice that noise on the output, I've noticed it on my MacBook Pro sometimes as well. To remedy without using a separate isolated supply, I just ran all of my audio back out using Dante and out of my mixer. It's super clean and makes for less cables routing everything. It integrates playback audio and LTC perfectly into the cart running a DAW on the mac.

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Update. Boom recorder doing just fine. I've been recording with it along side my other recorders for about two weeks with 32 tracks always armed for testing purposes. The file sizes are enormous, but not even a hiccup.

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