takev

Boom Recorder Getting Rid of the patch bay

33 posts in this topic

Hi,

I am seriously thinking about doing some major development for Boom Recorder and start working toward version 9.

I am thinking of getting rid of the patch bay and creating a better user interface for this function; routing inputs to outputs and files. There are several reasons for getting rid of the patch-bay and maybe what is shown on the main window:

  • The current interface is cumbersome when working with over a hundred channels.
  • The storage of the patch-bay data is large and is hampering the possibility of having multiple configuration files.
  • I want to increase the number of channels above and beyond 256.
  • The CPU usage is higher than it needs to be (even though it is not that much)
  • I want to add effects: echo-cancelation, M/S decoding, compression, cut off filters and equaliser
  • I want to control these effects and other things using MIDI. Including the ability to mix the audio live.

As a replacement I am thinking of a more traditional channel strips like they have on mixers. The channel strips will have the ability to group multiple inputs. At the moment I have the following in mind:

  • Strip name
  • An input selection, either an input/buffer. (multiple inputs. buffers are like aux ports that can feed back into another strip)
  • Peak and hold indicator on the input.
  • Trim/Gain, both attenuation or amplification.
  • Invert.
  • Volume indicator post trim/gain.
  • Delay.
  • Echo cancellation
  • auto duck
  • mid/side.
  • nr of dBs to compress.
  • low cut, high cut, mid cut frequency and strength.
  • low, mid, high EQ attenuation or amplification.
  • solo mode: off/isolated/processed/equalised
  • output on/off/privacy
  • output bus/buffer
  • output fader
  • output balance (equal power, only for stereo)

There will be separate user interface elements to set up monitoring outputs and file assignments.

Do you have any suggestions?

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No comment on the patchbay per se, as I am not a BR user. But for what it's worth, I investigated it for concert multitracking a while ago and found the monitoring facilities lacking. I would LOVE to record a 48+ channel show with BR's timecode and metadata functionality and monitor (mix and PFL or SIP) in the software without involving a hardware console. If that would be possible in the next release, I'd take a very hard look at it. For my purposes, FX would not be desired but a good onscreen mixer would make a huge difference. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I haven't looked at Boom Recorder for some time

Echo Cancellation sounds like a nice idea but I'd be afraid of over processing , and I don't like glossing over problems that are going to be handed off to someone else

Impulse Response generation would be nice

Double M/S and Surround Mic track support

Dante support if it's not in yet

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Thank you CraigF for pointing me to double M/S, I haven't heard of that before. I notice there is an AudioUnit plugin for processing Double M/S. Which decides it for me, I am going to support AudioUnits in Boom Recorder as first class citizens. I believe there are quite a few people using Dante Audinate with Boom Recorder, since you can buy the Dante Virtual Soundcard, which is a CoreAudio driver.

Caleymw I will indeed allow you to listen to solo, and create taps at any place you like. I just thought of the possibility to bypass any AudioUnit for solo so you can audition an AudioUnit isolated, not sure how to handle this. Maybe solo is a very special path.

The user interface is starting to form in my mind. I am thinking of an empty grid, where you can create a (multi-)channel strip by drag-and-drop small AudioUnit widgets underneath each other. You can open multiple windows of those grids, so you can use multiple screens.

The top widget allows you to select audio-interface-input(s), or an aux input(s), The bottom widget will route the audio to an audio-file-track, aux or an audio-interface-output. Other widgets will allow you to tap the audio signal(s) to an aux, track or output in the middle of the strip, or insert a signal(s) into the strip.

There will also be blank widgets, so you can align the strips, including blank widgets that automatically resize.

All controls on all the widgets can optionally be controlled by MIDI. I am hoping I can also send feedback back into a controller to control leds, etc.

 

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I urge you to make your channel strip mode an option--many people using BR like it for its uncluttered simple interface that allows seeing a lot of channel info on a small screen….

 

philp

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Would love to see a popup list of cast members ala Sound Devices 788t.. I like preloading cast names for an episode and quickly select

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Hello Philip,

Don't worry, I will not try to make Boom Recorder look like a simulation of a mixing deck, instead I will try to make the user interface very clean according to the Apple style guidelines.

In my new vision you are allowed to create several windows of channel strips. You can, on your main window include only a set of meters that will give you pretty much the same layout as the current Boom Recorder. But I think you want to add some extra features on the main window, I think I can design the user interface in such a way that each channel will actually take even less room then in Boom Recorder 8, since you can group channels together.

However I am not sure if I will maintain both a vertical and a horizontal layout, I may decide on a vertical only layout.

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Take, Could you explain echo cancellation and why we would need it in Boom recorder ? I am familiar with it's use in telephony but not in audio recording.

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Hello Al,

I personally looked for an echo cancellation for my Twitch channel (Twitch is a live broadcast gaming website).

I don't like wearing headphones, so I would play my game sound through my speakers. My microphone would pick up the game sound, and both the direct game sound plus everything picked up on my microphone would be send to Twitch. An echo cancellation unit would subtract the direct game sound (after automatically finding the delay, volume and possibly normalising EQ) from the microphone input. Eventually I found a plugin for the OBS (broadcasting software) to do echo cancellation, I am quite happy with that.

You could possible use this if you play music in a dance scene, and subtracting the music from the microphone picking up the dialogue. Or maybe you can put a microphone near a noisy air-conditioner and subtract that sound from your boom microphone.

However I am not sure what the quality is of the default Echo Cancellation AudioUnit that comes with OS X, it may be rather good, or not.

But Boom Recorder is used by many customers including ones that don't use it to record any kind of entertainment. Someone may find it useful.

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Take, I don't think you should pursue any sort of echo cancellation for Boom Recorder. Your suggested use of echo cancellation in a production sound setting (canceling music playback, dealing with air conditioning noise, etc.) I think does not work very well, regardless of the sophistication of the software. I am very excited that you are going to do a vastly revamped Boom Recorder and I have total confidence that you will do amazing things. Be mindful of those who have cautioned you to make a real effort to keep Boom Recorder as elegant and simple as it has been.

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Hi Jeff,

Since I will be hosting AudioUnits, I will no longer pursue putting echo cancellation in Boom Recorder, instead it will come for free. In fact almost any AudioUnit you can find or buy will hopefully work correctly with Boom Recorder, and you get to decide how you want to use Boom Recorder.

I agree that Boom Recorder's user interface needs to stay elegant. However the current patch bay gui is not user friendly at all especially when using a large number of channels. But, things are going to change significantly, I hope you guys will follow me.

Which is why I want a lively discussion on this topic, as I read myself into the development documentation about how AudioUnits actually work.

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MIDI control would be the killer feature for me.  Yes please!  Looking forward to V9

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Did you know in Version 8 there is already MIDI control for tape transport?

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#: 15   Posted (edited)

Did you know in Version 8 there is already MIDI control for tape transport?

yes, saw that.  Phillip Perkins note that channel strip layout not necessary should be noted, I think that most of us would use BR with another mixer, or if good MIDI control (I like Ableton's implementation, as others do, where each MIDI function can be dynamically learned), with a control surface.  In such a case, channel strip functionality would be redundant.  I'd think of the interface as more of a "meter bridge" affair, and in such a case, the horizontal spread of channels across the screen makes more sense as one could distribute the bridge right over the mixer / control surface - was never a fan of horizontally moving meters myself.  I'd request specifically customizable positioning and width of the channels then, as it would be nice for there to be a 1:1 physical placement of meters bridge / monitor with the surface's physical strips.

There could be user selectable expandable windows that would allow expansion or minimization of things like the routing I/O, sends, AU slots for potential effects.  I'd basically like something similar to the ProTool look and feel for familiarity, just without the fat that's not necessary in a production environment.  I'd pay a couple hundred dollars for an incremental update, or even more for something that is a more full fledged production solution with comprehensive and advanced metadata support.  I'd love to support your work and willing to back it up with $ if I can justify it as a production tool.  I have purchased 8, but has not really been used in a production environment, much to do with my own work, not so much shortcomings in your product.

I always though that Metric Halo's MIO Console and RME TotalMix were two excellent examples of software consoles.

Edited by Tom Visser

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I think you have some great ideas here and eagerly look forward to how you'll implement them.  I've drifted away from BR in recent years, but as track counts continue to climb I'm considering moving back--looking forward to seeing what mixing features you come up with.  Two notes:  a good example of a pretty usable onscreen mixer was the old version of MOTU's "CueMix" from several years ago.  Simple narrow channels and faders, unfussy graphics, you could get 22 channels onscreen at once even on a small laptop.  THEN they got all fancy with their graphics, made the strips much wider and added a lot of useless graphics, so that you had to scroll to see all channels even on a laptop with a decent sized screen.  BAD!!!   Please leave us with something like the current BR homescreen, where one can monitor MANY channels at a glance, w/ scrolling.  2: re MIDI control.  Since many people use BR with huge track counts, is there a way to have MIDI control of an internal mixer in BR without it getting very latent when the system is working hard?  We ended up firing MIDI controllers here (Mackie, Behringer) because when we needed them the most they exhibited the most latency, to the point of unusability.  But being able to move more than one fader at a time (like w/ mouse) would be a great thing.  (As would GROUPS!)

phil p

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Hi Philip,

I am not sure about latency from MIDI when Boom Recorder is working hard. But I believe I implemented the MIDI in a separate thread from everything else, so unless the computer itself is grinding to a halt I think the latency should be quite good.

Of course, I have no idea what will happen when you are using hundreds of channels in Boom Recorder, only a few customers are using over a hundred channels.

Since I know a few customers are using so many channels, I will try to limit the amount of screen real estate per channel very low. One thing I could offer is a simple indicator shown as a single dot where I can through colour (and shape) give information about the loudness of a channel.

I've been thinking on how to control channels with a mouse. How does using the scroll wheel of the mouse (or touchpad) to change the value of a parameter sound? I am not entirely sure, because you may expect that you scroll when using the scroll wheel, not to change a value.

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My only suggestion is for UI. The rest features is very good.

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Re: meters. Speaking for myself, I require relatively tall meters, with scale clearly indicated. Skinny meters are great, but a dot that glows different colors is not useful for me. If I'm ever recording a truly massive channel count you can bet I'll bring a widescreen external monitor so I can see them all at once. For examples, good: RME Digicheck, Tascam X48 'big meters view', Reaper (when set up appropriately); ok: Pro Tools; ugly: Joeco Blackbox. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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To the idea of scrolling controlling faders, Reaper does this and I find it really irritating when using a trackpad. Way too easy to accidentally bump a fader when attempting to scroll horizontally. I'd suggest that users who need faster, more tactile mixing (if you are mixing a real live-to-2 that matters) use BR as a tape machine along with a real console. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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For gaming I now have an Ultra Wide Screen monitor, 50% more horizontal space.

Yea, I guess using a trackpad it is rather annoying to bumping the fader. I guess I should make that a configuration option, I think scrollwheel could be nice if you actually have a scrollwheel.

MIDI control would be a lot better for this.

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I am only a documentary user, so I can only comment on a few related points. It would be amazing to have an intermediate price for 4 and 8 channels, even if the price was "higher" in relation to an unlimited version. It would also be great if BR could output even a rudimentary time code to Movielsate app for Ipad-Iphone. It would also be great if the program allowed for saving of files to two locations at the same time, or automatically backup takes. The section on compatible hardware could be crowdsourced more intensively. Otherwise thanks for a great program.

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Sinnlicht, Boom Recorder can already record to multiple locations at the same time. Select the number of folders you want, add more files and assign them to the other folders, and assign channels to these files. I am actually thinking of removing the compatibility table from my website; I have not seen incompatible hardware for about a decade.

Tom, your request about being able to align strips to physical dimensions of the mixer has made me rethink the user interface for this to be a more freeform canvas to put down the mixing elements.

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Custom UI, Awesome Take!  Do you have one of the 21:9 monitors?  I'm buying an LG 21:9 for my cart, with the intention of maximizing screen space, but still having top down "overlook" in front, sort of a wide and low cart, not a tall "tower of power" where you loose situational awareness in front of you and end up hiding behind your gear.

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I'm with you, Tom, as far as cart design --- I never want to lose that clear view over the top surface on my cart (even though more and more that view is NOT of the set but rather it gives me a clear view of who is coming over to the cart to talk to me). I'm so old school that I remember I used to always be right on the set with the sound cart, often quite close to the camera, the director, everyone else on the incredibly small crews (by today's standards). I miss that sort of face to face interaction when I am way off the set somewhere, looking at a monitor, knowing that everyone else is spread out all over the place with the primary group huddled around "the village" all starring at their monitors. "Situational awareness", good term, and "hiding behind the gear" is all too often a a survival technique these days.

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